Episode 8 preview: Santa Maria di Leuca

While in Santa Maria Di Leuca, at the tip of Italy’s heel, Gino cooks a classic saffron risotto

After 700 miles on the road, Gino finally reaches the end of his Adriatic journey. But before reaching the very tip of the heel of Italy’s boot, he stops off at the small town of Roca and cools off in the crystal clear waters.

After a short journey, he reaches Santa Maria di Leuca and and meets the priest of Puglia’s most southerly church, later cooking him a classic saffron risotto topped with balsamic chicken.

This area is famous for its enormous waterfall which cascades down from the church during public holidays. Gino gets the chance to turn the switch and release thousands of litres of water into the Adriatic below!

Finally, for the last dish of the series - and with the sea and white sandy beaches as a backdrop, Gino cooks locally caught swordfish with rosemary sautéed potatoes and tangy gremolata.

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.