Jasper's is one of Kansas City’s famous culinary institutions. This family restaurant is a classic American success story, and one of the great outposts of the midwest; it introduced authentic Italian food to Kansas City in 1954, a time when even spaghetti and meatballs may have been exotic!
The recipes in Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook run the gamut from staples such as grissini, aioli, and Tuscan Farm Bread to classics like Sunday Sauce, peperonata, and, yes, even meatballs. They are all easy to follow, simple recipes that obviously have their roots in the simple dishes, created from local ingredients, that characterized the classic Italian menu.
There are also sweet stories interspersed between the recipe chapters, giving you a glimpes into the life of an Italian family making it in the American Midwest. My favorite tale is the story of the lasagna birthday cake. What a way to celebrate one’s 7th birthday! Not that I would mind!
Meet Chef Jasper MirabileProfessional chef, culinary instructor, and owner Jasper Mirabile, Jr., was one of the first Italian chefs to cook for the James Beard House in New York. He and Jasper’s Restaurant have been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, and Midwest Living. Time magazine ranked Jasper’s as one of the top Italian restaurants in America. Jasper is the chairman of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He hosts many famous chefs on his weekly radio show, has a weekly TV segment, and sells a line of dressings and sauces.
Many of my friends and family know this as “Chicken Fred.” My father spent many hours perfecting this recipe, and I am sure he would be proud that I’ve included it in this book and shared it with you.
Click here for a PDF of the full recipe
Serves 8 to 10
½ cup olive oil
6 chicken wings
5 chicken breasts
3 chicken legs
4 chicken thighs
12 Italian sausages, halved
2 medium onions, cut into very thin strips
5 red or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into very thin strips
2 cups white wine
1 (28-ounce) can finely diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 (12-ounce) can peas
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Heat the olive oil in 1 or 2 large sauté pans over high heat. Add the chicken and sausages and sauté for about 10 minutes until brown. Remove the meat and set it aside. In the same pan, sauté the onions and peppers over medium heat until the onions are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Place the chicken and sausages in a roasting pan and add the wine, tomatoes (with juice), peas (with juice), red pepper flakes, basil, tarragon, rosemary, and thyme. Stir well.
Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and mushrooms and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until everything is thoroughly cooked. Season with salt and pepper and serve.