Sometimes when we think of Italian food, we get stuck in a rut -- hot, hearty soups, crusty bread, cheesy baked pastas. There are certainly worse ruts to be stuck in, but Italian cuisine has so much more to offer beyond the heavy fall and winter dishes we tend to associate with it. There is a reason that Italian grandmas live forever and everyone looks healthy and happy: the eat really, really well, with a focus on seasonal vegetables, simple cooking techniques and lots and lots of olive oil. We think everyone should let the Italians commandeer their summer cooking for a month or two.
In fact, you probably find yourself eating Italian-inspired dishes for most of the summer. Those bean and chickpea salads we all dive into at backyard barbecues, the thinly sliced vegetable carpaccios we can't get enough of and the cooling end of meal panna cotta and gelato all have their roots in Italian summer recipes. There's even minestrones designated for each season, summer being one of the best because of all the fresh tomatoes and squash. Thanks for everything, Italy -- we've been eating really well this summer thanks to you.