With the football season in full-swing, our quest for finding the best places for game-day food continues. This week we stopped into a local and well-known establishment to see what they had to offer.
Since 1945, Ricci’s Italian Sausage has been making fresh homemade sausage for the Pittsburgh region. The business, now in it’s third generation of family ownership, is managed by Ernest Ricci and has been labelled as a true local dynasty. With this kind of recognition, we decided to give their famous sausage a try.
Upon walking into the establishment, we were immediately engulfed in the aroma of freshly made, homemade Italian sauce. Though the shop is small in size, it is full of all kinds of various meats, sauces, history, and, of course, hospitality.
For the most part, Mr. Ricci (seen in the photo above on the far right) is almost always at the shop ready to greet his customers with a warm and welcoming smile. During our visit, he treated us as if we were one of the family. This warm reception was just the tip of the iceberg as we hadn’t even had a chance to order any of the food that was tantalizing our taste-buds from his display case.
After our small chat with the owner, we began to look over everything that Ricci’s had to offer. There are two ways to order food from Ricci’s. There is food that is made fresh daily which is ready for pickup, and there is food that can be sold and taken home to be cooked.
Everyday, anybody can stop in to order either a Hot or Sweet Sausage Sandwich, a Banana Pepper Sandwich, a Homemade Meatball Sandwich, or one of Ricci’s famous Sausage rolls. And in case you’re wondering, yes all the sandwiches are served on Mancini’s buns.
Additionally, Ricci’s has daily specials as well such as Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Sausage, Pasta e’ Fagoli, or Homemade Lasagna depending on the day of the week.
So after being shown all these options, we decided to try a few of his freshly made meals. We had ordered one of his Sweet Sausage Sandwiches, a Meatball Sandwich, a Sausage Roll and his Macaroni and Beef since it was a Tuesday and it was his special for the day.
Let’s start with the Sausage Roll first. Made fresh daily, this roll was made with Mancini’s dough, ground hot sausage, shredded cheese and topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. It was incredible! The sausage roll was full of spices from the sausage and the dough was soft on the inside, yet had a slight crisp on the outside. Thankfully we ordered two because we ate one before we could grab a photo of it!
Next we tried Ricci’s Meatball and Sausage Sandwiches. Once again, our taste-buds were sent on a wild ride that was full of flavor. The meatballs tasted just like they were taken out of an Italian mother’s sauce that had been on the stove all day long. The sausage was just as awesome! We ordered the Sweet Sausage and it juicy, full of flavor, and had the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the homemade sauce.
Lastly, we tried the Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Hot Sausage. If you are a Macaroni and Cheese lover, then this is a must-try! It was the perfect combination of pasta, cheese, and sausage. Additionally, since it is made with hot sausage, it has an extra zesty flavor at the end of each and every bite. To put it simply, it was amazing!
So next time you’re throwing a party, are tailgating for a football game, of just want some quality, homemade food, be sure to stop down and pay Mr. Ricci, the Sausage Master, a visit!