Veneto is a north eastern region in Italy known for the cities of Padua, Verona, and the region’s capital Venice. Veneto was the seat of the prosperous Venetian Republic for many years and made it’s fortune in trade. Venice and Padua hold a place in art history as locations for the work of Giotto, Donatello, Titian, and Bellini. The region sits between the base of the Alps and the the Adriatic Sea. Its rich agriculture contributes to many grain heavy dishes and it’s proximity to the sea introduces the use of fish and shell fish.

Polenta is a staple in Veneto cuisine. The highly regarded Grana Padano and Asiago cheeses are also produced in this region. The coffee dessert Tiramisu hails from this Veneto as does Prosecco and the famous cocktail the Bellini. Other popular dishes include Bigoli in Salsa, and Risotto al Nero di Seppia (squid ink risotto).

Bigoli in Salsa

  • 2 White Onions, finely chopped
  • water
  • 25 salted sardine or anchovy fillets
  • 11 oz bigoli (whole wheat spaghetti)
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Black Pepper

  1. Place the onions in a large frying pan or skillet and cover with water.

  2. Cook on a low heat for one hour adding more water as it evaporates. Be careful not to colour the onion.

  3. Finely chop the sardine/anchovy fillets.

  4. Mash the onions with a spoon or potato masher and then add the fish to the pan.

  5. Stir until the fish has dissolved in the into the onion mixture.

  6. Continue to cook for about five minutes.

  7. Bring a pan with 4 litres of unsalted water to the boil.

  8. Cook the bigoli / spaghetti according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  9. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the frying pan with the sauce in it.

  10. Mix the pasta into the sauce, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary, and then serve topped with chopped parsley and plenty of ground black pepper.