15 summer plates (only for real Italians)


When thinking of summer time, my mind is simply flying away.. and my imagination show me on a beach, lots of sun, water and glass of chilly white wine. This is me now, after have globetrotted all over the world, but going back to my real Italian origins I can’t help thinking of some the dishes (in Italy we always place food at the first place of our life, just before sex and good looking ) which inevitably make you think about the iconic Italian way of life.

If you are a real Italian only naming them you think about a lazy summer lunch with friends or family, enjoying the summer breeze on a scorching August day. From Caprese to the classical Prosciutto and Melone but also Parmigiana di Melanzane and Panzanella, check out the list of the quintessential Italian foods with the unmistakable flavor of summer. Enjoy them!

Prosciutto e Melone (you will translate it with Parma Ham and Melon. Agrhhhh Parma Ham is a sweet prosciuto – for the perfect Prosciutto e Melone you really need the Prosciutto Casareccio – local ham, spicy and not sweet!)

prosciutto e melone

Caprese – which is NOT a salad. The perfect Caprese is made with slices of rounded sweet tomatoes and slices of soft and creamy mozzarella with olive oil, salt, basil and oregano on top – nothing else. Please do not mix the buffalo mozzarella with the Caprese.


Isalata di Riso – Rice salad – which personally I hate as reminds me my mummy preparing a ton and lasting for about a week in the fridge and my brother eating it also for breakfast. The perfect one is made with rice, selection of vegetables, mozzarella and olive oil. What a sacrilege to use sausages or bacon!

insalata di riso

Insalata di Pasta – pasta salad, which has nothing to do with Anglosaxon salad, This is pasta . (short pasta) cold, with some fresh tomatoes, bitter cheese (caprino), onion and tuna fish. Perfect for a light lunch on the beach.

Pasta salad

Fritturina – selection of fries. In Italy, we fry almost everything. But there’s nothing more summer time than a great selection of fries vegeables al Cartoccio (wrapped on paper) and eaten while walking along the beach!

fritto misto

Pomorori all’agro – Tomato salad… in summer we’ve plenty of tomatoes and if you’re in Italy you run the risk of eating them everywhere… this is something that I really like. Simply fresh cherry tomatoes, cipolla di tropea (red onion), basil, vinegrar & salt. Perfect with a white bubbling glass of wine!

insalata di pomodori

Panzanella – My hubby love it. Coming from the farming tradition this is a very simply and healthy complete meal. It is made with the left-away of the bread, a great variety of fresh vegetables, (tomatoes, green chili peppers, onion, cucumber, lot of vinegar and olive oil all mix up together. Literally translated – filling the stomach.


Friesella. This can be a variation of the Panzanella for those that are living on the south. Italian summer breaks are more enjoyable if you eat the typical big durum wheat tarallo seasoned with tomato, oil, salt (but also oregano and anchovies.)


Spaghetti alle vongole – Spaghetti with Clams – pay attention the only pasta that a real Italian will admit on his plate, along with the clams is spaghetti. Please please please you’re killing me while putting parmiggiano cheese on top.

spaghetti alle vongole

Vitello tonnato – there is not a real translation as this is a sort of very thin slices of veal with a sauce of tuna fish, creamy mayo and pepper on top.

vitello tonnato

And now et voilà 2 dishes that are not exactly light, but without which Italian cannot leave!

Parmiggiana di Melanzane – a sort of baked lasagna made with aubergines, cheese & tomatoes Peperonata – cooked red and jellow chili peppers with lots of balsamic and olive olil! These two will kill you if yo’re not a real Italian!



Caciucco … for those of you that are travelling around Tuscany cacciucco (sort of fish soup) is that kind of dish Italians associate with summer and love to eat with bread and a glass of white wine.


The last one – and I’m really obsessed by this plate! Impepata di Cozze (peppered mussels); the best of ever in Sardinia cooked on a small basic reastaurant on the beach!

impepapata di cozze

and of course, pasta con il pesto, pasta alla norma, pomodori con il riso, cicale fritte, zucchine ripiene… OMG that’s what I love of my country.


pics via pinterest