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Shut Up and Mangia!, Issue #016 = Spring Vegetables
May 07, 2008

"Shut Up and Mangia!"

"In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it." ~ Frank McKinney Hubbard

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Welcome to the 16th issue of "Shut Up and Mangia!". This issue will focus on “Spring Vegetables” used in some great Italian dishes.

Shopping for vegetables are one of the many joys of Italian cooking. When the garden is not blooming, I go shopping weekly for the freshest ingredients for my family. Asparagus being my favorite.

After a trip to the grocer I usually come home with bags and bags of broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, string beans, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, artichokes, peppers and anything else I could think of to get through the week. Oh and lets not forget the tomatoes, eggplant, spinach and garlic.

Without these ingredients there would be no such thing as Italian cuisine. Or any type of cuisine for that matter. Vegetables play an important role in our daily living and nutrition.

This newsletter will contain some great ways to infuse these delicious vegetables into some great Italian dishes. From pastas to soups, to stews and risottto, vegetables will enhance many of your favorite dishes.


Site News

Great Chicago Italian Recipes is dedicated to adding new and traditional Italian recipes for your enjoyment. The site is getting bigger and better with the “The Italian Grocer“ and "The Great Italian Music Store" for your convenience.

Don’t forget to add your personal family recipes by contacting me through my "Share Recipes" section. Just send me one of your favorite recipes and I’ll post it immediately for all the world to see.

The Best Chicago Vegetarian Restaurants

Here are just a few of the best Vegetarian Restaurants in the city if your looking for something nutritiously delicious.

  • Chicago Vegetarian Diner
  • is located at 3411 North Halsted. This place serves up some of the best vegetarian food in the city including an excellent “Roasted Vegetable Lasagna”. They do not take reservations so just walk right in. Phone 1-773-935-6696.

  • Alice and Friends Vegetarian Cafe
  • located at 5812 North Broadway offers a great vegan menu featuring dishes mainly inspired by Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine. Alice and Friends also does not take reservations. You can dine in or carry out. Phone 1-773-275-8797.

  • Lake Side Cafe
  • located at 1418 West Howard St at Sheridan Ave. has a variety of dishes and drinks for the vegetable lover. Great salads and pizzas are also included on the menu. Dine in or carry -out. Phone 1-773-262-9503.

    Great Italian Vegetable Recipe Books

    Here are a few great books featuring some delicious “Italian Vegetable” recipes.

    Author Gabriella Rossi has written a book featuring traditional and new recipes using fresh vegetable. The book Vegetarian Italian Cooking: 50 Recipes Full of Zest and Flavor will keep you busy for days.

    The other book I enjoyed was Italian Vegetables: Delicious Recipes For Appetizers And Sides.

    Both of this books will give you plenty of ideas.

    Great Gardening Sites

    As I’m sure everybody knows by now, I can’t stress it enough how important it is to use fresh ingredients when making any meal. Every year it’s a great feeling to go into my backyard and pick my own herbs and vegetables.

    Gardening isn’t for everybody but you seem to appreciate the meal a little more when you grow everything yourself.

    I know I’ve mentioned these two sites in a previous recipe but they are worth mentioning again. The first is the Garden and the other is The Garden Both of these sites helped me quite a bit when I started my garden.

    Great Italian Vegetable Recipes

    Here is a nice list of Italian Vegetable Recipes for you to try. First we start with a Cucumber Pasta Salad then move to a Creamy Tomato and Basil Soup. Also included is a Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms recipe and recipes for Vegetable Stuffed Cannelloni and Egglant Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce.


    Final Thoughts

    I would like to take this time to Thank each and every one of you for subscribing to my newsletter.

    Also I would like to Thank everyone for making The Italian Grocer a great success. If you need any more Italian specialty items here’s the place to be.

    If you have any question on any recipe or any site suggestions or would like to share a recipe please contact me at any time or join our Great Chicago Italian Recipes Forum.

    Thanks Again,

    Phillip J. Speciale

    That's a discovery! That's Italian! That's
    Great Chicago Italian

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