Recipes

If you’re searching for stunning Italian recipes which will bring the authentic taste of Italy right to the heart of your home, it’s hard to beat the inspirational cooking of Gino D’Acampo, the UK’s most popular Italian chef.

Gino’s Italian recipes are a true homage to the country of his birth  –  this is Italian home-cooking as it should be, using delicious fresh ingredients and with simplicity of preparation at its core.

Gino makes the art of cooking uncomplicated and achievable, allowing you to create mouth-watering Italian cuisine which always packs a huge flavour punch.

Whether you fancy a light snack, or one of Gino’s rich, hearty soups – or perhaps Salsicce e Lenticchie (the Italian version of bangers ‘n’ mash!), you’ll find everything you need right here.

And if you’re seeking the full Italian experience, this is where you’ll find a huge range of ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simply browse through Gino’s recipes and get cooking the real Italian way!

You can search by category, type of dish, main ingredient and by the name of the recipe; your choices include antipasti, starters, soups, mains, sides and desserts – and whatever you choose to make, you’ll find the recipe will be easy to follow and will guarantee you success on a plate.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get into the kitchen and start cooking some fantastico food – Gino style!

Buon Appetito!

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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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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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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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Coppette di anguriaWatermelon Puddings

Watermelon pudding is a traditional dessert from Sicily’s capital, Palermo. It’s usually eaten during the three-day feast of Santa Rosalina in July. It generally includes only three ingredients – watermelon, sugar and cornflour – but the garnishes vary from area to area, ranging from cinnamon, jasmine and pistachios to chocolate chips (which are thought to resemble watermelon seeds). Although...

6

Serves

7

Ingredients

Watermelon

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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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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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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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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Torta Leggera al LimoneSuper-Light Lemon Sponge Cake

There is nothing better than having a cup of tea in the afternoon with a piece of homemade cake and I find a light lemon cake leaves me feeling satisfied, because I’ve had a treat and feel pampered but I don’t feel too full before dinner. I have created many variations of lemon cakes but this one gives you an option of a delicious cake that is incredibly low in fat and calories without compromising...

16

Serves

7

Ingredients

Lemon

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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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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Gelato facile all'amarenaEasy Sour Cherry Ice Cream with Amaretto Sauce

Sour cherries (also known as tart cherries) are smaller and softer than sweet cherries. Although they are sometimes eaten fresh, in Italy – where Morello is the most popular variety – sour cherries are usually used in jams, jellies, sorbets and ice creams. This particular ice cream contains condensed milk, which gives a creamy, smooth texture without churning – a bit of a cheat, but no one need...

6

Serves

6

Ingredients

Cherries

Main Ingredient
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Torta di cioccolato e fragoleChocolate & Fresh Strawberry Cake

Italians from the south don’t bake cakes all that often but my sister Marcella makes this for me whenever I visit and I love it. The combination of moist chocolate cake and fresh strawberries is wonderful and I can never only have one slice; in fact there is always a fight over who gets the last piece (I normally win!) The cake is also fantastico made with raspberries!

8

Serves

11

Ingredients

Chocolate

Main Ingredient
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Torta di mele e rosmarinoApple & Rosemary Cake

As I was filming in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige I discovered that many locals have their own secret recipe for the perfect apple cake. The film crew and I were constantly trying different recipes and this is the one we all agreed is the best. Thank you to chef Stefano from Ristorante Pellegrino for sharing his secret recipe with me – and now with you too.

8

Serves

11

Ingredients

Apples

Main Ingredient
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Banane Al CaramelloSticky Banana and Chocolate Tart

What a fantastic way to end a meal. So far, I don’t think I’ve met anyone, especially children, who doesn’t like this recipe. I promise you that once you’ve made this dish and realise how easy it is to do, it will become a favourite. My tip would be to make sure that you bake the tart in the middle of a preheated oven to avoid the pastry burning. If you have to, you can replace the bananas...

6

Serves

7

Ingredients

Chocolate

Main Ingredient
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Involtini di melanzane ripieni di uva passa, capperi e nociRolled Aubergines With 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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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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CuccioloneChocolate Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two cookies – what more do you need from life?! Kids love cucciolone, and in my experience they really enjoy getting involved in making them too. You can use any cookies you like for cucciolone. Here I used choc chip cookies, which worked very well. I’ve also tried the same recipe with peanut and caramel cookies and it was delicious.

12

Serves

6

Ingredients

Chocolate

Main Ingredient
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Torrone sardoSardinian Nougat

Nougat is sold in the street markets in most towns in Sardinia and the variations on offer are vast. The one I have chosen to feature in this book is the classic and most popular version and, in my opinion, the best. You can store it in an airtight container for up to a week, but don’t put it in the fridge as it will become soft and very sticky.

6

Ingredients
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Frittelle di zucchine con pecorinoCourgette Fritters With Pecorino

Whenever we are in Olbia, a port town on the northeast coast of Sardinia near my home, we order courgette fritters instead of chips. They make a great side dish or snack, but if you include cheese, as I have done here, they make a more substantial first course. Pecorino sardo, a traditional Sardinian hard cheese made from sheep’s milk – is similar to the better-known pecorino romano (which...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Zuppa Di Porri E RucolaLeek, Potato And Rocket Soup

One of my favourite British recipes has to be leek and potato soup. Such a simple recipe but with a unique balance of flavours. I decided to add rocket leaves to this fantastic soup, which adds a peppery flavour to the dish. Do serve this soup with my home-made garlic croutons, you are going to love it! Make sure that the consistency of the soup is not too runny and use fresh leeks for the best results.

6

Serves

10

Ingredients

Potato

Main Ingredient
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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 di sgombro affumicato con arance e finocchiSmoked Mackerel, Orange & Fennel Salad

Oranges go perfectly with smoked mackerel, particularly the red oranges that are so abundant in Sicily. Orange and fennel are a popular combination in Sicilian cuisine, especially in the city of Palermo, and with the addition of this seductively rich-tasting fish this salad becomes the star of any antipasti table.

6

Serves

12

Ingredients

Mackerel

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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Panna Cotta al BaileysBaileys Panna Cotta

Like most great concoctions, this dessert was created by chance when my wife bought a bottle of Baileys liqueur for one of our dinner guests. I thought I’d try it in the panna cotta I was making... All I can say is 'wow'!

6

Serves

6

Ingredients
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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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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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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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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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Tiramisu con ciliegeCherry Tiramisu

If I asked you to name one Italian dessert , I guarantee the vast majority would say tiramisu. However, not everybody likes the coffee that the biscuits are traditionally soaked in, so my version – inspired by a trip to the cherry orchards of Castello, where Ciro and his family grow wonderful fruit – uses liqueur instead. If making this for children, just leave out the booze and cook the cherries...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Cherries

Main Ingredient
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Bruschette con pesto di pomodori secchiBruschette with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Bruschette are eaten all over Italy, and we all know and love the traditional tomato-based recipe. I, for one, certainly grew up on it. This version just adds a little twist to the classic dish and is perfect for entertaining.

4

Serves

13

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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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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Soufflé Di Banane e CioccolatoBanana & Chocolate Soufflé

In our family, the combination of chocolate and banana is a big winner, especially in pancakes or cupcakes, so I created this soufflé just for a change. It's really easy to prepare, and also works well with strawberries or raspberries.

8

Serves

7

Ingredients
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Bombe Di VerdureItalian-Style Spring Rolls

One of my favourite oriental dishes has to be vegetable spring rolls and I make it so often at home that I had to include it in my book. It’s a fantastic dish to prepare when you have parties, because you can fry them in the afternoon and then reheat them in the oven ready for your guests. Ensure the vegetables are not too wet when putting them into the filo pastry, otherwise your spring rolls will...

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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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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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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Bruschetta Di Fave e MentaBroad Beans and Fresh Mint Bruschetta

Bruschetta is definitely one of the main dishes for an Italian antipasti. The freshness of the mint together with the broad beans is a fantastic combination that will fill you up and yet won’t leave you feeling heavy. You can substitute the broad beans with butter beans and if you don’t have fresh mint, use fresh leaf parsley or chives.

4

Serves

8

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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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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Insalata di FagioliniFrench Beans with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Feta and Mozzarella

This recipe (like most of my recipes) happened by accident. I was hosting a barbecue party and a friend of mine challenged me to make something that resembled the colours of the Italian flag. I went to the fridge, got hold of everything green, white and red and came up with this masterpiece. Today, it has become one of my signature dishes among my friends and we still enjoy it at every barbecue party....

8

Ingredients

Cheese

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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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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Focaccia ripienaStuffed Focaccia with Black Olives, Spinach and Mozzarella

I love this bread; it’s almost a meal in itself and could almost pass for a pizza with all the flavours I have put inside. You can be as creative as you like here and add in almost anything but the melted cheese with the strong flavour of the olives works perfectly with the spinach. This focaccia can be eaten warm or at room temperature and a slice will always be welcome in a lunchbox or on a picnic.

6

Serves

10

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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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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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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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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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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Mozzarella SfiziosaMarinated Mozzarella Balls

When you think of Italian cheese, two come to mind immediately – mozzarella and Parmesan. This recipe puts mozzarella front and centre with two different marinades that are guaranteed to impress!

2

Serves

16

Ingredients

Cheese

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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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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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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COPPETTE DI FRAGOLE, MASCARPONE E LIMONCELLOStrawberry & Mascarpone Tarts with Limoncello

For me, limoncello is the scent and flavour of home. Traditionally, this citrus liqueur is made from the best lemons in the world – Sorrento lemons. In Italy it is a hugely popular drink, with many people in the south making their own version. It’s really strong, about 40% proof, so you only need a small amount. Here, limoncello is mixed with creamy Italian cheeses and fresh seasonal strawberries...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Strawberries

Main Ingredient
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PastieraRaspberry & Orange Baked Cheesecake

This is quite an old-fashioned recipe from my home patch, and I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of it when growing up (probably because of all the fruit and lack of chocolate), but now I really appreciate all the flavours and how well they work together. My grandfather, Giovanni, used to make this at Easter and now I carry on the tradition.

8

Serves

11

Ingredients
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Avocado Grigliato Ripieno di Pomodori, Cipollotti, Olive e CapperiGrilled Avocado Stuffed With Tomatoes, Spring Onions, Olives & Capers

This dish is rather retro and I used to make it when I first came to London as a teenager. Make sure that the avocados are perfectly ripe and don’t use buffalo mozzarella, as it will release too much milk during cooking. Grilling the avocado makes it softer and more velvety, but don’t overcook or it will turn mushy. Serve with your favourite salad leaves.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Musse di cioccolato fondente e frutti di boscoDark Chocolate Mousse With Summer Fruits

Some of the best chocolate in Italy comes from the northern city of Turin, the capital of Piedmont, where chocolate-making has been established since the late 18th century. At this time, Italy exported its chocolate to France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland; indeed, it was the famous Turin based firm Cafarel that inspired the Swiss to start making chocolate on a commercial scale. Rich chocolate desserts...

8

Serves

9

Ingredients

Chocolate

Main Ingredient
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Torta di Polenta con Arance e CointreauPolenta Cake with Oranges & Cointreau

This is such a beautiful cake to enjoy in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea. Alternatively, serve it with a dollop of mascarpone on the side as a dessert. My kids, however, won’t thank me for this recipe as they think every dessert should be about chocolate! You can substitute the Cointreau with a citrusy Limoncello if you prefer.

8

Serves

11

Ingredients
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Bruschette con crema d’avocadoAvocado & Smoked Paprika Bruchette

Believe it or not, I tasted my first avocado when I came to England and, contrary to the popularity of ‘tricolore salad’ in Britain, in Italy, this dish just doesn’t exist. On its own, avocado can often be bland but it’s fantastic in salads or with a spicy dish. I wanted to create a recipe with this fruit, as it has an extremely high nutritional value and helps provide many general health benefits....

4

Serves

6

Ingredients
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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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Zucchine e TartufoCourgettes with Truffle and Mint Dressing

This recipe sums up what this book is all about – minimum effort, maximum satisfaction! If you cannot find fresh truffles you can always use truffles preserved in jars or even truffle-flavoured olive oil.

4

Serves

7

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Creamy chocolate rice pot with raspberries and almondsRisotto al Cioccolato

This recipe is dedicated to my son Rocco. On holiday he surprised me by going to get a huge bowl of rice pudding for breakfast. I was chuffed to bits as normally he’s a chocoholic, but he soon ruined the illusion by pulling out six pots of chocolate spread, which he proceeded to stir into the rice. After that, he tucked in, finishing the lot. I was allowed a taste and had to admit that it was very...

2

Serves

7

Ingredients

Chocolate

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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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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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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Ciambelline al limone e vino biancoLemon & White Wine Biscuits

A speciality of northern Italy, these delicious biscuits are often served as an Easter treat. I have tried them with red wine and they work well too. If you have any biscuits left over, store them in an airtight container – they will last up to a week. Serve with a dessert wine.

7

Ingredients

Lemon

Main Ingredient
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Strudel Italiano ClassicoClassic Italian Apple Strudel

This dessert is usually associated with Germany and Austria, but it is also often prepared in the northern regions of Italy. Although the classic strudel is made with apples, it can also be made with other fruit fillings such as cherries, peaches or pears, depending on the time of year and what fruit is in season. A fantastic dessert that can be eaten warm or cold, as a pudding or served at teatime....

6

Serves

11

Ingredients

Apples

Main Ingredient
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Scombro Grigliato Con Semi Di FinocchiettoGrilled Mackerel with Fennel Seeds and Balsamic Vinegar

When you fancy a savoury start to the morning, please try this. I love it: not only is it delicious but you can’t get anything healthier. Mackerel is an oily, coldwater fish known especially for its nutritional benefits, as it’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for brain growth and protection. In fact, the omega-3 content may actually reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s...

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Mackerel

Main Ingredient
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Pesche al forno ripiene di amaretti, noci e uva passaBaked Peaches Stuffed With Amaretti Biscuits, Walnuts & Raisins

The area around Mount Etna yields peaches that taste as though they must have come from the Garden of Eden. Their flavour intensifies with cooking, and in this dish the amaretti biscuits and walnuts give a crumbly, crunchy texture, the raisins add sweetness and the buttery juices flavoured with amaretto, wine and cinnamon are simply irresistible. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Peaches

Main Ingredient
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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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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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Fragole, Amaretto e MandorleStrawberries and Almonds with Amaretto Liqueur and Greek Yoghurt

Strawberries are on sale in supermarkets all year round but more often than not, the flavour isn't good unless they are in season. This recipe is perfect for those months when the berries are lacking their full taste and sweetness, as the Amaretto and honey add that extra something the fruit needs. This is a lovely refreshing dessert that will look really impressive if served in cocktail glasses.

4

Serves

6

Ingredients

Strawberries

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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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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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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Torta Speziata Con Uva E Scorza D'AranciaSpiced Grape Cake With Orange Zest

Grape cake is a rustic Italian bake, which is traditionally made during the grape harvest when the fruits are in abundance. It can be eaten at any time of day – even as a dessert with a glass of Vin Santo. The combination of butter and oil makes this a really light cake and very, very moreish.

10

Serves

12

Ingredients

Grapes

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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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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Bruschetta Fai Da TeBuild Your Own Beef Bruschetta

Half the pleasure of food is being able to enjoy it with your friends and family. I love dishes that can be placed in the centre of the table so that everybody can help themselves. It's the most social form of eating and it means I'm not stuck in the kitchen! This recipes cooks the beef from scratch, but if you have any leftover roast beef from a Sunday roast by all means use that.

4

Serves

15

Ingredients

Beef

Main Ingredient
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Crocchette di Barbabietola e SalmoneBeetroot Rosti with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream

I have to admit that I'm not a great lover of beetroot, probably because I don’t particularly like sweet and sour together. This, however, is one of the few ways that I will eat beetroot because it works beautifully with the smoked salmon. If you are a beetroot virgin – here you go, this is the one to try. Make sure that you cook the rostis until they are very crispy.

4

Serves

11

Ingredients

Salmon

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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Mezzalune Dolci Ripiene Di Ricotta Con Cioccolato, Arancia E NoccioleSweet Pasta filled with Ricotta, Hazelnuts, Orange and Chocolate

We love our pasta in Italy - so much so that we like to eat it for dessert too! These little halfmoon-shaped pasta treats are perfect eaten at the end of a meal or with coffee or a chilled glass of sweet white wine. The combination of nuts, honey and chocolate make them very rich and perfect for festive entertaining.

4

Serves

14

Ingredients

Cheese

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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FrisciolasSaffron & Potato Doughnuts With Vodka & Orange

Carnival celebrations in Sardinia wouldn’t be the same without frisciolas – these delicious little saffron-flavoured doughnuts made from potatoes and dusted with orange-flavoured sugar. You can substitute the orange zest for lemon or lime zest, and amaretto and Cointreau work well instead of vodka if you prefer. Perfect with espresso.

11

Ingredients

Potato

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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Insalata di Finocchi, Arance e Crescione con Vinaigrette al TimoFennel, Orange & Watercress Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette

This zingy first-course salad takes only minutes to prepare yet is full of flavour and goodness. The peppery little leaves of the watercress are bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it one of our greatest natural superfoods, while the fennel and oranges are really rich in vitamin C. Try it with my Asparagus, Ricotta, Chilli and Parmesan Tartlets.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Granita al LimoncelloLimoncello and Lime Granita

If you decide to prepare a fishy starter and want to follow it with a meat dish, the problem that you will find is that during the main course you will still be able to taste the fish. Well, I have the solution – serve my granita just after the starter and it will cleanse your palate ready for the main course. A fantastic, refreshing sorbet that is also great on a hot day with a barbecue.

4

Serves

4

Ingredients

Lemon

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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Torta di Pane al CioccolatoChocolate and Rum Bread & Butter Pudding

To tell you the truth I am such a big fan of bread and butter pudding that I had to create my own version of this great dish. The rum with the chocolate is absolutely divine and with a pinch of cinnamon, it's a marriage made in heaven. My only tip for this recipe is to make sure that it rests into the fridge for at least six hours before cooking – this will give you a fantastic soufflé effect when...

6

Serves

9

Ingredients

Chocolate

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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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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Rotolini di Zucchine Ripieni di Ricotta, Noci e Peperoni GrigliatiCourgette Roll-Ups with Ricotta, Walnuts & Chargrilled Peppers

One of the great things about these little stuffed courgette rolls is that they don't require any cooking and can be prepared ahead. All that's needed is a bottle of chilled Italian wine, some warm, crusty bread on the side and good friends to share them with. You can use hazelnuts instead of walnuts if you prefer.

6

Serves

10

Ingredients

Cheese

Main Ingredient
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ZABAIONE AL LIMONCELLO CON FRAGOLEZabaione with Limoncello & Strawberries

Zabaione is an old Venetian dessert traditionally made with Marsala wine (or sometimes vin santo), but here I’ve given it a southern Italian twist by using limoncello – a lemon-flavoured liqueur that is produced mainly in Campania. It’s made from Amalfi lemons, which are famous for their wonderful sweet flavour and fragrance and exceptionally large size. Raspberries are equally delicious with...

6

Serves

6

Ingredients

Strawberries

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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Zuccotto panettone e MarsalaPanettone, Chocolate and Marsala

This is such an impressive-looking dessert and makes a great end to any kind of meal. You can be as creative as you like in flavouring the cream. In previous experiments I have mixed it with fruit, chocolate bits and pieces of marshmallow, but frankly I prefer this simpler version.

8

Serves

8

Ingredients

Chocolate

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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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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Torta Al CaffeCoffee and Ricotta Tart

Every Italian loves coffee but I have decided to dedicate this recipe to my good friend Peter Andre. I have never met another man that loves coffee more than I do, so this delicious coffee and ricotta tart is especially for those of you who are like us. The creamy ricotta cheese paired with the strong coffee is amazing.

10

Serves

14

Ingredients
View Recipe

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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La Caprese di zia RitaMy Auntie Rita’s Pistachio and Chocolate Cake

Sometimes my Auntie Rita made this cake for me and my sister as an after-school treat. It's great for teatime, perfect as a dessert, and amazing if you have any gluten-free friends coming round.

8

Serves

6

Ingredients

Chocolate

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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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 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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Dolce con pere e bananePear & Banana Sweet Bread

My wife often used to go out and buy small brioches or sweet breads as a snack for the kids, until I created this recipe; now my pear and banana bread is baked at least once every ten days in the D’Acampo household. The process is so quick and easy but the effect is very wow. It is absolutely delicious and never lasts more than twenty-four hours in our house. We’ve eaten it for breakfast, snacks...

6

Serves

10

Ingredients
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Crostatine Piccanti di Asparagi, Ricotta e ParmigianoAsparagus, Ricotta, Chilli and Parmesan Tartlets

Asparagus is one of the great delicacies of the vegetable world, and my asparagus tartlets quite rightly make it centre of attention. It is cooked very briefly, then plunged into cold water to retain its texture and bright green colour. You can use pecorino cheese rather than Parmesan if you like a saltier flavour.

4

Serves

10

Ingredients

Vegetables

Main Ingredient
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Bellini in GelatinaFresh Blackberry and Prosecco Jelly

This has to be the most stylish and yet easy dessert that you will ever make. Not only can you use this dish as a dessert, but you can also serve it as a great aperitif. You can substitute the Prosecco for a good Champagne and if you don’t want to use blackberries, you can use fresh strawberries. If you want to make fresh strawberry purée, just blitz 50g of fresh strawberries with 1 tablespoon of...

6

Serves

6

Ingredients

Blackberries

Main Ingredient
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Zuccotto Al MarsalaChocolate and Hazelnut Ice Cream in a Marsala Sponge Shell

For those of you who have never made an ice cream cake, you will probably think that it would be impossible to tackle at home. That is just not the case - you will be surprised at just how easy it is! This is a traditional northern Italian cake that will satisfy you in every way. You can substitute the Marsala wine with Port or a dessert wine if you prefer, and do buy good quality chocolate as it will...

8

Serves

11

Ingredients

Chocolate

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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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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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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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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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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Zuppa di Cipolle e PancettaOnion, Tomato and Pancetta Soup

By far – and I really mean by far – this has to be my favourite soup recipe in any of my books. If you like onion soup, this is so much more – in fact, I don’t know anyone who has tried it and not loved it. I think you will be amazed at the flavour combinations. Make sure it is always served hot. It will keep refrigerated for 48 hours, but remember, like most soups, it can be reheated only...

4

Serves

9

Ingredients

Pork

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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Zucca al Forno con Peperoncino e SalviaRoasted Squash with Chilli and Sage Crumbs

I don’t about know you, but I sometimes get bored of always having potatoes with my main meal. I created this in order to still have a substantial side dish, but with more exciting colours and flavours. Try this recipe with pumpkin when it is in season and you can use Parmesan cheese instead of Pecorino.

6

Serves

8

Ingredients

Vegetables

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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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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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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Mousse Di Cioccolato Bianco E Pepe NeroWhite Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper & Fresh Mint

I know that this may sound very strange to you, using black pepper in a white chocolate mousse, but believe you me, this is a dessert that all your friends will talk about. This recipe is easy, very tasty and definitely has the 'wow' factor, but make sure you use a good quality chocolate. You can also serve it straight from the freezer like a semi-freddo.

6

Serves

5

Ingredients

Chocolate

Main Ingredient
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