9th Place Honorable Mention – 2014 Recipe Contest

Chef Richie here, at your service!

And now ladies and gentlemen, I give you…PRIMAVERA! SPRINGTIME! Mark your calendars…March 20 is the first day of spring and…here’s your Italian lesson for today…I love the way this sounds, please call me if you need further help with the pronunciation: Equinozio Primaverale (spring equinox)…EH-quee-KNOW-tsee-OH PREE-ma-VARE-all-EH. Try that three times fast! ;-)

But…it’s still brrrrrrrrr…co-o-o-o-old…so…here’s a warm-you-up recipe from our latest recipe contest honorable mention prizewinner…home chef…drum roll please…Kelly Ellison! Congratulations Chef!

Chef Richie Says…this particular recipe, Kelly’s Irish Pie, is particularly daring, bold, innovative and open to a world of interpretation because…it calls for…wait for it…Irish whiskey (therefore please use some restraint…try not to drink the whiskey while you cook. Remember, you’re working with knives and fire!). Once again folks, we have a Richie-style whole greater than the sum of its parts. Wait until you see this list of ingredients!

Chef Kelly will be receiving a deluxe gift assortment of Bella Sun Luci ingredients, as recognition for a job well done and to get a head start on this year’s Mooney Farms/Bella Sun Luci recipe contest. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Kelly’s Irish Pie with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Irish Whiskey


  • 1 pound apple sausage
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 pound 80-20 ground beef
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ diced Spanish (yellow) onion
  • 2 stalks diced celery
  • 4 oz chopped mushrooms
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp celery salt
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Irish Whiskey (or Scotch, or bourbon)
  • 2 C corn, fresh cut off the cob or frozen and thawed
  • 1 jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce with Whole Pine Nuts
  • 1 pound mashed potatoes (preferably home made)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ C bacon bits
  • tsp paprika
  • tsp parsley flakes
  • ½ C French Fried Onions


  • Heat oven to 400.
  • If making your own bacon bits, do that first (you can use the rendered bacon fat to cook the sausage!)
  • Bake sausage for 7-10 minutes, remove from oven, bring to room temperature then dice into small pieces.
  • In the meantime, heat the butter in a large skillet and add the hamburger, diced onion, celery, mushrooms salt and black pepper.
  • When the burger is cooked through, drain the fat off and add the cooked sausage, garlic powder, celery salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Add the scotch and simmer uncovered on low for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Mix the sun dried tomato pesto with the corn here.
  • Remove the mixture to a baking dish, top with the corn-sun dried tomato mixture, then the mashed potatoes, then cheddar and bacon. Sprinkle parsley and paprika on top.
  • Bake covered 30 minutes, remove cover, top with French Fried Onions and bake 5 more minutes uncovered.
  • Serve hot.

Happy cooking and buon appetito! Con amore,

Chef Richie Hirshen, Corporate Chef

Mooney Farms and Bella Sun Luci. Chico, CA

Chef Richie

About Chef Richie

As corporate chef for Bella Sun Luci, Richard "Chef Richie" Hirshen, whose culinary career spans more than 30 years, plays an instrumental role in product development, recipe creation, and cooking demonstrations.

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