Standing over a hot stove preparing a delicious traditional slow-cooked Italian meal is divinely lovely in winter… but not so much in summer when we’d rather make a delicious traditional quick Italian recipe instead!
That is why the Italians have developed a great range of cool simple summer pasta recipes to enjoy during the warmer months.
Requiring little cooking, these great summer dishes would be about as close as most Italians will get to ‘fast food’!
So here are some ideas for lazy summer lunches, preferably enjoyed on a breezy balcony or in a Tuscan garden perhaps…
Mozzarella and cherry tomato pasta
Pasta – preferably large spirals or penne – cooked perfectly al dente, served with chopped mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and ripped fresh basil leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (or homemade chilli olive oil if you’re feeling brave!). Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Pesto alla Genovese
This is your traditional green pesto which hails from Genova but is found everywhere around Italy nowadays. Here’s one we prepared earlier: Pesto alla Genovese tips and recipe. Coat pasta cooked al dente, and if you’d like to add a bit more colour, then some chopped up tomatoes or black olives can be tossed through as well.
Black olive, mozzarella and rocket pasta
Again, spirals or penne is good for this delicious summer pasta recipe. Finely chop your rocket (arugula), pit the black olives and finely chop them too. Cut the mozzarella into small squares as well. Mix all together with cooked pasta, coat with extra virgin olive oil, and in a dash of salt and pepper to taste, mix and let sit a moment before you serve.
Ravioli with butter and sage
In a non-stick pan, melt some butter and throw in a handful of fresh sage leaves, ripped into smaller pieces. Spoon in a little pasta water and let it cook for a few minutes whilst you cook your ravioli (the best being filled with ricotta and spinach) in boiling salted water. If you pour the water out into a colander, you’ll break them, so scoop the ravioli out with a slotted spoon once done, and place directly into the pan with the butter and sage. Toss the ravioli to coat in arguably the world’s most simple sauce and serve with a grating of fresh parmesan cheese and a grinding of black pepper and a sprinkling of salt if necessary (which will be depending on the saltiness of the butter).
To learn to make delicious, typical Italian recipes before indulging in a delicious meal made by you, we have hands-on cooking classes in Florence and Cooking Classes in a Tuscan Villa.