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In episode five, 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. Our chef visits one of the town’s historic pasta factories, where local ladies teach him the traditional skill of hand-rolling long fusilli.
Gino says: “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.”
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.
Gino says: “This is what a cherry should taste like. It’s sweet, but mainly, is the colour. It’s like a cherry that has been designed by Gianni Versace. It’s not just a cherry. This is the cherry.”
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.
“For Italians, the most important thing in life is food. Let me show you how mouth-watering ingredients have shaped my home country.” Gino D’Acampo
Italian chef Gino D’Acampo presents a new six-part primetime series for ITV, combining lifestyle, travel and cookery as he travels across his beloved homeland.
Gino’s Italian Escape sees the chef revealing the best-kept secrets of Southern Italy - where he grew up - a region renowned for its vibrant people, food and culture, all of which gave Gino the rich traditions that continue to inspire him today.
Gino travels across the regions, from the beautiful Amalfi Coast to bustling Rome and the relatively unexplored Puglia and Basilicata regions, meeting local characters and sourcing the best ingredients so he can celebrate a perfect season with family and friends.