Gennaro & Bertolli with Butter

Gennaro is currently starring in Bertolli with Butter's TV campaign. Plus he has created some delicious recipes which can be seen here http://www.bertolli.co.uk/gennaro-contaldo-pasta-recipes

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Gennaro's Tips & Recipes

Baby chickens are so much nicer to look at and easier to carve than normal-sized chickens.  One baby chickens feeds 2 people.  As a young boy, I remember our chickens were fed on corn and when I first came to England, it surprised me to see people eating corn.  Aftre trying it myself, though, I realised how delicious it was.  This is what gave me the idea to use sweetcorn in the filling. 

Pane Cotto on Verdure

This is an old recipe which used to be made with broth and perhaps onion, tomato and stale bread.  However, as with many recipes, this one has evolved to make it richer by adding a variety of vegetables and a poached egg.  It is a nutritious meal in itself and perfect for vegetarians.  Quick and simple, the perfect midweek supper !  If making this out of season, use frozen peas and broad beans. 

A simple meal that is both nutritious and satisfying.  For speed, I have used ready-made gnocchi, but of course, if you have time, make your own.  This dish can be made in advance and baked when required !  A great dish for all the family ! 

This is a very nice and different way to cook carrots.  Instead of just boiling them without adding any flavouring, here I have par-boiled them first, then placed them in the oven with other ingredients to enhance the flavour of the carrots.  This makes a perfect accompaniment to main course dishes, especially meat. 

Pasta with peas

I have put this favourite, quick and easy one-pot pasta dish in the Kids chapter of my latest book, but is is of course for adults to enjoy too !  It is popular throughout Italy and can be made in different ways, using other ingredients such as cream.  I find cream a little rich, though, especially for children, so I add egg yolks at the end instead which makes it creamy and more nutritious.  It's a great way to get your kids eating egg if they don't like them  -  they will never know ! 

Apple meringue

Meringue desserts are becoming ever-more popular in Italy and this is so simple to make and delicious to eat, it's easy to see why !  The perfect ending to a meal ! 

This dessert is believed to date back to pagan times, when Neapolitans would offer all the fruits of their land to the mermaid, Partenope, in Spring; eggs for fertility, wheat from the land, ricotta from the shepherds, the aroma of orange flowers, vanilla to symbolise faraway lands and sugar in honour of the sweet mermaid.  It is said the mermaid would take back all these ingredients, immerse herself in the sea of the Bay of Naples and give back to the Neapolitans a dessert which symbolised fertility and rebirth!  It has always been traditional to make this tart at Easter in the Campania region of Italy and Easter just wouldn't be the same without this dessert !  Pre-cooked wheat is sold in all good Italian delis and orange-flower water is found in good supermarkets. 

This bread was traditionally made by farmers' wives as a filling lunch for their husbands while working in the fields, using up leftovers of cheese, ham, salami and even pork fat.  It is also traditional to make this bread at Easter placing eggs around the ring making it look pretty and seasonal for Easter Sunday breakfast.  Make sure the eggs are at room temperature, if they are cold, they interfere with the rising of the dough.  Secure them with strips of dough to prevent them exploding in the oven.  The eggs come out perfectly cooked. 

A great dessert using up leftover panettone !