A Savory Month with the Flavors of Italy {+ Recipe!}

With another hour of sunshine added to my evenings since the time change, I've been making a better effort at committing to more homemade meals and less fast casual dining. For me, there's nothing better than a delicious, homemade Italian meal, and with The Fresh Market right in my backyard, it's never been easier to get my hands on seasonally fresh and affordable ingredients to create a flavorful Italian dish with.

This month, The Fresh Market is offering its guests a taste of the 'Flavors of Italy,' with weekend sampling events and store-wide Italian cuisine inspiration:

During a recent visit to The Fresh Market in North Tampa, I got the chance to experience one of the store's Guest Appreciation Days - I enjoyed a variety of yummy Italian samplings and gained inspiration for my own 'Flavors of Italy' recipe - it's crazy simple, and equally crazy in deliciousness. And the kicker: serves four and UNDER $50. Keep reading!

Crunchy Caprese Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Basil leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet campari tomatoes
  • Stonewall Kitchen Maple Bacon Balsamic Dressing
  1. Dice mozzarella, chop basil, slice cucumbers and tomatoes
  2. Blend ingredients together with a hearty amount of dressing

Robusto Linguine with Sausage

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • Linguine pasta
  • Hot Italian sausage
  • Stonewall Kitchen Basil Pesto
  • Rao's Homemade Roasted Garlic Sauce
  1. Remove sausage from casings - roll sausage into 3/4 inch thick meatballs
  2. Place meatballs in a deep pan and sear
  3. Mix 1/3 jar of basil pesto with entire jar of roasted garlic sauce
  4. Pour sauce mixture over meatballs and simmer until meatballs are cooked fully
  5. While sauce and meatballs are simmering, cook linguine al dente (10-12 minutes) and drain, rinsing with warm water
  6. Plate linguine and ladel sauce and meatballs

It's not hard to commit to home-cooked meals when they're simple to make and the ingredients are so fresh and delicious! And can you believe it's possible to make a meal for four (or a meal for two, plus lunch the next day) for under $50?!

You still have time to experience The Fresh Market's 'Flavors of Italy' and a Guest Appreciation Day on Saturday, March 18th at the North Tampa location from 1-5 p.m.! Enjoy grilling demonstrations, a variety of sausage samplings and live music - plus, the first 300 guests will receive a free, reusable shopping bag. For more information, visit thefreshmarket.com and The Fresh Market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This post and these recipes were sponsored by The Fresh Market. Opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of The Fresh Market.