Mrs. Ezio Pinza’s Spaghetti with Chicken

When I was asked to make a pasta dish in support of San Giorgio’s #PastaForGood campaign, I had to go retro. I mean, it’s my schtick.

So I took to the interwebs and, on the Curly Wurly blog, found images from a 1950s cookbook published by San Giorgio back in the 1950’s called Try It This Way  by Mrs. Ezio Pinza.

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The bottom dish looks scarily like Tuna-Cheese-Macaroni-Loaf

I had no idea who Ezio Pinza is. I had to look him up. I first thought of the other Italian opera singer, Mario Lanza. But to be honest, I only know who he is because of the film Heavenly Creatures (which, if you haven’t seen, you need to–especially if you like true crime, Kate Winslet,  Peter Jackson, and/or New Zealand). mrs pinza.jpg

I feel bad for Mrs. Ezio Pinza. Although she is, according to the cover, a noted hostess, this is just like all those old church cookbooks that I have; none of the women get a first name–they’re all Mrs. So-and-So.

Well, I hope she at least got paid for them to use her face.

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As you can see, there were a lot of recipes in this booklet. AND so many types of pasta that I have never seen in the store. I want some of that Genova Style twirly noodle that looks like Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody hair.

whitney curls

But anyhoo, from Mrs. Pinza’s 58 recipes, I had to choose just one to make.

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I seriously considered making the amazing Spaghetti With Clams molded ringy thing (illustrated above); but that made 6 servings, and I wanted to cook a dish that I would actually eat the rest of the week. So I chose Mrs. Ezio Pinza’s Spaghetti with Chicken:

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I know you’re all probably upset that I didn’t make the Spaghetti Cheese Loaf. But do I need to remind you once again? Tuna-Cheese-Macaroni-Loaf!!! And doesn’t it look like that loaf has eyes?

I also chose the Spaghetti with Chicken because chicken thighs and drumsticks were BOGO at my grocery store.

Dude, Mrs. Ezio Pinza was right: these recipes are economical!

DSCN1952Furthermore, San Giorgio was nice enough to send me some of their products.

The recipe calls for a can of San Giorgio Spaghetti Sauce, which I did not have (nor do I know whether or not is still in production), So I took the Pomi tomatoes and threw together a little concoction of my own that was basically strained tomatoes, olive oil, dried Italian seasonings, fresh parsley, garlic powder, and a lot of Parmesan cheese.

I lightly browned the drumsticks and then covered them with my  Macgyver’d sauce. I stirred in the water, some salt and pepper, and minced parsely (although I used much more than the 1 tbsp that Mrs. Pinza recommended).


I covered the chicken and simmered it for around 90 minutes.

Here is the result!


This was tasty. Simple. And, like Mrs. Pinza said, economical. I don’t believe the recipe states how many people this dish should feed, but so far I’ve gotten 2 dinners and 1 lunch from it and there’s still some left.

NOW! I behoove you to go to the San Giorgio Facebook page HERE and post a “pasta moment” with the hashtag #PastaForGood. Why? Because for each pasta moment, a box of San Giorgio pasta will be donated to a food bank in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

That is a super-easy way to help some of our neighbors in need.

What is a “pasta moment”? It can be at home, at a restaurant, with friends–just share a picture with the hashtag #PastaForGood. It’s that simple. Hell, you read this post. That’s a pasta moment! Go! Post a photo–it’s for a damn good cause.

For more details visit and

The campaign ends on January 15, so move your butts, kittens!

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10 Responses to Mrs. Ezio Pinza’s Spaghetti with Chicken

  1. Did you get a CAMERA for Christmas? That food photo looks like something out of a magazine! Happy New Year! Jx

  2. tarynnicole says:

    Love your post. And #PastaForGood with my fave double mushroom pasta. xx

  3. Julie says:

    Always enjoy your posts, Yinzerella! Google-Fu takes care of revealing Mrs. Pinza’s first name: Doris. She was an opera ballet dancer before marrying Pinza in 1940.

    *This article talks about his death and gives her name:,1038730&hl=en

    *This says she was an opera ballet dancer before marriage:


  4. Dad says:


    Not only does the dish look great, but I think it is absolutely superb that you are working with San Giorgio in promoting contributions to the listed food banks. That’s my girl.


  5. Eileen says:

    Your food looks really good! I have an old San Giorgio Cookbook from the ’70s that i bought from the company for $1. I’ve not seen San Giorgioi products locallly though.
    You are spot on about the movie “Heavenly Creatures”–terrific movie! Did you know that one of the girls, Juliet Hulme, grew up and is now novelist Anne Perry?
    Thanks for your blog; I enjoy reading it, and the recipes.

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