For Italians, the greatest place in any home is the kitchen. This is where family and friends get together to sample famous Italian food that the country is known for. People from all over the world will have some sort of preference when it comes to food, but there won't be many people who will refuse to eat a bowl of carbonara or a pizza which has come straight from the oven.
Of course, the Italians are known for more than pizza and pasta. Every region will have something they are famous for. Salads are simple, attractive and flavoursome. Only top quality meat is used, which is flavoured with the best olive oil and fantastic herbs.
Here are some great recipes to sample:
Caprese Salad - This is a favourite in Italy. It is so easy to prepare, but is so refreshing.
- Tomatoes - 2
- Mozzarella Cheese - 8 slices
- Basil Leaves - 8
- Olive Oil
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a plate.
- Slice the mozzarella and lay one piece on each tomato.
- Season this with salt, pepper, a basil leaf and a drop of olive oil
Courgette Carbonara - This is a classic, but we can only say that if it is done properly. Most people will make this with just cream. However, to really enjoy this you will have to use eggs as well.
- Green Courgettes - 7, small
- Penne Pasta - 500 gms
- Cream - 100 ml
- Parmesan Cheese - 60 gms
- Egg Yolks - 4, large
- Olive Oil
- Streaky Bacon - 10 slices, diced
- Prepare boiling water for the pasta
- Slice the courgettes at an angle
- When the water is boiling, add the penne in.
- For the sauce, add the egg yolks with the cream and half of the parmesan. Mix this together and season it.
- Add some olive oil to a pan and fry the courgettes with the bacon.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the courgettes and the bacon. Take it off the heat and add in the sauce.
- Stir this quickly and serve immediately. Don't put this back on the heat otherwise the eggs will scramble.
- When you have dished up, divide the rest of the parmesan on the plates.
image credit: thegreedygirl.com
To finish you meal off, there is nothing better than a classic dessert, like a Tiramisu, which Italians are famous for.
- Espresso - 1 cup
- Sugar - 4 tblsp
- Mascarpone - 500 gms
- Vanilla Pod - 1
- Sherry - 1/2 cup
- Ladyfingers biscuit - 16
- Chocolate - 100 gms, good quality, containing 70% cocoa solids
- Lay out the ladyfingers in two layers in a dish.
- Once you have made your espresso, sweeten it with half of the sugar and pour it on top of the ladyfingers. The coffee should be absorbed by the ladyfingers.
- In the meantime, add the mascarpone to a bowl and start to whisk it with the other half of the sugar.
- Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the vanilla out. This you have to add to the bowl of mascarpone.
- Add in the sherry and keep on whisking until you have a smooth, even-looking consistency.
- Pour this over the ladyfingers and take a spatula and smooth it out.
- You can either grate chocolate all over the mixture or you can make shavings with a knife.
- Keep this in the fridge until it is set. It is a good idea to leave it overnight.
Guest Post written by David Marocchi global food explorer based in Sydney, Australia.