Main Courses

When it comes to an authentic, traditional meal, the classic Italian experience is second to none. And at the centrepiece of every Italian meal is the main course, or secondi.

There are so many Italian main course recipes to choose from and dozens of regional variations, from fantastico fish recipes, to wonderful beef, chicken and beyond.

And for a truly sensational selection of Italian main course dishes, the great range of ideas from Gino D’Acampo has everything you need. Gino brings you all your favourite Italian main dish recipes, from pizza, stews and risotto to lasagne, bolognese and delicious Italian chicken recipes.

There are recipes to suit all tastes & dietary requirements, including a great selection of Italian vegetarian recipes  –  so all you have to do is choose one and start cooking!

You can find a full range of the very best dishes for Italian main courses in Gino’s best-selling recipe books or you can find a selection of great ideas below. Gino’s books are full of great ideas for Italian dishes and provide inspiration and guidance in equal measure! It’s time to start cooking!

Main CoursesGet Inspired

Ravioli con salmone e ricottaRavioli filled with Smoked Salmon & Ricotta

When I was a child, eating smoked salmon was always a massive treat because it was so expensive. It's cheaper now, but still fantastic. Just take care when seasoning the dish because the salmon is already salty.

6

Serves

9

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Pennette gratinate al salmone affumicato, fontina e piselliPasta Bake with Smoked Salmon, Fontina & Peas

This is a fantastic way to use smoked salmon, and many people who don’t generally like fsh – such as my wife – love this recipe. If the béchamel and pasta are hot you can just pop the dish under the grill until the cheese melts, as I’ve done here. If you want to make it ahead, prepare up to the end of step 4 then reheat the dish in a preheated oven (200°C/gas mark 6) for 20–25 minutes....

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Fusili con ragu di coniglioPasta with Rabbit Ragu

This recipe is very different and worth a try. The flavours are unique compared to what you and your family are probably used to and it really is a wonderful, rich way to make a ragù. Please, whatever you do, don’t just throw away the discarded vegetables. Place them in a saucepan with some passata (sieved tomatoes) and heat it through; then you have created a sauce that can be used to top fish...

4

Serves

15

Ingredients

Rabbit

Main Ingredient
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Linguine con acciughe, peperoncino e aglioLinguine with Anchovies, Chilli & Garlic

In Italy this would traditionally have been served as an inexpensive dish to feed a crowd. It's still a great standby recipe, using ingredients that can mostly be found in store cupboards but which together create something that has great flavours and textures. The gentle kick from the chilli and crunch from freshly toasted breadcrumbs really makes my mouth water! All it needs as an accompaniment is...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients
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Linguine alla PuttanescaLinguine in a Southern Italian Sauce with Anchovies & Capers

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a good pasta puttanesca. It’s a real Italian classic and, when I’m back in Naples, my mother cooks this for me at least once a week. She always says that it reminds her of my late father – apparently this was the dish they both ordered on their first date. Well, it must have been pretty good – otherwise I wouldn’t be here, would I?

4

Serves

9

Ingredients
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Pasta e fagioliHearty Bean Stew with Pasta

This is a fantastic recipe for when you need a ‘quick-fix’ supper – most of the ingredients are dried or tinned, so it’s likely you’ll have them in your storecupboard, and very little chopping or other preparation is required. Beans and chickpeas are an inexpensive, low-fat source of protein, fibre and vitamins, so this dish is both healthy and economical. For vegetarians, simply omit the...

4

Serves

13

Ingredients
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Pizza FiorentinaPizza with Mozzarella, Spinach, Egg & Parmesan

The Fiorentina is a firm favourite in the D’Acampo house, and always creates arguments over who gets the last piece. (My eldest son Luciano normally wins.) It’s the healthiest pizza you can find, and this true classic from Florence is a great way of getting the whole family eating their greens.

9

Ingredients
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TEGLIA DI PIZZA PICCANTE CON ACCIUGHE, ZUCCHINE, E AGLIOPizza Tray with Anchovies, Courgettes, Garlic & Chilli

Anchovies are found in large numbers in the Mediterranean, particularly in southern Italy, where they are a staple food and are eaten fresh or preserved in olive oil or salt. They’re high in antioxidants, and some research suggests they may be linked to longevity. If you prefer, replace the anchovies with black olives.

2

Serves

12

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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ZUPPA DI PESCE ALL'AMALFITANAAmalfi-Style Fish Soup

You can find wonderful fish soups and stews along the Amalfi coast. They all tend to be hearty, substantial and big on flavour, but there are many variations on the theme, depending on the cook’s preference and what’s available in the market on the day. Here I’ve used a mixture of haddock, red mullet and prawns, but plenty of other types of fish, as well as mussels, squid and clams, are also...

4

Serves

14

Ingredients
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Petti di pollo al forno con pomodoriniTray-baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives

Tray-bakes are the perfect way of cooking for a family. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and you can be inventive with flavours.

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Involtini di Salmone con Mascarpone e SenapeWrapped Salmon With Dijon Mustard & Mascarpone Sauce

For many people, salmon is the king of fish – it has a firm, meaty texture and a beautiful pink colour. It’s really versatile, too – it can be baked, poached, steamed, fried or flaked into stir-fries, pasta or risotto. It’s known as a brain food because of its high Omega 3 content, as well as being rich in vitamin D and minerals. This is a delicious way to get all the family eating fish –...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Svizzere Do AgnelloSpicy Lamb Burgers With Herbed Yoghurt

For burgers, lamb makes a really nice change from beef. These need to be prepared ahead and rested in the fridge to make sure they don’t fall apart when they are cooked, so they’re a great make-ahead meal. The yogurt makes a lovely cooling accompaniment to the spicy burgers. Light that barbecue and open the cold beers...!

6

Serves

15

Ingredients

Lamb

Main Ingredient
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Pizza Con Zucchine E Aceto BalsamicoPizza With Courgettes & Balsamic Glaze

I love grilled courgettes, but sometimes it’s just a hassle to prepare them, particularly if I’m hungry and need feeding right now! Here I can get the same flavour and texture by simply tossing them on top of this fantastic pizza. It looks amazing with all the overlapping circles of cheese and courgette – a real showstopper.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Pollo Al Limone, Miele E RosmarinoLemon Chicken With Honey & Rosemary

Rosemary and lemon give this simple chicken dish a real taste of the Mediterranean; it is zingy and flavoursome but really child-friendly, so it makes a great midweek family meal. Perfect in summer with a big salad, or try it in winter for a serious vitamin C kick to beat the bugs.

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Insalata di Couscous con Olive e AsparagiCouscous Salad With Olives, Asparagus & Grana Padano

Couscous is so easy to prepare, but it does need the addition of some really good flavours to make it come to life. This rainbow salad is a fantastic source of vitamin C and is surprisingly filling. It’s great as a main course or you can reduce the quantities and serve it as a side with barbecued meats or grilled fish.

4

Serves

13

Ingredients

Couscous

Main Ingredient
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Petti di Pollo al Mascarpone, Salvia e LimeChicken Breasts in Creamy Sage & Lime Sauce

Chicken breasts are such a great option for an easy, quick and healthy midweek supper and this creamy sauce has a fabulous citrus kick. I like to serve this with a simple crisp green salad and some boiled new potatoes or – even better – my Mushroom Rice.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Bollito di carneAromatic Meat Stew with Red Wine, Cloves & Juniper Berries

Bollito di carne is a classic northern Italian dish, typically from Piedmont. Hearty, rich and satisfying, it always includes several different types of meat – the kinds used vary depending on availability and the preference of the cook. For this recipe I decided to use duck, pork and chicken, as recommended to me by a butcher in one of the markets I visited when filming in Piedmont. Serve with plenty...

8

Serves

15

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Gnocchetti sardi fatti in casaHomemade Sardinian Pasta Shells

Making pasta can be a bit of a chore, but gnocchetti sardi (also known as malloreddus) is really easy. You don’t need a pasta machine – just mix, roll, shape and cook. Unlike most other types of home-made pasta, which contain eggs, the dough for these shells is made from flour and water, giving the pasta a firmer texture. The shells are best served with a chunky sauce such as a ragù made from...

4

Serves

2

Ingredients
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Insalata di fregola con olive, scorza d’arancia ed erbetteFregola Salad With Olives, Orange Zest & Fresh Herbs

A true Sardinian speciality, fregola is a type of pasta typically made from semolina dough. It is similar to couscous, but with larger pellets that have been toasted in the oven so it has a firmer texture and nuttier flavour. You can find fregola of differing sizes in Italian delicatessens and online – it is perfect with fish or shellfish.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients
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Petti di pollo con salsa al Marsala, pomodoro e uva passaChicken Breasts in Marsala & Tomato Sauce with Raisins

When I was filming for the TV series I visited Marco De Bartoli’s vineyard in Samperi, near Marsala – an ancient town on the western edge of Sicily. I spent a wonderful day with his son, Renato De Bartoli, who told me about the history of Marsala wine – its production dates back to 1770, when an Englishman accidentally discovered the local fortified wine and shipped it to England, where it...

6

Serves

12

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Zuppa di castagne e finocchi con salviaChestnut & Fennel Soup With Sage

Italy is the world’s third largest producer of chestnuts and Sicilians love them. Ever since I moved to the UK, I’ve slowly started to associate chestnuts with Christmas, but I must revert to my former thinking – chestnuts can be, and should be, enjoyed all year round. This recipe uses frozen chestnuts so availability will not be an issue.

6

Serves

11

Ingredients
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Sardine alla griglia con salsa di capperi e prezzemoloChargrilled Sardines With Caper & Parsley Vinaigrette

It is widely believed that sardines were named after Sardinia, where they were among the first fish to be packed in oil. Today they are still relatively abundant in the island’s coastal waters and form a major part of the islanders’ diet. Pilchards are the same species but just older and larger; they can be used for this recipe too, although I prefer the flavour of young sardines. As well as...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients
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Couscous alla trapanese con pesce, pomodori e mandorleTrapani-Style Couscous with Fish, Tomatoes & Almonds

There are literally dozens of recipes for this classic Sicilian couscous dish, most of which have the addition of seafood and chilli – but here I’ve let the sweet white fish do the talking. The town of Trapani is famous for couscous, and there is an annual couscous festival there in September. Ask your fishmonger for end cuts and bones to flavour the sauce.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Couscous

Main Ingredient
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Gnocchetti sardi con vongole, noci, peperoncino e bottargaSardinian Pasta Shells with Clams, Walnuts, Chilli & Bottarga

This recipe is often served on the coast in northern Sardinia and it’s one of my favourites. In fact, I’ve started to make this dish at home at least once a week as I love the flavours so much. Try to get hold of bottarga if you can – it really will enhance the dish – and please don’t be tempted to sprinkle cheese on top, as it will fight with the flavours of the seafood.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Clams

Main Ingredient
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Involtini di melanzane ripieni di uva passa, capperi e nociRolled Aubergines Stuffed wth Raisins, Capers & Walnuts

Aubergines were introduced to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs in the Middle Ages and Sicilians use them a lot in their cooking. Stuffing sliced aubergines with cheese, breadcrumbs and other goodies is a particularly popular way of serving them. Feel free to be creative with your fillings – this recipe is not about precision. Choose the heaviest aubergines you can find and cut just before...

4

Serves

15

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Bucatini al pesto sicilianoBucatini with Sicilian Pesto

Classic pesto is a specialty of Liguria, in northwestern Italy. However, Sicilians have their own equally delicious, lesser-known version – just a few additional ingredients take it in an entirely new and exciting direction. In this recipe I’ve used bucatini pasta, which is basically a thicker version of spaghetti with a hole all the way through, but of course pasta of any shape will be fine.

4

Serves

13

Ingredients
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Brasato di coniglio con liquore al mirto e vino rossoRabbit Braised in Mirto Liqueur and Red Wine

Rabbit has a lovely mild, gamey flavour and firm, meaty texture; if you haven’t tried it, I urge you to do so. Ask your butcher to prepare it for you. If you really don’t fancy rabbit, chicken pieces make a good substitute. Mirto liqueur is often available in Italian delicatessens or online, but if you can’t find it use port or sloe gin instead.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Rabbit

Main Ingredient
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Pizza spessa con acciughe, olive e capperiDeep Pan Pizza With Anchovy, Olive & Caper Topping

Sicily is the original home of the deep-pan pizza. A popular dish, it is usually cooked in large rectangular tins and sold by the weight. Pizzas in Sicily vary according to the region, with each area having its own recipes and traditions, and this type (known in Sicily as sfinciuni) originated in western Sicily, in the province of Palermo. I absolutely love the combination of anchovies,...

10

Serves

11

Ingredients
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Spigola con puré di cannellini e salsa al basilicoPan-Fried Sea Bass With Cannellini Mash & Basil Sauce

It has often been said that beans are the meat of the poor man, as they are a healthy alternative to meat, but in Italy, beans are used in pasta dishes, salads, mashed and spread on bruschetta - to name but a few options. They are used all day every day and are so incredibly good for you - packed with protein and soluble fibre, they make a really wonderful alternative to potatoes. The creamy bean mash...

4

Serves

14

Ingredients
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Insalata calda di manza con carciofi, peperoncino e nociWarm Beef Salad With Artichokes, Chilli & Walnuts

Sardinia is famous for its beef, particularly that of the bue rosso (red cow), which grazes the pastures of the volcanic Montiferru area in central-western Sardinia and is considered by many to provide the finest beef in Italy. For this recipe I have taken the theme of a traditional Sardinian beef salad and have added artichokes and walnuts - which really complement the juicy sides of warm...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Risotto con zucchini e zafferanoCourgette & Saffron Risotto

Saffron, sometimes referred to as 'red gold' because of its deep ruby-red colour, flourishes in the fertile hills of Sardinia's Medio Campinado province in southwestern Sardinia. The locals use it liberally in their cooking, but given its high price in Britain I tend to use it sparingly and in dishes where it will be one of the star attractions such as this delicately-flavoured risotto. The courgette...

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Rice

Main Ingredient
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Spaghettini alle cozze, pomodorini e vino biancoSpaghettini with Mussels, Cherry Tomatoes & White Wine

I love recipes that require just a few good-quality ingredients and are simple to make yet really have the ‘wow factor’, such as this pasta dish with mussels. You don’t have to use the bottarga - the dish stands alone without it - but a Sardinian cook would almost certainly grate it over the top of the finished dish.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Svizzerine di manzo con insalatinaItalian Style Cheeseburgers with Coleslaw Cups

Burgers are a great Friday night supper, perfect for the whole family. I love using mozzarella to melt on top of the beef patties as it goes so beautifully stringy.

13

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Pollo MargheritaChicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

I’m from Naples, the city that invented pizza, and I’ve been brought up with them all my life. There is nothing quite like a freshly cooked Margherita pizza. I love the flavour so much that I have copied the ingredients and added them to this chicken recipe to give me that Italian kick I sometimes crave. It is important not to use buffalo mozzarella for this recipe as it is very milky and releases...

4

Serves

7

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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Scaloppine di maiale al pesto di salviaPork Loin with White Wine and Sage Pesto

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Fillet of Cod with Spicy Red Pesto

If you need to make dinner in under four minutes, this is the recipe for you. It is so easy, you really won’t believe it. Once you have blended the ingredients together, that’s pretty much job done – it smells amazing too. You coat the fish and there you have it – ready to be cooked. You can cook it there and then or even prepare in the morning and cook.

4

Serves

8

Ingredients
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Orecchiette con Calamari e ChorizoPasta Shells and Beans with Squid and Chorizo

I absolutely love squid and to me there is no better way to cook it than with a nice spicy chorizo sausage. This is a pasta dish that would be perfect for a party because the flavours and the colours are just amazing. If you prefer you can substitute the parsley leaves with fresh mint but whatever you do, please make sure that you use fresh squid.

6

Serves

12

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle con Salsicce e PorciniTagliatelle with Sausages, Rosemary and Porcini Mushrooms

I love good-quality sausages so this recipe is definitely in my top ten. My grandfather used to make this dish for me when I was a boy but he used a tomato passata instead of the cream that I have introduced. I wish he could have tasted my version as I know I would have got a huge cuddle for this one – he would have loved it and I know that you will too. For those of you who don’t like mushrooms,...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Torta di Carciofi e SpinaciArtichoke & Spinach Tart

I absolutely love tarts and it’s a shame that not many people cook them anymore, maybe because it is thought to be quite a difficult dish to prepare. Some of my friends have tried this dish and they say that it’s definitely one of the easiest and tastiest tart recipes that they have ever made. I often choose this kind of recipe when I have a dinner party because if there is any left over, I’ll...

8

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Carpaccio di Zucchine con Borlotti, Peperoni e CapperiCourgette Carpaccio With Borlotti Beans, Peppers & Capers

This is a great vegetarian alternative to raw meat or fish carpaccio. The marinating of the thinly sliced courgettes makes them so soft they don’t need any cooking. If using small, young courgettes you can use the whole vegetable, but for larger courgettes I suggest you use the flesh only, as the seeds can be spongy when eaten raw. Just halve the courgettes lengthways, run a teaspoon down the centre...

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Conchiglioni alla VenezianaVenetian-Style Pasta Shells Stuffed With Courgettes & Sage

If you’re on the lookout for a vegetarian pasta dish that has the ‘wow’ factor and can be prepared ahead, this is the one for you. When they are stuffed and baked, conchiglioni (giant pasta shells) look so impressive and they taste every bit as good as they look. Fresh sage, which is extremely popular in Italian cooking, gives the dish intriguing, earthy undertones.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Gnocchi al Forno con Cannellini, Spinaci e PomodoriBaked Gnocchi with Cannellini Beans, Spinach and Tomatoes

I love making fresh gnocchi with my kids, but sometimes I simply don’t have the time so I buy them instead. When buying gnocchi, look for a good-quality brand that contains at least 70 per cent potato. Baking shop-bought gnocchi can really jazz them up. Here I’ve combined them with spinach, cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans and cheese for a hearty dish. Serve with a crisp salad on the side.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Spaghetti ai Carciofi, Radicchio, Piselli e Vino BiancoSpaghetti with Artichokes, Radicchio, Peas and White Wine

Perfect for a midweek supper, this dish is quick and easy to make and low-fat too. Radicchio is very popular in Italy, particularly in the north, where it grows mainly in the Veneto region. Prized for the rich red colour and slightly bitter flavour of its leaves, radicchio is also a rich source of vitamin K.  

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Linguine Alla AmatricianaLinguine With Cherry Tomatoes, Pancetta And White Wine

With no doubt, I have to dedicate this recipe to my friend and manager Jeremy Hicks. We have known each other for seven years now and without fail he has to have this pasta dish at least once a week. I actually agree with him, it's one of my favourites too, because I just love the combination of the onion, pancetta and chilli. If you prefer, you can substitute linguine with spaghetti or tagliatelle.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Conchigle Rigate PiccantiShell Pasta With Spicy Pork And Tomato Sauce

I love this shape of pasta and this sauce is perfect for it. The delicate taste of the pork with the strong flavours of the chilli, olives and sun-dried tomatoes is a match made in heaven. I know that most people add cheese to pasta sauces but please don’t to this one. It really doesn't need it and will actually ruin the natural flavours of the ingredients. If you fancy, substitute the conchiglie...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Pappardelle Con PolpettePappardelle With Meatballs

This is a family favourite and a staple for the kids. True Italians never serve spaghetti with meatballs; it has to be fettuccine or pappardelle pasta to be authentic.

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese Di Mio NonnoTagliatelle With Bolognese

This is the real thing. The genuine ragù, as it is made in Bologna, is a mouthwatering meat sauce that includes different types of mince, including pork and beef, slowly cooked in a tomato and vegetable sauce. In Italy, this sauce is only ever served with broad, flat pasta such as tagliatelle or fettuccine and never with spaghetti.

6

Serves

13

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Linguine ai Gamberi e RucolaPasta Ribbons with Prawns and Rocket

This is one of my signature dishes, created in the summer of 2003 on the island of Sardinia where my family and I were enjoying our holiday in our house on the beach. Make sure that you serve this dish as soon as you combine the pasta and the sauce. You can substitute the prawns for scallops.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Quattro StagioniFour Seasons Pizza Topped with Ham, Artichokes, Mushrooms and Olives

Globe artichokes are used a lot in Europe, and especially in Italy, but don’t seem to be very popular here in England. However, artichoke hearts are essential on this pizza as they work beautifully with the ham, mushrooms and olives. I have tried making this recipe with rocket leaves instead of the mushrooms and it’s just as good. A classic Italian four seasons pizza that just reminds me of home. Makes...

13

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Pizza Volante ai SalumiPizza Stuffed with Mascarpone, Salami Milano, Bresaola and Parma Ham

Meat, meat and more meat – I love this pizza. The use of three different hams with cheese is delicious. Making that first cut into the pizza and enjoying all the flavours oozing out is worth any amount of time you spent preparing it. Picture after a hard day’s work eating this dish with a large glass of red wine – it’s the perfect ending to any day. If you prefer, add in mozzarella to get that...

2

Serves

10

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Classica MargheritaClassic Margherita

Most babies are weaned off their mother’s milk with puréed food, I’m sure my mother weaned us off on pizza as I just don’t ever remember life without it. This classic tomato and mozzarella pizza originally was created for the Queen of Naples, Margherita. Never use buffalo mozzarella as it is too milky and will make your pizza base very soggy. Fresh basil is a must: don’t you ever attempt to...

2

Serves

10

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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Tonno Scue’ Scue’Seared Tuna Steak with Courgettes and Capers

If you ever have the chance to visit the town where I was born, Torre del Greco, you will soon realise that every restaurant in town serves this dish. Southern Italian people, me included, are absolutely crazy about tuna. If you try to translate ‘tonno scue’ scue’ into English, it would be ‘tuna made with no effort’. The reason it is called this is because the few ingredients used are put...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Tuna

Main Ingredient
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Saltimbocca di TacchinoTurkey Saltimbocca with Sage and Parma Ham

For anyone who loves turkey but is bored with the traditional ways of cooking it, you have just found the recipe that you need. In my house we have saltimbocca at least once a week because it’s easy to prepare and most importantly full of flavour. You can definitely try it with chicken breasts and, if you don’t like Parma ham, use pancetta. In the event that you don’t have Marsala wine, a good...

4

Serves

7

Ingredients

Turkey

Main Ingredient
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Linguine Vongole e Vino BiancoLinguine with Clams and White Wine

I absolutely love this recipe, so much so I would say it’s my favourite in this chapter. I lived on freshly landed seafood when I was a young boy and miss it hugely.  This was, and still is, number one for me. It’s so easy and yet you really feel that you have been spoiled when someone makes it for you. Please be careful when making the sauce and ensure that you do not stir the clams too vigorously...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Clams

Main Ingredient
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Conchiglie VegetarianeShell Pasta with Peppers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

This has to be the ultimate vegetarian pasta recipe. There’s so much goodness in this dish and it’s also really filling and extremely tasty. Some might think that the peppers could make it slightly bitter but together with the pine nuts and basil, it screams freshness and will be enjoyed by herbivores and carnivores alike.

7

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Insalata di Pollo e ChorizoChicken and Chorizo Salad With Beans and Rocket Leaves

Every now and then I go on a health kick and watch what I eat, especially in the evenings. However, there are only so many salads you can have before you start to get a bit bored, especially during the winter months – but this is an amazing option: filling, delicious and incredibly good for you but at the same time it won’t leave you feeling hard done by, unlike some salads.

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Spiedini di AgnelloSkewered Marinated Lamb with Rosemary & Mint

Often people have this misconception that you can only make meat skewers in the summer and cooked on a BBQ – this is not the case.  Make sure once the skewers are ready to be cooked that your griddle pan is very very hot to enable the meat not to get stuck to the pan.  Use sirloin steak if you prefer and if you don’t like mushrooms substitute it with shallot onions.

2

Serves

8

Ingredients

Lamb

Main Ingredient
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Cozze allo ZafferanoQuick Mussel Stew with Saffron & White Wine

Mussels are by far the main shell fish that we eat in Naples, therefore, as you can imagine, I have grown up eating mussels in many different ways. Of course traditionally we would never use double cream, but for this particular dish it works perfectly. If you buy saffron strands instead of the powder, please make sure that you grind it before using it. Never use red wine for this recipe.

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Linguine ai Frutti di MareMixed Seafood Linguine with Chilli & Cherry Tomatoes

I have to admit that my mother is not the best cook in the world unless cooking traditional Neapolitan dishes she has grown up with. However, this has to be one of her best creations that she prepares for me every time I go to visit her. It is very important for this recipe to use tinned cherry tomatoes because if you use the fresh ones, the sauce will be too watery. Do not overcook the prawns or langoustines...

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Pappardelle con MelanzanePasta with Aubergines, Tomatoes and Garlic Sauce

Many people steer clear of aubergine and yet it really is an easy vegetable to prepare. In this sauce, it enhances the tomato flavour without overpowering it, so if you have children who don’t like their vegetables, try this dish – they’ll hardly know it’s there. I often serve this pasta as a starter but be careful with portion sizes as you don’t want to fill everyone up before the main....

6

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Zuppa di Verdure all’OrtolanaChunky Winter Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Soup

I created this soup when I was cooking for friends who are vegetarian and they all watched me and wrote down the recipe so I figured if they were impressed, hopefully you will be too. I have used six different kinds of vegetables to make the wholesome soup you’d expect but the bread, cheese and beans give it an even more rustic feel. It’s the perfect evening family meal or a great starter for friends...

6

Serves

15

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Tonno alla griglia con bricioleGrilled tuna steak with garlic breadcrumbs

Every now and then fish and chips in the UK is a must, but I must admit I often prefer my fish in breadcrumbs rather than batter – they make a far lighter coating that really means you taste the fish – and with this recipe I’ve come up with a much healthier but still delicious version. Tuna is such tasty meaty fish and the breadcrumbs add a bit of luxury to it. A crisp salad is all you need to...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients
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Risotto con porri, Taleggio e pinoliLeek, Taleggio and Pine Kernel Risotto

Leeks make a fantastic alternative to onions, and yet many people only use them in soups. I got inspiration for this recipe while I was in Siena; I was served a bowl of leeks, cheese, nuts and sausages (which is also a great sauce for pasta) and I wanted to try and incorporate the same flavours in a risotto. I have left this as a vegetarian option, but by all means add in some cooked pancetta...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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Coniglio alla cacciatoreRabbit in white wine, rosemary, olive and tomato sauce

Many people might be nervous about cooking rabbit, but actually, if you get your butcher to cut the meat into pieces, it’s just like handling any other meat. The flavour of rabbit does give you a fantastic alternative to the traditional meat options. Northern Italians are huge fans of rabbit and in the past would have used wild animals, but nowadays most rabbits eaten in Italy are farmed...

6

Serves

12

Ingredients

Rabbit

Main Ingredient
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Gnocchi di zuccaPotato and roasted pumpkin gnocchi

Gnocchi is a firm favourite of the ladies in my life – my wife and my daughter Mia. Rather than just preparing the traditional plain gnocchi with a tomato-and-cheese-based sauce all the time, I wanted to try and create gnocchi that had so much flavour in their own right that a sauce wasn't even needed. This is what I came up with. I have also tried replacing the pumpkin with butternut squash,...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Potato

Main Ingredient
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Capesante brasate con piselli e pomodori secchiBraised scallops with peas and sun-dried tomatoes

I adore scallops and must admit that I don’t like to interfere by adding too many ingredients that will alter their natural flavour, but I really think this recipe is special. It is so simple and quick to prepare and is very flexible in terms of being great as a dinner for one, or a starter or a main at a dinner party. You can replace the pancetta with chorizo if you prefer, and of course...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Seafood

Main Ingredient
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Petti di pollo con salsa al mascarponeChicken breasts in mascarpone sauce

Chicken is the most common source of meat in the world. Some would say it is a tasteless meat, but they haven’t tried this dish yet! This recipe was one of my favourites as a child – perhaps it’s the simplicity that appealed to me. Mascarpone cheese is a speciality of Lombardy and is used a lot in northern Italian cooking, but if you can’t find it you can replace it with a thick double...

6

Serves

9

Ingredients

Chicken

Main Ingredient
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Farfalle con noci e GorgonzolaPasta salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese

Gorgonzola and walnuts have always been a great combination. I find that they work perfectly with pasta and rocket. Of course you can eat this dish hot, but if you are making it for the following day make sure you eat it at room temperature and mix well before serving. If you prefer, substitute the Gorgonzola with any hard blue cheese of your choice.

4

Serves

7

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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Bucatini with eggs, pancetta and Pecorino RomanoBucatini alla Carbonara

This has to be one of my favourite recipes ever, especially with this shape of pasta. Bucatini is like a thick spaghetti with a hole in the middle that runs from one end to the other. This allows the sauce to really coat the pasta inside and out beautifully. If you are a fan of a simple spaghetti dish, I recommend you try this traditional Roman recipe. You can substitute the pancetta with streaky bacon...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Linguine with tinned tuna, olives and chilliLinguine al tonno

Without doubt this has to be one of my father’s favourite pasta dishes. I remember when I used to live with him it was a must-have dish at least once a week but not always with the same shape of pasta. Please make sure that you never use tuna in brine for this recipe and if you like you can add some capers to the sauce.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Tuna

Main Ingredient
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Rigatoni con asparagi, piselli e funghiRigatoni with peas and porcini mushrooms in a creamy asparagus sauce

For anybody who isn’t a big fan of rich tomato sauces this has to be the perfect pasta recipe if you still want bags of flavour on your plate. This dish is so full of fresh ingredients that even though it’s in a creamy sauce it doesn’t feel heavy. I must admit that every time I make this for a vegetarian they utterly love me – so it must be good.

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Salsicce e lenticchieItalian Sausages with Braised Lentils

Here’s a great alternative to the traditional British bangers and mash. Italian sausages tend to be highly flavoured with herbs and spices, such as fennel, which adds a perfect boost of flavour to this recipe.

4

Serves

12

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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My Mother’s LasagneLasagne di Mamma

This recipe has been handed down in the D’Acampo family for many generations, though I call it ‘Lasagne di Mamma’ because my mother taught it to my sister and me when we were about  11 years old . It's a great tradition that my wife will pass on to our own children. Allowing the dish to rest for a good 10 minutes before serving allows the layers to firm up slightly and become easier to cut neatly.

8

Serves

18

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Orecchiette con cime di rapeOrecchiette with Broccoli, Garlic and Chilli

I grew up eating orecchiette, the typical pasta shape of Puglia. The name translates as 'little ears', which is exactly what the shape resembles. Italian grandmothers traditionally make the pasta by hand, shaping it while having a good old chat. The hollow in the little ears perfectly entraps whatever sauce they are served with.

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Spaghetti with Eggs, Pancetta and Pecorino RomanoSpaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara is the Italian word for 'charcoal burner', so some people believe this dish was first made for charcoal workers in the Apennine mountains. The general view now, though, is that it was an urban dish invented in Rome. Note that cream is not used in an authentic carbonara, so none is included below. Fettuccine or bucatini can be substituted for the more usual spaghetti.

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Pork

Main Ingredient
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Cannelloni al Pesto GenoveseCannelloni with Pesto and Béchamel Sauce

Cannelloni was invented in Sorrento in the early 1900s by a chef from Naples. Today you’ll find a recipe for it in many Italian cookery books, so I had to include a version here. As you'll see, this is a traditional-style cannelloni with a bit of a twist, and I think you will love the result.

4

Serves

20

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Rigatoni all’Arrabbiata con SalmoneRigatoni in Spicy Tomato and Salmon Sauce

Arrabbiata means 'angry' in Italian, and I guess they used it to name this dish because of the heat of the chilli peppers in the sauce. The spicier the better for me, but be careful in Italy when asking for this traditional dish to be extra spicy – they will take you at your word. In this recipe the rigatoni can be replaced with penne or any other pasta shape, if you prefer. Just get cooking –...

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Salmon

Main Ingredient
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Fagioli al rosma rino con pane tostato all’aglioItalian Beans with Rosemary on Garlic Toasts

You might be tempted to think this recipe is just posh beans on toast, but to us Italians it’s an important dish, especially in regions where beans are a staple part of the diet.

10

Ingredients
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Stufato Di ManzoBeef And Wild Mushroom Stew

I have to admit I love any kind of stew. They are so easy to put together and the slow cooking makes all the ingredients taste fantastic. This is a recipe you can prepare 24 hours ahead as it will only enhance the flavours. You can certainly use lamb if you prefer, and if you can't find diced pancetta, a good quality bacon will definitely do the job. I have tried this recipe with chicken or vegetable...

4

Serves

15

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Tagliatelle PrimaveraSpicy Tagliatelle With Peppers, Courgettes, Red Onions And Thyme

I never want to hear from anyone that it's hard to cook for a vegetarian. I know if you are a meat lover it can be annoying but there are some amazing pasta dishes out there that you can cook and this is one of them. Peppers, courgettes and onions are a great combination of vegetables and with a small punch of chilli, make this meal delicious. You can substitute fettuccine instead of tagliatelle if...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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