The Real Italian Lunch

In Italy, we use lunch time to relax and recharge – in fact, many consider it our most important meal of the day. During the summer, we like to eat light and and enjoy the sun. We’ve put together some of our favorite summer dishes – light, portable, and most importantly, easy to make. Summer should be spent with family, not in the kitchen.

Pasta Fredda (Cold Pasta Salad)

This light, delicious pasta is one of our favorites during summer – mostly because it’s so customizable. You can combine your favorite pasta with your favorite fresh vegetables and herbs and a couple tablespoons of olive oil to have a delicious dish in less than 20 minutes.

● 8 oz. fresh pasta of your choices
● 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
● 8 oz. Il Villaggio Fresh Ciliegine bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese)
● 3/4 cup black olives
● 2 tablespoons olive oil
● 6 fresh basil leaves
● 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves

1. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and let cool to room temperature.

2. Combine pasta with tomatoes, fresh herbs, bocconcini and olives.

3. Add the olive oil and toss to combine.

Pasta con le Noci e Gorgonzola (Pasta with walnuts and gorgonzola)

This dish isn’t the lightest, but it’s extremely filling and simple to make. Gorgonzola gives the pasta a salty bite that perfectly balances with the walnuts.

● 8 oz. of fresh pasta (your choice of variety)
● 4 oz. of Il Villaggio Authentic Gorgonzola
● ½ cup of cheese
● 10 Walnut Kernels
● 1 Or 2 Cloves Of Garlic
● 1 bunch of sage
● Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Taste
● Salt And Pepper To Taste
● Grated Parmesan Cheese To Taste

1. Peel the garlic. Combine garlic cloves, walnuts and washed sage in a mortar with olive oil until you get a creamy, paste-like mixture. If you don’t have a mortor, you can use a food processor or blender.

2. Let stand a few hours in a cool place.

3. Cook the pasta al dente in salted water.

4. While pasta is cooking, heat the cream in a pan on medium high. Cube the Gorgonzola.

5. Add the Gorgonzola and pesto mixture you made earlier. Cook on medium heat until cheese melts, making sure not to let it boil.

6. Drain the pasta and pour into the pan with the sauce.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Top it with grated parmesan cheese.

Di Fragole, Grana, e Aceto Balsamic Appetizer (Strawberry, Grana and Balsamic Vinegar)

An Italian classic, this simple recipe uses aged Balsamic vinegar to bring out the natural sweetness of fresh, in-season strawberries.

● 16 oz. fresh strawberries
● Il Villaggio Aceto Balsamico Di Modena (aged Balsamic Vinegar)
● Il Villaggio 8 oz. Grana Padano (shaved)

1. Remove strawberry stems.

2. Cut out a hole in the center of the strawberry, stuff with shaved Grana.

3. Drizzle aged balsamic vinegar over the top

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