Luigi’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Luigi's Restaurant & Pizzeria stands as a testament to authentic Italian cooking and the unbreakable bonds of family, offering a taste of tradition with each hand-tossed pizza and mom-made dish.


Mark Stens Land

10/21/20224 min read

"Luigi's Restaurant & Pizzeria: A Family Recipe for Authenticity and Heart"

Imagine a place where the warmth of the oven is only matched by the warmth of family ties—welcome to Luigi's Restaurant & Pizzeria. Luigi Napolitano, a craftsman of the crust, carries on a culinary tradition that started back in Italy and found its home in New Mexico's North Valley.

For Luigi, the journey of pizza-making began under the tutelage of his mother Tina, a beacon of Italian cooking. When Tina, who had since moved on from Venezia's Pizza, decided to partner with her son, Luigi's was born—not just a restaurant, but a rendezvous of family heritage and authentic Italian flavors.

The making of pizza here is a hands-on affair, literally. Luigi's prides itself on hand-tossed dough, a craft that Luigi insists on preserving. He confides to Emma Trevino about the pizza industry's drift towards mechanization, but at Luigi's, the human touch is irreplaceable. The stone-bottomed gas oven is their secret to a crust with a char reminiscent of the piazzas of Italy.

But it's not just about the pizza. The soul of Luigi's is Tina herself, the matriarch, the prep cook, the heart. The community's connection with her is the true essence of what makes Luigi's special. To step into Luigi's is to step into a family gathering, where Tina's presence is the gravitational pull that brings everyone together.

The ambiance of Luigi's is a rustic Italian embrace, ideal for families to come together over a meal that tastes of tradition. It's a spot where fresh baked bread, homemade garlic butter, and deep-fried pizzas are not just menu items, but chapters of a story that spans generations.

And when it comes to uniqueness, Luigi's kitchen sings with creativity. From veal piccata to pistachio cheesecake, and crab lasagna to chopped clams, each dish is a note in the symphony of flavors that Luigi's conducts with pride.

So, gather round at Luigi's, where every dish is served with a slice of history, and every visit feels like coming home to

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!