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Some of Our Favorite Italian Summer Dishes and Wine Pairings

Summer is great time of year for enjoying meals 'al fresco' and taking advantage of fresh, in-season, produce to whip up seasonally inspired dishes that hit the spot when the weather is warm.

With each new season, comes new flavors and colors and with summer that means tomatoes, basil, zucchini, melon, and more.

The following are a few of our favorite Italian or Sicilian inspired summer recipes. We hope you'll open a bottle of your favorite Gambino wine to enjoy with whatever dish you choose to make!


Insalata Caprese

While caprese salads may be seen as one of the most quintessentially and recognizable Italian dishes in the world, it's actually presumed to be a quite modern Italian dish, originating in the region of Campania in the 1950s.

Consisting of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil this dish is so simple it doesn't really require a recipe, but if it's your first time making it at home, we like Eataly's Insalata Caprese preparation guidelines. 

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Gambino Tifeo Rosato 

Bruschetta Puttanesca

Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic is a classic summer antipasti platter, but if you like a good puttanesca pasta you can incorporate capers, black olives, and anchovy paste to take the flavors of your bruschetta tomato topping up another notch. 

We like this recipe from

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Gambino 'Duvanera' 

Fried & Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Fiori di Zucchina Ripieni/Fried & Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini blossoms are a late summer/early Fall delicacy. These gorgeous tasty but delicate blooms are most often fried and stuffed with some type of cheese and we've got to be honest and say we really can't think of a more delicious way to prepare these! 

The blossoms themselves are light and crisp when fried, and offer a delightful crunch that plays perfectly with a soft, warm, tangy, and herbed cheese filling. We love this uber-flavorful and unique fresh ricotta filling option.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Tifeo Rosato and Feu d'o Bianco

Fresh Pesto (on anything!)

Basil loves the heat and that's why summer is the time to make fresh pesto! While the most classic version of pesto most of use are used to usually involves a mixture of toasted nuts, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and a salty aged cheese such as parmesan, there are many possible variations. For instance, many people like to use walnuts (instead of pine nuts) in their pesto, or to incorporate other herbs and savory ingredients such as rosemary or sun dried tomatoes. 

Take a look at Eataly's introductory guide and recipe for fresh pesto

Once you've made your pesto, you can use it to top pastas, fresh cheese dishes (such as buffalo mozzarella and tomato), grilled vegetables, or bruschetta.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Tifeo Bianco or Feu d'o Bianco

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