Eat like an Italian, save your scraps

Updated on 02 July 2013 | 0 Comments

Over half of all Italians are now reusing pasta, bread and vegetable scraps in an attempt to deal with their country's economic crisis.

'Cucina Povera'

Apparently many Italians are stretching out their supplies and cooking ‘cucina povera’ style to save money. This ‘poor man’s food’ ethos involves cooking delicious dishes with very cheap ingredients – panzanella salad (pictured above), for example, is made from stale bread, olive oil and tomatoes.

‘Ribollita’ – a soup made from bread and leftover vegetables – is also on the rise, as are traditional pasta dishes.

The chairperson of the report, Sergio Marini of food-producing association Coldiretti, said that “anti-waste recipes are numerous in Italy. You only need a little creativity and you can cook tasty meatballs with leftover ground beef, eggs, bread and cheese”.

1 in 4 are struggling

The survey also found that Italy has been wasting 10 million tons of food each year, worth 11 billion euros. But because one in four Italian families is experiencing a hard economic situation this year, and are swopping to cucina povera, those figures are likely to improve.  

According to The Telegraph’s Rome correspondent Nick Squires, some Italians have even cut out their morning cup of coffee at the local café, as the cost of an espresso rises to one euro or over.

It’s not just the Italians – we’re in economic bother, too. So do you make more meals from scraps? Can you share your recipes? Talk to us in the comments box, and check out our leftover ideas below...

Here's how we use up our leftovers...

Cook once, eat twice: making the most of leftovers

What to do with leftover herbs

Five uses for leftover bread

Top five uses for leftover liquor


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