Pane e vino

Spaghettini pine nuts lemon feta


(This is a post I originally published in June 2009, a couple of weeks into my blogging journey.  Since the post didn’t contain an original photo of the dish, I have taken advantage of the fact that I needed to re-tweak the recipe for an upcoming project to post it again.  It is on our (and my mum and dad’s) “go-to” list – it’s SO good!)

Eating and drinking were definite priorities on a two-week meander through Tuscany and Umbria in the summer of 2005. It was a glorious trip, Neil and I rented a beautiful villa with friends called Casa Luminosa in a 14th century hamlet near San Terenziano.  We enjoyed a lot of wonderful meals on that terrace…
The scenery was just stunning…
And we very much enjoyed exploring the local towns in both Umbria and Tuscany.  Here’s Neil in Panzano entering a contest to win some wine (of course!):
One of our most memorable meals was at “Pane e vino”, a small restaurant in Todi, tucked off the tourist trail in a little alley. I chose a simple pasta dish that night, infused with lemon and garlic, so utterly delicious in its simplicity that we thought it would be easy to replicate a couple of nights later. We failed miserably! On returning home, I wrote to Gourmet magazine to see if they could obtain the recipe for me.
A few months later, I received the recipe as sent to Gourmet by the restaurant in charming, broken and very literally translated English. Their recipe calls for called fresh taglierini, but I like it best with spaghettini. The recipe that follows, whilst inspired by the original, is the result of much experimenting. Enjoy!



Spaghettini with tomatoes, lemon, feta and pine nuts

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

– 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 796ml can diced tomatoes)
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– salt and pepper to taste
– zest and juice of 2 lemons
– 6 tablespoons pine nuts
– 200g spaghettini (dry)
– 100g feta cheese, crumbled
– ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Sauté the tomatoes in the oil over medium flame in a shallow pan. When they begin to soften, add the garlic. Sauté a further 2-3 minutes, add pepper to taste. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and pine nuts and reduce heat to very low flame.

Cook the spaghettini in boiling salted water until al dente (approximately 10 minutes or according to directions on package). Drain well and add to the tomato sauce mixture. Combine pasta and sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add the crumbled feta and chopped basil.

* I have also added some shrimp (about 20-30 peeled raw shrimp) to this dish with great success – you would add them into the sauce with the tomatoes
* Chopped baby spinach is an option too (about 2 cups) which would be added with the pasta to the sauce so that it is still slightly crunchy when served.

Wine suggestion from Neil:
With this dish, I would suggest a white wine – a soave or an Orvieto. If you prefer a red, a Chianti Riserva (older traditional-style)


This is a truly fabulous dish – simple flavours that marry well.  A bonus for us is that it brings back memories of that sun-dappled trip full of amazing food, wine and friends.


58 thoughts on “Pane e vino”

  1. i'd like to be sitting on that patio in tuscany right about now . . . 😉 i seem to remember you making either this or something like this when we visited a few years back – light, lemony, a flavorful summer dish. maybe this pasta?

  2. Oh, me too!! I'd love to be sitting on a patio in Umbria at the moment. Mardi, you don't even know…this pains me! I miss Italy!! I am so obsessed with anything and everything Italian that my husband and I named our daughter, GIADA!

  3. Gorgeous! I have been craving pasta big time, and the flavor combination in that recipe looks amazing. We have a brother in law living in Italy and we were thinking about a fall visit. . . your post definitely makes that even more of a possibility!

  4. Oh wow, thanks for sending this along my way – looks delicious and right up my alley! I'll definitely be keeping this recipe!

  5. Hang on a second… this is neither pane nor vino! You trickster!

    As it is however a delicious looking plate of pasta heaven, and I have a glass of vino sitting in front of me, I shall forgive you.

  6. Thank you! This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time. I have a pile of lemons on my kitchen table and have been contemplating what to do with them. On my way to the Cinque Terre next weekend but last time I was in Italy, I stayed in Panzano for several days and then down to Umbria. That was truly the best “food” trip of my life.

  7. Yum, yum, yum. My new cooking motto (now that I have 2 kids) is…”the simpler, the better”. It keeps me sane! This recipe is a perfect fit!

  8. What a lovely pasta dish, so nice that you were able to get the original recipe! I love that picture of the sunflowers, so pretty!

  9. Yes Mardi, P and G enjoy this pasta dish regularly. And every time we have it I get a compliment from your father (which is rare!) I always add prawns(shrimp) and baby spinach. Yummy.

  10. Beautiful post and dish. I am dying to get to Italy,I just have to find the money and the time to go for long enough. This would be a perfect Sunday night dinner for my husband and I. You can bet I will be making this! 🙂

  11. Oh my GAWD! That first pic of the sunflowers…STUNNING! AT first I thought it was a painting or something! Wow! I’m sure the dish was just as delicious, but with that gorgeous scenery, the tastes must have been amplified!

  12. It’s Tuscany just wonderful?! We were just there last summer and I literally had to pull myself away, I just didn’t want to leave! Just reading the recipe takes me back to the food. So simple yet so flavorful. Thanks for sharing it again with us!

  13. Mardi, just loving how the recipes are available at the click of a button. Thanks for that. What’s on the menu at Tami’s place sometime in the next week, has been made sooooo much easier!!

  14. This looks fresh, light and gorgeous! I have yet to add pine nuts or lemon in pasta dishes, but I’d love to try this. Congrats on the top 9!

  15. Pingback: Tweets that mention eat. live. travel. write. » Pane e vino » Print --
  16. As the present temporary owners of Casa Luminosa, we were surprised and pleased to come across this posting. The house remains a peaceful and tranquil haven from the other world.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.