After 14 months I canโ€™t believe this is going to be our last CookAlong ๐ŸŒธ
It all started at the beginning of the lockdown to keep people connected and focused on something positive and uplifting. I remember the very first one I felt extremely nervous trying to set up my phone on top of a pile of books ๐Ÿ“š to keep it still while I was getting the few ingredients available in the shops at the time, will people watch? Is it going to work? So many questions?
Yes It worked โ˜บ๏ธ
The 2/3 people in the first class doubled up very quickly and more people were tuning in week after week.
I wasnโ€™t just talking to my phone, I was talking to everyone behind my camera and I was pretending I could hear everyone interacting (well in my head โ€œseeingโ€ faces behind the camera was the best way to hold a 60 minute class talking away about recipes and food stories).
I did try to avoid dishes using โ€œdangerousโ€ vocabulary like sheets …. but the temptation was too strong I gave in a few times (I guess that was part of the show ๐Ÿ˜…)
The truth is that the CookAlongs were supporting you as much as they supported me, they were the highlight of my week, something to look forward to and to get excited about.
As the lockdown was bringing more isolation and lack of connection, I loved getting ready to cook and to see everyone, family from overseas, family here, friends, neighbours, people that I didnโ€™t even know that became virtual friends ….. every single weekend …. for the past 13 months 
My dear friend Lesley was my number one supporter from the very beginning (from the start of my cookery journey when I was working as a volunteer for MrJO ). 
Lesley was not just a lovely friend, she was also an Italian student and her love for Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น and Italian food was exceptionally profound ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿคโค๏ธ
Sadly she passed away ๐Ÿ’” before I got to see her again and give her a big hug ๐Ÿค—
I am/ we are going to miss her, I know sheโ€™ll be looking down with a big smile telling me how to chop the garlic ๐Ÿง„ or telling me off for my silly jokes I hope you can join me to celebrate her life ๐Ÿ’•
Please if you cannot make the CookAlong can I ask if you could make a small donation to our just giving page in honour of Lesley and everyone else who has been touched by this dreadful illness ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป


Grazie di cuore ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ


Serving 4

500g mussels or clams ( can be fresh or frozen, need to be cleaned)
250g prawns ๐Ÿฆ ( with shell or without), or any shellfish available 
350g risotto ( arborio rice)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved ๐Ÿ…
1 litre vegetable stock 
Garlic ๐Ÿง„ one clove, halved
1 small dried chilli ๐ŸŒถ or half of a small fresh chilli, chopped (without the seeds for less heat)
Handful parsley ๐ŸŒฟ flat leaves 
Olive oil, 2 tbs 
Salt ๐Ÿง‚, 2tsp

A large non stick pan with lid
A chopping knife 
A chopping board 

Thank you for holding the horses ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ and cooking with us ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ


Pour the oil in the pan and put on a medium heat, add the garlic and the chilli. Gently simmer.

Add the mussels (or calms) and cook until they are fully opened. Add the prawns (with or without the shell) and cook for 4/5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the mussels (clams), the prawns, the garlic, the chilli and some of the juice from the pan, and place inside a bowl to rest.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and simmer in a little juice. add the rice and stir it in. The rice will start roasting and it’s important that it doesn’t burn. Season with a teaspoon of salt. Have you stock ready and gradually add it in the pan, keep stirring the rice. Repeat until the rice doubles in size. Add the seafood and all the juice back in the pan, stir everything in, keep cooking on a low heat and let it rest with the lid on for another 4/5 minutes.

Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley ๐ŸŒฟ before serving, Pronto! โ˜บ๏ธ

P.S. You can use calamari instead of prawns and you can add half glass of white wine whilst the rice is roasting.


We love ANTIPASTI ( did you know? ANTI = before PASTI= meals )= Starters

Yes, we love Starters and Christmas is the time where creativity and fresh ingredients go together even more beautifully!

Nonna taught us that Less is More Always but I could not possibly just show one/two Starters ideas …..

PRONTI? Are you ready?



3 Hard Boiled eggs

Tin of Tuna in water

3tbs Mayonnaise

1 pinch of salt

a few anchovies in olive oil

tsp of capers

6 cherry or plum tomatoes

Halve the eggs and gently scoop the yolk out.

Mix the yolk with the mayonnaise, the tuna and the salt until smooth.

Evenly fill the whites with the mix and decorate with the halved tomatoes (hat and nose), the anchovies (beard) and capers (eyes). Your eggs should resemble either a BABBO NATALE (Father Christmas) or a RENNA (Reindeer)



One small fresh baguette, thinly sliced

3/4 pickled beetroots, sliced

100g of goat cheese, sliced

handful of walnuts

balsamic glaze


Place a small slice of goat cheese on the bread, add a slice of beetroot, drizzle some honey and place a walnut on top. Finish with a little drizzle of balsamic glaze

PROSCIUTTO E ASPARAGI (Parma ham and asparagus)


4/6 slices of Parma Ham

10/12 Asparagus, grilled and seasoned

1 large mozzarella, sliced

Lay a slice of Parma ham, place a slice of mozzarella and 2/3 asparagus. Roll the Parma ham and cut in half. Place your asparagus “trees” on a serving dish.

PERE E PROSCIUTTO (Ham and Pears ๐Ÿ) 


1 or 2 pears, sliced

2/4 slices of PROSCIUTTO COTTO, Cooked ham

1 mozzarella, sliced


Lay the Cooked Ham and place a slice mozzarella in the middle. Fold the ham four times like a little parcel, turn it over and cut the parcel in half. Place a couple of slices on top and secure with a toothpick.



One small fresh baguette

3/ figs, sliced with skin on

a handful of spinach leaves

balsamic glaze

Place a little drizzle of balsamic glaze on the bread, place a spinach leaf and a slice of fig on top. Drizzle a little glaze.



You can watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel, hope you will like it and if you do, I hope you will share this dish with your friends ๐Ÿ™‚





Holiday Pasta โ˜€๏ธ

A recipe inspired to my summers as a child spent in beautiful Sardinia โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ

It’s instantly bringing back so many memories that I will treasure forever

This is a fresh and versatile dish that can be eaten hot or cold; ideal for packed lunch your whole family would absolutely LOVE it


BASILICO ๐ŸŒฟ Basil, handful 

AGLIO ๐Ÿง„ Garlic, one clove 

PASSATA ๐ŸฅซPlain Tomato Passata, 200g

OLIO EXTRA VERGINE D’OLIVA ๐ŸŒฟ Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 tbs ๐Ÿฅ„๐Ÿฅ„๐Ÿฅ„๐Ÿฅ„๐Ÿฅ„๐Ÿฅ„

SALE, Salt ๐Ÿฅ„

200g POMODORI ๐Ÿ… tomatoes 

Use a hand blender to blitz the tomatoes 

  1. Chop the garlic ๐Ÿง„ and the basil ๐ŸŒฟ very finely. Pour the olive oil in a large pan and put on a medium heat. Add the garlic ๐Ÿง„ and basil ๐ŸŒฟ and gently simmer. 
  2. Add the blitzed tomatoes, season and mix. 
  3. Add the the passata and stir. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  4. Bring 1.5 litre of water ๐Ÿ’ฆ to a boil, add a tbs of coarse salt ๐Ÿง‚ and add the pasta into the water ๐Ÿ’ฆ. 

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and mix it in with the sauce into a large serving dish.

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and enjoy 

You can watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel, hope you’ll enjoy and if you do, please share this dish with your friends ๐Ÿ™‚




My favourite pasta dish EVER ! This is the dish that I would crave the most and the one that would make me feel at home

A wholesome, fresh and super tasty recipe and an ideal alternative to meat or ricotta ravioli. The potato filling makes the whole dish a perfect main course! This is a recipe that I learned from my Mamma and it took me a long time to “master” the fiddly dumping shape ( although I still don’t think I have completely mastered it)

As a child I loved making this delicious recipe and as well as kneading the dough I would help rolling the filling into small balls and ….. secretly eat them, I can still remember what they tasted like ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€ฆ

In Italian we say:

FARE LA PASTA /FAH-REH LAH PASH-STAH/ = making pasta (verb + feminine noun)

IMPASTARE /EEM-PAH-STAH-REH/ = to knead, verb

PATATE /PAH-TAH-TEH/ = potatoes, feminine noun (plural)

MENTA / MEN – TAH/ = mint, feminine noun (singular)

POMODORO /POH-MOH-DO-ROH/ = tomato , masculine noun (singular)

Serving 6 


For the Ravioli:

Plain Flour Tipo  โ€œ00โ€       250g

Semolina     250g

White Potatoes   5/6 large

Mint, finely chopped    1 bunch

Spring Onions    2

Garlic Cloves   1 whole

Extra Virgin Olive Oil     4 tbsp

Water 1 glass

Salt, large pinch   1

Parmesan, grated     50g

For the Sauce:

Tomato Passata      2 bottles (680g per bottle)

White Onion, half, finely chopped

Basil, finely chopped      1bunch

Olive Oil, 2 tbsp

Salt, 1 pinch

Filling : Peel the potatoes and cut them in small chunks. Boil them until soft, put them into a large bowl and mash them until creamy and smooth.
In a small pan put the olive oil, the spring onion finely chopped and the garlic clove. Put it on the heat until simmering. Take the pan off the heat and the mint. Let the oil cool down.
Take the garlic out and pour the oil in the mash, add the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed.
Pasta: Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together
Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture.
If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting.
You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking. Use a circular cutter (8/10 cm diameter) or a glass of the same size.

Gently press the mould in the pasta to form lots of round shapes. Place about a small ball of filling into each circle and very gently try closing each dumpling in the shape of drop. Please watch the video for the tutorial, hope it will be helpful ๐Ÿ™‚


Make as many ravioli/dumplings as possible, using up all the filling and the dough.
In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish.
Sauce: In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving.
Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!


PEPERONI RIPIENI – Stuffed Peppers

Hot or cold, same day or the next… you are going to LOVE this dish โค๏ธ

This is what us Italians call:

โ€œUN PIATTO COMPLETOโ€ a complete dish โ˜บ๏ธ itโ€™s complete as vegetables and meat are combined together but thereโ€™s also a veggie option for my vegetarian friends ๐ŸŒฑ


(Serving 4/5 ) 

4/6 peppers ( yellow/red or orange)

500g beef mince

One boiled potato ๐Ÿฅ” (medium size)

2 garlic cloves , one garlic clove finely chopped; the other clove left whole

Handful of fresh Parsley ๐ŸŒฑ

Bread crumbs ( handful) 

One egg ๐Ÿฅš 

Olive oil 

Salt, tsp ๐Ÿง‚ย 

Plain Tomato Passata 300g

Dried Oregano ๐ŸŒฟย , tsp

Parmesan or cheddar

Vegetarian option ( Swap mince for Rice)

150g Plain rice ๐Ÿš (boiled) 

Handful of cherry tomatoes (diced)

Basil ๐ŸŒฟ, handful, choppedย 

1 garlic clove ๐Ÿง„, halved

Cappers (optional)


Preheat the oven to 190 degreesย 

In a large bowl mix the mince with chopped garlic, chopped parsley, an egg and a handful of breadcrumbs. Add a tsp of salt ๐Ÿง‚and mix everything in.ย 

Halve the peppers, take the seeds out and place the mince inside the peppers (starting with a tablespoon of mince first and keep filling the peppers until they are completely full). If you have some mince leftover you can make some meatballs and cook them in the sauce.

Place them on a tray and bake them for 20 minutes at 190 degrees 

In a large pan add a couple of tbs of olive oil, add the oregano ๐ŸŒฟ and the whole garlic, put the pan on a medium heat. Add the passata ๐Ÿ…, season with salt and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Take the peppers out the oven, place them in the pan and keep cooking them in the pan, with the lid on.

Sprinkle some cheese and keep cooking until the cheese melts completely 

Veggie option:

Boil 150g of rice.

Mix the tomatoes ๐Ÿ… ,capers, basil ๐ŸŒฟ and the rice together.

Fill the peppers and sprinkle some breadcrumbs ( breadcrumbs will avoid the rice to dry up once in the oven), drizzle with olive oil 

Place the peppers on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes at 190 degrees or until the peppers are softenedย 

You can add some grilled asparagus or courgettes as a fresh side dish to go with it

Buon appetito โ˜บ๏ธ


…. As simple as that โค๏ธ A few fresh ingredients for a quick pasta dish that your whole family will love โ˜บ๏ธ



Or we should also say : Protein, Amino acid, omega 3 , vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K โค๏ธ

How does it sound?


300g Short pasta (Penne, Farfalle,Fusilli)

1 tin of tuna

A punnet of cherry tomatoes 250g ๐Ÿ…(halved or diced)

1 or 2 garlic cloves ๐Ÿง„ (finely chopped)

1 handful of basil, chopped


3/4 tbsp olive oil


Boil some water (1 litre) for the pasta, donโ€™t forget to add a tablespoon of coarse salt in the water. Put the pasta into the water and cook for 10/12 (following the cooking time on the packet but do not overcook it ).

Put the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat ๐Ÿ”ฅ and add the tomatoes ๐Ÿ… and the salt ๐Ÿง‚

Cook for a couple of minutes and add the garlic ๐Ÿง„, stir and add the tuna (make sure itโ€™s drained).

Keep stirring. Cook only for a few minutes (the tomatoes need to stay a bit crunchy). Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the basil ๐ŸŒฟ

The pasta should be ready by now. Drain it and pour the sauce into the pasta. Mix it together ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸปPronto!

You can add a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes ๐Ÿ… some olives or some diced mozzarella โค๏ธ Enjoyโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.even the next day!

Risotto agli Asparagi e Limone

Hands up who loves Risotto?

We doooooo!!! It’s that kind of comfort food, creamy, warm and full of goodness beautiful food that will take you back to Italy, … the best way I would describe it is it’s like receiving a hug on a plate ๐Ÿ™‚ and who doesn’t need a hug right now?

You can use any of your favorite vegetables but today we are using ASPARAGI /AH-SPAH-RAH-JEE/ Asparagus (a great source of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K), with the freshness of a lemon.

Are you ready? PRONTI?

Serving 4 people

Time: 25 minutes


350g Arborio rice

500ml vegetable stock or 500ml hot water (1 gelatine type chicken cube to mix in the water)

white onion, half,  finely chopped

50g butter

150g asparagus, sliced (tips left whole)

zest of one lemon ( do not grate the white pith which is bitter and should not be eaten)

2tbs extra virgin olive oil

handful of rest parsley, finely chopped

fresh parmesan, as much as you like!!!!!


Place the butter in a non-stick pan and melt it on a low/medium heat, add the onion and simmer until golden , add the rice and stir it in. The rice will start roasting and itโ€™s important that it doesnโ€™t burn. Add the asparagus (just the stems, sliced) and mix them with the rice. Add half of the lemon zest and a pinch of salt, stir everything in. Have your stock ready and make sure itโ€™s hot, alternatively melt the gelatine cube in the hot water and mix it thoroughly. Gradually add the stock in the pan and keep stirring the rice, repeat this until you have used all the stock. Add the tips of the asparagus and mix them in.ย The rice is starting to grow and absorbing all the liquid, add more stock if it looks too sticky or turn the heat up if it’s too wet, keep mixing it throughly. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the lemon zest, olive oil and the parsley and put it aside.

The rice will look creamy and will taste โ€œal denteโ€.

Serve it with some fresh parmesan, shavings or grated and pour the olive oil, lemon and parsley dressing. Pronto!

P.S. Rice takes 14/15 minutes to cook, should you have used all of your stock and the rice ย feels still quite hard, I would recommend to add a little water but donโ€™t over cook it! Never cook your rice for longer than 15 minutes !

Ali con i Peperoni e Bruschetta

So much flavour in a very simple dish made with a very few ingredients.

The secret? A very few ingredients ๐Ÿ™‚

We love chicken POLLO /POH-LOH/ but we prefer to eat it on the bone and wings are one of the most flavourful part and fantastic for this delicious recipe.

PEPERONI /PEH-PEH-ROH-NEE/ not to be confused with PEPPERONI the sausage you put on pizza, except when you are in Italy of course, because if you ask for a Pepperoni pizza you’ll get a pizza with peppers on top. Yes! Peppers, beautiful peppers… red, yellow, orange!

So far we only have two ingredients: wings and peppers…..wait! that’s exactly what this dish is called!! The truth is that you don’t need to add anything else a part from 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a good pinch of salt.

To accompany the wings I would recommend a beautiful BRUSCHETTA AL POMODORO …. correctly pronounced /BROO-SKEH-TAH/

A little trick for you to master the best Italian pronunciation is remembering that the letters “C” and “H” together sound the opposite to English, CH = /K/ just like in the word CHIANTI (which I am sure you are familiar with)

So…are you ready? SIETE PRONTI?



A packet of chicken wings (roughly 12 wings, halved as they will cook quicker)

3 peppers, red / yellow / orange (sliced quite chunky)

NOT green peppers 

Olive oil, 4 tbs


One large non-stick pan with lid

A punnet of cherry tomatoes ๐Ÿ… (diced)

Garlic  (finely chopped )

Fresh Basil ๐ŸŒฟ (finely chopped)

Bread ( baguette ๐Ÿฅ–or any type of bread available ๐Ÿž)

Put a large non-stick pan on a medium heat, pour the olive oil in and add the wings. Add the salt, cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and keep cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring every now and again. Add a little more salt if needed. Cook until the wings are golden and the peppers are soft.

In a bowl mix the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. Let it marinade for 5 minutes before serving on slices of bread




Pasta Per Anna

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ciao a  tutti! I hope everyone is well and safe during this difficult time where we need to support and help each other to face probably one of the most challenging times we have ever experienced. Once, I heard my Nonna saying that Food is LOVE made visible and of course, it is also the main ingredient of our meals. I hope today I managed to โ€œhugโ€ you and share some AMORE with this dish ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe is inspired by someone truly amazing, a fighter whose energy and positivity are infectious, she is one of a kind and I wanted to share my support by doing a dish that is full of goodness and nutrients, a combination of healthy ingredients to help her fight the biggest battle. Due to a shortage of food I created this dish using what we found in the supermarkets so you can swap some of the ingredients if you need  to. 
Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect to eat hot or cold ๐Ÿ™‚


150g Kale, finely chopped  (or Greens)

150g Cavolo Nero, finely chopped (if cavolo nero is not available in the shop you can use Spinach)

1 garlic clove, halved ( take the core out to prevent indigestion)

Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (or Rocket)

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of nuts (pine nuts are traditionally used in Pesto but any type of nuts will be just fine)

4 to 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( a good quality)


250g Pasta (Short type like Penne, Fusilli…)

Parmesan Cheese 



    1.Bring 1 to 1.5 lt of water to a boil in a large sauce pan.

    Add a tablespoon of course salt into the water as itโ€™s starting to boil, pour the kale and the cavolo nero in and cook for 5 minutes.

    If you are using spinach, donโ€™t add it into the water as weโ€™ll eat it raw.

  1. Have a hand blender ready. Add to the blender the spinach, basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, olive oil (4 tbs to start with, you can add some more if the paste is too thick), salt and a sprinkle of parmesan. Wiz everything up until the ingredients are all evenly mixed. 
  2. Drain half of the cavolo nero and kale, add it into the blender and mix into the paste.
  3. Keep the rest of the cavolo nero and kale still in the water and add the pasta in. The pasta will cook nicely in the same water absorbing the properties of the vegetables.
  4. Cook your pasta following the time given on the packet but donโ€™t over cook ( we like our pasta to be Al Dente)
  5. Drain the pasta together with the cavolo nero and the kale, place it on a large serving dish, add the green paste and mix.
  6. Sprinkle some parmesan and enjoyโ€ฆ. BUON APPETITO ๐Ÿ™‚