This summer consider adding Italian ingredients to your meals to improve flavor and color! Combine Italian elements to BBQ, picnic meals, or campfire dinners to get creative. Pasta is the staple quintessential Italian food we think of. The Italians cure award winning meats that are perfect for sandwiches, starters, and even snacks. Finally, adding Italian cheese to sauces, cheese boards, and main dishes can elevate them into the stratosphere. Below are some of our favorite tested Italian foods and meal ideas to introduce you to delizioso.
Grill and Thrill
Italians like to grill like we do. They use spiedini (skewers) with cheese, veggies, and meats. By adding extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) at the end of the grilling process with a dash of sea salt, the grilled ingredients have a clarity of flavor that is not seen when one douces them in thick BBQ sauce. Rubbing fresh oregano and rosemary prior to cooking can give a light essence that couples with the natural flavors of meats. A side salad, like a caprese salad, a cold tortellini pesto salad, or a macaroni salad all go great with BBQ! ROI produces a tasty Basil Pesto made with basil, dry tomatoes, garlic, cashews, parmigiano Reggiano and EVOO. BBQ meal desserts can also be grilled Italian style. Try grilling peaches or pineapple and top with gelato or just make a tiramisu! Dark Chocolate & Cherry Crostata is also a magnifico to try!
Pasta is now perfect even for those with allergies or who are looking for lower carb options that are protein based. There are so many options to choose from. Dishes can be hot, cold or warm. Germinal Organic www.germinalorganic.com makes Riso E Quinoa Spaghetti that is gluten-free. It can be found at www.eataly.com. It absorbs the flavor of sauce well or can be eaten with a brown butter and a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese pairing from Vivaldi Foods www.vivaldifoods.com. They also make organic gluten-free mais e riso Lasagna that is sold at Eataly. Lasagna can be vegetarian, or meat filled. Just add to the base ricotta mixture items such as grilled zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, spinach, or ground meat. Linguine Pasta with Cuttlefish Ink from Pastificio Morelli www.pastamorelli.it/en is a treat for your tastebuds! It pairs beautifully with seafood-based sauces like clam sauce. One can also mix pastas together for a more colorful look. Try Morelli’s red chili or lemon pepper pasta with the black ink pasta for a different taste and presentation.
Italian food is known for cheese. It is the base of food and added to so many dishes. Start meals with an antipasto platter that has multiple cheeses like Asiago Fresco DOP from Agriform www.agriform.it . Asiago also makes the most incredible sauce when paired with cream and pears. Dates can be stuffed with this versatile cheese and encased in bacon and grilled for a smokey, sweet, creamy combo. Gorgonzola DOP by Vivaldi belongs to the blue cheese family and tends to have a soft and creamy texture. It can be found in cream sauces, gorgonzola and honey bruschetta, and on the prized pizzas like caramelized apple and gorgonzola pizza and prosciutto, pear, and gorgonzola pizza. While Satori cheese is made in Wisconsin, it has a rich Italian heritage. The BellaVitano Merlot has a creamy texture with fruity notes of plum and berry. The rind is meant to be eaten and enjoyed. This cheese, due to the merlot, is mesmerizing and memorable on a cheese board. Last but never least, is goat cheese. Laura Chenel www.laurachenel.com makes a Kalamata Olive Goat cheese Log that takes pizza to the next level! It can be added to Italian salads and sauces for rich olive flavor. One could just eat it plain as well and let out a huge sigh.
Salame Emilia by Ferrarini www.ferrarini.com is made from slowly cured pork with warm complex flavors. It has a 90-day shelf life for campers and pairs with cheese, crusty breads, and pizza. Tempesta www.tempestaartisansalumi.com from Southern Minnesota makes some of the best meat products we have tested. The Mortadella with Pistachios is swoon worthy. Tempesta’s Sopressata Picante (uncured spicy salami) gives your sandwich heat with flavor while the Tempesta Tartufo (uncured black truffle salami) is so rich and fragrant that you may gobble the whole salami!
We hope you are inspired to make mouthwatering Italian influenced dishes! Buon Appetito!