Taste of Italy

Penne Giardiniera

Serves 6


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


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


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


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)


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!