August 24, 2008
On June 4th 1953, grocer Vic Cassano and his mother-in-law opened the first Cassano's Pizza in Kettering, Ohio. When Vic, a grocer, was trying to find investors for his new restaurant, he called on old friend and local businessman Jack Keyes. He came over to Jack's house, made him a pizza and said," You put up a thousand and I'll put up a thousand and we'll go into the pizza business." Jack's response was, "What's a pizza?"
After trying this strange new dish, Jack turned Vic down. Little did he know that soon Vick Cassano would open the first Cassano's Pizza King. Today there are over 33 locations in the Dayton, Ohio area along with a thriving frozen dough franchise.
I guess it's no use to mourn what could've been. You see Jack is Grandpa Jack, my husband's grandfather. If only he could have forseen that these thin slices of sauce, cheese, meat and vegetable would be the golden ticket to the prosperity of his family for generations to come!
So every Sunday, when I recreate Cassano's pizza at home, I think about what could have been. I won't be the wife to the heir of pizza empire after all but at least I have a wonderful grandpa by the name of Jack Keyes, the greatest non-pizza mogul grandpa a girl could ever ask for.
And this great recipe for pizza sauce.
Cassano's Style Pizza Sauce
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes before using.