I created Fresh Italian Cooking with family friendly meals in mind, filling it with delicious plant-based recipes that are perfect for every occasion. Inside, you’ll find over a hundred plant-based recipes—entire chapters dedicated to simple weeknight meals, salads, healthy indulgences, baked dishes and homemade pasta!
I’m so excited to share these recipes with you and your family. My goal is to show that plant-based Italian food is satisfying, wholesome and mouth-watering. Enjoy a sneak peak of some of my favorite recipes, below.
Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad
This Balsamic Pasta Salad might be my favorite recipe in the book. I created this one last summer and it’s been so hard to sit on this one and not share it with you. My recipe testers couldn’t get enough of this recipe and I bet it will be a favorite in your house as well. Pasta, roasted vegetables and a basil-balsamic dressing, what’s not to love?
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Bow-Ties
When I set out to create this cookbook, I wanted to include as many vegan recipes as possible. While the entire book is vegetarian, I wanted to show that you don’t need butter, cheese or cream to create classic Italian favorites. These creamy bowties are vegan, but you wouldn’t know it! Studded with sun-dried tomatoes and lots of fresh basil, it’s my summer version of mac and cheese.
It’s eggplant with a twist- literally! Instead of fried cutlets, strips of eggplant are grilled until meaty and tender, then rolled up with an herb-ricotta mixture and baked in marinara sauce. It’s lasagna without the noodles!
Gnocchi with Fresh Corn and Zucchini
Wait, did I say the Balsamic Pasta Salad was my favorite dish? Do I have to pick just one? Well, if the above is my favorite then this gnocchi is BL’s. I can’t count how many times I’ve made it since first developing it last summer, but it’s always a crowd pleaser. I nervously made it for his recent co-workers and was so happy when they raved about it and asked for the recipe. I’m always a little gun-shy when sharing my recipes (will you like it as much as I do!?) and breath a sigh of relief when they are loved by others. This summer gnocchi is a keeper.
As a vegetarian, I tend to immediately pass over anything on the menu that contains the words “roasted vegetables.” Even though I love them in my own house, resteraunts tend to include the lowly roasted vegetable sandwich on their menu as a de facto meatless option. It’s often a flavorless, soggy choice. This Grilled Ratatouille Panzanella Salad is my attempt to remake the roasted vegetable sandwich into a vibrant, summer salad. One bite, and you’ll never look at roasted vegetables in the same way again.
I love cooking with eggplant but despise the excess oil that’s often needed to transform eggplant from bitter to meaty and rich. Well, not here! My pasta alla norma uses roasted, not fried, eggplant to keep the rich, delicate flavor of the dish with a fraction of the oil. Of course, I serve it with penne here, but this sauce is so good, I often eat a bowl of it on it’s own.
One of the best restaurant meals of my life was in a tiny cafe on the outskirts of Florence. It was our first day in the city, and BL and I were both exhausted from our long trip in. Luggage in tow, we stumbled inside a 10-seat restaurant and ordered from the daily chalkboard specials, unsure exactly what we were ordering. We were rewarded with the best bowl of pasta that either of us have had- a simple, rustic dish of spaghetti and fresh tomato sauce, unassuming yet mind-blowing. That meal is a constant reminder that when produce is fresh, you don’t need much else.
Crispy tofu in a delicious sauce of vegan butter, broth, parsley, capers and fresh lemon juice. The pairing of bright lemon and briny capers is almost magical. Another huge hit with my recipe testers and a favorite recipe of mine.
Lastly, a huge thank you to you for showing up to this space, making my recipes and following along on this journey. I am incredibly grateful to anyone who has visited my site, left a comment, said hello or followed me on social. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. This book is dedicated to you. You can find the book wherever books are sold including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.