Gregg Wallace has fallen in love with Italian cuisine. Along with his wife Anna, and a little help from her Italian parents, he has created a simple Italian cookbook so we can all enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at home.
For Italians, food is not just about recipes, it’s a way of life. It’s about making time for each other, forgetting work and worries, and enjoying tasty, satisfying meals. Gregg and Anna share the dishes they have explored, laughed and argued about with their family, from vitello tonnato to orecchiette and crespelle to veal chops, bagna cauda and bowls of vongole. Brought to life through stunning photography in the Tuscan countryside and buzzing food markets, you’ll discover traditional recipes, cooked the authentic Italian way.
“I want to do this book and I want to do it with my new Italian family. Everybody knows this is my favourite cuisine…it is to my mind the greatest cuisine of the world. It’s family food, it brings people to the table, it’s not difficult to do, everybody can learn to cook this way…I have discovered so much love in this new family of mine and it’s centred around the table. I want to share this passion, I want everybody to taste their own slice of it.” – Gregg Wallace
Gregg Wallace is co-presenter of MasterChef and renowned for his love of all things sweet and delicious. He is a keen food historian, loves cooking for his kids and runs his own fruit and vegetable growing company.
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Polpette in Salsa di Pomodoro)
This classic recipe allows you to recreate the famous scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp and discover if your husband loves you enough to push his last meatball toward you with his nose. -Anna
Olive oil, for frying
2 shallots, diced
120g (4¼oz) dried breadcrumbs
Large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
500g (1lb 2oz) minced pork
500g (1lb 2oz) minced beef
For the sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato purée
2 x 500g (1lb 2oz) cartons passata
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Put a glug of olive oil into a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for a few minutes, until softened. Transfer them to a bowl, add the eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and minced meats and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Divide the meat mixture into 16 equal pieces and roll them into balls. This is great fun.
Put another glug of olive oil into the frying pan over a medium heat and fry the meatballs for a few minutes, until browned all over. Transfer them to a plate.
To make the sauce, put the olive oil into a pan over a medium-high heat, add the garlic clove and fry for a few minutes until golden. Be careful it doesn’t burn as this will make it bitter.
Discard the garlic – you just need the flavoured oil.
Add the onion and fry for a few minutes, until softened.
Lower the heat, squeeze in the tomato purée and fry for 1 minute, stirring to make sure it doesn’t catch and burn. Pour in the passata, add the salt and sugar and give it a good stir.
Gently place the meatballs in the sauce, then cook, uncovered, over a low-medium heat for 1½ hours. Serve with spaghetti.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Mitchell Beazley.