The response from my post about Dinners Around the World was wonderful! So many of you would like to join us in our spin around the globe and a reader suggested I post my weeklong dinner menu for all of you to join in the cooking, eating, and conversation. I am happy to provide you the weekly menu each month. Below you can find the menu for January (there’s still time!) in which we focused on Italy. Along with each dish I have noted the area of Italy it originated. I encourage you to get out a map and talk about the different regions and their flavors each night – it is not only fun but supplements any geography lessons from school. I listed only the main dishes so you can decide what salad or vegetable(s) to torture your family with pair based on your family’s tastes. There are only six dishes as I always make enough to take a night off and enjoy leftovers. Enjoy!

Calzone – A speciality of Naples.

Polenta Elisa (served with some sliced salami) – This dish comes from the valley around Lake Como.

Minestrone d’orzo or Barley and Vegetable Soup – This soup comes from the Alto Adige region, in Italy’s mountainous North.

Pollo con peperoni or Chicken with Peppers – This dish comes from the south of Italy, where they grow sweet peppers.

Pasta Alfredo or Pasta with Cream and Parmesan – This classic originated in Rome.

Pizza alla Margherita – Named after the nineteenth-century Queen of Italy.

Most of these recipes are easily found on cooking sites but you can also look for The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia at your local library which provides all the recipes listed above. Happy eating!

{P.S. I’m already at work on next month’s Indian menu with the help of a dear friend who is providing family recipes. You won’t want to miss February!}