Great Italian food is about making the most of seasonal produce and Spring offers an abundance of ingredients to use in your Mediterranean culinary creations.
From fish that is perfectly combined with seasonal vegetables, to herby mains and creamy desserts, Spring can prove the inspiration for some of the following delicious dishes.
Risotto with asparagus and scampi
Just as a great London or Dublin Italian restaurant will use the freshest possible ingredients, you should try to get your hands on some beautiful in-season asparagus and combine it with fragrant fish broth, rice, scampi, white wine, cognac, butter, olive oil, garlic, onion, parsley and parmesan, for results that will tingle the taste buds.
To ensure that the asparagus you use it as fresh as it can possibly be, how about growing your own, just as eateries such as Toscana Dublin’s Italian Restaurant do? Find out more about growing asparagus on the Royal Horticultural Society website at https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/asparagus.
Chicken and tomato stew
Create a traditionally Tuscan delicacy with this sage-infused pan-fried chicken dish. This aromatic recipe is incredibly easy to make by frying up 2lbs of chicken with three garlic cloves, ten sage leaves, salt and pepper, white wine, stock and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Potato gnocchi with Pecorino cheese and fava beans
This recipe uses the simplest ingredients to create a flavour-packed Spring favourite, which is perfect on its own or as an accompaniment to meat. Best of all, you will probably find many of the ingredients already in your pantry. These include potatoes, flour, olive oil, olives, broad beans, basil and tomatoes.
Strawberry and Chantilly millefoglie
This is a great dessert for special occasions, but isnt so complicated that it cant be enjoyed any time you want. Millefoglie is Italys version of Frances mille-feuille pastry, which translates as a thousand leaves. The Italian dessert is a cake that is layered with various fillings, including strawberries and Chantilly cream.
This is another dessert choice that perfectly encapsulates that Spring feeling, even down to its sunshine yellow colouring.
Again, Chantilly cream is a major element of the dish, but this time its combined with soft sponge cake, the aromatic fragrances and flavours of lemons, and a rich and indulgent Kirsch-based syrup. Just beware of this if you’re aiming for the perfect beach body in time for summer!