Italian Vegetable Recipes




DELICIOUS SPRING

Here are some of the best Italian vegetable recipes I have to offer. Fresh vegetables find there way into some of the most traditional Italian dishes from antipasto trays to pastas. There is nothing better than Italy’s springtime vegetable markets.

Here in Chicago there are a number of “Farmer’s Markets” that you’ll be able to attend coming up in May. The main one I usually go to is the “Daly Plaza Farmer’s Market“, in the heart of downtown, where you’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables plus an array of plants and flowers. Another great place to find the freshest fruits and vegetables is the "Green City Market" located at 1750 North Clark Street. For a full calendar of events visit Chicago Green City Market.org.

Start your menu with a beautiful salad and end it with fresh fruit for dessert. This menu will provide you some great ideas for a delicious Italian vegetable meal.

Enjoy! Mangia Italiano!


Cucumber Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of Rotini
  • 4 cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienne sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

    PREPARATIONS

  • In six quarts of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, dill, salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl combine the pasta, cucumbers, celery, onions and carrots.
  • Add the dressing, toss, refrigerate and chill.

    Serves 14 people



    Creamy Tomato and Basil Soup

    INGREDIENTS

  • 5 ripe large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups of tomato juice
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of fresh ground black pepper

    PREPARATIONS

  • In a large pot place the tomatoes and tomato juice over medium heat.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor carefully blend the tomato mixture with the basil.
  • Return the tomato basil mixture to the pot over medium heat and stir in the cream and butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir continuously, do not boil.

    Serves 4 to 6 people


    Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

    INGREDIENTS

  • 12 baby portabello mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup of pesto sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbls of pine nuts
  • 3/4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

    PREPARATIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Clean the mushrooms and twist off the stems.
  • Place the mushrooms stem side up on a baking dish.
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the pesto, red pepper and pine nuts.
  • Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until filling is hot and cheese is melted.

    Serves 12

    Pesto

    INGREDIENTS

  • 15 large basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 3/4 oz. of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of fresh grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of course salt

    PREPARATIONS

  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.


    Vegetable Stuffed Cannelloni

    INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cannelloni noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

    PREPARATIONS

  • In 6 quarts of salted boiling water, parboil the pasta.
  • In a medium saucepan, sauté 2 cloves of garlic and 2 shallots in 1 Tbls. of olive oil until tender.
  • Pour in the sherry and bring to a boil and reduce the liquid to about half.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the whipping cream.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • In another skillet sauté the remaining shallots and garlic with the mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant in olive oil until tender.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the roasted red peppers, basil, oregano, ricotta and parmesan cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a baking dish.
  • Stuff the cannelloni with the vegetable mixture .
  • Place in the baking dish and cover with the cream sauce.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

    Serves 4


    Egglant Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • flour for dredging
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of fresh grated Romano cheese
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh tomato sauce (Recipe Below)

    PREPARATIONS

  • Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch pieces either rounds or lengthwise.
  • In a shallow mixing bowl whip together the eggs and milk.
  • In another bowl add the flour and season with salt and pepper.
  • In another bowl add the bread crumbs.
  • Dip the eggplant in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs.
  • In a large skillet sauté the eggplant in a little oil at a time until golden.
  • In a large baking dish add some of the tomato sauce.
  • Add a layer of eggplant on top.
  • Add more tomato sauce.
  • Sprinkle the top with some of the Romano cheese.
  • Add a layer of provolone cheese.
  • Add another layer of eggplant.
  • Add more sauce.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining Romano cheese.
  • Top with shredded mozzarella.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned on top.

    Fresh Tomato Sauce

    INGREDIENTS

  • 35 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbls of butter
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbls. of dried oregano
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

    PREPARATIONS

  • In a large saucepan sauté the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots in the oil and butter until tender.
  • Add the wine and reduce to half.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer on very low heat for about 1 hour. Longer if you have time.



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