Series 1 Episode 5: Gragnano

Freshly made fusilli pasta fron Gragnano

For any Italian, I guarantee you, just like me, as soon as you wake up in the morning you are already thinking, ‘What kind of pasta am I going to have today, what kind of sauce, what kind of shape?’ It’s so much part of our life that we’re thinking about pasta all the time

– Gino D'Acampo

In episode five of Gino's Italian Escape Gino returns to his native Campania, the Italian region where he grew up and where his family still live.

As a chef, he is eager to visit the town of Gragnano, which is world-famous for its pasta. Gino tours this unique place, where a combination of natural elements, sea breezes, hot sunshine and mountain water, have contributed to producing outstanding pasta. Gino can't resist a visit to one of the town’s historic pasta factories, where local ladies teach him the traditional skill of hand-rolling long fusilli.

Pasta isn’t the only food Gragnano is renowned for. High up in the surrounding mountains is a picturesque orchard, where Gino comes across the reddest cherries he’s ever seen. He can’t resist climbing into the trees to pick these sweet fruits to use in a dessert. In a corner of the orchard, Gino conjures up a contemporary tiramisu using whole cherries, creamy vanilla mascarpone and cherry liqueur.

Before he leaves Gragnano, Gino calls in on his Italian relatives and for the first time in his life, decides to cook for them. He nervously dishes up a delectable dinner for his family, Gragnano’s legendary pasta with salmon in a spicy arrabbiata sauce.

Tune in Friday October 18 at 8pm.

Series 1 Episode 4: Rome

Gino discovers real passion for pasta in Rome!

Credit: Matt Russell

In the latest episode of Gino's Italian Escape Ginomakes a culinary journey around the country's capital, where his first stop is one of Rome's finest delicatessens.

There, he picks up some succulent pancetta to make a traditional pasta carbonara, also adding some luscious cured guanciale into the mix. He chooses a stunning location to cook his pasta - right in front of the iconic Colosseum.

Gino then travels to Ariccia, a town that is passionate about porchetta - a slow-roasted, moist, boneless pork roast stuffed with seasoning and rosemary, traditionally enjoyed in rustic bread. Gino's final port of call is a restaurant belonging to Anna Dente, a chef who has been keeping authentic Roman recipes alive for 40 years. In Anna's garden, he prepares a Roman-inspired dish of pan-fried lamb in rosemary and honey sauce, along with a fennel salad. Delicious!

Series 1 Episode 3: Bari

One of the gnarled olive trees that dominates the Puglia landscape

In the next episode of Gino's adventures in Italy he explores the intriguing region of Puglia – where centuries old tradition meets modern day Italy.

The region is world-famous for its olive oil and Gino takes a close look at the gnarled olive trees, which have dominated the landscape for thousands of years. In the shade of an old masseria – or farmhouse – Gino dishes up a carpaccio of tender beef fillet, served with a refreshing Italian gremolata dressing and rocket salad.

Gino’s culinary quest continues in Puglia’s capital – Bari – where he samples an innovative olive oil ice cream. And later, tucked away in one of Bari’s medieval side streets, Gino discovers a group of local ladies who spend their day skilfully and rapidly handcrafting orecchiette - or ‘little ears’ - pasta.

As Gino finishes his time in Bari, he heads out to the town’s harbour at sunset, to see how the locals spend their evening.

Tune in Friday 27th September ITV.

Series 1 Episode 2: Naples

Gino looks out over the volcanic landscape of Naples - the city where he was born

Anyone who knows me, they know that I love my coffee. But when I say I love my coffee, I’m talking about 10 to 15 coffees per day!

– Gino D'Acampo

Gino's Italian adventures continue in Naples - the area of Italy where he was born and where he trained to be a chef. Here, he examines the foods and ingredients that have made the city famous - pizza and coffee!

Naples is world famous for its pizza and credited for inventing the Margherita pizza of mozzarella, tomato and basil in 1889.

Whilst in Naples Gino investigates the Neapolitan food trend of fried pizza – and helps an award winning chef make this surprisingly tasty street snack.

I know it sounds a bit strange, but believe me it is sensational. I grew up with it and I want everybody to see it

– Gino D'Acampo on fried pizza

Enthused by the mouth-watering food around him, Gino shows off a dish invented by his mother – chicken in breadcrumbs, topped with fresh mozzarella with a pizza-style sauce. A dish Gino stills makes for his own sons today. Before he leaves the city centre, Gino is thrilled to find a tiny café, which serves sixty-three different types of coffee! Fantastico!

The region’s volcanic landscape is the inspiration for Gino’s final Neapolitan location. To the west of Mount Vesuvius lies an extinct volcano, which houses a quaint organic restaurant. Gino picks vegetables and herbs inside the fertile crater – and creates a sumptuous courgette frittata, topped with a vibrant tomato, basil and olive salsa.

Series 1 Episode 1: The Amalfi Coast

Gino visits a secluded citrus grove high above the stunning town of Amalfi

This place, Amalfi, means a lot to me, a lot of memories when I was a little boy. Probably age about 10 or 11. My mum and dad used to take my sister and I always here, to swim and to have ice-creams

– Gino D'Acampo

Gino begins his Italian journey on the stunning Amalfi Coast, a favourite holiday destination from his childhood.

First off Gino visits the pretty town of Amalfi, world-famous for its lemons ,and explores a secluded citrus grove, high on the cliffs above the town. Here, he picks and tastes Amalfi’s legendary lemons with a family who own the grove.

Motivated by the breathtaking location, Gino whips up a creamy lemon mousse topped with crushed amaretti biscuits - using Amalfi’s unique fruit and the local citrus liqueur, limoncello.

Eager to find more tasty Italian ingredients, Gino then heads further down the coast to an organic buffalo farm. Here, he meets expert mozzarella makers and is keen to try his hand at crafting the pliable cheese. As the sun goes down, Gino hosts a sailing trip with his new friends from the lemon grove and dishes up delicate buffalo mozzarella wrapped in parma ham and rocket, paired with a delicious cocktail of limoncello and prosecco.

Amalfi in pictures

Gino picks the best lemons for his fantastico lemon mousse!

The first stop on Gino's Italian Escape is the beautiful town of Amalfi, where Gino used to enjoy family holidays as a boy.

Take a look at some snapshots from Gino's time in Amalfi...

Gino's yummy lemon and limoncello mousse, inspired by the citrus groves of Amalfi

Credit: Matt Russell