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Fresh Sheet: Benniditos’ new pastas packed with pizzazz

Wed., March 11, 2009

Before getting those taste buds set for an L.C. Primo or Grand Boulevard, consider trying something besides pizza at Benniditos.

Owner Chris Bennett recently introduced pastas at the South Hill location. Bennett says he worked on the recipes for years before perfecting a basic marinara, Bolognese packed with mushrooms, Italian sausage and homemade meatballs, and creamy Alfredo. (The Alfredo turned out so good Bennett also added a chicken Alfredo pizza and calzone to the menu.) They also offer pesto and fresh garlic sauces, or buttered noodles for the kids.

“The problem is that people come in expecting Benniditos pizza,” says Bennett. “It takes awhile to get them to try it but when they do, they love it.”

Choose a pasta and sauce for $7.99 and it’s served with the house-made pizza bread. Or, check out one of Benniditos new lasagnas: The meat lasagna ($16.99) has alternate layers of mozzarella, marinara, Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and ricotta; the veggie lasagna ($15.99) is mozzarella, artichoke hearts, zucchini, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, spinach, marinara, ricotta; or the chicken Alfredo lasagna ($24.99) includes Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, artichokes hearts, chicken and pancetta bacon.

The menu says they’ll serve four people, but expect to have leftovers. They also come with the pizza bread. (You can also have one delivered hot or take one home to bake yourself.)

Benniditos is at 1426 S. Lincoln St. on the South Hill. Or call 455-7411 for delivery. The menus are online at

Kitchen Engine celebrates with classes

The Kitchen Engine has retired the rolling cart and hot plate for a new kitchen equipped with a gas stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator and room for seating. They’re celebrating with a week’s worth of culinary classes and demonstrations starting Monday. Register in advance for the classes. Here’s a taste of what is planned:

•Monday, 6 p.m. – Sweet and savory puff pastry with Kevin McKenzie from 98Twenty Bistro. Cost: $10

•Tuesday, 6 p.m. – Seared rack of lamb with bing cherry demi-glace with chef Landon Dalessi from G.W. Hunters, Post Falls. $25.

•Next Wednesday, 6 p.m. – Homemade mac and cheese with KXLY’s Mark Peterson. $20.

•March 19, 3-6 p.m. – Pairing cheeses and wine with Kim Morin of Saunders Cheese Market and John Allen of Vino. Free.

•March 20, 1 p.m. – How to make the perfect cup with Doma Coffee. Cost: $10 and includes 1/2 pound Doma coffee.

•March 23 at 6 p.m. – Beef carpaccio with white truffle vinaigrette, herb salad, sun-dried tomato quiche, cheese sticks with puff pastry and asparagus in a blanket with chef Laurent Zirotti, of Fleur De Sel Restaurant at the Highlands in Post Falls. $20.

Get more details or register for classes at The Kitchen Engine, 621 W. Mallon, No. 416. Reach the store at (509) 328-3335. The Web site is

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