Mary Berry classics: Beef stew and chocolate cheesecake

Posted on: 13 May 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Hello food lovers. I have another book from the legendary Mary Berry for you this week. I was only 10 years old when Mary published her first recipe book, at the very start of my cooking career.

I love that Mary Berry’s recipes are very approachable, using everyday ingredients just with an imaginative twist to make the meal extra special. It is reminiscent of the first meals I would make, home-made pasta and gnocchi using fresh vegetables to create different flavours with the sauce. Mary has written more than...

Food for friends: Halibut and pears in port

Posted on: 22 Apr 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Hello, readers. I moved to the UK 40 years ago and food has changed a lot since then. While I spend a lot of time telling you all about the food from my childhood, I don’t often realise the impact British produce has had on how I eat.

This week’s book Traditional Pub Grub is all about recipes for classic British food. It has a mouth-watering selection of classic comfort food. I’ve chosen a main course and a pudding, crisp-fried, herbed halibut with shoestring potatoes and pears in port with juniper and ginger. Even in these British dishes, you can see global twists with sesame seeds, port and ginger.

Hearty healthy dishes: Macaroni cheese and cheesecake

Posted on: 1 Apr 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Ciao from Abruzzo! It’s wonderful to be home in Italy for the weekend, where I am hosting a cookery masterclass and taking my guests around the local markets and vineyards. We are staying in the beautiful town of Pescara with views out to the Adriatic Sea. There really is no better setting to sit and enjoy Italian food in.

One pound meals: Two quick and cheap chicken recipes

Posted on: 18 Mar 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Here we are firmly into spring and the daffodils are in full bloom in our gardens. It’s a busy month for me.

I’m now gearing up for the first of my new cookery courses back home in the beautiful Abruzzo region which take place at the end of the month.

Filling and delicious: Venison steak and creamy puy lentils recipes

Posted on: 25 Feb 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Hello readers and happy Saturday. As you know, I never shy away from a challenge. Last year I gave up sugar and now I’m trying to eat vegan for the month.

Please find beow a selection of Aldo's favourite recipes.

Easter Sunday's recipe - Roasted Lamb with Parmesan topping

1 leg of lamb (1.3kg)

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 glass of white wine

150g flour

3 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of rosemary

100g grated Parmesan

4 large eggs

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley



Remove the bone from the leg of lamb (or ask your butcher to do so), and cut into even chunks. Season with salt and pepper then coat the meat with flour and pat off any excess.


In a hot pan, brown off the meat in the olive oil until browned on each side, then add the rosemary, garlic and pour in the wine.


Reduce the heat and leave to simmer on a medium/low heat for about an hour or so until the meat is tender. Check the seasoning at this point.


When the meat is tender, remove the garlic and rosemary, then beat the eggs with the parmesan and parsley and pour this mix over the meat and stir in.


Place into a pre-heated oven at 190-200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes until the eggs have risen and browned on top.

salmon carpaccio with fennel

Serves 4
Preparation time: 40 minutes (plus chilling)
500 g sashimi/sushi-grade salmon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring
grated zest of 1 lime

Wrap the salmon in clingfilm and freeze it for
20–30 minutes until the fish is partly frozen; this
will make it easier to slice. Remove the salmon from the freezer
and unwrap. Using a sharp knife or a slicer, cut across the grain
into thin slices. Arrange the salmon slices around a large platter.
Whisk together the oil, lime juice, soy sauce, dill and coriander.
Season to taste. Toss the fennel slices in some of the dressing
and place in the middle of the salmon. Arrange the cucumber
slices over the salmon, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds,
spring onions and lime zest and drizzle with more dressing. Leave
in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Spelt with clams & mussels

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus soaking)
Cooking time: 15 minutes
150 g mussels
190 g clams
3 fat garlic cloves
120 ml olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely
4 bay leaves
120 ml good white wine
400 g baby plum tomatoes, halved
30 g fresh basil leaves
30 g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely
350 g pearled spelt
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle


Scrub the mussels clean and remove the beards and any
barnacles. Soak the clams in salted water for
30 minutes to remove the grit, then wash in clean water and
drain. Discard any that have opened.
Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on a clean surface and crush
with the blade of a heavy knife. Put the oil in a large non-stick
frying pan and add the garlic, chilli and bay leaves. Cook for 1
minute over a low heat then remove the garlic cloves. Add the
clams and mussels, cover and cook for 2–3 minutes. Once the
shellfish have opened, pour in the wine and simmer for 3 minutes
over a medium heat. (Discard any shellfish that remain closed.)
Add the tomatoes, basil and parsley and cook for a further 5
minutes over a low heat. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the
spelt to the pan and return to a rolling boil. Stir and cook for 10
minutes until cooked. Drain.
Add the spelt to the mussels and clams, return to the heat and
continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning,
drizzle with a little virgin olive oil and serve immediately

Thinly sliced venison fillet with bean salad

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely
1 shallot, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole venison fillet (about 350 g)
Bean salad
400 g can chickpeas, washed and
400 g can kidney beans, washed
and drained
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 220˚C/fan oven 200˚C/Gas Mark 7.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan over medium heat and
stir in the rosemary, shallot and lime juice. Season and set to one
side. Leave to infuse for about 30 minutes.
Heat an ovenproof frying pan, then brush the meat
all over with a little of the olive oil and add it to the pan. Sear on
all sides then roast in the oven for
8–10 minutes. Leave to rest for 3 minutes.
In a bowl mix together the chickpeas, kidney beans, onion and
tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and season.
Serve the venison sliced, with the sauce poured over and the
bean salad on the side.