Growing up in a Greek household, food was a big deal. My mom would cook homemade meals daily… let’s say we ate very well, despite living on a modest budget!
I was a picky eater though – little did I know then what I was missing out on… Moussaka, Dolmades and Gemista my mom would make for us… Fakes (Lentil Soup) and Fasolada (white bean soup). As an eight-year-old, I felt forced to eat these different foods. I just wanted my Cheerios and hot dogs please! I can still remember peeling off the mozzarella cheese off my pizza!
On the other hand, my Italian husband was a big foodie even at the ripe age of two. He would often be found with a Panini bun in one hand, and a chunk of homemade Soppressata in the other.
When we first began dating, I was floored by the amount of food my in-laws would cook. Every weeknight you’d find a two-course meal for dinner; first some type of pasta followed by a main course of meat with a side vegetable dish. On weekends, there would be even more food, a few meat offerings, and of course, a more elaborate pasta dish like a lasagna or a homemade pasta.
Being married for almost two decades, I’ve learned a thing or two about Italian cooking. My boys love their father’s homemade Italian deli that he cures once a year, and the tomato sauce we preserve in late August. My husband’s family’s traditions have now become our own.
Sometimes it’s difficult to source the best Italian ingredients at your local supermarket – and that’s where Loblaws comes in. When planning an Italian meal, a great go-to is Loblaws because it carries authentic Italian ingredients and products that will help bring that authentic taste home.
Some of my favourite items in store are:
- Delverde Pasta
- PC Tuscany Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Rio Mare Tuna
- PC Splendido Balsamic Vinegar of Modena –
- PC Black Label Gorgonzola Dolce
- Lupa Romano
I had the fun opportunity to attend an Italian cooking class with local Chef Massimo Bruno. The menu featured authentic Italian ingredients certified by the Italian Trade Commission and the best part – these products are easily available at your local Loblaws.
Check out the From Italy with Amore program, on now in select stores, which is showcasing 350 products certified as authentic. From pasta, to olive oil, to tomato sauce, visit your local Loblaws or Zehrs store for all your Italian cooking needs.
Here is a recipe we made for Spaghetti with Lemon and Tuna that is easy to prepare and oh so delicious.
Spaghetti Lemon and Tuna
1 lbs Del Verde Spaghetti
3 small cans of Rio mare tuna in olive oil
Handful fresh basil
Fresh black pepper
PC Tuscany Extra Virgin olive oil
1 table spoon coarse sea salt for the pasta
Add tuna into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the zest and juice from a lemon.
Tear the basil with your hands and add to bowl. Drizzle in a 1/3 of a cup of olive oil. Add some fresh ground black pepper.
Keep mixing with a fork and mash very well with the tuna. It should not be too dry, add more lemon juice if needed.
Bring a pot filled with water to a boil (4/5lt) and then add salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook until “al dente” (slightly undercooked).
With a slotted spatula, transfer the spaghetti directly into the bowl with tuna, add a little bit of cooking water from the pasta and mix very well.
Serve with fresh lemon zest on top and garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by Loblaws. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.