One of the constants of Italian cuisine is using what you have and what’s in season; it seems like a simple thing…but think about the other culinary modalities in the world and in your daily life where getting ingredients from a far flung corner of the world is just part of the deal.
This concept works well even with foods you wouldn’t think of as being traditionally Italian per se; in this case, we had some locally made bread, some of my late grandmother’s pickled beets, and some goat cheese from a local artisanal producer.
The wife blended the beets with garlic, olive oil, goat cheese, and some onion. It makes a creamy topping with a crazy pink color that looks like a savory cake icing. Put it on the bread with a bed of sauteed arugula and stuck it in the oven to brown. Instant dinner! Perhaps not what you think of as being Italian cuisine, but in terms of concept and execution, quintessentially Italian!
I think Mama Isa would approve.