Stir Crazy: Ravioli Charlies sauce recipe goes back decades

August 19, 2013 

Reader Jim Finley is taking a chance on a long shot -- and I'm trying to help him.

He's looking for the recipe for a pasta sauce served at a restaurant called Ravioli Charlies that was popular in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Located in Collinsville originally, it moved to Belleville before closing.

Jim said he thought the family who owned the eatery was from Collinsville and their restaurant was on the corner of East Clay and Vandalia streets. When the eatery moved to Belleville, he recalled that the location was northwest of the square.

Anyone have any recollections or ideas on finding this recipe? Please feel free to call or email me at the number/address at the end of this column.

Time to ramp up the flavor of dinner. This beef tips recipe can be served on top of egg noodles or rice.

Beef Sirloin Tips with Smokey Pepper Sauce

1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tip steak

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (12- to 16-ounce) jar roasted red and/or yellow sweet peppers

1/2 cup hickory- or mesquite-flavored barbecue sauce

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1. Trim meat and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks; sprinkle with paprika.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add meat; brown 5 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from skillet; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, drain roasted red peppers, reserving liquid. Cut up.

Measure 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid (if needed, add enough water to equal 1/2 cup).

Add peppers and the liquid to the hot skillet. Add barbecue sauce. Cook, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce is slightly thickened.

3. Return meat to skillet; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings, each with 367 calories, 18 grams fat, 111 mg cholesterol, 13 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 36 grams protein, 510 mg sodium.

Better Homes & Gardens

Summer isn't over yet, so keep the grill going with this recipe for marinated pork chops.

Southwest Summer Pork Chops

4 teaspoons dried minced onion

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 bone-in pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick and 7 ounces each)

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; rub over pork chops.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine barbecue sauce and lemon juice; add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

2. Discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings, each with 234 calories, 8 grams fat, 81 mg cholesterol, 202 mg sodium, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 30 grams protein. Diabetic exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

Taste of Home's Light & Tasty magazine, August/September 2004

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail,; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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