Antipasti Recipes

Traditionally, Italians eat antipasti – meaning ‘before the meal’ – prior to digging into the first course and there are hundreds of Italian antipasti recipes. In fact, with antipasti, almost anything goes!

An authentic Italian antipasti recipe is supposed to waken your taste buds and can be served hot or cold. They often consist of cured meats, deliciously warm ciabatta and seasonal vegetables.

Soup has been with us for thousands of years. In fact, the word ‘soup’ supposedly comes from the Latin word ‘suppare’ meaning ‘to soak’ – and we’re still doing it to vegetables to this very day, but Gino’s traditional Italian soup recipes take the humble ingredients to a whole new level!

Buon Appetito!

Antipasti & Soups

BRUSCHETTA CON GORGONZOLA, PROSCIUTTO CRUDO E MIELEBRUSCHETTA WITH GORGONZOLA, PARMA HAM AND HONEY

In Milan you’ll find Gorgonzola served in a multitude of ways. Traditionally from Lombardy, the cheese takes its name from a small town (now a suburb of Milan), where it is thought to have originated in the 12th century. In this recipe I love how the salty Gorgonzola and Parma ham contrast with the sweetness of the honey. If you don’t have Gorgonzola, you can use any other blue cheese.

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino’s Italian Express by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 31st October 2019. Photography credit – Dan Jones

Gamberoni saltati in padella con aglio e peperoncinoSautéed Prawns with Garlic and Chilli

Many restaurants along the Adriatic coast of Italy offer their own version of this deliciously spicy prawn dish. It looks and tastes so decadent, yet is so incredibly easy to prepare. I like to use the biggest prawns I can get my hands on, but smaller ones will work just as well – just adjust the quantities and cooking time accordingly. Serve with crusty bread.

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Italian Adriatic Escape: A taste of Italy from Veneto to Puglia by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 18th October 2018. Photography credit – Dan Jones, Holly Bryson & Trevor Butterfield

ZUPPA DI LENTICCHIE ROSSESpicy Red Lentil Soup

Lentils are really popular in Italy, particularly the green varieties, but red lentils are also widespread in northern Italy, and make an appearance on most restaurant menus. This hearty soup, with carrots and a hint of chilli, is a real winner. If you prefer, you can use parsley instead of chives. Serve with my Cheesy ciabatta (see page 62).

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Italian Express by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 31st October 2019. Photography credit – Dan Jones

ZUPPA DI PORRI AL FORNO, SEDANO E SPINACIRoasted Leek, Celery & Spinach Soup

The depth of flavour in this soup is incredible, not to mention its rich, vibrant colour. Roasting and charring the leeks rather than simply frying them gives a lovely sweet, smoky flavour, while the mascarpone provides a hint of creaminess. I’ve used vegetable stock in this recipe, so it’s suitable for vegetarians, but chicken stock would be fine too. Serve with warm crusty bread.

6

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Italian Coastal Escape: A Taste of Italy from the Aeolian Islands to Elba by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 19th October 2017. Photography credit – Dan Jones and Matt Russell

CARPACCIO DI TONNO CON RUCOLA, CAPPERI E BALSAMICOTuna Carpaccio with Rocket, Capers & Balsamic

This dish looks amazing and requires no cooking whatsoever, so it’s perfect for when you’re entertaining. To make life even easier, you can assemble it up to an hour ahead while you enjoy an aperitivo with your guests. The sweetness of the balsamic glaze and the saltiness of the capers is a combination made in heaven. It's vital to use very fresh, good-quality tuna for this dish. Serve with toasted...

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Italian Coastal Escape: A Taste of Italy from the Aeolian Islands to Elba by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 19th October 2017. Photography credit – Dan Jones and Matt Russell

Crostini con mozzarella, prosciutto, fichi e mieleMozzarella, parma ham and fig crostini with honey

Affectionately known as ‘pigs and figs’ in my house, this is a really simple and delicious first course or light lunch if served with a green salad. The sweet flavour and luscious texture of fresh figs combines perfectly with the salty Parma ham and creamy mozzarella. Many different types of figs are grown in Italy. The peak season for the purple-black varieties is usually late August to early...

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Hidden Italy : How to Cook Like a True Italian by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 6th October 2016. Photography credit – Matt Russell, Hal Shinnie and Dan Jones

COZZE ALLA GENOVESEGENOVESE MUSSELS WITH PESTO AND OLIVES

Mussels with pesto – it’s not a combination that you see every day, but in Genoa it’s really popular. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the idea before I tried it, but I soon changed my mind. The aromatic flavour of the basil and the saltiness of the mussels work really well together, the pine nuts add texture, and the Leccino olives add a subtle piquancy – simply fantastico! Make sure you...

Extracted from Gino's Italian Express by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 31st October 2019. Photography credit – Dan Jones

Zuppa di orzo perlato e manzoBeef and Barley Soup

Barley has been cultivated in Italy since ancient times. It was believed to give fighters extra strength – gladiators were known as the hordearii, or ‘barley eaters’, and Roman soldiers used to march off to war with a bag of barley, which they boiled up in their helmets to make porridge. Barley is great in soups, adding a nice bite, and here it absorbs the rich flavour of the beef stock. Serve...

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Italian Adriatic Escape: A taste of Italy from Veneto to Puglia by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 18th October 2018. Photography credit – Dan Jones, Holly Bryson & Trevor Butterfield

Fiori di zucchine fritti e ripieni di ricottaDeep-fried Courgette Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta

Courgette flowers, sold in bunches in Italian markets in midsummer, are usually a privilege reserved for the kitchen gardener in Britain. They're a rare treat in the shops, so if you see courgette flowers for sale snap them up and cook them the same day – they don’t last long. For variety, add some fresh mint to the ricotta mixture or pop in a small cube of mozzarella.

4

Serves

Extracted from Gino's Hidden Italy : How to Cook Like a True Italian by Gino D’Acampo (published by Hodder & Stoughton) on 6th October 2016. Photography credit – Matt Russell, Hal Shinnie and Dan Jones