Panna Cotta

panna cotta

Join resident chef Mario Matassa as he shows us how to make perfect panna cotta with step by step instructions! In Italy, panna cotta, like tiramisù, zabaglione and budino, falls within that category of dessert known as dolci al cucchiaio – desserts that are to be eaten with a spoon. Very little is known about […]

Bruschetta with Tenderstem®, garlic mushrooms and feta

One of the ‘Tenderstem® in Ten’ recipes – ten recipes ready in less than ten minutes – this bruschetta would make a speedy and delicious lunch or supper snack. Image and recipe © Tenderstem® For more recipes, please visit Serves: 4 Prep and cook time: under 10 minutes For the bruschetta: 1 ciabatta loaf […]

Bresaola salad

bresaola - taste of the lakes

Bresaola is air-cured beef fillet, which works well in a salad because the olive oil moistens the cured beef. Mario Matassa shares his recipe here… Bresaola comes from the Valtellina and the Valchiavenna in Lombardy. This is an easy and delicious recipe to try, but be sure to serve your bresaola salad soon after it […]

Paradise cake with hot zabaglione

Paradise cake with hot zabaglione

Mario Matassa shares his paradise cake recipe – a cake that miraculously improves with age and is better if made one or two days in advance… The name ‘paradise cake’ comes from the fact that the cake is as light as air (like paradise). It has a dry, fragile texture, so is usually filled with a […]

Crespelle ripiene (filled crêpes)

Filled crêpes

This dish originates from Emilia-Romagna and is served in restaurants throughout the area. Mario Matassa brings us a recipe for these tasty crêpes These crespelle – crêpes – make a satisfying dish. The filling is flexible – here I have used red radicchio, but you could also use spinach, mushrooms or ham: Serves 4-6 Preparation time 20 minutes plus […]

Pancetta-wrapped prawns on crostini

Pancetta-wrapped prawns on crostini

This delicious appetiser is perfect in its simplicity and requires minimal preparation time. Mario Matassa shares the recipe with us…  For this crostini dish it is important to find plump prawns and to make sure that the pancetta is sliced very thinly as it has to become crisp just as the prawns are cooked: Serves 4 […]



These golden balls of deep-fried dough smothered in honey and decorated with candied peel make a wonderful centrepiece for the festive table, says Mario Matassa Struffoli, from Naples, are prepared and eaten all over Italy at Christmas. Here’s how to make them: Serves 6-8 Preparation time 30 minutes, plus resting Cooking time 45 minutes Ingredients: • 300g […]

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, […]