Japan, as everyone knows, is a very homogeneous country. This has a lot of effects, but one of the ones that affects me the most is the food. There are international restaurants but a lot of them are fairly dubious and serve a lot of foods that would be unrecognisable to anyone from that country (I know this isn't just Japan, but it seems a lot worse here)! It's even worse in supermarkets. Unless you go to (often very expensive) import food shops, it's really hard to find international ingredients. I'm not talking about fancy stuff here. Things that are either unfindable or horrendously expensive include; cheese that tastes like cheese, brown bread/rice/pasta, hummus, lentils, any pasta except spaghetti, naan breads, poppadoms, tortillas, fresh coriander, pita breads, etc. Some of those things, I'll just have to wait until I go home for. But 'necessity is the mother of invention', hence homemade hummus, breads of all kinds and now, pasta! I made some a few weeks ago for this bento, and decided to repeat my success, and make another Italian bento.
Everything is made as much from scratch as is reasonably sensible, while it is a fairly plain looking bento, it delivered on taste. A good summer's day meal, I think.
Top tier: Lemon Borlotti Beans (I made a lot of herb substitutions to that recipe!), cucumber, tomatoes, mediterranean vegetables (pepper, courgette and mushroom, cooked in sundried tomato oil, with basil and oregano)
Bottom tier: Homemade tagliatelli with homemade tomato salsa sauce, and cheese on top.