Spring in Italy— so many fresh ingredients, so little time! From fava beans and zucchini to strawberries, many seasonal ingredients are already arriving to the groceries in Italy— and to the kitchen table! Keep reading to discover what we’re eating (and drinking) in the PIATTO™ kitchen this week!
The Real Italian Pasta Primavera: Pasta Vignarola Romana
The fresh fava beans, artichokes and peas are ready in Italy! That means it’s time to make a classic Roman Mixed Vegetables dish: Vignarola Romana! These days, its common to use these delicious veggies also as a pasta condiment, and we’re making a pasta recipe that truly does the Romans justice—serving it with a creamy Cacio e Pepe sauce! Find out why we consider it an authentic Italian Pasta Primavera:
Italian Bread Salad: Panzanella!
We made our first Panzanella of the season last night! The famous Italian bread salad recipe called Panzanella is made in different ways throughout Italy. We are partial to the recipe of Marche, which serves the bread as slices. Tomatoes aren’t at their peak (yet), however fresh tomatoes are available in Italy now as are the other ingredients common in Panzanella: onions, basil, cucumbers, celery and of course olive oil (ever in season in Italy).
Homemade Strawberry Jam
The strawberries are ready in Italy! Here at PIATTO, that means it is time to whip up a 30 minute strawberry jam. Watch how to make strawberry jam at home in our video recipe on YouTube!
Spaghetti alla Nerano: Pasta with Zucchini and Provolone
There is no pasta recipe that does more justice to fresh zucchini than Spaghetti alla Nerano (Nerano is near Naples). This mind-blowing pasta gets its unique flavor from cooking the pasta in water infused with fried zucchini! As if that’s not enough flavor for one pasta, this traditional dish then calls for the addition of provolone cheese (technically, provolone del monaco).
We are making it this week… and doing a little experiment to lighten it up by drying the zucchini out in the oven instead of frying them. We’ll let you know how that goes in an upcoming video 😉 For now, you can buy commercial zucchini chips (with no seasoning but maybe a touch of salt) if you want to avoid frying zucchini. Otherwise, bust out that deep fryer and make it just as we do in our video recipe!
Shakerato: Cold Italian Espresso!
It’s already starting to get hot in Italy—especially if you are working or playing outside! There are few drinks more refreshing than the cold Italian espresso drink known as the Shakerato! With just two ingredients (three if you add a bit of sugar), this cold espresso drink recipe is as tasty as it is sexy.
Like you, we are busy this week. Sometimes the easiest lunch is a quick Italian Tuna Salad (mousse, technically)! There are many ways to make an Italian Tuna Mousse (more recipes coming soon) but this is one of our favorites: with mayo and capers!
Spread it on a bruschetta, inside a tramezzini (crustless white bread) or use it to fill roasted red peppers! No matter how you use it, Italian Tuna Mousse is a delicious, nutritious and FAST lunch or dinner for a busy spring day.