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Thanks to RSMBob's post about Chicago-style pizza in SoCal, in October I picked up a stuffed pizza from Chicago Pasta House on my way to see friends in Palm Springs.
I called a couple days ahead of time to find out its ordering protocol. The stuffed pizza can be ordered to-go as frozen, parbaked, or hot, fully cooked. The parbaked needs about 15 minutes of additional baking time. The stuffed pizzas can be ordered half-half, except for shrimp topping. While the restaurant opens at 11am for lunch, the earliest a stuffed pizza can be available for pick up is 11:30am, and requires ordering the day before.
I phoned in my order the night before for an 11:30am pick up time. After a stop at nearby Portillo's https://www.chowhound.com/post/portil... , I pulled into the lot at Chicago Pasta House. My pizza was not ready yet, and the staff asked for my patience for another 15 minutes.
The wait gave me more time to study the Chicago memorabilia that decorates the place. And also this engraved pizza paddle. The owner was the original chef at Giordano's. I told the employees that I last had a Giordano's pizza circa 1985, and perhaps he made it for me.
At 11:45am, I loaded my large stuffed pizza: half spinach, half sausage, parbaked to go into the car and headed east. I texted my friends to pre-heat the oven and we followed the directions for the finishing bake. However, we soon discovered that the oven temperature at their vacation rental ran hot and the top of the crust was scorched a bit.
The spinach pie is the most popular order. We did like that half a lot.
But the house sausage stuffing is what became the most craved thing, offset with the zesty sauce of imported Italian tomatoes and fresh herbs. The molten cheese was so awesome. If I had to guess what was in the three-cheese combo, I'd say asiago, provolone and mozzarella.
I also bought four of the housemade cannoli. These are filled to order. But there's no provision for packing the shells and filling separately for to-go orders. This meant that we would need to consume the cannoli quickly, somewhat of a challenge after gorging on stuffed pizza. I was kind of thankful that the cannoli filling was simpler and not super-rich.
We thoroughly enjoyed this stuffed pizza. I suspect Chicago Pasta House will become a new tradition each time we're headed to Coachella Valley.
I'm curious about whether any of the other offerings are worth ordering, such as the Italian beef.
Chicago Pasta House
24667 Sunnymead Blvd
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
Sun-Thurs 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri-Sat 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
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