Traditional Italian recipes
Spring / Summer menu:
Antipasto (starters): Cold cuts and cheeses with fresh garden vegetables and special
Primo piatto (first course): "Risi e bisi" (Rice and peas) or risotto with wild herbs
Secondo piatto (second course): Carpaccio served with sliced parmesan and arugula.
Dessert: Chocolate "salami"
Risi e bisi
Risotto with wild herbs
Ortica (stinging nettle)
The sweet smells of nature and sunny days of spring and summer call for an antipasto which is
light and fresh.
For starters we'll begin with some tasty cold cuts like prosciutto crudo from Parma o San
Daniele, soppressa Vicentina made locally by farmers around Vicenza, salami and bresaola (a
type of prosciutto but made from beef rather than pork). These specialties are best
complemented with decisive cheeses such as Asiago (fresh or seasoned), blue cheese from nearby
Montegalda or true parmesian cheese from Parma. Every community has its own "special" type of
cheese which distinguishes it from others.
This starter is best accompanied by "sotto-aceti" or vegetables preserved in oil or vinegar by
fresh bread baked with wild herbs and spices or olives for added flavor.
Springtime brings peas with it and Vicentinos adore the peas from nearby Lumignano (also known
for its international rock climbing community), which are sweet and tasty.
Locally grown rice from Grumolo delle Abbadesse is just perfect for "risi e
bisi" (rice and peas), a dish which is neither risotto nor soup but a rich and tasty cross
between the two of them. Lots of great types of risotto can be prepared with the wild herbs of
spring like ortiche (stinging nettle), bruscandoli (wild herbs typical of northern Italy),
carletti and borragine.
Cultivated vegetables can enrich the first courses as well, like the well
know asparagus from Bassano, carciofi (artichokes) and zucchini. Vegetable gardens are a great
supplier and many people have their own little plot of land where they grow tomatoes and other
vegetables during the summer for a really fresh meal.
Carpaccio - a cold plate of cured beef much like prosciutto crudo (pork) but with a unique
taste all its own - was invented by Cipriani from Harry's bar in
Venice Italy, and is a modern yet
much loved dish which can be prepared in many ways.
Whether it's the orignal recipe - thinly sliced cured beef dressed with a fresh and simple
sauce, or some variation with rucola (arugula), parmesian cheese, bits of raw vegetables and
various sauces - it will win your palette if not your heart!
A great way to top things off after a wonderful meal is with chocolate "salami". This simple
dessert which has its origins here in the north, has gone from a blend of chestnuts, figs and
dried fruit to a buttery mix of cocoa and cream enriched with amaretti and dried biscuits.