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Episode 7 preview: Alberobello and Lecce

This week Gino reaches the town of Alberobello with its cone-shaped Trulli houses. Here he gets a lesson in making the local pasta, orecchiette, which means ‘little ears’ due to its shape.

Next he heads to the city of Lecce, which is known as the 'Florence of the South' thanks to its stunning baroque architecture. Gino finds out about two local traditions; cartapesta and the Pizzica dance. There's also a surprise in store for him!

Leaving Lecce, the chef returns to the dramatic coast to create a chicken skewers dish with a sticky marinade and a healthy bean and fennel salad.

Almond tiramisu with cherry compote

Serves 8


450ml cold strong, espresso coffee
200ml amaretto, plus 75ml for jam
200ml double cream
5 eggs, separated
6 tbsp sugar, plus 2tbsp for jam
500g mascarpone, drained of liquid
32 savoiardi biscuits
400g pitted cherries
Cocoa powder for dusting
80g toasted flaked almonds for serving


1) Pour the coffee in to a large bowl and add 100ml of the amaretto.

2) Whisk the double cream into soft peaks. Whisk the egg whites until fluffy and holding their own weight. It's best to do with an electric hand whisk.

3) Whisk together the egg yolks with the 6 tbsp of caster sugar. Whisk by hand until the ingredients have turned pale and thick and have more than doubled in volume. Gently whisk the mascarpone in to the egg yolk mix.

4) Follow the mascarpone with the soft whipped double cream being sure to be light handed. Finally beat in one third of the egg whites and then fold the remaining through the mix until well combined. Keep the mix to one side.

5) Take each savoiardi biscuit one at a time and dip in the coffee and amaretto mix for no more than two seconds. Lay the biscuit, sugar side up in the base of the serving dish. Repeat the process lining up the biscuits in an orderly fashion. You should be able to fit 2 lines of 8 biscuits along the base.

6) When you have completed your biscuit base, top with half of the mascarpone mixture smoothing it down to an even layer. Make a second biscuit layer by repeating the dipping and laying process. Finish the tiramisu by topping with the remaining mascarpone mix, flattening it down as best as possible. Loosely cling film then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. You can easily leave this tiramisu to sit overnight if you want to make the day before.

7) While the tiramisu is cooling and setting in the fridge, make up the compote by placing the cherries in to a small pan with the extra amaretto and sugar. Bring the ingredients to the boil, simmer for 1 minute then leave to cool.

8) When your tiramisu is cooled, carefully remove the clingfilm, dust the top with a thick layer of coco powder and evenly sprinkle over the toasted and flaked almonds.

9) Serve up the tiramisu with the cooled cherry compote.

Episode 6 preview: Masseria and Ostuni

Gino's version of Italy’s most famous dessert, tiramisu

Gino now is now deep in the Puglian countryside and exploring the stunning Itria Valley. Here, the chef explores a 'masseria' (farmhouse), which has 2,000 olive trees, and samples the product. Inspired by the flavour, he a simple pasta dish - spaghetti al peperoncino, which has just five ingredients.

Ten miles south is the charming town of Cisternino, where butchers barbecue their meat for you. Gino meets family butcher Enzo, who cooks him up the local speciality 'bombette', before moving on to the dazzling city of Ostuni. Here he takes a tour on a Segway before before creating his version of Italy’s most famous dessert, tiramisu.