Italian Night

So, I have enrolled myself in an Italian language class for travelers. No, I am not traveling to Italy any time soon but last year I was there and fell in love with it instantly,  the city of Venice especially. It was just awesome being there, in awe of all the pieces of art and history the country is famous for and experiencing their love and passion for food. I love Italian food. Apparently, today is National Eat-Italian-Food Day according to Foodimentary so how timely was that?  And my husband has requested this garlic prawn pasta dish and so I made it for dinner. To go with the pasta, I made insalata caprese as well. Two simple yet delightful dishes.

Now what comes to mind when you think of Italian food or any Mediterranean food? Olive oil? Absolutely! And of course, all the most luscious of fresh ingredients – seafood, tomatoes, cheeses, salads and herbs. I love using fresh herbs. Basil is my favorite. I think it is a beautiful flavor you can add to almost anything. Well, I use it a lot … pasta, pesto, casserole, salad, pizza and even as a savory bread ingredient.

What I liked about the two dishes I prepared is that they were both easy and simple to make. For the insalata caprese, you will need the following ingredients to serve 3-4 people.



  •  3 large vine-ripened or truss tomatoes
  • 150g buffalo mozzarella (you can use bocconcini if you cannot find buffalo mozzarella)
  • fresh basil leaves (about 12 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Truss tomatoes are sold on the vine or “truss”. The longer a tomato is left on the vine, the sweet and tastier it is.

The leaves of basil plant are fragrant and can be added raw to salads, sandwiches or used in cooked pasta, along with tomato and basil sauce.

Buffalo mozzarella is a type of mozzarella made from the milk of water buffalo. It is usually considered the best for flavor and quality.


1.   Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella, each into 1 cm slices.

2.   Arrange the tomato slices on a serving plate alternating them with slices of mozzarella. Place basil leaves in between mozzarella slices.

3.   Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and ground black pepper.

This salad tastes as beautiful as it looks.

You can add a few chopped basil leaves if you wish.

Now for the main dish – Linguine with garlic prawns and chilli. Recipe serves 3-4 people.


  • 300g dried linguine pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 fresh small chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g (about 12 pieces) green king prawns, peeled, tails left intact, deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used the flat-leaf as they add more flavor and aroma to the dish)
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Thinly slice the chilli. The heat from a chilli comes from the seeds and membrane, so, if you prefer your food hot, leave these intact.


Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet directions, until al dente. Drain.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chillies and cook for 2 minutes or until aromatic.

Increase heat to medium, add the prawns and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until the prawns curl, change color and are just cooked through.

Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine.

Serve immediately.


Buon appetito!

This entry was published on February 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm. It’s filed under cooking, food, recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “Italian Night

  1. Definitely going to try these recipes! ^_^

  2. Brava, signora!
    -Natasha @ Come Due Maiali

  3. I was abroad in Verona (2 hours east of Venice) for 5 months – the cuisine in the Veneto region is amazing! Your dishes look great

    • Razel Rull-Navarro on said:

      Thanks! Shame that we didn’t have the chance to go to Verona. That and Tuscany are two target Italian places for me to visit next time 🙂

      • Verona is wonderful. If you ever get the opportunity to go let me know and I can tell you some of the places I absolutely loved (especially a Pizzeria that is in a building that once was a church)!

  4. I second the Verona rec. It is a wonderful base for exploring Veneto in general, and Valpolicella in particular, if you are into wine. Verona has Julietta’s balcony (as in Romeo and Juliet), and a fantastic Coliseum. I do know of the pizzeria you are talking about; you also must go to Bottega del Vino. Very old, very traditional, great food and wine. The region is the best place to eat horsemeat in every shape and form.

  5. Razel Rull-Navarro on said:

    Thanks to you both. Tips would be definitely appreciated. I have seen that movie Letters to Juliet so many times because I can’t get enough of the Italian scenery, especially the ones in Verona. 🙂

  6. looks so delicious — love the colors in your photos!

  7. Yes Yes Yes!!! Can’t wait to try these – looks amazing!!!

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