The Spices of Veneto!

Veneto is a northeastern Italian region stretching from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. As a trading power in the eastern Mediterranean, Venice (Veneto’s capital city) came in contact with many cultures and influences – many of the spices used in this region are oriental. Veneto was the first European region to use spices, rice, corn and many other fruits and vegetables. Unlike most Italian regions, rice is more commonly used than pasta in Veneto – the marshes of the Po Valley are ideal for rice cultivation. Because Veneto is near the sea, fish has always played a key role in the local cuisine.

Il Fornaio’s Executive Chef, Mauruzio Mazzon is a Veneto native. Born in Marcon, Veneto (just outside Venice), Mazzon is passionate about sharing his home cooking during Festa Veneto month at Il Fornaio and all year long at the Venetian-themed Canaletto restaurants in Las Vegas and Newport Beach. Chef Gianpaolo Putzu of Canaletto Las Vegas shares Mazzon’s passion for Veneto, “It’s all about seafood in Italy, particularly along the coasts, and Venice is a major international port. I grew up on a Mediterranean island eating fresh fish and shellfish year-round; but I’ve also cooked in the alpine Val d’Aosta region, where the food is more dairy and meat-based. Veneto’s cuisine combines both cooking styles, in simple and clean preparations that celebrate incredible ingredients.”With 11 years of Venetian cuisine under his belt, Putzu feels that the variety of flavors and spices are what make the cuisine of this region so unique.”

Visit your favorite Il Fornaio or Canaletto location July 3-23 to dine from our special Veneto menu!

View our Veneto menu 

Lasagna al Radicchio

Chef Gianpaolo’s favorite dish on the Veneto menu is Lasagna al Radicchio. The combination of bitter radicchio and the deep spices in the sausage give the dish a nice balance.