Carnevale has come and gone and the Lenten season is in full swing. In case you missed it, I told my Facebook fans about my plan, not to give something up for Lent, but to spend a little time each day doing something for someone else. So … if YOU need something, just shoot me a message and if possible-and legal!-I’ll happily oblige.
One of the traditions I’m not tweaking this year is the Catholic obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays. This doesn’t mean you are sentenced to six weeks of grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese pizza. Oh no, my friends, Italian food was created for vegetarians. With the rich array of cheese, vegetables and pasta, there is no limit to what you can do senza carne.
To help you get started, here are five of my favorite meatless Italian recipes.
This salty concoction takes its name from the ladies of the night, but with black olives, capers and anchovies, it doesn’t matter what it is called, as long as it good. And trust me, it is good.
Crunchy asparagus and fresh shrimp are sauteed in butter and tossed with penne pasta. Does it get any better than this?
You might think bruschetta is just an appetizer, but if you eat enough of it-and believe, you’ll eat a lot of it-then it is a safe bet you won’t go to bed hungry. This bruschetta recipe calls for a bit of cream cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, sauteed onions and plump red grapes. Yum!
4. Cacio e Pepe
This is one of my favorite Roman recipes and it is ideal for a meatless Friday during Lent, a quick, easy pasta dish at the end of of a long day or a nice surprise for your vegetarian friends … and really, Italian cooking doesn’t get any easier than this.
This pasta dish is like chicken soup for the Calabrian soul. It is healthy, it is hearty and it is wholesome. Oh, and it is also delicious.
What is your favorite meatless Italian recipe to cook during Lent?