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A delicious summer that’s


24 delicious recipes to share with family and friends


A typical Italian summer lunch involves a variety of hot and cold dishes served together so that people can help themselves to a little of everything. There is always bread and lots of fresh salads and vegetables, and of course a selection of drinks. Italians keep things simple so that they can enjoy time with their guests – we suggest you do the same!

A delicious summer, Italian style Summer cooking in Italy is simple and light and makes good use of the season’s abundant vegetables, salads, fruit and fresh herbs. Around the coasts fresh fish and shellfish abound, and are usually simply grilled or sautéed. And nothing heralds an Italian summer so much as the drift of smoke from an outdoor wood fired grill.

Italians rarely need much encouragement to get together with family and friends and enjoy good food and wine, but the warmer weather of summer brings the extra pleasure of cooking and eating outdoors. Our summer recipe collection is designed to create the flavours of an Italian summer in dishes that are simple to prepare, delicious to eat and perfect for sharing. So gather family and friends together, open a bottle or two and enjoy summer in true Italian style. Remember, if you have a question, would like some more information or perhaps just some advice, we’re here to help. You can email us at or call us on 01858 419554 (Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm).

Buon apetito!


Salute! 2

A summer get together wouldn’t be the same without a range of refreshing drinks. Here are some of our favourite Italian specialities. We stock a full range of soft drinks and coffee in our online shop, and some truly delicious wines and spirits.



1 SGROPPINO Possibly the best summer drink ever! Originating in Venice and traditionally served as a palate cleanser after a meal, we think it's too special to wait until after dinner! Serves 4 600ml lemon sorbet, softened enough to whisk 300ml prosecco, chilled 100ml vodka Whisk all of the ingredients in a large bowl using a balloon whisk until light and frothy. Divide among four chilled champagne flutes and serve immediately.

4 CAFFE SHAKERATO We've all heard of iced tea, but who would have thought iced coffee could be just as refreshing? Make sure you don't skimp on the shaking as that's what will give the drink its creamy texture. One shot of espresso 1 teaspoon sugar or a shot of flavoured syrup for coffee Ice cubes Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Drain it without the ice into a martini or wine glass. Simple!


2 APEROL SPRITZ This classic Italian aperitif never seems to go out of fashion, and for good reason. It's fruity, refreshing and is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Three parts Prosecco Two parts Aperol One part soda water Orange slice Ice cubes Fill a large wine glass or tumbler with plenty of ice and a slice of orange. Pour in the Prosecco, followed by Aperol, then finish off with a splash of soda water.

3 AMARETTO SOUR We've made the classic Amaretto Sour into a light, refreshing long drink by adding soda water, but you could add Prosecco for a more boozy version Serves 6 125ml lemon juice 250ml Amaretto liqueur 100ml sugar syrup (made by boiling together 50g sugar and 50ml water, then leaving to cool) Ice cubes 500ml chilled soda water A handful of mint leaves Mix the lemon juice, Amaretto liqueur and sugar syrup in a jug and give it a good stir. Add a couple of handfuls of ice, the chilled soda water and mint leaves and serve immediately.

Get the summer party started!

One of the simplest of all Italian dishes, the humble bruschetta is also one of the most versatile. Simply toast some sourdough or other crusty bread on a barbecue or griddle pan, then rub it with a crushed garlic clove and drizzle with a generous helping of good quality extra virgin olive oil once it's done. Here are a few ideas of what to put on top.


Dice a few juicy ripe plum tomatoes and mix with some torn basil leaves, a little balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, adding a little salt and pepper if you prefer.


Blend together 400g chickpeas, 8 anchovy fillets,1 small handful of flat leaf parsley, the juice of ½ a lemon, black pepper and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Stir though 1 tablespoon of Bombetta if you like it spicy!

ROASTED PEAR, GORGONZOLA & HONEY Slice a pear (no need to peel), brush with olive oil and roast on the oven until just soft. Spread a little Gorgonzola Dolce onto the bruschetta, lay the pear slices on top and finish with a drizzling of Acacia Honey.


See our recipe on page 29 for how to cure the salmon. Slice the salmon as thinly as you can and serve on the bruschetta with a dollop of mascarpone mixed with some Dijon mustard and some chopped celery.

Bombetta is a distinctly fiery mixture of Calabrian chilli peppers, mushrooms, aubergines, artichokes and sundried tomatoes. Called 'Ordigno' on the front label which means bomb!


Tonno con caponata

TUNA STEAK WITH CAPONATA This dish pairs lightly seared fresh tuna with the Sicilian classic, caponata, a slightly sweet and sour – agrodolce – stewed aubergine dish, especially popular in the island’s capital, Palermo. Any leftover caponata can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and used in salads or with pasta.

Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Cook time 40 minutes 2 medium sized aubergines, cut into 2 cm cubes 8 tbsp extra virgin oil 2 red onions, finely sliced 4 sticks of celery, cut into small cubes 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 150g cherry tomatoes, halved 6 tbsp sugar 4 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 anchovy fillets 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and roughly chopped 50g pitted black olives, halved 150ml tomato passata 4 fresh tuna steaks brushed with a little olive oil Salt and pepper 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat two thirds of the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add the diced aubergines and cook for 8-10 minutes over a low heat, until they are soft. Remove and put to one side. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the onion, celery and garlic for 6-8 minutes, until soft. Add the cherry tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes to let the tomatoes release their juices. Stir in the anchovies, squashing them with the back of a spoon to break them up. Add the tomato passata, capers, olives and aubergines, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature Heat a griddle pan until it is very hot. Sear the tuna fillets for 2 minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper while cooking. Top with a generous spoonful of caponata, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

Carnaroli Rice is one of the great Superfino varieties (meaning that it has a slightly elongated grain), also known as 'the King of Rice'. Its round grains absorb more cooking liquid than other types of rice so it is much more difficult to overcook. This rice is perfect for making risottos, producing a creamy texture whilst the grains remain firm.

KING PRAWN, PEA AND LEMON RISOTTO Serves 4 Prep time 10 minutes Cooking time 25 minutes

When life gives you lemons (and rice)‌

50g butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped 400g carnaroli or vialone nano rice 100ml dry white wine approximately 1.8 litres hot vegetable stock 250g raw king prawns 200g frozen peas Zest and juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes until everything has softened and turned translucent. Add the rice to the pan and stir until all the grains are coated in fat. Then pour in the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Start adding the stock a ladleful or two at a time, stirring the rice until it has absorbed the liquid before adding any more. After about 10 minutes add the prawns, peas, lemon zest and juice, then continue cooking gradually adding more stock. Season with salt and pepper. The risotto is ready when the rice is soft, but still al dente. This should take about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the extra virgin olive oil and finish with a generous sprinkling of black pepper. Serve immediately.

If you think that risotto is only a dish for the winter months, then think again. The addition of lemon really lifts the flavour but without being overpowering and makes it into the perfect summer risotto.

Risotto di mazzancolle e piselli


GRILLED STUFFED CALAMARI Serves 2 Prep time 20 mins Cook time 20 mins

The caper plant flourishes in hot, dry climates.While capers are its flower buds, caper berries are the fruit. Pickled, they are less pungent than capers and their pleasant taste and texture makes them great in salads, sauces and marinades, and as a garnish.

You and your guests will be transported to sunny Sicily with this impressive but easy recipe. The caper berries make an interesting alternative to olives and you could add whatever fresh herbs take your fancy: sage, thyme or dill all work well. 8-10 small baby squid or 4 medium sized squid 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 50g caper berries, stalks removed and roughly chopped 60g sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped 80-100g dried breadcrumbs 1 lemon, zest and juice 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano Salt and pepper

Remove the tentacles from the squid, roughly chop and leave to one side. Wash the squid tubes and keep for later. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and cook the shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, caper berries and chopped tentacles for a couple of minutes over a moderate heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook for another 5 minutes, using a little more olive oil if the mixture seems too dry as it will help to toast the breadcrumbs. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice and the herbs. Season well with salt and pepper. Stuff the squid with the filling using a teaspoon and close the opening with a toothpick. Brush the surface with some oil. You can cook the squid on a barbecue over a medium heat or on a griddle pan for 10-12 minutes, turning on all sides, until the flesh is opaque and slightly charred.


Calamari Ripieni alla Griglia


Skewer the peppers onto the end of a carving fork and hold them over the flame of a gas hob until they have mostly blackened. Put them into a plastic bag and leave for 15-20 minutes. This will help to remove the skins more easily.


TUSCAN BREAD AND TOMATO SALAD The simplicity of this summery salad demands good quality ingredients – it’s worth hunting out tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes.The tomato juices mixed with the oil and vinegar make a flavourpacked dressing to soak into the crispy bread. The dish is best eaten at room temperature rather than chilled.

Serves 6 Prep time 30 minutes Cook time 10 minutes 200g day-old sourdough or other crusty bread 2 yellow peppers 600g ripe tomatoes 150g black olives 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 anchovy fillet, very finely chopped 1 small garlic clove, crushed 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 small bunch of basil, leaves only Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Slice the bread into 1cm cubes, lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Give them a quick mix so they are all covered in oil, then bake them for about 10 minutes until they are crisp and light golden brown. Cut the tomatoes into large cubes and put them in a large serving bowl. Add the olives and sliced red onion. Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and scrape the blackened skin off using a sharp knife. Cut into strips and add to the bowl. Add the crispy bread and tear the basil leaves in as well then give everything a thorough mixing. Whisk together the anchovy fillet and garlic with the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl then pour over the salad. Season with a little salt and pepper and gently toss together. Leave for 15 minutes before serving to give the bread the chance to soak up some of the dressing.



A treat for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea, this is the perfect recipe for when juicy peaches are in season


Muffin alle pesche e amaretti


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.

Makes 12 muffins Prep time 15 minutes Cook time 25-30 minutes

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then stir in the sugar. Add the chopped peach and crushed amaretti and mix again.

240g plain flour 2 tsp baking powder 100g golden caster sugar 50g amaretti biscuits, roughly broken 2 large peach, stoned and cut into small pieces 1 egg 30ml olive oil 30g butter, melted 240ml natural yoghurt 2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur

Whisk together the egg, oil, butter, yogurt and Amaretto liqueur in another bowl using a balloon whisk. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir a few times. Be careful not to overmix as this will make the muffin tough; it's better to have a few lumps left in the batter. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a rack.

There's nothing more summery than a traditional Italian gelato and this nochurn ice cream is the perfect cheat if you haven't got an ice cream maker. There's no need to add any extra sugar as you'll get enough sweetness from the amarena cherries. Makes about 1.5kg of ice cream Prep time 15 minutes plus overnight freezing 500g Amarena cherries with some syrup 120g mascarpone 450g double cream 300g evaporated milk Put the double cream in a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the mascarpone and evaporated milk and whip until the mixture is stiff Cut the cherries into halves and mix with about 5 tablespoons of syrup. Gently stir the cherries and syrup into the cream and mascarpone mixture so you get a swirled effect. Put the mixture into a plastic container and drizzle a little more syrup over the top. Freeze overnight, then take out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Gelato di Amarena e Mascarpone

Amarena cherries from Fabbri are world famous, and the iconic ceramic jar is probably the most famous of the lot. Only the best quality wild cherries are selected by Fabbri and then stoned and candied in amarena cherry syrup. As well as being delicious with vanilla ice-cream, these amarena cherries are great baked into cakes and muffins. Don't waste the syrup either: mix it with Prosecco for a tasty aperitif, or with sparkling water for a refreshing drink.


The trick to this dish is cooking the meat at a high temperature so the salt flavours the outside of the beef but without being overpowering. The crust also helps to keep the moisture in, keeping the meat tender and juicy. The Mostarda is made from candied fruits preserved in a sweet mustardy syrup and is the perfect accompaniment to roast beef.

Roast Beef in Crosta di Sale con Mostarda Cremonese

SALT CRUST ROAST BEEF WITH MOSTARDA CREMONESE Serves 6-8 Prep time 15 minutes Cook time 60 minutes 1.25kg topside of beef 1 kg coarse rock salt 200g Mostarda Cremonese including some syrup 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 200g rocket salad Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8. Put a thick layer of rock salt on the bottom of a roasting tin, about the size of the bottom of the roast. Put the beef on the salt and press down.

Cover top of the beef with the remaining rock salt. Pack any of the salt that falls off onto the sides. Roast in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, depending on how pink you like it in the middle. Take it out and let it stand for 15 minutes. In the meantime put the Mostarda Cremonese into a food processor along with the olive oil and blend until finely chopped. Remove the salt crust from the beef and put the beef onto a chopping board. Slice it as thinly as you can and lay the slices onto a serving platter. Scatter the rocket onto the meat and finish off with the Mostarda dressing.

Coniglio con vino bianco, olive e salvia

RABBIT WITH WHITE WINE, OLIVES AND SAGE Rabbit is a lovely low fat meat with a subtle gamey flavour. You should be able to source wild rabbit from a good local butcher who will also joint it for you. If you prefer, you can use chicken thighs instead.

Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 1¾ hours 2 rabbits, jointed 1 tbsp flour 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 carrot, cut into small cubes 1 small onion, cut into small cubes 1 stick of celery, cut into small cubes 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 10 fresh sage leaves
 250ml white wine
 150g chicken stock
 80g green olives Salt and pepper 8 slices of sourdough or other crusty bread 1 whole garlic clove

Dust the rabbit pieces with the flour. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a wide pan and quickly fry the rabbit until golden brown, seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and leave to one side. Add the vegetables, garlic and sage to the pan and gently fry over a low heat until the vegetables start to soften. Pour in the white wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, rabbit and olives to the pan, cover and simmer for 1½ hours. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Heat a griddle pan and toast the bread on both sides. Rub with the whole garlic clove and serve with the casseroled rabbit.


Salamella are fresh Italian pork sausages from Lombardy. They come in a sealed pack of 4 short, fat, linked sausages and are gluten free.

LAMB CHOPS WITH SALSA VERDE Salsa verde is so quintessentially Italian it would be a shame not to give it a mention. It is traditionally served with Bollito Misto (boiled meats) but goes really well with grilled meat, fish, vegetables or even in panini.

Serves 4 Prep time 20 minutes Cooking time 10 minutes For the salsa verde 50g flat leaf parsley 2½ tablespoons capers, rinsed 6 anchovy fillets 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ½ teaspoon English mustard ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 8 lamb chops Salt and pepper

With a very high meat content, they are more meaty than typical British sausages but can be used in the same way. We sell two types of Italian fresh sausage, Salamella and Luganega; the only difference is the shape. Salamella come in packs of 4 fatter individual sausages whilst Luganega is thinner and wound in a coil like a Cumberland sausage.

Put all the ingredients for the salsa verde into a food processor and blend until everything is finely chopped. Taste for seasoning but be careful not to add too much salt as the anchovies should provide the enough saltiness. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes each side on a barbecue, under the grill or on a griddle pan. Serve with the salsa verde.

CHICKEN, PARMA HAM AND SAUSAGE SKEWERS The summer has arrived and the sun is out (well it might be, it is Great Britain after all!) so it can only mean one thing – it's time to dig out the barbecue. It is really worth the extra effort to hunt down some genuine Italian sausages for these skewers. For an even more impressive serving idea, you could strip down some thicker sprigs of rosemary to use instead of wooden skewers.

Costolette di agnello con salsa verde


Heat the oil and the chopped rosemary leaves in a small saucepan over a low heat. Once the oil and rosemary start to sizzle, remove from heat and leave cool to room temperature. Whisk 5 tablespoons of the rosemary oil with the white wine vinegar and some black pepper then put the chicken pieces in to marinate for an hour. Keep the rest of the oil for later.

Makes 12 skewers Prep time 15 mins + 1 hour marinating time Cook time 15 mins

Spiedini di pollo, prosciutto e salsicce

10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs each cut into 4 pieces 200g thinly sliced prosciutto, cut each slice in half 700g fresh Italian sausage cut into 3cm pieces 24 sage leaves Black pepper 12 wooden skewers soaked overnight in water

Remove chicken pieces from marinade and wrap each small piece of chicken with a slice of prosciutto. Alternate the chicken and sausage on the skewers, placing a sage leaf between them. Each skewer should have 2 pieces of chicken and 2 pieces of sausage to make 12 skewers. Brush the meat with the remaining rosemary oil and carry on basting during cooking so the meat doesn't get dry. Cook on a barbecue over a low heat for about 8 minutes each side, turning frequently. Alternatively, cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/gas mark 5 for about 15 minutes turning once halfway through the cooking time.


PROPER PIZZA If you're a keen baker and have your own sourdough starter (see Alison’s advice opposite), this recipe for pizza dough is definitely worth the wait. Then if you're lucky enough to have your own wood burning pizza oven, it will cook in less than 1½ minutes! Don't worry if you haven't, you can cook it on a hot pizza stone in a normal oven. Makes about 4-6 pizzas Prep time 16-18 hrs Cooking time 1-2 minutes in a pizza oven or 8-10 minutes in a normal oven 325ml lukewarm water 35g sourdough starter or 7g dried yeast sachet 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 500g '0' or '00' flour 10g salt Put the water, sourdough starter and olive oil into a jug and mix well. Put the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the liquid into the centre and knead everything together until you have a smooth, springy dough. This will take about 10 minutes. If you have a food mixer, put all the ingredients in and using the dough hook, mix on a medium high speed until the dough forms a ball, then leave to knead for another 5 minutes.

Grease a large bowl with some olive oil, put the dough in then lightly brush the surface of the dough with more oil. Cover the bowl tightly with cling film and leave at room temperature (about 20°C) for about 16 hours. The dough will more than double in size so make sure you choose a bowl that is big enough. If you are using the dried yeast instead, prepare the dough in the same way as for the sourdough but you only need to leave it to prove for about 1½ hours in a warm place, or until it has doubled in size. When you are ready to make your pizza, dust your worktop with flour, tip out your dough and knead it gently to knock all the air out of it. Divide the dough into 4-6 equal sized pieces, put onto a deep floured baking sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and leave for 1 hour in a warm place. Your dough is now ready for you to roll out.

Some toppings for your pizza… Dollops of 'Nduja and anchovy fillets work well together. Spinach, gorgonzola, pancetta and walnuts – make sure you fry off the pancetta cubes first so they are nice and crispy. Blend some sun dried tomatoes (the dried ones in a bag, not the ones in oil) into tiny pieces, mix with salt and finely chopped rosemary, then sprinkle it over your dough and roll it in before you put the tomato base on. It really adds an extra something to your pizza. (Thanks to Bat and Bottle for that idea!) Fig, Parma Ham and Smoked Scamorza – this works best as a Pizza Bianca (no tomato).


HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER There's something very satisfying about creating and nurturing your own sourdough starter and it's easier to do than you think. Mix about 300g of strong bread flour with 200ml of lukewarm water and half a grated, peeled apple into a large bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warmish place for 24 hours; the kitchen should be fine. The next day you should be able to see bubbles on the surface which means that the fermentation process has started. Discard about half the mixture then add another 150g of flour and enough water to maintain the same consistency. Mix everything thoroughly, cover and leave for another 24 hours. By doing this you are now 'feeding' your starter. Repeat the feeding process (discard half the mixture and topping up with more flour and water) every day for the next 7-10 days by the end of which you should have a lively bubbly looking mixture that smells yeasty and a bit fruity. It's now ready to use, once you made your own sourdough bread or pizza it will be hard for you to buy shop bought again! If you are using your starter every few days, you can leave it at room temperature, feeding it every other day. If not, keep it in an airtight container (I find a Kilner jar is ideal) in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge a couple of days before you want to use it, maybe giving it another feed to help it get bubbling again. Don't worry if the starter has a layer of grey looking liquid on the surface at any time, you can either pour it away or stir it in.

Fire it up! For Italians, cooking over burning wood is part of their culinary heritage. Now cooks in the UK are increasingly discovering the delights of wood-fired cooking, as Danilo Trozzi explains.

When I was growing up in Italy, my family cooked in our wood fired oven all year round. Everything from fish and meat to vegetables – we even baked bread in the oven as it cooled. And of course, there was no better pizza than the one that was smokey and charred a little at the edges!

The art of cooking with wood, smoke and flame Cooking with wood was one of the things I missed most when I first came to the UK. The British love their barbecues, of course,but grilling food over charcoal isn’t quite the same as the glowing embers of real wood, and of course gas-fired appliances are not the same at all! Burning wood – the lick of flame and the kiss of smoke – imparts a flavour to food that is unique and delicious. And of course, it’s a very sociable way to cook. There’s nothing better than inviting

If you would like to learn more about our range of wood-fired pizza ovens, and find out how to see one, simply email us at We’d be delighted to tell you all about them and answer any questions.

friends and family to join you as you cook outside and share the delicious results from your wood-fired oven. I missed this so much that I decided to bring a wood-fired pizza oven over from Italy so that I can cook in my garden. So many friends have told me that they would like one too that we have decided to import the ovens directly from Italy and sell them here in the UK. The makers are well known in Italy for producing top quality ovens, so we are very pleased

to be able to offer them to our customers in the UK. These are robust, authentic, 100% Italian-made ovens that are easy to use and produce amazing results. They cook wonderful pizzas, of course, but with a little practice you can also roast meat and fish, bake breads and so much more…just like my family still do in Italy!


Spaghetti alle vongole

Just a handful of ingredients are needed for this classic, simple dish. It’s best made with spaghettini, which is thinner than normal spaghetti and ideally suited to more liquid sauces and especially seafood sauces.

SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS Serves 2 Prep time 10 minutes plus 1 hour to soak the clams Cook time 15 minutes 500g clams 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy) 100ml dry white wine 200g spaghetti or spaghettini Zest of half a lemon 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

Rinse the clams under cold running water, discarding any that are broken or open. Put them into a large bowl of cold water for at least an hour, changing the water 4 times to remove the sand, then drain. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook it according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta reserving a couple of ladles of the cooking water In the meantime, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and chilli and cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the drained clams, pour in the wine then cover and cook for a couple of minutes until most of the shells have opened. Once the spaghetti is cooked, add it to the pan along with the lemon zest and chopped parsley. Toss everything together adding a little of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems a bit dry. Serve in warm bowls.


Melanzane Sott'Olio

Top and tail the aubergines and remove the skin. Cut them lengthways into slices about 0.5cm thick, then cut them again into long matchstick shapes.

No self-respecting Italian kitchen would be without some form of preserved vegetables and aubergines are an absolute must. Simple to prepare, keep a jar of these on standby for sandwiches, salads or antipasto platters.

This ‘white gold’ coarse rock salt comes from Sicily, a land rich in minerals, where some of the largest salt mines in Europe are found. It’s ideal for grinding, seasoning and even curing. The vinegar is obtained from the natural fermentation of white wine and its mellow flavour is ideal for pickling vegetables,in salad dressings, marinades and sauces.

PICKLED AUBERGINES Makes 3 x 500g jars Prep time 15 mins plus 8 hours resting time Cook time 5 mins 3 kg aubergines 500ml white wine vinegar 1 litre extra virgin olive oil 2 red chilli pepper, sliced 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced Fresh basil (as much as you like) 300g coarse rock salt Fine salt

Put the aubergine pieces in layers into a large colander sprinkling the coarse rock salt between each layer. Finish with a layer of salt then put a plate over the top. The plate needs to be small enough to sit on top of the aubergines. Put a weight on top of the plate ( a saucepan full of water works well or even a couple of tins). Put the weighted colander into a deep baking sheet to catch the water that will come off the aubergines. Leave like this for at least 4-6 hours. Once this time is up, drain away any water and rinse the aubergines quickly under cold running water. Bring 2 litres of water to the boil with the white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Add the aubergines, stir and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain them and leave to cool for a couple of hours spread out on a tea towel. This is a good time to sterilise the jam jars: wash them in hot water and put them onto a clean baking sheet in the oven at 140°C/gas mark 1 for 15–20 minutes. Dry the aubergines as much as possible using a clean tea towel and put into a bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli and basil and mix everything well. Fill the jars up with the aubergines, top up with extra oil if needed and seal. Store in cool, dark place for a couple of weeks before eating to let the flavours develop, but they will keep well unopened for a few months.


Insalata di zucchine marinate, rucola e parmigiano

FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD This full flavoured, fruity salad would make a welcome addition to any barbecue. Citrusy but with a hint of sweetness (we just love the taste of our eucalyptus honey) and heat, try it with our chicken and sausage skewers recipe on page 19. Serves 6 Prep time 15 minutes 3 medium size fennel bulbs 2 oranges Salt and black pepper, to taste 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp Eucalyptus honey ½ tsp Dijon mustard 120g almonds or pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped 2 tbsp chopped black olives

COURGETTE, ROCKET & PARMESAN SALAD A very low fat, healthy salad that's packed with flavour. You can add some mini mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes instead of the parmesan if you want to make it into a full meal. Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Ingredients: Juice of 1 lemon 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 4 small courgettes 80g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped A large handful of rocket 40g parmesan flakes

First make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil along with a little salt and pepper. Finely slice the courgettes into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin if you have one and put into a bowl. Add the dressing, mix and leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Toss through the hazelnuts and rocket leaves, then finish off by sprinkling over the Parmesan flakes. Serve immediately

Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, removing all the white pith. Cut out orange segments over a bowl, making sure you squeeze all the juice out of the remaining skin. Keep the juice to one side. Whisk the honey, mustard and extra virgin olive oil into the reserved orange juice to make the dressing. Wash and trim the fennel bulbs and remove the harder outer layer. Slice the bulbs lengthwise, very thinly (almost shaved). In a large serving bowl toss the fennel, salt, pepper and orange segments together. Add the dressing, chopped olives and almonds to the fennel and orange mixture. Mix everything together gently and serve immediately.


Insalata di finocchio ed arancio


This recipe will really impress your guests with its striking colour and intense flavour and you'll be surprised how easy it is to make.

Salmone marinato alla barbabietola e grappa


BEETROOT AND GRAPPA CURED SALMON Serves 4 Prep time 20 minutes plus 3 days curing time 600g salmon fillet, skin removed 250g raw beetroot 80g caster sugar 10 juniper berries, crushed 50ml grappa 100g coarse salt 1 small bunch of dill, roughly chopped Run your fingers over the salmon fillet and use a pair of tweezers to remove any small bones. Wash the beetroot then coarsely grate it into a bowl (there's no need to peel it). Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the salmon and mix everything well. Find a non-metallic tray to fit the salmon fillet and put half of the beetroot mixture on the bottom. Place the salmon on to it and finish off by covering the surface of the salmon with the rest of the cure. Cover the top with cling film and rest a small baking sheet on top. Weigh this down with a couple of tins. Put the salmon in the fridge and leave for at least 3 days, draining any liquid off it once a day. After 3 days, rinse off the marinade and pat the salmon dry with some kitchen roll. By this time it will be vibrant red in colour but still orange in the centre. It's now ready to thinly slice and eat either in a salad or as a bruschetta topping. (See our bruschetta serving suggestions.)

Grappa is one of those products that divides people: you either love it or hate it… needless to say, we definitely love it! One of our favourites is the deliciously smooth tasting Grappa Agerola, made on the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Grappa is made by distilling the seeds, skin and stalks that are left over after wine-making. Traditionally it’s served in small glasses at the end of a meal as Italians believe that it aids digestion. We like it best when added to an espresso to make a 'Caffe Corretto', literally a corrected coffee!


Torta salata agli asparagi e pecorino

ASPARAGUS AND PECORINO TART Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Cook time 10-15 minutes 320g ready rolled puff pastry 500g asparagus spears 40g Pecorino Romano, grated 100g mascarpone 40g Pecorino Romano, in flakes 3 tablespoons milk Black pepper Preheat the oven to 200⁰C/gas mark 6. Unroll the pastry and cut it into 4 equal sized rectangles. Using a sharp knife score a border on each rectangle, 1cm from the edge.

Cut the woody ends off the asparagus to make them the same length as the pastry rectangles. Blanch them for 1 minutes in boiling water, then run under cold water. Mix the grated Pecorino Romano into the mascarpone and season with plenty of black pepper. There shouldn't be any need to add any salt as the Pecorino will give enough flavour. Spread this mixture onto the base of each pastry rectangle and divide the asparagus amongst the tarts, arranging them lengthways. Brush the borders of the tarts with the milk and cook in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before scattering over the Pecorino flakes and a little more black pepper. Delicious warm or cold.

The British asparagus season is so fleeting, it’s a shame not to take full advantage of it when it comes around. There are other cheeses that you could use, but we think the saltiness of the Pecorino Romano goes perfectly with the robust flavour of the asparagus. This classic pecorino is made with sheep’s milk and is one of the oldest cheeses from Italy. It’s aged for at least 12months to develop its hard texture, which is perfect for grating. Its aromatic, salty flavour makes it a great substitute for Parmigiano in pasta dishes or try shaving it over salads.


Insalata di Riso Nerone e Salmone con Gremolata

This rich, nutty rice is naturally high in fibre, antioxidants, minerals and protein and is perfect for mixing into salads. You can make this into a seafood salad by adding king prawns or even calamari. Perfect for lunchboxes!

Black Rice originates in China but Black Nerone Rice is cultivated today in specific areas of the Po Valley in Piemonte, Italy. A speciality wholemeal rice with a natural black grain, Black Nerone Rice has an intense fragrance and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It cooks in 40 minutes.

BLACK NERONE RICE AND SALMON SALAD WITH GREMOLATA Serves 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes 250g Black Nerone rice 2 fresh salmon fillets 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 small garlic clove 3 strips of lemon zest 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley 100g sun dried tomatoes 80g mixed salad leaves, washed Salt and pepper Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, pour in the rice and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Drain and cool under running water.

In the meantime, put the salmon fillets skin side down onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Put into a preheated oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 and cook for 10-12 minutes. To make the gremolata, chop the garlic, lemon zest and parsley as finely as possible. Mix with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes and put into a serving bowl. Add the cold rice and pour the gremolata dressing over the top. Mix everything together well. Flake the salmon and carefully stir it into the rice mixture. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Just before serving, toss the leaves through the rice salad.

We think it is particularly good with fish, shellfish, rice salads and side dishes.(Cool it quickly under cold running water if using it cold.) According to legend, Chinese farmers once cultivated this rice only for the emperor and his court, where it was appreciated for its nutritional and aphrodisiac properties (and was also known as the forbidden rice!)


Torta di Polenta con limone e lamponi – an Italian twist on the classic British Lemon Drizzle cake, the polenta adds a lovely crunchy texture. As long as you use a gluten free baking powder, this cake is great for coeliacs too.

LEMON AND RASPBERRY POLENTA CAKE Serves 10 Prep time 20 minutes Cooking time 1-1¼ hours For the cake: 300g butter, softened 300g caster sugar 4 large eggs 120g polenta 300g ground almonds 1tsp baking powder zest of 3 lemons and the juice of 1 lemon 100g frozen raspberries For the syrup: 100g caster sugar juice of 3 lemons Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 23cm spring form cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.

Stir in the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder along with the lemon zest and juice, making sure everything is mixed together well. Spoon the mixture on the baking tin, scatter over the raspberries and push them down into the cake mixture. Put the cake tin onto a baking sheet and bake for 1-1¼ hours, covering with foil after about 45 minutes to stop the cake from browning too much. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. To make the syrup, in a small pan bring the lemon juice and caster sugar to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, prick all over on top with a skewer and spoon the hot syrup over it, then leave to cool in the tin.

Polenta Flour is a traditional, coarsely ground, Italian corn flour for creating polenta which is delicious both hot and cold. Simply add to boiling water and stir. Cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Finish it off with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and serve with a rich beef casserole. Alternatively, leave it to cool, cut into slices and cook for a few minutes of a griddle pan. Top with some gorgonzola for a tasty canapé.


Our business and our passion of Italy’s very best We are Danilo and Alisontour ItalySome We regularly from north to southand producers are small-scale Trozzi, Italian chefs who have – their produce often searching for new and rural exciting products which never makes it to the next trained and worked in Italy neveramind outbehind of the only tasteWe fantasticvillage, but have story and nownot live in the UK. country. We regularly tour Italy them. Many of our products aretocompletely from north south searching started our company, Just so for new and exciting products toand thehave UK and exclusive to Just so Italian, Italian, innew 2008 which not only taste fantastic story homemade behind been enjoying supplying our somebut and we also offer ofhave ouraown them.Many of our products are customers with wonderful products, made to traditional Italian completely new to the UK and exclusive to Just so Italian, and productsrecipes.We ever since. hope you will love what you we also offer some of our own homemadeif products, discover at Just so Italian and there ismade to Like all Italians, we understand traditional Italian recipes. the importance of greatyou would like us to look for next something ingredients and we believe that We hope will love what you time some we are inbest Italy please let you us know! Italy produces of the discover in our Just so Italian foods and ingredients in the world – born of centuries of tradition and a passion for quality and taste.

online shop. If there is something you would like us to look for next time we’re in Italy, please let us know!

Although we are primarily Although we are primarily Importe importers of Italian food, we also have an Italian food we also have Delicatessen near to our an Italian Delica warehouse in Market to our warehouse in Market Harbo Harborough, Leicestershire. If Leicestershire. If you you live anywhere near, or live anywhere perhaps just find yourself perhaps just find yourself passing t passing through, then please do pop in and say hello!We then please do pop in and say hello stock everything shown on our everything shown website and more– warm on our web site Italian bread,filled focaccia and warm Italian bread, filled focaccia a pizza al taglio, and of course we serve great Wesee hope taglio. We hope you soon! to see you soon!

Danilo & Alison


Recipes devised by Alison Trozzi Photographed and compiled by Alan Harrison Just so Italian, Units 11-12 Courtyard Workshops, Bath Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EW Š Antonio Giorgi 2016

Just so Italian - Summer Recipes  

A collection of delicious Italian recipes for the summer - cooking together!

Just so Italian - Summer Recipes  

A collection of delicious Italian recipes for the summer - cooking together!