“There is nothing like the promise of the Italian dinner that I will offer from my personal supply to entice my colleagues to work quickly and well!” Parmitano said on his blog, typed while orbiting the earth.
In anticipation of his time away from his homeland, which will last until November, Italian chefs have prepared dishes including lasagne and mushroom and pesto risotto.
The spaceship carrying the precious goods had travelled millions of kilometres, Parmitano said, and included vital supplies. “Apart from the experiments, oxygen and water, ATV-4 (Automated Transfer Vehicle) also brings personal clothing and food, of which the culinary art of Italian cuisine will, of course, be the cherry on the cake,” the astronaut said.
Parmitano is the first Italian to walk in space and arrived at the International Space Station on 30 May.
Watch an interview with Parmitano, from NASA: