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Treat Yourself to Italy

Posted by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 34 Replies

Next stop on our whirlwind staycation -- Italy! So, you don't have a passport and a trip to Venice to float along in a gondola is so not in the budget this year...still indulge in some Italian fun with these easy treats. Yup all of these are yummies from the kitchen. Mangia beve!

-- Whip up some gelato. My husband visited Italy with his family (we were just dating, so I stayed back in NYC) and he fell in love with Italian gelato. I found this recipe for it. Check out this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network.

-- Make homemade pizza. This is a fun idea to get the whole family involved with this treat. Grab some dough and pizza sauce, have everyone  add a topping or two.

-- Stop and get an espresso or cappuccino. When you are out before the baseball game, get a fun drink that you don't usually get, one that is from Italy.

-- Try some new great pasta, easy recipes. Pop some Chianti and enjoy these new meals:

Alla Checca 

5 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound pasta

Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil in a non-metal bowl. Stir in salt. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature at least 2 hours, or as long as 10 hours. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Pour uncooked sauce over hot pasta, and toss. Add grated Parmesan cheese to your liking.

Fusilli Pasta with Lemon Garlic Greens

1 zucchini
1/2 pack green beans
1/2 fine stem asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
1 large lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper.

Prepare the vegetables - thickly slice the zucchini and cut each of the asparagus and green beans into three pieces. Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (e.v.o.o.) in a large pan, add the zucchini, season and fry for a few minutes ensuring not to let them color too much. Finely chop the garlic. Zest the lemon. Add both to the pan with the zucchini along with the juice of half a lemon. Make sure the garlic doesn't brown. Bring a pan of water to the boil and quickly blanch the asparagus and green beans, then immediately rinse them in cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Place the frozen peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water from a kettle. Leave to stand for a few minutes before draining. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Salt generously, add the pasta and cook until al dente - err on the side of caution if using fusilli as it will lose its shape. Add the remainder of the vegetables to the pan. Squeeze over the juice of the remaining half a lemon, drizzle over some e.v.o.o. and season. Drain pasta and stir through the veg. If you wish drizzle over a little more e.v.o.o. Allow the pasta to absorb some of the juices before serving. I like to grind black pepper on it before eating.


What is your favorite pasta recipe?

© inkastudio


by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 22, 2012 at 6:29 AM

Neat ideas!

by on May. 22, 2012 at 6:32 AM

We don't eat pasta, but I do have several recipes from our "before" days.  Here's one:

This is the BEST baked macaroni & cheese according to my oldest son.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

  • 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 c. margarine or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (this does not make it hot, it adds zest!)
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 c. half and half or milk or 50/50 of each (I use 2 cans of evaporated milk for this)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. Velveeta, cut into small cubes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2 quart or larger casserole dish. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente (do not overcook the pasta), about 7 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Place in a bowl and add another 2 Tbsp. butter to prevent sticking, set aside.
Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in minced garlic, onion powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper; stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 - 4 minutes. Add in flour and stir for 1 minute. Slow add milk and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Reduce heat and add in cheddar and Velveeta cheeses; mix until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

by Yvonne on May. 22, 2012 at 7:37 AM

 homemade manicotti that'smy weakness lol.  I also love stuffed shells.  and lets not forget desert.. cannoli anyone?  mmmmm

I would love to go to Italy. 

by Nikki on May. 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Those sound good.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 9:49 AM
I would love to really go to Italy, although I have no idea what I would eat aside from veggies because I am gluten free, and most Italian dishes would contain gluten. :(
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM
We love all kinds of pasta. I like to add chicken and veggies to my pasta dishes.
by Carissa on May. 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Those look good. I don't know if I have a fave, I like pasta a lot!
by on May. 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

My favorite is a pasta pizza bake my dh makes.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Great ideas and thanks for the recipes! I love raviolis!!

by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The first recipe is similar to my favorite.  I use spaghetti and mozerella.

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