Posted on: 2 Oct 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Welcome to the weekend readers. If you are anything like me you have probably overspent this summer and are now thinking about pinching the pennies.

The summer holidays can be one of the hardest times for families, as children don’t receive a meal at school and need to be fed at home, putting additional strain on an already tight budget. This is why I loved this week’s book: Tiny Budget Cooking by Limahl Asmall. It is more than a cookery book, it’s a handbook.

Eat to the beet: Beetroot recipes for summer

Eat to the beet: Beetroot recipes for summer

Posted on: 13 Aug 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

ADD vivid colour and flavour to mealtimes with tasty beetroot creations.

Beet-a-ganouch, sweet chilli beetroot, sumac, yoghurt and toasted pine nuts

With added zest: Summer recipes with citrus

With added zest: Summer recipes with citrus

Posted on: 24 Jun 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Happy Saturday readers. I’m waxing lyrical over lemons and limes today. Citrus fruits and lemons in particular are such a large part of Italian cooking. We use them in salad dressings, to marinade meat and to finish fish and pasta dishes. I have even used lemon rind in my espresso, squeezing in the fragrant oil when I gave up sugar.

Part of my morning ritual is to have a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice which keeps me invigorated and ready for the day ahead!

Chicken tray bake and apple crumbles recipes

Chicken tray bake and apple crumbles recipes

Posted on: 17 Jun 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Classic comfort food: TREAT dad to a hearty, home-cooked meal on Father’s Day. These dishes are quick and easy.

Classic carrot cake recipe by Aldo Zilli

Classic carrot cake recipe by Aldo Zilli

Posted on: 10 Jun 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

Hello readers. One of the foods Italy is most well-known for, apart from pizza and pasta, is its bread. Obviously pizza has its very own special dough but for bread Italy has so many great choices such as focaccia, ciabatta and pane casareccio.

It was my father who taught me how to bake. He built a wood-burning stove in the garden and would use it to bake bread. I will never forget the smell!

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.