A Palladian Pranzo with Pavarotti

Tomatoes on my iPhone | ©Tom Palladio ImagesMichelle, our belle at HQ WordPress, wants us to “phone in” one of our LUNCHTIME respites via the camera function on our handhelds.

That’s a pretty tall order for someone at a business lunch who’s already on the iPhone with someone back at the office while simultaneously crunching sales projections on an iPad as his/her regional manager, waiting impatiently, strums his/her fingers on the table. WELL?

Non è una problema per me (It’s not a problem for me). Today, I’m having lunch, virtually, with the late, great tenor-of-all-tenors, Luciano Pavarotti. LP and I have all the time in the world, just like the length of one his operas.

Spaghetti with Pomodorini & Black Olives recipe graphic | ©Tom Palladio ImagesIn between arias, we’ll lunch on a simple concoction I’ve whipped up in the kitchen many times before.

It’s a quick-‘n’-easy pasta dish, featuring spaghetti, fresh cherry tomatoes and a handful of black olives: Spaghetti con Pomodorini e Olive Neri. For lunch, it’s one of my fave, go-to dishes and plates in less than 30-minutes.

More often than not, Italians enjoy a plate or bowl of pasta at pranzo (lunch) vice cena (dinner). Admittedly, pasta is one of the heavier dishes of la cucina Italiana and best served as part of the midday meal.

Tomatoes and Olives on my  Camera Roll | ©Tom Palladio ImagesWhenever I wing it in the galley, I always have music playing in the background, appropriate for the dish I’m attempting to create or recreate, to keep me focused and in the right mood.

I love the sound of classical music in the kitchen, and it marries well with the Italian fare that I routinely — and miraculously — whip together.

With “The Maestro” in the house, I thought it appropriate to go with one of his all-time hits, Mattinata, written by Ruggero Leoncavallo way back in 1904 and one of the 26 songs that made it into the Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits CD.


©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

The Palladian Traveler's Borsalino over green-white-red | ©Tom Palladio Images___________________________________________________________________


  1. I cook everyday my Italian food with classical music sipping wine, I mean every day, religiously. Thank you for your appreciation in my Italian culture.

  2. this may be a silly question…..is that Deruda pottery? Some of it makes it’s way here to the states, I buy when I can afford and hear Pavarotti in my head when I get it home!

  3. The menu looks wonderful. We love Italian food around here.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

      1. At then end of today’s post I included a Rafflecopter giveaway for a 3-piece set of packing cubes. They’re a beautiful purple and the perfect travel accessory. Please enter and promote! Grazie!

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

  5. Pasta is not heavy; if it is, you’ve either overworked the dough, made it too thick or overcooked it (probably all three). Perhaps some lessons from Marco Pierre White may change your mind on that score! As to Dear Luci, I do so miss him, but, like you, have plenty of wonderful reminders in the way of his music. One of my all-time favourites is not a classical piece, but one of his ballads made famous a few years ago, called ‘Caruso’; it is such a haunting tune and gives me goosebumps each time I hear it! Do you know it?

    1. Well, Janina, we’ll just have to disagree about the “heaviness”of pasta. I love pasta and enjoy it at midday, but generally avoid it at dinnertime. And, I don’t overcook it, and always drain it out a minute prior to the timing indicated on the pasta box. I live in Italy and follow the “al dente” way. Anyway, we do have common ground in Pavarotti and classical music in general. I’ll have to check out the “Caruso” song you mentioned. Are you sure it’s not “Mattinata,” which was written by Leoncavallo with Caruso in mind and recorded in 1905 by Caruso, with Leoncavallo accompanying him on the piano, as the Gramophone Company’s first-ever recording?

  6. Sounds delicious though I have to use the gluten-free type of pasta. I know the song well having taught it many times. My favorite Pavarotti is still Nessun dorma, which melts me into a puddle.

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