Simply Italian with Michela Chiappa
Welsh-Italian cook and chef Michela Chiappa shares her favourite recipes for classic Italian dishes and meets renowned chefs for their take on why Italian food is so popular and influential. Her authentic but easy to follow recipes are based on lessons learned from her Italian grandparents, but also reflect her contemporary tastes, to bring the best Italian flavours to everyone’s home cooking. Celebrity chefs include: Jamie Oliver, Ruth Rodgers, Theo Randall, Aldo Zilli, Valentina Harris, Gennaro Contaldo, Sam Harris, Florence Knight and Jacob Kenedy.
In this first episode, Michela shows us how easy it is to make delicious fresh pasta at home...without the use of any gadgets. She starts by creating the perfect pasta dough and rolling it by hand to make simple Linguine Primavera, long, thin ribbons of pasta with a Zesty, Spring Vegetable Sauce.
This episode is all about how to create the perfect filled pasta. Michela takes us back to Italy to the stunning Cinque Terre coastline in north east Italy where she learns the dos and don’ts of cooking shellfish with fresh pasta from chef Alessandro Barili. The visit inspires Michela to create the most beautiful Lobster Ravioli with a Light Asparagus and Tomato Sauce for her friends.
In tonight’s programme, she demonstrates how to create the most amazing variations of pasta. Michela kicks off with gorgeous Gnocchi Tricolore served with a Creamy Hazelnut Sauce. She creates dainty red, white and green potato dumplings in honour of her Italian roots. The key to the perfect gnocchi, according to Michela, is to make them small and evenly sized so they stay light and fluffy when cooked.
Michela Chiappa might have been born in the valleys of South Wales but her family’s Italian and she’s grown up learning all there is to know about the country’s cuisine. She heads to northern Italy, where her family come from, to the small Cathedral town of Imola, 25 miles south East of Bologna. Here Michela learns from master-chef Valentino Mercatile how to cook the most decadent pasta dish - Ravioli in Uovo. Inside each of the raviolo is a piped nest of spinach and ricotta cheese which nestles the most important ingredient - an egg yolk. The pasta is cooked to perfection [for no more than two minutes] so that the yolk oozes out of the pasta when cut with knife…served with fresh truffle.