If you feel like you’ve been cooking forever and you’re lacking a good amount of inspiration, just check the following food combinations below. Maybe you’ll get some new ideas and perhaps the lack of available restaurants around you will feel less harsh and less boring.

Food idea uno:
Risotto with asparagus and scampi. Important when you create this delicious dish is that you consider the following things. Create your own broth (don’t use any kind of powder to spice things up, that’s disgusting). You can use shells of the scampi to add extra flavour to your broth. Also, don’t use big white stringy asparagus for this, but choose the green thin ones instead. They are much richer in taste and have a preferable structure. Then make sure that you buy scampi, no shrimps and no gambas.

Food idea due:
Focaccia with mortadella and provola. This is a bomb, but extremely good. Probably this is more street food than anything else, but that doesn’t make it less delicious. The best option would be to bake your own focaccia, instead of buying it. It is not much more difficult than baking a bread. Also the quality of mortadella and provola is very important. Ideally you put the provola and mortadella immediately on the just baked focaccia so that the cheese and the meat will melt on the bread.

Food idea tre:
Gnocchi with your own tomato sauce and mushrooms. You can check out my gnocchi recipe to do your own gnocchi (this is really better than buying them in the supermarket), whip up your own tomato sauce by using canned tomatoes (fresh tomatoes would be amazing, but they take longer and are more likely to be seasonal in June), (possibly some garlic), pepper and salt and in this case also the mushrooms (you can also add some olive oil later). If you have some parsley left, sprinkle that on top too, with some parmesan. If you don’t like the cheese, you can leave it out, but don’t swap it for these vegan “cheeses” (or nutritional yeast) that are circling around. That would really kill the dish. It’s better to just leave it out then.

Have fun cooking and enjoy some new meals!

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. a broth is really easy to create. You take a small pot and fill it with water and some salt. Add a potato, garlic (a couple of cloves), onion, a carrot, parsley, maybe some other leftover vegetable, a spoon of tomato paste, pepper and (in this particular case) the shells of the scampi. Boil it softly for at least an hour (check it for taste regularly) and you have your own broth.