04 August 2016
Most of us love pasta and it’s often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Italian cuisine. But there are lots of Italian dishes that aren’t pasta based – so this summer try something different and explore the wonderful variety of fresh Italian foods.
Have a look at these simple dishes: 2 fish-based, 2 meat-based and 2 vegetable-based.
Mazzancolla is Italian for langoustines. This is the simplest of tasty seafood dishes and great as a starter. You just peel the shell off the fresh, raw langoustines, leaving the heads and the tips of the tails on. Squeeze plenty of fresh lemon juice over then and drizzle with good quality virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve on a cold plate with some simple light salad leaves and enjoy.
You can either use dried borlotti beans (soaking overnight then rinsing and boiling in salt water), or just as easily use tinned beans. You simply drain and season with salt and black pepper and drizzle with virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon and some finely chopped parsley.
For the squid (easiest if purchase pre-prepared and ready to use). Lay the squid pieces flat, skin-side down, and score with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub a little virgin olive oil into the skin.
Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the squid, scored side down. Cook for one minute until golden-brown, then turn over.
Add a little fresh chopped chilli, chopped anchovy fillets (your choice), fresh parsley and lemon juice to the pan.Remove the squid and quickly slice into bite-sized pieces. Add the beans and stir together. Serve with small tomatoes and rocket salad.
This dish can have anything authentically Italian added to it – you can add sage and garlic while cooking and serve with beans in tomato sauce, or simply with oven roasted diced potatoes.Add two thick pork chops to a hot frying pan. After browning the meat, transfer them to a baking dish and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (ten each side) then drizzle with lemon juice. After a further 5 minutes the chops will be ready. Allow them to rest for five minutes more before serving with your chosen accompaniment.
Farinata is a generic name for soups made with polenta and this one adds black cabbage. These are especially good during cold winter days. Use some seasonal veggies like carrots, celery and onion. Cook them until they are soft and the onion turns golden brown. Then add some potatoes, chilly, garlic, rosemary and sage, and stir it a little. Lastly add the black cabbage, cover it with water and bring it to boil. After 1 hour add the polenta very slowly whilst stirring, and cook it for half an hour more, until the polenta is soft. Buon appetito!