Amore Al Dente

Amore Al Dente

kylie flavell

ABOUT

Kylie Flavell, considered “the next big thing” by Globe and Mail TV critic John Doyle, whips up the perfect mixture of comedy, nostalgia and mouthwatering Italian dishes in this TLN original series. Amore Al Dente: Classic Italian Food Stories, is a unique black and white “silent film” style vignette series blending a classic love story with passion for Italian food.

WATCH

EPISODES

'Patrizio' comes in for an espresso at the bar where 'Kylita' is working and they speak for the first time. She offers to bring him her Chocolate, Orange and Almond Cantucci to try with his coffee. His heart and his stomach is won and he secretly leaves her a love letter underneath his espresso cup.

LOVE AT FIRST BITE

Episode 1
It's their first official date and Patrizio is being gallant by preparing a picnic lunch. Men weren't known for their cooking in those days so this as rustic as it comes: an Open Panino with a bottle of wine. Everything is going well until he tries to kiss Kylita at the end of the meal, confirming her suspicions that he is just like all the rest. But Patrizio picks her flowers, apologizes and wins her back.

PASSION IN THE PARK

Episode 2
Patrizio is invited around for their second date and Kylita is cooking Ragu' alla Bolognese. To her dismay she discovers that this is Patrizio's mother's signature dish AND she only has spaghetti and not tagliatelle, as is tradition for this sauce. They are both nervous as she prepares the dinner but when he tastes the first mouthful he is in raptures, her sauce is a success and his affection for her is even stronger. Flattered that he should consider it better than his mother's Kylita becomes emotional and they kiss for the first time.
BACIO AND THE BOLOGNESE
Episode 3
Patrizio arrives at Kylita's house and he is nervous. Her father is coming for aperitivo and Patrizio is secretly planning to ask the old man for his daughter's hand in marriage. As they wait for her father they make bread for the Crostini with White Bean, Olive and Thyme Tapenade. Once her father arrives, Patrizio tries desperately to explain the situation without ruining the surprise for Kylita but with her father being poor of hearing it seems impossible. Finally when they are all munching on crostini the old man cottons on... but now Patrizio must find the perfect way to propose...

PRE-NUPTIAL NIBBLES

Episode 4
Patrizio arrives and Kylita is happily making Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli not knowing that he has a ring in his pocket and is waiting for the right moment to propose. When her back is turned, he slips the ring inside one of the raw ravioli and waits excitedly for the dinner. But when the pasta is served, Kylita notices that Patrizio hasn't eaten a thing, anxious as he is not to bite into the ring himself, and she bursts into tears offended that he doesn't like her cooking. Only afterwards when they're not speaking does she choke on a raviolo and Patrizio, overjoyed that his plan worked, thumps her vigorously until she spits out the ring. But is she ready to marry so soon?

RING IN THE RAVIOLI

Episode 5
Kylita has accepted Patrizio's proposal and is hurriedly making a wedding cake before they go to the church. She is anxious and flustered, especially when Patrizio arrives and sees her in her wedding dress before the wedding. But he says he can help her with the cake and together they rush to finish a Ricotta Orange and Almond Layer Cake. When they're all ready to leave for the church Patrizio confesses that he's starving and desperately needs to eat before they can get married. Much to her dismay, she is forced to cut into the cake but his compliments over her cooking convince her of her love for him more than ever.

TYING THE KNOT OVER TORTA

Episode 6
Patrizio comes through the door carrying the newly wedded Kylita in his arms and is about to head straight for the bedroom but she insists that they make a Margherita Pizza first, knowing his appetite. Although he is impatient to romance his new bride, he agrees to help her with the dough - resulting in the most passionate pizza-making ever.
MARRIAGE AND THE MARGHERITA
Episode 7
The novelty of being newlyweds has diminished a little and Kylita is starting to feel under-appreciated. When the local postman smells Kylita's Minestrone soup from outside he comes in to compliment her on the aroma. Patrizio becomes insanely jealous and a fight explodes between the three of them. Desperate to stop the fight, Kylita demands that they both sit down and eat a bowl of her soup. It calms their tempers and united in their appreciation of her cooking the two men become firm friends.
MINESTRONE AND THE MAILMAN
Episode 8
Kylita is scrubbing the floor and in a kitchen piled with dishes when Patrizio tells her he is hungry as always. She explodes, crying that there is no romance in their marriage, lamenting that all he does is eat. Taken aback by her outburst Patrizio hurriedly cleans the kitchen and for once prepares dinner for the two of them with the simplest dish he knows: the classic Carbonara. The smell of the dish and his apologies eventually placate his wife and she forgives him.
CALAMITY AND THE CARBONARA
Episode 9
Patrizio comes home tipsy and tired and falls asleep in the kitchen. Kylita finds him and is upset because he'd promised he would take her to the cinema. He is barely conscious and falling into a deep sleep so her solution is to whip up a quick Tiramisu packed with coffee, chocolate, sugar and eggs to wake him up. It works like a charm.
TAKE ME OUT TIRAMISU
Episode 10
Patrizio and Kylita have finally got out of the house for a special romantic evening at the cinema. All is well but as soon as they sit down Patrizio feels that familiar rumbling and confesses to his wife that he's hungry. By now she is always prepared for his voracious appetite and happily unloads the entire contents of her kitchen onto her lap in the cinema to whip up fresh Gnocchi al Pomodoro with a gas burner on the seat next to her. People in the cinema start complaining about the noise and Kylita and Patrizio almost get into an argument but when the pasta is ready the whole cinema is seduced and everyone wants a taste!
THE NIGHT OF THE GNOCCHI
Episode 11
Kylita and Patrizio are at home when the butcher's wife drops in selling her wares. She flirts shamelessly with Patrizio, who is partial to a bit of guanciale (pork's cheek). Kylita is furious and in protest tells the woman to leave their house because she is making Puttanesca, a recipe which has no need for meat! The couple are silent as they eat but on tasting Kylita's pasta Patrizio swears his fidelity to his wife and her cooking
THE BATTLE OF THE BUTCHER'S WIFE
Episode 12
Patrizio is on his way out the door to watch the soccer game when Kylita catches him and demands that he stay and help her with dinner. She's cooking Risotto alla Milanese and so he agrees to keep stirring the rice but while distracted by the game on the radio he risks burning the risotto and infuriating his wife. Finally when his team wins he is so exuberant and affectionate that she forgives his lack of support in the kitchen.
RISOTTO VS THE RADIO
Episode 13
Kylita is in a dream world as she chops onions and is particularly affectionate when Patrizio comes home for dinner. He's concerned about her strange mood but can't work out why she's so giddy. Only when they are eating her Eggplant Pasta Al Forno does he demand that she tell him what's going on. She confesses: she's pregnant.
A BUN IN THE OVEN
Episode 14
Kylita and Patrizio are in bed one night. He's sleeping soundly but she's awake with a pregnant craving for cake. She wakes him up telling him she simply must make Torta della Nonna (Lemon and Pine Nut Pie) in bed right this minute. He grumbles but obliges because she tells him it's what the bambino is asking for. But when she's grating and kneading dough on top of him while he sleeps he realises it is impossible to sleep. Only when he brings the baked cake back to feed his pregnant wife does he once again remember why he loves Kylita and they both gorge on torta in bed.
LET HER EAT CAKE
Episode 15
Kylita is quite pregnant and suddenly her water breaks in the kitchen and Patrizio flies into panic preparing them for the hospital. Just as they are about to leave the inevitable confession arrives: he's hungry and desperately needs to eat before they leave the house. Angry but resourceful, she tells him she's only got time to whip up a prosciutto, basil and mozzarella Piadina. As he suffers through his hunger pains and she through contractions, this quick snack saves the day.
PIADINA IN A PANIC
Episode 16
They arrive home from the hospital carrying twins and Patrizio and Kylita are happier than ever. But with her being away from home for a while the pantry is bare and all they have is stale bread. She quickly decides to make Panzanella, a stale bread salad. But the new parents are not prepared for the stress of crying twin newborns and their relationship looks set for the rocks when finally Patrizio threatens to call his mother for help!
BRINGING HOME BAMBINI
Episode 17
With their new twin babies, life is a little chaotic for Kylita and Patrizio. She is busy making Polpette and trying to calm one child while Patrizio takes care of the other. But when his mother arrives she wants to know why Kylita is not using her recipe for meatballs and the tension rises. Only when the three are sitting down to eat and Kylita's polpette get the seal of approval from the mother-in-law does everybody relax and enjoy the dinner.
MAMMA AND THE MEATBALLS
Episode 18
Kylita and Patrizio are at home nursing the babies when the dreaded landlord Signore Rubinelli arrives. They're late with their rent and he's throwing them out on the street. The couple are panicked and Kylita says she will do anything to change his mind. Patrizio is concerned about the implications of this plea and desperately suggests the landlord stay for dinner, knowing that his wife's Linguine alla Genovese (oasta with green beans, potato and pesto) is sure to win him over.
LINGUINE AND THE LANDLORD
Episode 19
Patrizio comes home to find his wife exceedingly attentive and when she tells him she has a little surprise he's intrigued. She insists that they have dinner first. As she rolls the Suppli (mozzarella-filled risotto balls) he chats away but she seems quite nervous. When they sit down to eat he notes the surprise must be the mozzarella hiding inside the suppli. But she shakes her head and tells him, the surprise is that she's pregnant again.
SUPPLI AND A SURPRISE
Episode 20

RECIPES

Episode 1. Love At First Bite

Orange, Chocolate and Almond Cantucci

 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl cream 250g softened butter with 1 cup brown sugar. Add 3 lightly beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, finely chopped zest and juice of 1 orange, 1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate, 1 cup chopped almonds. Mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with 2 cups plain flour and sift into mixture. Mix until combined.

Divide the mixture and layer on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray in logs the width of your hand. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until firm but not golden. Remove from oven and slice along each log the width of two fingers. Turn each biscuit on its side to crisp the middle and return the tray to oven for no more than 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack if you like your cantucci particularly crisp.

Episode 2. Passion in the Park

Rustic Open Panino

Thickly slice a robust loaf of ciabatta. Drizzle with olive oil and rub half a garlic clove over the bread to flavour. Halve a tomato and rub bread, squeezing out the juice. Roughly chop slices of salami. Top with sea salt and oregano.

Episode 3. Bacio and the Bolognese

Ragu’ alla Bolognese

In one pan brown off 100g pancetta and 500g minced beef. In another pan cook 1 diced onion, 3/4 cup diced celery, 3/4 cup diced carrots in a splash of olive oil until soft and transparent. Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and cook only for a minute so as not to brown. Add vegetables to the meat and pour over 3 cups of tomato passata or crushed tinned tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, a pinch of oregano, 1/4 cup red wine, a generous pinch of sea salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 bay leaves. Cook on a high heat to for 5 minutes before reducing to a simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened. If it is drying out add more tinned tomatoes or even a little vegetable stock. Serve with tagliatelle pasta.

Episode 4. Pre-Nuptial Nibbles

Crostini with White Bean, Olive and Thyme Tapenade

Wholemeal Bread

Dissolve 7g dry yeast in 400ml warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed vitamin C, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 teaspoons brown sugar. Make a well in 300g of wholemeal bread flour and 150g white bread flour in a large bowl and pour in water. Mix together with your hands until combined, knead briefly and then cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down dough and knead on a lightly floured surface with your hands lubricated with olive oil to work the oil through the bread only until elastic and smooth. I also work in a good pinch of salt at this stage because adding it at the beginning can deactivate the yeast. Form a round shape on a baking tray and place in a very hot preheated oven at 250degrees.

For an extra crisp crust you can spray a large oven-proof bowl with water and cover the loaf that way the steam will create an outer layer that is crunchy and golden. After about 15-20 minutes remove the bowl and turn the temperature down to 200degrees and cook for a further 20 minutes. The loaf should be cooked when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can spray the outside with extra water (or even the walls of your oven) to create steam and further crisp the crust. Even though it’s tempting, do not cut into the bread straight away – leave to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

 

Tapenade

In a bowl or large mortar, combine one 450g can of white cannellini beans, a generous pinch of sea salt, a grind of black pepper, a tablespoon of dried thyme, 1/2 cup of chopped black olives (not the Spanish kind that are tough and lacking in moisture) and a splash of olive oil by grind with a pestle. You want to leave the mixture quite coarse for texture so there’s no need to grind to a paste. Add more olive oil to amalgamate the ingredients if necessary. Taste to adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Toast slices of the bread by heating a pan with a little olive and rubbing each slice with a garlic clove before frying on each side. Spread the tapenade on thickly and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

Episode  5. Ring in the Ravioli

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Mix 200g of pasta flour with 2 eggs until it forms a ball. Knead and cover with cling film to rest in the fridge for an hour.

Remove stalks from a large bunch of silverbeet or spinach. Place leaves in a large pan with just enough water so they don’t stick, cover with a lid and heat on low until leaves completely reduce down. Drain all water and pat spinach dry with paper towel to remove all excess liquid.

In a bowl mix the cooked spinach, 250g ricotta, 1 egg, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 pinch sea salt, 1 pinch of pepper.

Break off half of the pasta dough and cover the remaining dough until needed so it doesn’t dry out. Work quickly rolling dough as thin as possible. If you have any semolina you can use this to ‘flour’ your workspace and rolling pin as it’s lighter. Try to add as little extra flour as possible so your ravioli are light and delicate.

Spoon out teaspoons of the ricotta mixture in a line and brush the perimeter of each ricotta blob with a wet pastry brush to make sure it is still moist enough to stick to the top layer. Then lay a long strip of pasta over the top and press each raviolo individually working from one side to the other so you push out all air bubbles as you go. Cut out your ravioli allowing enough space for a border of pasta around the filling so it doesn’t spill out.

Gently lower your ravioli into a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your pasta but generally 10-15 minutes is enough. The easiest way is to take one out and nibble the edge.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a shallow pan with a handful of sage leaves. Toss the ravioli in the butter for 2 minutes to coat and then serve immediately topped with grated Parmesan.

Episode 6. Tying the Knot Over Torta 

Ricotta, Almond and Orange Layer Cake.

In a large bowl mix 250g mascarpone, 500g ricotta, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon almond essence, zest and juice of one orange.

Pour a quarter of the mixture into a separate bowl for the filling and mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips (and if desired candied fruit and nuts).

Smother 1 layer of sponge or pan di spagna with the choc chip filling, place a second layer of sponge on top and frost the outside with the mascarpone mixture. Allow it to set in the fridge for at least an hour. Decorate with white chocolate curls of a bar of white chocolate (tempered) and 200g of flaked almonds.

Episode  7. Marriage and the Margherita 

Margherita Pizza

Dissolve 7g dry yeast in 400ml warm water and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. In a bowl mix 400g of bread flour with 3 teaspoons of brown sugar. Pour liquid into a well in the flour and work together into a ball of dough with your hands. Knead until smooth and elastic then cover and leave to rest for an hour.

Divide the dough into portions, so that the dough you’re not rolling out remains covered while you work. Roll each pizza as thin as possible with a little flour to keep it from sticking. Add a good tablespoon of finely chopped garlic to 1 cup of tomato passata. Cover each pizza with the sauce and top with torn mozzarella (about 200g in total or according to taste). Drizzle with olive oil.

In order to get a crispy base without a pizza oven make sure your oven is as hot as possible (250degrees) and while you’re rolling out the dough, keep a tray inside heating up. Just when your pizza is ready to remove the tray and sprinkle a little sea salt onto the area where the pizza will go. Carefully place your pizza on top and hear it sizzle as it touch the hot baking tray. Place straight into the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until mozzarella is just melted. Top with fresh basil.

Episode 8. Minestrone and the Mailman

Minestrone Soup

Fry 1 whole sausage of chopped chorizo and 1 diced onion in a drizzle of olive oil. Add 2 sticks of chopped celery, 3 chopped carrots, a small head of chopped broccoli and 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Cook on medium heat until almost cooked through. Add 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock, 1 cup of tomato passata or crushed tinned tomatoes, a good pinch of sea salt, a grind of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of basil pesto, 2 bay leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. Add roughly 250g of pasta (any kind that will scoop up the broth well) and cook on high heat until ‘al dente’ or just with a bit of bite. The pasta will be sitting in liquid so be careful of overcooking until it is too soft and soggy.

Serve immediately with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped flat leaf parsley.

Episode 9. Calamity and the Carbonara

Carbonara

Fry off 200g of guanciale or pancetta in a little olive oil. Meanwhile put your spaghetti on to boil. In a small bowl mix 100g grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese with 2 egg yolks and one whole egg. Season with salt and pepper. Into the pan of now crispy pancetta add a dash of white wine. Before draining your pasta, take a full ladle of pasta water and add it to the pan. Drain the pasta, turn the heat off the saucepan and pour the pasta in, followed by the egg and cheese mixture. Mix quickly and serve immediately with extra pepper and grated cheese.

Episode 10. Take-Me-Out Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Separate 4 eggs and whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks. Mix the yolks with 150g of castor sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste and then stir in 500g of mascarpone. Fold in the egg whites carefully so as not to lose any of the air whipped into them.

Soak one packet of Savoiardi biscuits in 3 cups of strong espresso at room temperature.

Layer in a large dish or individual glasses alternating between the mascarpone mixture, a sprinkling of cacao and crumbled coffee-soaked biscuits. Top with grated dark chocolate and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Episode 11. The Night of the Gnocchi

Gnocchi al Pomodoro

Boil 1kg of peeled potatoes in salted water until soft. Mash in a bowl and add sea salt, 2 egg yolks and 100g flour. Mix until it forms a dough and then knead on a floured surface. Roll into long thin logs and then cut evenly so each piece is the same size. Flour a fork and roll each of the gnocchi gently across it leave ridges that will grab the sauce. Cook gnocchi in a pot of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes or until they taste cooked. Heat 1 litre of tomato passata with a little olive oil and a clove of finely chopped garlic. Add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are bitter. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the gnocchi in the sauce and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Episode 12. The Battle of the Butcher’s Wife

Puttanesca

Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic. Fry off on medium heat with a little olive oil and a teaspoon of chili. Add 1/4 cup of anchovies and cook on a low heat until they almost dissolve into a liquid. Add 1 litre of tomato passata or crushed tinned tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer. Add 1/2 cup of chopped olives, 1/4 cup of capers, a splash of red wine, a tablespoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Leave to thicken while your spaghetti cooks.

Toss the cooked pasta through the sauce and serve with lots of finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Italians wouldn’t have you serve cheese on top of something with fish in it but seeing as the anchovies are such a subtle flavor in the background I think you can be forgiven for topping with a little grated Parmesan.

Episode 13. Risotto Vs the Radio

Risotto Milanese

Fry off 1 diced onion in a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until soft and transparent. Meanwhile bring 1 litre of water to boil and dissolve 2 chicken stock cubes. Add one packet or as many strands of saffron as you can afford to the pot – I like mine rich and golden in colour so I tend to add a lot. Add roughly 350g of arborio rice to your pan and coat in the butter and olive oil, cooking on medium heat until you see that each grain of rice has a little transparent ring around the outside. Add a good splash of dry white wine and cook, stirring, until it has absorbed. Then ladle a small amount of the saffron stock over the rice so that it is just covered and stir over a medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice has become creamy and soft. If you run out of stock and the rice is still quite hard on the tooth, you can always just ladle hot water until the rice is cooked.

Once the risotto is off the heat, stir through a generous amount of grated Grana Padano cheese and season with salt and pepper. Depending on how buttery you like your risotto, you can add more butter during the cooking of the rice, however, arborio rice is by nature quite creamy so you may not find it necessary.

Episode 14. A Bun in the Oven

Eggplant & Pancetta Pasta al Forno

Chop 1 very large eggplant into even cubes, coat completely with olive oil in a pan and fry on a high heat. When they are almost cooked, add 200g of pancetta cubed and continue frying until all is crispy and golden. Dice a red onion and add the pan, cooking until soft and adding 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic in the last 2 minutes. Add 1 litre of tomato passata or tinned chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and a splash of red wine. Leave on a low heat to thicken and reduce. Meanwhile put about 400g of penne pasta on to boil in a pot of salted water. When the pasta is cooked, drain and mix through the eggplant and pancetta sauce. In oven-proof dish layer the pasta out, top with torn mozzarella and add another layer of both on top. Place in a 180degree oven and for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and crisped up on top.

Serve with fresh torn basil and grated Parmesan if you like things super cheesy.

Episode 15. Let Her Eat Cake

Torta della Nonna (Lemon and Pine Nut Pie)

Mix 400g of plain flour with 100g of icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Chop 250g of butter into cubes and work the butter into the flour with your fingertips. When it resembles breadcrumbs, add 2 egg yolks and a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest and mix well. Roll the dough into a ball, cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk 3 eggs, then add 150ml of cream, the juice and zest of one lemon, a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste, 140g of castor sugar, 80g of plain flour and 1/2 cup of pinenuts.

Take your pastry dough from the fridge, knead it gently for a few minutes and then roll out it out very thin. Grease a 9-inch tart pan and press the pastry into the edges. I don’t par-bake my pastry so you need to make sure it’s very thin so it will cook through. For best results, I also place the tart shell in the fridge to firm up the butter before filling it with the lemon and pinenut cream. Once you pour the filling into the tart shell, layer the remaining pastry over the top and pinch the edges of the pastry lid to join them with the pastry case. Top with extra pinenuts and cook at 180degrees for about 45 minutes. You may need to cover the top with alfoil in the last 20 minutes to protect the top from burning.

When cooled, dust with icing sugar.

Episode 16. Piadina in a Panic

Prosciutto Piadina

Take a thin flour wrap and layer with torn prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with another flour wrap. Heat a fry pan with a little olive oil and cook the piadina on both sides until golden brown and oozing with melted cheese.

Episode 17. Bringing Home Bambini

Panzanella Salad

Coarsely chop 3 large tomatoes, half a red onion, 1/2 a cup of olives and 2 balls of mozzarella. Add a can of tuna, a pinch of oregano, sea salt, a dash of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Chop half a loaf of stale ciabatta into cubes and fry in a pan with olive oil and a clove of garlic to flavour and discard later. When toasted add to the salad bowl with some fresh basil leaves and toss everything together.

Episode 18. Mamma and the Meatballs

Polpette (Meatballs)

In a pan fry off 1 diced onion in olive oil until soft. Take 1/3 of the onion out for the polpette and leave the rest for the sauce in the pan. Add 1 litre of tomato passata or tinned crushed tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of sugar, a splash of red wine, a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and simmer on a low heat.

In a bowl mix the onion you set aside with 300g of minced beef, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley or basil, 2 eggs beaten, a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of oregano. Roll into balls and place in the pan of tomato sauce to cook for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve in a bowl topped with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. You could serve these with a side of polenta but they are served in Rome just plain and simple – no pasta, just succulent meat balls in a rich tomato sauce.

Episode 19. Linguine and the Landlord

Linguine alla Genovese (Pasta with beans, potatoes and pesto)

Peel and chop 3 small potatoes into cubes. Put them on to boil in a big bot of water that can accommodate the pasta later on.

While they’re cooking, in a mortar grind a pinch of sea salt, 1/2 a cup of fresh basil, 1 garlic clove diced, a splash of olive oil, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan and 1/4 cup of pinenuts with a pestle until amalgamated but still slightly textured.

Chop about 120g of green beans in half and add them to the pot of boiling potatoes, along with 500g of linguine. When the pasta is cooked, drain the potatoes, beans and pasta and throw everything back into the hot pot with the heat off and add the pesto. Mix thoroughly and don’t worry if some of the potato breaks up – that’s how it’s supposed to be. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and extra Parmesan cheese.

Episode 20. Suppli and a Surprise

Suppli (Mozzarella-Filled Risotto Balls)

Finely dice 1 onion and fry until soft in a pan with olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add 400g of arborio rice, coating in the oil and cooking until the outside of each grain becomes transparent. In another pot heat 600ml of vegetable stock and gradually ladle it into the rice, stirring constantly until all the stock is absorbed. Once the stock is finished, pour 500ml of tomato passata into the pot to warm and gradually ladle again into the pan of rice until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper a lay the risotto out in a large pan to cool.

When the rice is room temperature, mix in 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, a handful of chopped basil and 2 beaten eggs. Roll balls in your hands and push a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each ball, squeezing the rice compact and tight around the cheese so it doesn’t escape when cooking.

Beat about 3 eggs in a bowl and dip each ball in this egg mixture before rolling it a bowl of 2 cups of fine breadcrumbs. You can shallow fry these balls in a hot pan with a little olive oil, which requires careful turning to do all sides or deep fry them for a minute or two, which is the easiest, if you have the means. Whichever way you choose, be sure to serve them immediately for perfect oozing mozzarella results.