In the next episode, Gino heads to Umbria. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria’s fertile plains provide vegetables, grains, truffles and meat.
Here he’ll visit Spoleto - a pretty town boasting gorgeous family run restaurants, charming cobbled streets and roman ruins.
When Gino visited Lake Como he met veteran fisherman Ernesto Colombo, who has been fishing in the waters for decades. He told him all about agone – the native freshwater fish that arrive on the lake’s shores in early summer to spawn.
Agone is hard to find in Britain, but mackerel is similar. You can buy mackerel fillets in some supermarkets, but if you’re buying whole mackerel ask your fishmonger to fillet and V-bone them.
Italians love to start the evening with an aperitivo, or pre-dinner drink. It whets the appetite and provides the perfect opportunity to relax and socialise after a day’s work.
This famous Peach Bellini cocktail was created in Harry’s Bar in Venice in the 1930s. The recipe is meant to be a closely guarded secret, but a few years ago Gino managed to persuade the recipe from one of the barmaids! So here it is, with an accompanying snack of delicious crunchy little olive balls. Salut!
In episode 3, Gino heads to the picturesque area of Lombardia.
Home to Italy’s Lake District, Lombardia is known for it’s breathtaking mountains, charming towns and the A-listers favourite, Lake Como. Here the likes of George Clooney and Madonna have snapped up holiday homes, which can cost up to a cool €38m.
In Trentino-Alto Adige many fantastic Austrian-style desserts are available, but one of Gino’s favourites is the apple strudel.
When he visited the stunning lake at Castillo Toblino he felt inspired to make strudel but didn’t have access to an oven, so he created this no-bake recipe. It works just as well as the traditional version and the raspberry sauce makes it extra special.
When Gino was in Trentino-Alto Adige, he visited a farm ran by an artisan cheesemaker and was shown how to make the traditional caciotta altimo cheese, which is flavoured with thyme.
This dish, using locally sourced speck – a kind of smoked prosciutto – has been inspired by that visit.
Getting hold of caciotta al timo can be tricky, but Cheddar, fontina and grated mozzarella will work well too. Smoked pancetta is a good substitute for the speck.
Join Gino for an evening of food and fun when his live stage show hits UK theatres next Spring.
In the second episode, Gino heads to the beautiful mountainous region of Trentino-Alto Adige - situated in the very north of Italy and bordering both Austria and Switzerland.
To help uncover the unique culinary heritage, Gino first heads to Valfloriana, where dairy farmer Graziano will teach him how to make the traditional caciotta altimo cheese, which is flavoured with thyme.