Italian cuisine may not be the most vegan-friendly in the world. All the meat, cheese, eggs and cream see to that. But that's not to say you can't put together a pretty good four-course meal of vegan food. All it takes is a little searching through vegetarian restaurant menus and a bit of imagination. Then, before you know it, you'll have put together four delicious courses from antipasti to dolci. So take a look at the menu we've put together for you and enjoy – or "buon appetito", as they'd say over in Rome.
1. Kick things off with an 'antipasto'
What better way to start our culinary journey through the ins and outs of Italian of Italian vegan cuisine than with these little delights from the famous Carluccio's? Their Crostini Ai Funghi are so much more than just mushrooms on toast. For a start they're served on crunchy ciabatta and the mushrooms are mixed with wilted spinach and garlic with chilli bringing up the rear to add a piquant kick. The result is a starter whose rich flavours and contrasting textures set you up perfectly for the three delicious courses that are to follow.
2. A pasta perfect 'primo piatto'
Traditionally a pasta or rice course, the primo piatto is the perfect opportunity to enjoying a rich and wholesome dish that tastes fantastic and is incredibly healthy too. In Zizzi's Vegan Lentil Ragu, you'll get one of the original superfoods cooked in a classic tomato, onion and garlic sauce until meltingly tender. Fresh oregano adds a fragrant and herby note and the whole dish comes with linguine cooked "al dente". If you're also looking for a gluten-free version of the dish you'll be pleased to hear that they also offer it with GF fusilli pasta.
3. A 'secondo piatto' to remember
Meat is the traditional ingredient of this course but, obviously, this just isn't an option. So we're going all out on another Italian tradition instead. At Aperitivo they don't just make pizzas, they make a whole lot of different kinds, especially for those of us avoiding meat and dairy. The Vegan Meat Feast stands out from the crowd, with cheese, chicken, bacon and sausage - all vegan - plus a rich tomato sauce and a delicious pesto base. Or, if you're already full on the primo, there's the slightly lighter Mr Green Vegan. Its rocket centre, black olives, caramelised onions and sun-dried tomatoes sit atop one of their special thin and crispy pesto bases.
4. 'Dolce' stomach at the ready!
We have to admit it's a bit of a struggle to find an Italian dessert that's also vegan. That's because cream or eggs - or both - play such a big part in traditional dishes like tiramisu or affogato. But fortunately, we found a simply sumptuous version of another Italian classic and it's dairy free. At Saba they offer a number of varieties of Italian ice cream but the very best is the fruity and delicious Mango And Passionfruit. We're sure you'll agree!
Put together your own delicious four-course vegan Italian feast and Deliveroo will be on our way with it, pronto!