In the north of Italy, on the Adriatic coast, you’ll find lots of dishes that feature scallops.
You’ll love how quick this recipe is, and its delicate flavours and textures. If you’re not a fan of scallops use peeled prawns instead. Don’t be tempted to sprinkle Parmesan or other cheese on top though as it will overwhelm the flavour of the scallops.
Chicken, anchovies and olives are a classic Italian combination dating back hundreds of years.
Here Gino uses anchovies preserved in olive oil as they are perfect for this recipe and don’t need rinsing.
Everyone knows Liguria for pesto, but Gino is unearthing its hidden gem - olive oil production - the backbone to all Italian cookery.
He’ll be picking and pressing the olives at a grove high above the coastline. Using the oil, he cooks up a tasty dish of chicken, anchovies, chillies… and olive oil.
Gino will then head to Gelateria Vernazza, famous for making delicious ice cream from scratch without any food colourings.
He tastes his way around one of the street food markets where the locals fill up for lunch, before finishing in the unspoilt Varigotti / Saracens Bay, where he cooks linguine with parsley pesto.
This is the ultimate comfort food and a great winter dish to share with family and friends.
Guanciale is pig’s cheek that has been rubbed with salt, black pepper, sugar and thyme, then cured for three months. It is a delicacy from Central Italy - particularly Umbria and Lazio – and is used in classic Roman pasta sauces such as amatriciana and carbonara. Smoked pancetta or bacon are good substitutes, although they have a milder flavour.
When Gino visited Umbria he met a farmer named Ettore, who made it his mission to cultivate organic lentils using traditional methods. He showed him the old machine he uses for sorting and cleaning the pulses – the same one he used as a child.
For lunch Gino made this salad from his beautiful lentils, combining them with roasted butternut squash, locally grown walnuts, cranberries and other ingredients – it’s a really exciting mix of contrasting flavours, colours and textures.
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.