If you live in Texas, you either love or hate Winter. It comes and goes from week to week; from being 80 degrees one day to 45 the next, you never know what the weather will be like tomorrow. That being said, one of our favorite parts of Texas Winters are the Italian dishes. Although they can be served year-round, these particular dishes taste all the better on a cold, blustery day, keeping you warm and your taste buds happy. We’ll shed a little backstory on why these dishes work so well in Italy, and then touch on our personal favorite dishes.
Since Italy is in the Mediterranean, Winter in Italy is a particularly good time for leafy vegetables, since that’s when they receive most of their rainfall. This is because of the mild cooler climate of Italy in the winter. Their crops are able to grow much better than in the summers, which can become too hot for the plants. The leafy greens are usually planted in early Autumn, from late September to October, while the ground is still warm from the Summer. The vegetables that are grown during this time are cabbages, especially broccoli and cauliflower. Other vegetables include collard greens, lettuces, spinach, and “spicy” greens such as Arugula. Because of their abundance, you will often find these vegetables, along with meat and squashes in Winter Italian dishes.
Although most of the plants that bear “fruit” cannot be planted at this time, there are a few root vegetables that can fare well in Italian Winters. These can include carrots, potatoes and artichokes.
Good dishes that many Italians enjoy during Winter are Spaghetti topped with Bolognese sauce or with hearty meatballs and served with garlic bread. These dishes are the epitome of Italian comfort food on a cold, winter’s night. If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can always substitute the traditional pork and beef for chicken bolognese. You can also add Bulgur to your meatballs to make them easier to get full on.
If you’re looking for something you can sip on, you can always try soups like Gnocchi with sausage, Polenta with spinach and mushrooms, or a fish soup with fresh olives for a delicious mediterranean taste. Soup itself is a very popular dish it Italy during this time since it is easy to make, and is relatively inexpensive. Leafy greens make great additions to any of these dishes since they’re harvested around this time in Italy.
Although these are some of our favorite dishes, we do have other dishes for the winter season such as Tortellini soup, Baked Ziti and Chicken Cacciatore which are also perfect meals to warm you up! If you’d like to check out more of our menu to see what delicious dishes we offer, visit our menu. For catering, if you’re looking for authentic Italian food for your next holiday party, check out our catering options.