Taste of Italy

He’s the godfather in the kitchen when it comes to sublime pasta and rustic Italian dishes. These are some of Antonio Carluccio's favourite tastes of home….

Penne Giardiniera

Serves 6

Ingredients

Spinach balls

100 g breadcrumbs – dry
2 eggs
½ garlic clove very finely chopped
50g finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Nutmeg – very small pinch
300 g cooked spinach
Olive oil for shallow frying

Pasta

120g butter
30g red chillies finely chopped
3 medium courgettes finely grated
4  garlic cloves finely chopped
250g Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
750g Largest Penne

Method

Make 42 mini spinach balls as follows:

Cook the spinach in slightly salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool. Squeeze out all the water. Cut the spinach coarsely with a knife (in order to create a well rounded finished spinach ball).

In a bowl place the chopped spinach, garlic, eggs, nutmeg and mix well, add in the Parmesan then half the breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Roll and fry one ball. Taste and check consistency. Add a little more breadcrumbs or seasoning if needed.  Fry until golden. Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water – this may take from 10 to 15 minutes –  drain and keep warm. While the pasta is cooking heat the butter in a pan, add the garlic and chillies. Then add the grated courgettes and pan fry for about a minute or two. Add the cooked pasta into the pan and toss with the grated cheese.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in a pasta bowl with spinach balls sprinkled over the top.


Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

300g fresh Borlotti beans
good quality olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 basil leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
1 litre veg stock
1 red chilli, chopped (use as much as you like)
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
150g ditaloni pasta
Carluccio’s Sardinian EV Olive Oil (to drizzle at end)

Method

Place the beans into a large pan & cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook gently for 1 hour. When soft, drain and puree half the beans in a blender, then mix together with the rest of the whole beans.

Gently fry the onions in a saucepan until soft. Add the basil, rosemary, stock, chilli, tomato paste and beans. Season to taste. Bring to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.

We like to leave it to rest for about half an hour as it allows the flavours to develop and mingle. Re-heat it if you like your soup piping-hot! Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil when serving and enjoy with a glass of our Botromagno Gravina). Buonissimo!

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