DESSERTS Baked Stuffed Peaches with Crushed Meringue

Baked Stuffed Peaches with Crushed Meringue

Peaches are one of those fruits that continue to ripen when you get them home. Leave them in a windowsill to catch the sun. For this recipe you can substitute the crushed meringue nests with crushed ginger nuts or amaretti biscuits. Serve hot or cold.

DESSERTS Vanilla Mascarpone Cake

Vanilla Mascarpone Cake (Torta al Mascarpone)

When you add mascarpone to a cake it gives it a rich creamy texture. It’s a heavier cake than a pound cake and it benefits from being left for a day before eating. Serve it simply dusted with icing sugar, with sour cream and fresh raspberries or any other fresh or poached berry fruit. A chef in a small restaurant near Milan gave us this recipe years ago, written on a small shard of blue-lined note paper.

MAIN COURSES Pasta with Morel, Marsala and Cream recipe

Pasta with Morels, Marsala and Cream

Morels have a rich woody flavour and they are a decadent treat. Like truffle, they should be used simply. Use fresh or dried pasta for this recipe though we prefer the silky texture of fresh – you’ll find it in the chilled section of most supermarkets. Check the pack for timings, fresh pasta takes about 6 minutes to cook and dried pasta between 7-12 minutes depending on the type you choose.

MAIN COURSES Stuffed Courgettes or Zucchini with Pork and Beef (Verdure Ripiene)

Stuffed Courgettes or Zucchini with Pork and Beef (Verdure Ripiene)

This is a great way of getting children to eat a vegetable: if you serve the courgette or zucchini ‘boats’ at room temperature they can even eat them with their hands. The traditional recipe below uses pork and beef but you can use one or the other. If you can find the round courgettes use those, they look very pretty on the plate or use half courgettes and peppers.

MAIN COURSES Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe recipe

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

A Roman speciality – ‘cacio’ is the word used locally for Pecorino, the cheese used in this classic Italian recipe – cacio e pepe is effectively a dish of spaghetti with cheese and black pepper. Those simple ingredients don’t make it any less special – if anything this must surely be one of the dishes that proves why Italian cuisine is up there with master cuisines such as French and Chinese.

SAUCES, OILS, DRESSINGS + DIPS Italian Tomato Salsa - Tomato Sauce recipe

La Salsa – An Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce

We’ve taken to making a batch of tomato sauce on a Sunday when we have time – we store it in glass jars, in a plastic tub or in freezer bags ready for action. It lasts a few days in the fridge or you can freeze it in portion sizes. We use a spoon or two to make a quick bruschetta with a slice of cheese or Parma or Serrano ham on Monday before dinner. On Tuesday we toss it through cooked tagliatelle with a few basil leaves or we make Spaghetti All’Arrabiata by adding a healthy pinch of dried chilli flakes before we reheat the sauce. On Wednesday we add the rest of the sauce to fried minced beef with a tin of kidney beans to make quick enchiladas.

COOKING TIPS Nutty Toasted Breadcrumbs recipe

Cooking Tip | How to Use Leftover Bread to Make Nutty Breadcrumbs

When you have bread left over make our nutty breadcrumbs which you can toss through pasta, use to top a macaroni cheese and sprinkle over vegetables. You can also use panko if you don’t want to use leftover bread. It’s an economical way of making a dish more substantial and adding texture using a food that would otherwise be thrown out.

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