ITALY may be famed for pizza and pasta, but the Mediterranean nation has a whole lot more on its plate.
With it serving up delicious meat dishes and creamy risottos, foodies are spoilt for choice. To get a Taste Of Holidays without leaving home, tuck into my tips below.
For something really special, give your meals a “ristorante” edge with these fantastico meaty Italian recipes.
Buy two packs of selected steaks at Morrisons for £6, or £3.50 each, and enjoy cooking up the Italian steak recipe below.
For a delicious, no-fuss starter, try Tesco Mushroom Arancini, £2.50 or buy two for £4.
For a healthy lunch that uses up leftovers, cook up minestrone soup with carrots, beans, and odds and ends of pasta (find a recipe at morrisons.com) or keep it simple and buy a four-pack of Heinz Minestrone, 400g, £2.50 from Iceland.
Enjoy Chicken Parmigiana as part of Tesco’s Finest Meal Deal, which includes a main, side, dessert and drink for two for £10.
Make a delicious tricolore salad with fresh sliced tomatoes, basil and slices of mozzarella. Morrisons has two for £2 on Galbani Mozzarella or £1.50 each.
Liven up salads, pasta dishes and pizzas with some Italian cured sausage. Waitrose has 25 per cent off Calabrian Salsiccia Piccante, down from £6.50 to £4.87.
Spice up your sandwich with Parma ham, 60g, from Morrisons now £2.
Give your picnic a taste of Italy with Morrisons Cheese and Tomato Focaccia, £1.
With International Beer Day on the calendar tomorrow, raise your glass to these deals on global drinks.
Get a taste of Mexico with 24 x 330ml bottles of Corona Extra, now £20 at Morrisons.
Save £2 on Ireland-made Hop House 13 lager, 12 x 330ml, at Sainsbury’s, now £10.
Buy two big packs of selected beers, including Sol and Heineken, for £16 at Morrisons. Individual packs range from £9.65 to £10.50 each.
Get three for £5 on Chinese Tsingtao beer 640ml at Tesco, or £2 each.
For a classic Belgian beer, Tesco has 4 x 330ml Hoegaarden White Beer for £5 or two for £9.
Juicy steak with Italian sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: Around 20 minutes.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300-350g beef steak
- For the sauce:
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 3 fat garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 6 large basil leaves, roughly torn
- Place tomatoes in a pan with the garlic, oil, oregano and seasoning.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for ten minutes.
- Take off the heat, stir in the basil, then set aside.
- When ready to serve, heat a heavy-based frying pan until you can feel the heat rising.
- Smear the oil on both sides of the steak and season each side.
- Put the steak into the pan and adjust the heat to medium-high.
- Cook for six minutes, turning half-way through for a medium rare steak or up to ten minutes for well done.
- When the steak is cooked, remove and allow to rest for five minutes.
- Cut thick slices and pour on the sauce.
Market street tip
To avoid leaving your steak flavourless and dry, try not to turn it too much
The besto pesto pork
Preparation time: 35 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hr 45 minutes.
- 1½ kg pork, with rind removed but fat left on and scored at 1cm intervals
- 6 tbsps olive oil (3 for marinade and 3 for veg)
- 5 garlic cloves, (3 whole for marinade, 2 minced for veg)
- 1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 large onion, cut in wedges
- 2 lemon, sliced, 4 tbsp pesto
- 400g mixed Mediterranean vegetables
- 350g new potatoes
- Pre-heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas mark 9.
- Pat the pork fat dry with a kitchen towel and rub 1 tbsp of salt in – leave uncovered for 30 mins.
- Pound three garlic cloves, 3 tbsp oil, mixed herbs, fennel and a pinch of salt and pepper into a paste and rub all over the pork (bar the fat).
- Arrange the lemon and onion in a roasting tray and sit the pork on top (fat side up).
- Rub ½ tsp of salt into the fat and pop in the oven for 45 mins.
- Reduce to 180C/160C fan/ gas mark 4, and roast for an hour.
- Meanwhile, mix the veg, pesto, oil and garlic in a roasting tray and place in the oven for 45 mins 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4.
- Then enjoy the perfect Italian twist on your traditional Sunday dinner.
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