Vero Italiano: la salumeria

salumeria cured Italian meat

The third instalment in Mario Matassa’s new series uncovering the secrets of Italian food involves a trip to the deli counter to discover exactly why cured meats are so cherished by the Italian nation Photos by Mario Matassa Years back, driving through customs, it was common practice for Italian immigrants returning from their annual summer […]

Bucatini with Pancetta, Tomato and Chilli

Bucatini with pancetta, tomato and chilli

Mario Matassa’s take on bucatini all’amatriciana is a classic from Amatrice in Lazio. Puritans argue that the dish must be made using guanciale (cured pork cheek), but pancetta makes a fine substitute Serves 4 Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 1-12 minutes Ingredients: • 320g bucatini pasta • 150g pancetta, diced • 1 small onion, peeled, finely […]

Lardo and Chestnut Antipasto

Lardo and chestnut antipasto

Here’s a fantastic idea for lardo, a cured meat that works well in cooking – Mario Matassa’s recipe is a wonderful combination of flavours Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time none Ingredients: • 12 small slices of rye bread • 12 slices of lardo • 16 pre-cooked chestnuts • a sprig of rosemary, finely chopped • […]

Mixed Grains, Vegetable and Parma Ham Salad

Parma ham salad

Mario Matassa’s gorgeous, colourful salad is a great way to use Parma ham without overpowering its delicate texture and flavour Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 5-7 minutes Ingredients: • 250g mixed grains, including rice, spelt and pearl barley • 2 sweet yellow peppers, diced • 4 small young courgettes, diced • 2 untreated oranges • […]

Speck and Robiola Bites

Speck bites recipe

Intensely flavoured speck works  well with soft cheeses, and this recipe from Mario Matassa helps to demonstrate its great versatility Makes about 20 Preparation time 15 minutes plus rising Cooking time 10 minutes for the dough Ingredients: •50g plain flour • 125ml tepid water • 12g fresh yeast • ½ tsp salt For the topping • 8-10 slices of […]