It's Italian Heritage Month with Chef Nino at Rouses Markets.


  • For the roasted vegetables:
  • 1 tablespoon Rouses Organic Sicilian Olive Oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 purple onion, cut into 1/8 inch slivers
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sicilian sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Campo d'Oro butter
  • 1/2 pound Rouses Italian sausage
  • 2 14-ounce cans Granoro Italian peeled tomatoes
  • 2 ounces roasted bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces Rouses pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sicilian sea salt
  • 4 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 cups Riso Toro Italian rice, cooked according to instructions on box
  • 12-ounce wedge Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated


For the roasted vegetables:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheet with the olive oil. Place all cut vegetables on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or to your preferred degree of doneness, then remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Add the basil, salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed. Set aside; these cooked vegetables will be added to the sauce.

For the tomato sauce:

1. Place garlic, butter and sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, salt and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add roasted vegetables to mixture and stir well to incorporate. 

2. Place cooked rice into 6-8 bowls. Portion the roasted vegetable sauce evenly on top of each rice mound.

3. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese just before serving.



  • 7361 Theodore Dawes Rd.
  • Theodore, AL 36582
  • (251) 653-7391
  • 1545 Gulf Shores Parkway
  • Gulf Shores, AL 36542
  • (251) 948-4715
  • 112 Saraland Loop
  • Saraland, AL 36571
  • (251) 675-8124
  • 4350 Old Shell Rd.
  • Mobile, AL 36608
  • (251) 380-0020
  • 6729 Spanish Fort Rd.
  • Spanish Fort, AL 36527
  • (251) 621-0552
  • 7765 Airport Boulevard #609
  • Mobile, AL 36608
  • 251-272-5026
  • 25405 Perdido Beach Boulevard
  • Orange Beach, AL 36561
  • 251-272-5034

HOURS: 7am-10pm

ABOUT THE CHEF: Chef Neil “Nino” Thibodaux

Chef Nino was born in Franklin, Louisiana. A stint in the Air Force after high school as a F-15 jet mechanic included a month at a remote base near Cagliari in Sardinia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Jacksonville, Florida, and an Honorary Doctorate from Victory Baptist College in North Augusta, South Carolina, Nino returned to Italy, where he lived for 13 years. When Nino moved back to the United States, he settled in Houma, Louisiana, and started teaching private cooking classes. Inspired by his time in Italy, he then launched the Friends of Italy Culinary Institute. Nino has taught monthly cooking classes and done cooking demonstrations and events for Rouses Markets for over 10 years. He has a low salt, mild, Cajun seasoning blend called Adrenaline Seasoning, which is available at all Rouses Markets in Louisiana, Mississippi and Lower Alabama.

You can find more of Nino’s recipes, Rouse Family Recipes, and a collection of Southern, Cajun and Creole recipes at Pick up your free copy of the Rouses Magazine at any Rouses Market on the Gulf Coast.

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