Chicken cacciatora seems to be reasonably well known in Britain because it’s the classic pre-packed dish you find in Italian food ranges in supermarkets (which, to be honest, never taste of much). When you get the real deal cooked at home with love and passion it’s a totally different experience. It’s a simple combination of flavours that just works really well. Cacciatore means ‘hunter’, so this is obviously the type of food that a hunter’s wife cooks for her fella when he gets home from a hard morning spent in the countryside. This is also a great dish for big parties, as it looks after itself in the oven.
This is a super-tasty cannelloni, and I've avoided making the frustrating, painstaking béchamel sauce and given you a much tastier and simpler version. All you need to make sure of is that you fill the cannelloni well with the ricotta and spinach mix, so it's not all full of air. And the lovely thing about it is that it goes crispy and golden on top, but remains soft and moist at the bottom. This is a bit of naughty one but you'll love it!
This is such a simple, clean and delicious risotto. When buying asparagus, have a look around because there are lots of varieties available now - purple-tipped, white, thin straggly Japanese, wild Spanish and dozens of good locally grown English. In this recipe, the stalks are finely sliced to an inch below the tips - this will give you lots of flavour from the stalks and you'll then have those whole beautiful tips as a bit of a prize! There are variations on this risotto that I love to do, like sprinkling in a little picked crab or lobster meat or fresh, peeled prawns or sliced scallops - all of these work particularly well with asparagus if you fancy a little upgrade.
This risotto is something very special. You will need a mixture of seafood – try red mullet, monkfish, bream, John Dory, cod, mussels, clams, prawns and a little sliced squid. You can either use bought fish stock to make this risotto or you can have a go at making your own, as I do here. (Ask your fishmonger for the fish heads to use in the stock – these usually go into the bin, so you shouldn’t be charged for them). I’m going to make it in a slightly different way to the normal method, where I would fillet the fish before adding the bones and fish-heads to the stock, so bear with me!