Tag Archives: tomato basil sauce

Spring Break – Yes, it’s that time again!

Weather Channel predictions aside, Spring Break is only five weeks away. Are you ready? Whether you’re headed for Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, or points beyond, shorts, sleeveless dresses, flip-flops and sandals will definitely be the attire of the week.

So, I ask again – are you ready? I know I’m not! This winter has been just a bit much and the weight seemed to just appear out of nowhere. Cold winter nights just go too well with Lucini’s Umbrian Lentil or Rustic Minestrone soups, carbonara con coniglio, risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera,

carbonara con coniglio

carbonara con coniglio


risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera

risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera

and all the other heavy taste treats of winter.

All good things must come to an end, though, and my winter eating has ended! Luckily, oranges, grapefruit, clementines, and all the other delicious citrus are in season and better than ever. Paired with a traditional basil-tomato sauce over pasta and presto! you have the perfect ‘get in shape’ meal.

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

One of my personal favorites is insalata di arancia alla siciliana (recipe follows) served with Lucini tomato-basil sauce over spinach and ricotto ravioli with grated Lucini stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano

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Spinach and ricotta ravioli with Lucini Tomato-Basil sauce

Spinach and ricotta ravioli with Lucini Tomato-Basil sauce

Another preference of mine is insalata di pomodoro con mozzarella (recipe follows) and a pan-fried chicken breast (I use just a teaspoon of Lucini’s extra virgin olive oil to ‘fry’ the breast). Or try pasta al dente – any type – drizzled with Lucini’s extra virgin oil olive and dusted with Lucini’s stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano and mixed baby greens with a drab of Lucini Tuscan Balsamic vinaigrette. The ‘light’ possibilities are endless…..and delicious, too! And don’t forget to exercise….

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

3-4 large navel oranges peeled and sliced in thirds

1-2 large pink grapefruit peeled and sliced in thirds

2 green onions chopped

1/4 cup Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teasp salt

1/4 teasp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together and toss. Leave standing at room temperature until served. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Insalata di pomodoro con mozzarella

1-2lbs cherry or sweet grape tomatoes

fresh mozzarella in water (boccincini)

2-3 fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces

1 1/2 teasp dried oregano

1/4 cup Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and toss. Leave standing at room temperature until served. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Fasting Italian-style

Fat Tuesday is upon us – the culmination of two full weeks of eating, drinking and decadence. And while many of us no longer follow the traditional religious rites of Lent, Wednesday signals the start of forty days of abstinence for those who do – no meat, fish, or animal products.

In Italy, quaresima is very much a part of modern tradition. Italians figured out long ago that fasting doesn’t mean ‘not eating’, it just means enjoying culinary delights that follow traditional quaresima guidelines: penne smothered in Lucini’s rich tomato-basil sauce or a mouth-watering plate of spaghetti paired with Lucini’s tomato-caper sauce.

pasta e fagioli

pasta e fagioli

Chilly nights call for heartier fare: pasta e fagioli – the perfect pairing of pasta with slow-cooked beans. Add a fresh-baked baguette drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a fresh baby-greens salad and tangy oranges to create the perfect Lenten meal. The tantalizing combinations are endless! Too bad Lent is only forty days…..

Perfect for Purim: Gifts Baskets that are Sure to Please!

Purim (9-11 March 2009) is the celebration of the miracle of salvation by Esther. Considered the happiest celebration of the Jewish calendar, Purim is full of fun, laughter, costume contests, and gift-giving.

Lucini Italia has the perfect array of award-winning¬† selections just waiting to be snuggled into a lovely gift basket. Extra virgin olive oil and infused oils, a vast selection of sauces, aged Parmigiano Reggiano, vinegars and vinaigrettes: the combinations are endless! Be sure to include recipes from Lucini’s Recipe collection.

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Classic Pasta Dinner Basket

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lucini Roasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

500g package of premium short pasta such as Garofalo’ fusile or farfalle

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Pasta Fork and Sauce Spoon

Oranges, Clementines, Dates, Dried Figs, or other winter fruit

Your Mom was Right – Eat Your Tomatoes!

I’ve written about the extensive research done with regards to the health benefts of extra virgin olive oil.¬† Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a pinch of sea salt and you have the classic and much beloved sugo di pomodoro or Lucini’s Tomato Basil Sauce. Here’s the great part – not only is this classic sauce great tasting, it’s great for you!

Tomatoes are naturally high in lycopene, a carotenoid (powerful antioxidants, protecting the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals) that has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “…the antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.

Garden-ripe Tomatoes - Cancer prevention in a pretty package

Garden-ripe Tomatoes - Cancer prevention in a pretty package

“Lycopene from tomatoes has been extensively studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. While lycopene may play an important role in tomatoes’ health benefits, it seems that it is not the only nutritional star integral for giving this food a red-hot reputation for health promotion; recent research discussed below in the section “Protection Due to Synergy of Tomato’s Nutrients, Not Just Lycopene” describes how scientists are finding out that it is the array of nutrients included in tomatoes, including, but not limited to lycopene, that confers it with so much health value. All the while, it’s still important to understand the many benefits that lycopene provides. Lycopene has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil or nuts. (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.”

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Fast food doesn’t have to mean ‘bad for you’! A tasty pasta meal with a mixed green salad take about 15 minutes to prepare and you get all the cancer-preventing benefits of tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil. To make it even easier, make sure you have a selection of Lucini Sauces on hand. And don’t forget the Lucini DOP Parmigiano Reggiano!