Bread, Focaccia and Pizza


Traditional Pizza

Sage and Honey Focaccia

Traditional Pizza recipe

For the dough:

4 cups (500g) Strong flour 
1 tsp (5g) salt
1 1/2 tbsp (10g) fresh yeast
1,4 cups (325ml) warm water

For the Tomato sauce:

1 cup of tomato pelati (tinned tomatoes for pasta)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove
1 pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

For the toppings:

1 ball of mozzarella
2 tbsp Parmigiano cheese
Fresh Basil leaves

(Parma ham and arugula)
1 ball of Mozzarella
2 tbsp Parmigiano cheese
4 slices of Parma ham
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Making the pizzas:

1. First make the dough. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the yeast mixture, mixing well until you obtain a dough. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Cover with a cloth or cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

2. Preheat the oven to (430F) 220 degrees centigrades.

3. T
ake the dough, knock it back, then divide into two pieces, cover each with a cloth and leave to rest in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.

4. Combine all the ingredients for the tomato sauce on a blender or mixer and mix until is all blended.

Meanwhile prepare the toppings. For the Margherita. Roughly chop the mozzarella.

6. S
prinkle some flour onto a clean work surface and with your fingers spread each piece of dough into a roughly round shape with a border, make the dough as thin as you can but be careful not to tear it. Sprinkle some semolina or flour onto 2 large flat baking trays and place the pizza bases on them.

7. D
rizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over each base. On one, spread the tomato sauce evenly over, sprinkle with parmesan, add a few basil leaves over and top with mozzarella.

8. O
n the other base, arrange mozzarella and parmesan all over, top with Parma ham.

9. P
lace both pizzas into the hot oven and bake for 8 - 10 minutes.

10. I
n the meantime, toss the arugula in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic.

Remove the pizzas from the oven, top the Parma ham pizza with rocket and serve immediately.


Ragù alla Bolognese

1/2 lbs (250g) pork minced meat
1/2 lbs (250g) veal minced meat
3,5Oz (100g) pancetta
1 garlic clove sliced
1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot 
1 chopped celery stick
1 cup red wine
1 cup whole milk
1 cup beef stock
4,5Oz (130g) tomato paste (One little tube)
1 bayleaf
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper

1. Start melting the butter with the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan.

2. Add the carrots with pancetta first and let them get crispy, then the onions, celery and garlic.

3. Cook until golden color and start combining the meats. When the meats are cooked, add the bayleaf, wine, stock, tomato paste and let cook in medium heat until reduces 1/3. If you have time, slow cook for two hours and the meats will melt. Add more wine or water if necessary.

4.  Combine the milk and parsley and let it cook for another 15 minutes in low heat. 

5. Add the salt and pepper.


Chicken with pancetta served with lemon and capers sauce

1/2 cup pancetta , smoked, chopped

1 lb chicken breast in fillets

salt and pepper

Olive oil

tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons wine 

tablespoons butter , softened but not melted

1/2 cup of capers

2 tablespoons parsley , fresh, chopped


  • Cook pancetta and capers in a skillet until brown.
  •  Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the large frying pan until very hot, add olive oil and immediately add chicken breast. Cook on high heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet.
  • Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and maybe 2 more tablespoons white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove from heat, add softened butter (but not melted) - to create a creamy sauce. Add chopped pancetta. Add back chicken. Top with chopped parsley. Serve with fried red peppers or potatoes.

Lemon Risotto with roasted tomatoes and almonds

1L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 tbsp butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 cup lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped, plus lemon zest to serve
½ cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

For the roasted tomatoes:
1 lbs cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup chopped almonds
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the tomatoes:

1. On a big baking dish mix the tomatoes, almonds, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Bake for 30 minutes on a 450f (230c).

Making the risotto:

1. Melt a good knob of butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the onions and garlic very gently in the butter for a minute or two.

2. Turn the flame up to medium. Add the rice and let it "toast" for a couple of minutes, then add a glass of wine. Let it to evaporate.

3. Now add a ladleful of broth to the rice. Simmer over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Add another ladleful of broth and repeat for a total of 18 minutes or so. The rice is done when it's still al dente but without any chalkiness in the center.

4. When the rice is almost done, add the lemon juice and let it evaporate—only partially, like me, you like your risotto quite loose.

5. Off heat, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and, if you like, another knob of butter to the rice. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds or so, until the cheese and butter have melted and the rice has developed a nice, creamy texture.

6. Combine the roasted tomatoes and mint and mix very gently.

7. Serve immediately.

Southern Italian Lemon cake with mascarpone and basil

1 big lemon lemon 

1 cup (250ml) olive oil , plus extra for greasing 

4 large eggs 

1 1/4 cup (250g) caster sugar 

2 1/2 cups (250g) ground almonds 

3/4 cup (100g) fine polenta 


1/2 cup (150g) runny honey 

1 big lemon 


1 cup (250g) mascarpone 

2 teaspoons icing sugar 

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

Few Basil or mint leaves

1. Place the whole lemon into a large deep saucepan, cover with cold water and a small heatproof plate (to keep the lemon submerged). Place the pan on a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the lemon is soft. (You might need to top up with more water, if the water evaporates too much.) 

2. Take the lemon out and set aside to cool down, then cut it into quarters removing seeds. Place the lemon into a blender or food processor, then mix it with the olive oil until smooth. 

3. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Grease and line a deep 8 inches (20cm) cake tin or small individual cake tins.

4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl, then whisk in the lemon and oil purée, the ground almonds and polenta. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin(s), spread out evenly and bake for 40 to 45 minutes (20 minutes if you’re making individual cakes), or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 

5. Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup: place the honey in a small pan on a medium-low heat and squeeze in the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the honey has melted. (You may need to add a splash of hot water if it looks too thick.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

6. To make the mascarpone cream, beat the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla together, then gently fold in the yoghurt and set aside. 

7. Tip the almonds into a small, dry frying pan and toast until golden. (Keep an eye on them, they burn easy).

8. To assemble the cake, place the sponge in the middle of the plate. Spoon the mascarpone cream on top making peaks and waves, then drizzle over the syrup and garnish with the toasted almonds, lemon zest and basil leaves.

Sausage bruschetta


  • 3 Italian sausages
  • 1/2 lbs (250g) of stracchino cheese or grated mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fennel seeds, chilli peppers or any other spice or herbs you would like to add
  • 1 baguette, sliced

    1. Take sausages out of casing. 

    2. On a small bowl combine the sausages, cheese and spices/herbs.

    3. Spread the meat on the top of the bread.

    4. Bake for 20/30 minutes or until bread is crunchy. Temperature 450f (230C). This recipe is also fabulous if using a barbecue grill or pizza oven.

    5. You can top the sausages with peppers, more cheese and any green vegetables.

The Best Roasted Chicken Ever

For the chicken:

- 1 big chicken
- 10 slices of bacon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or red wine
- 1 garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp dry thyme or 3 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp or 1 tbsp crushed red peppers (1 tsp for mild, 1 tbsp for hot)

For the stuffing

- 2 Italian sausages
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup dried figs, dried plums or raisins 
- 1 cup walnuts or chestnuts
- 1 cup Asiago, Parmigiano or smoked provolone, grated 
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup red or white wine
- 1 tbsp butter, olive oil or pork lard

For the potatoes

- 5 big yellow potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Fresh rosemary
- Oregano (dried or fresh)
-1 cup of Kalamata olives (optional)
- Salt and pepper

For the chicken:

1. On a small bowl, mix vigorously the oil, balsamic, garlic, honey, thyme, black pepper and pepper flakes. (Do not add salt if you are marinating, adding salt will result on a dry chicken).

2. Marinate the chicken overnight. (If using lemon marinate MAX 3 hours).

For the stuffing:

1. On a big casserole,cook the sausages with onion and garlic on the butter. Let it brown.

2. When sausage is cooked combine wine and let reduce. It will tale about 10 - 15 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat and combine all other ingredients.

4. Add the stuffing inside the bird.

Roasting the chicken: (You can do it using a normal oven or a barbecue)

1. Pre heat your oven on the maximum temperature as possible.

2. Start roasting the bird uncovered at 450F (230C) for 15 min. Place bacon strips on the top of the bird.

3. Reduce temperature for 350F (180C) for another 20 min.

4. Reduce temperature for 300F (150C) for another 20 min.

5. If chicken and bacon starts to be to brown, cover with a foil.

6. You have two ways to check if the chicken is cooked. One way is to cut with a knife a piece of the breast and check inside, It needs to be white not pink. More civilized way to check is with a thermometer.  Insert the thermometer inside the breast and the temperature needs to be 165F(75C) or more. This was you are 100% safe.

Roasting the potatoes:

1. Mix all ingredients and combine on a big baking dish. Possible the baking dish you will serve the chicken.

2. Bake the potatoes. Can be together with the chicken  on the same oven. But not on the same pan.

3. Add drippings of the chichen everytime you turn down temperatures. This is the secret for the potatoes to taste delicious!


Pasta and Fagioli


3 15 oz cans pinto or cannellini beans
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
oz pancetta or approx 5 slices bacon, diced
2 tbsp minced FRESH rosemary, thyme, basil or parsley
cups beef broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 ¾ cups small pasta shells, uncooked
Salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Parmigiano cheese

  • In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and pancetta and saute until onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and herbs and saute about 4 additional minutes. Then combine the beans, the broth and cook for five minutes.
  • Transfer the pot ingredients to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender and that will be easier.
  • Add the pureed mixture back into the pot.  Add salt, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, remove from heat.
  • Taste, and add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve, topped with red pepper flakes and cheese, if you like.


Limoncello and Strawberry Charlotte

24-26 ladyfingers

For the strawberry mousse:
½ lb (500 g) strawberries
¼ cup + 2 tbsp (75g) sugar
2 packets powdered Gelatine (14g)
1 ¼ cup (300 ml) whipping cream (30%)

For the limoncello syrup :
5 oz (150 ml) limoncello
1 lemon
¼ cup + 2 tbsp (75g) sugar

1 – Make the strawberry puree.

1.1 - Wash the strawberries and cut the tails off. Set aside about 15-16 strawberries (the best looking ones), and puree the rest in a blender. If needed, strain the puree through a fine meshed strainer to discard the seeds. 

1.2 - In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat up about a third of the strawberry puree with half of the sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons/75g) and the gelatine. Boil for 1 minute, whisking continuously (to avoid lumps), until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. 

1.3 - Remove from the heat, whisk in the rest of the strawberry puree, and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

2 – Make the soaking syrup. 

2.1 - In a small saucepan, heat up the limoncello with the sugar and the zest of the lemon. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

2.2 - Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

3 – Make the strawberry mousse 

3.1 - In a large mixing bowl, whip up the cream to a firm peak. Gently fold in the strawberry puree, using a spatula. Do not overmix: stop mixing where the mousse is evenly pink in color and no lumps are visible, but the mixture still has to feel airy and foamy. 

4 – Assemble the cake.

4.1 - Line an 8” round spring form cake pan with parchment paper (bottom and rims). Take 4 strawberries and cut them in halves. Take a ladyfinger and soak the flat side (the bottom) in the syrup. Place it against the side of the pan, rounded-side facing out and flat side (soaked side) facing inward.

4.2 - Repeat and arrange the ladyfingers all around the sides of pan, nice and snug to avoid gaps. You should use about 18-19 ladyfingers to fill the entire rim. 

4.3 - Place the rest of the ladyfingers in one layer at the bottom of the pan, (rounded-side facing down, flat-size facing up), nice and snug to avoid gaps. Pour half of the strawberry mousse inside the “ladyfinger mold” (this will also help keep the ladyfingers in place). Place the strawberry halves in one layer on top of the mousse. Ladle the rest of the mousse on top, and smooth it out with your spatula.

4.4 - Place the Charlotte cake in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours (preferably longer). You should be able to slice the cake for serving, so the mousse has to set until relatively firm (but not too rubbery). 

5 – To serve. 

When the Charlotte is chilled and set, carefully remove it from the springform mold, peel off the parchment paper from the edges and place on a serving tray. If chilled enough, the cake should be easy to work with. If it is too soft (and starts to fall), give it more time in the fridge before you try to unmold it. 

Optional: when on the serving tray, you can tie a ribbon around the Charlotte cake. Not too tight, but just enough to keep the cake together in case it has to sit at room temperature too long before slicing. Right before serving, slice the rest of the strawberries (10) in halves, and place them on top of the cake to decorate

Amaretto Cheese Cake


For the crust:

  • 11 oz/ 300 g amaretti cookies
  • 1/2 cup / 130 g buttermelted

    For the pie:
  • 18 oz/ 500 g cream cheese or ricotta or both mixed
  • 7/8 cup/ 200 ml heavy whipping creamcold*
  • 11 oz/ 300 g white chocolatemelted
  • oz/ 60 g amaretti cookiescrushed
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract or 2 tbsp Amaretto liquor
  • Extra amaretti cookies for decoration
  • White chocolate shaves for decoration

  • For the crust:

    • Crush the cookies to fine crumbs using a food processor.
    • Place the crumbs and the melted butter in a bowl. Stir very well until combined.
    • Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 7 inch/ 18 cm springform pan lined with a circle of parchment paper. Leave the pan in the fridge while preparing the filling.

      For the filling:

      • In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese or ricotta, whipping cream, amaretto or almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer first at a lower speed and then at high speed until the mixture becomes thick and fluffy.
      • Start adding from the melted chocolate, 1-2 tbs at a time, while beating with the mixer at the lowest speed. When all the chocolate is absorbed, beat 15-20 seconds at high speed.
      • Using a rubber spatula fold the cookie crumbs into the filling.
      • Pour the filling into the crust. Smoothe the top with a spatula. Cover with cling film/ aluminium foil and let cool for until it gets firm. It will take minimum four hours if making a big pie. If using individual serving dishes the process will be quicker, about one hour.
      • Decorate with amaretti cookies and white chocolate, thinly cut into shaves with a large knife.
      • Use a wet knife to slice the cheesecake as it will be very creamy.