Baccalà alla napoletana

Salt cod Neapolitan-style

Baccalà alla napoletana (salt cod) is a hugely popular dish in Italy, and is a popular Christmas Eve dish among Italians. Mario Matassa shows us how it’s done… Baccalà is sold everywhere in Italy in the run-up to Christmas. It is important to buy it in advance as it needs to be soaked in water for […]

The Italian Christmas

Stuffed guinea fowl

Mario Matassa reveals the secrets of Italian festive food. Though Christmas Day provides the climax of the occasion, the Christmas Eve feast provides the perfect opportunity to warm up for the big event Photos by Mario Matassa Festive holidays are always special occasions in Italy, and none more so than Christmas. In a country where […]

Canestrelli biscuits


This recipe for canestrelli biscuits makes it easy to create this tasty Ligurian treat – Mario Matassa shares his technique to show us how its done… These biscotti would traditionally have been twice cooked (bis-cotti), resulting in a crisp exterior and crumbly interior. Canestrelli can be bought today, fresh from the ovens, in any good […]

Swordfish with capers, pine nuts and lemon


This delicious swordfish dish (pesce spada alla ligure) from Mario Matassa is a treat for seafood fans, and a real taste of northern Italy Throughout Liguria, capers, pine nuts and lemons are used to flavour and garnish dishes – as in this swordfish dish. It’s always best to use unwaxed, organic lemons: Serves 4 Preparation time […]

Anchovies alla Vernazza


If you like anchovies (alici in Italian), try this recipe from Mario Matassa, which would also work well with sardines… Anchovies are the most commonly served fish in the Cinque Terre, often simply marinated in lemon juice as an antipasto – this is a great way to serve them: Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time […]

Trofie with leeks, tomatoes and basil

trofie pasta

Mario Matassa’s recipe for trofie with leeks, tomatoes and basil is a delicious taste of Liguria – known in Italian as trofie alle ligure The area around Cinque Terre, Liguria has a long-standing tradition of dried pasta. Trenette, long, thin linguine-like pasta, are served with pesto, potatoes and green beans. Equally popular today are trofie, […]

Tastes of Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Mario Matassa brings us some of the best culinary delights from this beautiful stretch of the Ligurian coast – including some exquisite ways to cook fresh fish… With its tiny bays, little ports and multicoloured houses, the Cinque Terre is a landscape image that stands among the finest Italy has to offer. This little stretch […]

Five foodie reasons to visit Rome

We could give you 100 reasons to visit Italy’s capital, but here we’re focusing on just the gastronomic highlights – here are our foodie tips for Rome! Images by iStock and iStockfood       1 One of the best ways to start the day in Rome, as it is in the rest of Italy, is […]

Penne with mushrooms and peas

penne with mushrooms

Mario Matassa’s simple and satisfying mushroom pasta dish is the perfect solution for a tasty midweek meal. Try it tonight! In Italy porcini mushrooms reign supreme, but this pasta dish can also be made using other varieties, depending on what you have in store (just skip the soaking step if using fresh rather than dried). […]

Crispy chilli wild trout fillets

trout recipe

This ‘trota‘ dish has a spicy kick. Mario Matassa used wild trout here, but with the addition of more chilli pepper, farmed trout also works well In this trout recipe, which has been adapted from a method for cooking trout in the Apennine mountains above Parma, the fish is coated in flour and chilli pepper, then […]