Italy Comes to MN: Vesuvio’s Pizza Dishes Some Pizza Secrets

Pizza is a universally loved food throughout the U.S.,  and it’s no different in Plymouth. The combination of dough, cheese and sauce creates a delicious concoction that we keep coming back for. Vesuivo’s has been providing us with quality pizza and other Italian favorites since it opened in 2013.

Vesuivo’s was opened by husband and wife Pasquale and Cathy Di Maio. The two of them have been married since 2010. “I met Pasquale through my cousin Tina, who is married to Francesco. Francesco was one of Pasquale’s first friends in the United States. They’re both from Italy,” Cathy says. The catering service was named after the famous volcano, Mount Vesuvius, that erupted and demolished the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum almost 2,000 years ago. Pasquale grew up in Naples, which played a large part in his decision to open up an Italian catering service. “Naples, Italy, is where the pizza originated and is the pizza capital of the world,” Cathy Di Maio says. The two of them work as a team, with Pasquale as chef and Cathy as the area sales manager.

Vesuvio’s offers its service for events including graduations, birthday parties, weddings, conventions, conferences and more. They provide a wide assortment of Italian options like pizza, pasta, salads, desserts and appetizers like zucchini bites, fruit kabobs and an Italian meat and cheese platter. All their pizzas are made in a wood-fire oven that can reach temperatures of 850 degrees and above. Using this type of oven really brings out the flavors of their homemade pizza. “Wood-fired pizza is so amazing because of the natural ingredients we use,” Cathy says. If you are thinking about using their service for one of your events, visit their website for more information. Prices vary depending on the day and there is a minimum order.

What makes Vesuivo’s stand out among other Italian food services around the Twin Cities? Cathy says that everything is made using the best ingredients with true passion and dedication to the craft. “Pasquale makes all his stuff homemade. Pizza dough and pastas are all homemade,” Di Maio says. “Pasquale takes a lot of time to make sure that each pizza is done the right way and with the freshest ingredients.” The setting is also unique to other Italian food services— they set up an outdoor kitchen. “We got this idea from Pasquale being in Naples, Italy,” Di Maio says. “This is a typical thing that they do in his home neighborhood.”

It is clear that Pasquale and Cathy adore their business and have a rare passion for and dedication to creating quality Italian food. “The best part of owning Vesuivo’s is being able to bring a big part of my Italian culture and love of pizza to my customers,” Pasquale says. “And watching them love eating my pizza.”

We asked Cathy Di Maio for some recommendations:

Bruschetta Platter, $49.99
This sharable appetizer offers the opportunity to devour French bread covered with diced Roma tomatoes that have been mixed with basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

Margherita Pizza, prices vary.
You may have had a Margherita pizza in the past, but you haven’t tried one at Vesuivo’s yet. This traditional pizza is served with beefsteak tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, basil and more.

Lasagne Tradizionali, $6.49
With layers of lasagna, meat and red sauce, your mouth will be watering. And don’t forget the cheese! This one is served with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.

Cannoli, $1.49 per person for a small and $2.69 per person for a large
Serviced in two different sizes—large and small, this delicious treat is made of tubular pastry dough stuffed full of creamy and sweet ricotta cheese, with a touch of chocolate chips. There is a minimum order of 20, so make sure to gather enough people together to enjoy these yummy treats.

Cowboy Jack’s

Cowboy Jack’s has always been a popular restaurant in the Plymouth area because of the variety of options. The Plymouth location was the original Cowboy Jack’s, and it was so successful that they opened 10 more locations around the U.S.

With specials like $2 Sloppy Jacks all day Monday, $7 buckets of bone-in wings from 5-10 p.m. on Tuesdays and $2 half pound CAB (certified Angus beef) burgers from 5-10 p.m. on Wednesdays, you’ll find something you want. With homemade pizzas, steaks, flatbreads, assortment of sandwiches, appetizers, burgers and delicious non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, they have the variety that you crave.

“They also offer a rewards program that is super easy to use,” says VP of marketing and communication Jesi Konen. “You download the Cowboy Jack’s app and go through the steps,” Konen says. “When you dine at Cowboy Jack’s you get points. Your points turn into Cowboy Cash that can be redeemed right on location towards your check.”

Konen shared a few of her favorites on the menu:

Alta Palla Peach Sparkling Water (non-alcoholic drink): “It is amazing. I drink it at home and at our office. And now you get to enjoy it at all the Cowboy Jack’s locations. I also mix drinks with it.”

Summerland (alcoholic drink): “It was created by our bartender, Tia, who works at our Otsego location. You could easily make it at home and it’s so delicious.”

Brussel sprouts: “We recently added Brussel sprouts to our menu because they are healthy and delicious.”

How to make them (pictured on our cover): cut each sprout in half and sauté. Toss with grated parmesan, jalapeño bacon, and garlic and then give a little drizzle of balsamic.