Ever since I met Taylor, I always felt like I should’ve been born Italian. I love cooking Italian food, I make gnocchi from scratch, pasta sauce, lasagna and could totally live off bread and olive oil. This past summer, we traveled to Italy and had the most amazing meals we’ve ever had. We loaded up on pasta, pizza, bread and I had tiramisu almost every single day. I honestly came back fifteen pounds heavier and regret nothing. Coming back home, I was a little disappointed because I felt like my taste buds have been spoiled and I would never be able to replicate those same Italian flavours again.
I was wrong.
Last week, I had the honour of meeting Chef Massimo Bruno who spent the evening teaching us how to make two super simple, Italian pasta dishes using authentic Italian ingredients found at Loblaws!
Loblaws has always been my grocery store of choice, you can literally find everything you need for almost any recipe. I’m even more excited now that Loblaws has launched their From Italy with Amore program and carries over 350 authentic Italian products. I can now pretend I’m back in Italy in my own kitchen! And I can’t wait to make my all-time favourite dessert and weakness, tiramisu.
Whenever I’m grocery shopping for authentic ingredients for a specific recipe, I try and source ingredients from that region to ensure it has the most authentic flavour. In terms of shopping for Italian products, making sure that “DOP” is present on the label is important for me. DOP stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” which is a certification in Italy that guarantees that the product is locally grown and packaged in Italy.
The first pasta dish was an authentic Sicilian pasta made with Delverde Pasta, Rio Mare Tuna, lemon, basil and PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I was so amazed by how delicious and incredibly simple this recipe was. It took five minutes to assemble, ten minutes to boil the pasta and within fifteen minutes, you could have dinner ready!
The second pasta dish we made was a simple tomato, basil, garlic pasta. Tossed in PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil and topped with lots and lots of sharp Lupa Romano cheese. I find that when you cook with high quality ingredients, you usually don’t need a lot to make it taste amazing. I could eat this every single day.
We also tried our hand at making our own pasta. I was so excited because I’ve never tried making homemade pasta before. It always seemed intimidating and I always thought I needed expensive equipment to do so but after Chef Massimo’s tips and tricks, the only tools I really needed were my hands. This 3 ingredient pasta was shockingly simple made with semolina flour, water and PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Chef Massimo Bruno's Tomato, Basil, Lupa Romano Pasta
A quick and simple pasta recipe that you can whip up in 15 minutes. Fresh tomatos, basil, minced garlic, PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lots of sharp Lupa Romano cheese.
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes quartered
- 6-8 basil leaves ripped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 tbsp PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Lupa Romano cheese freshly grated
- 1/2 pkg Delverde pasta
Cook the pasta to the package instructions. Make sure to heavily salt the water. The water should taste like the sea.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, toss together the minced garlic, tomatoes, ripped basil, freshly grated Lupa Romano cheese, PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup full of pasta water and set aside.
Strain the pasta and toss with the tomato mixture. If the pasta looks dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Top with extra Lupa Romano cheese and enjoy!
Chef Massimo's Simple Rio Mare Tuna Pasta
This recipe is super simple and easy to make and requires only four ingredients. Whip up lunch or dinner in 15 minutes!
- 2 cans Rio Mare Tuna
- 3 tbsp PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 basil leaves ripped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 package Delverde pasta
Cook pasta to package instructions. Make sure to salt the water heavily. The water should taste like the sea.
In a large bowl, empty the two cans of tuna and mash it with the back of a fork. Add the PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup full of pasta water and set aside. Strain the pasta and toss in the tuna mixture. If the pasta is dry add a little pasta water at a time and some more olive oil, if you need.
I had such an amazing time learning from Chef Massimo Bruno. I’ve already remade these two pasta dishes that are now my go-to for a quick and delicious meal.
Seriously though, who is coming over for an authentic Italian dinner?!
Also, I had way too much fun throwing pasta in the air.
Thank you Loblaws for sponsoring this blogpost. All opinions are my own.