Spring in Italy: What We are Eating (and Drinking) this Week: May 8!

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:

Authentic Italian Pasta Primavera (‘Pasta Vignarola Romana’)
Based on the traditional Vignarola Romana mixed vegetables, this recipe combines those spring vegetables with a pasta and a creamy pecorino cheese sauce for an unforgettable dish!
Pasta Vignarola Romana

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).

Italian Bread Salad Recipe: Panzanella
There are many variations of the famous Panzanella Bread Salad throughout Italy. This recipe is the perfect fresh spring or summer meal, with whole slices of sourdough bread and seasonal vegetables. So tasty!
Check out this recipe
Panzanella, Italian Bread Salad

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!

Homemade strawberry jam… ready in 30 minutes!

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!

Spaghetti Alla Nerano Recipe: Pasta with Zucchini and Provolone
This authentic Spaghetti alla Nerano recipe is from Nerano near Naples! This famous Italian pasta recipe features provolone cheese and a secret ingredient: fried zucchini! It's a cheesy pasta with an unforgettable umami flavor.
Creamy Spaghetti alla Nerano with Zucchini!

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.

Italian Shakerato Recipe: Cold Espresso Drink
Shakerato is a refreshing Italian coffee-based drink that is perfect for a hot summer day. Made simply with espresso and ice, the drink is shaken to create a frothy, cold beverage that is sure to please.
Italian Shakerato!

Italian Tuna Mousse

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.

Tuna Mousse Recipe (Italian Tuna Salad)
Tuna Mousse is Italy’s answer to ‘tuna salad.’ It is often found in bars during the aperativo, coffee shops and even bakeries and convenient stores. The tuna mousse is typically served as a sandwich filling or inside rolled-up roasted red peppers.
Check out this recipe
Tuna Salad —the Italian way!

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