On these lovely last days of summer, one of my favorite activities is outdoors dining.
The season brings an abundance of fresh produce, inspiring causal alfresco meals. During a visit to the beach an Italian friend introduced us to dolce vita, preparing an easy delicious meal that our families took together under the seaside arbor. While Roberto didn’t measure ingredients, I have roughly estimated quantities so I can share this wonderful dish with you and your family, but by all means take liberty with the recipe to suit your tastes. This has become a family favorite, it’s so simple and so good-especially with tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden.
½ box Spaghetti cooked al dente
While spaghetti is cooking mix the following together in a large shallow bowl
1 ½ cups Fresh mozzarella cheese (I prefer water packed if available) chopped into 1 inch cubes.
4 large tomatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
½ – ¾ cup olive oil
2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
Fresh basil torn or cut into rustic pieces
Strain spaghetti and mix into tomato mozzarella mixture serve immediately with hearty rustic bread, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese for dipping. Throw together a simple spinach salad, great for outdoors dining.
My brother and sister-in-law are pros at embracing dolce vita. They have created an amazing shelter, tucked into the trees at the edge of their yard, for gatherings that always seem to involve delicious food. A favorite shelter activity is grilling personal pizzas.
Super Easy Grilled Pizza:
Pre-made Naan bread lightly coated with olive oil and grill until lightly browned (homemade or purchased pizza dough can also be used)
Toppings of your choice. Pre-cut, sliced or shredded tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, pineapples, pepperoni, ham, beef, sauce, cheeses…
Let your guest top the grilled naan bread buffet style, then place the pizza back on the grill to heat, blend the flavors and melt the cheese. So easy and soooo yummy!
So before summer fades, gather up some loved ones, grab some great food and take it outside for some outdoors dining!