How to Make an Italian Hot Dog

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An Italian Hot Dog you want to know? What is it? Well it’s a Jersey thing, and you’re not gonna find them anywhere else other the in-and-around Newark, New Jersey and some of the towns surround it. Burgers and Hot Dogs are really big in Jersey and there once was a guy named James “Buff” Racioppi who first served this thing called the Italian Hot Dog. James and his Italian Buddy’s used to have many a card game in Newark’s 9th Ward way back when. One day Jimmy’s wife threw together something for her husband and card playing cronies to eat. She fried up some Sweet Bell Peppers, Potato, Onions, and Hot Dogs, and when everything was finished frying she put it all between some bread and served it to all the hungry card players. Well everyone just loved the sandwiches and whenever they played cards they begged for her to make the Italian Style Hot Dogs. These Hot Dogs were so popular and everyone just love them that Jimmy decide to open a little stand and sell them. You know the rest, the Italian Hot Dogs were a huge success and Jimmy Buffs Hot Dog empire was born (1932 in Newark, New Jersey).

And oh by the way, Jimmy Buff Racioppi is the one who always gets credit for inventing this awesome culinary delight, but the real inventor was Jimmy’s wife Mrs. Racioppi.


My Dad used to take use to all the Diners, Hot Dog & Burger Joints around. We’d go to Jimmy Buffs maybe 3 or 4 times a year. My mom learned how to make these tasty Italian Hot Dogs and we’d have them at least once a month when we couldn’t make it down to Jimmy Buffs. My mom made them so good, they were just as good as Jimmy Buffs. Now you can make them too.


4 Hero Rolls

1 small Red Bell Pepper and one Green, seeded and sliced

2 medium Onions, peeled and sliced

8 best quality Hot Dogs

2 Idaho Potatoes, peeled and slice ¼” thick

Salt & Black Pepper

¼ cup Canola Oil

Place the potatoes in a small pot of water. Add 1 tablespoon Salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes at the boil for 2 minutes. Turn heat off and drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking off as much water as possible.

Add 1/3 of the oil to a medium frying pan. Turn heat on to medium and add the Hot Dogs. Fry the Hot Dogs until they get golden brown and crunchy on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Turn heat off and leave in pan covered with aluminum foil.

Place the ¾ of the oil in a large frying pan and heat to high. Put the potatoes in the frying pan and season with a little salt & Black Pepper and fry the potatoes on high heat for 6 minutes. Add the Bell Pepper to the pan, turn down the heat and cook the peppers with the potatoes on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring as you cook. Add the onions, season with Salt & Pepper and cook the onions with the Peppers & Potatoes over low heat for 8 minutes.

Put the Hot Dogs in with the Peppers, Onions, & Potatoes and cook on very low heat for 2 minutes. In the mean time, split the rolls in half but not all the way through, leaving a sort of hinge on one side of each roll. Place in the pan that the Hot Dogs cooked in, turn heat on to high and toast the rolls until they get a little crunchy.

Place two Hot Dogs on each roll and fill each roll with some of the Peppers, Onions, & Potatoes mixture. Serve to your buddy’s and enjoy.


The half & half is even better that the regular Italian Hot Dog. To make one, instead of putting 2 Hot Dogs in each roll with the Peppers, Onions, & Potatoes, you cook up some Italian Sausages and put one Hot Dog and one Sausage Link into each roll with the Potato, Onions, and Peppers and you’re all set with a Italian Hot Dog Half & Half. You’re gonna Love It!

Excerptd From THE RAUGU BOLOGNESE COOKBOOK  by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke           aka Danny Bolognese



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