The food of Italy has a history as long and magnificent as its native land, yet it remains at the forefront of culinary innovation and style. Travelling around the north of the country - from the mountains of Liguria to Venice and Verona - Antonio Carluccio, the Italian gastronome and wild-mushroom enthusiast, takes the best of the old and most delicious of the modern and brings them together to create food that is as full of passion as it is of flavour.
The Renaissance Cookbook
Chef Antonio Carluccio goes to his beloved Italy with a Renaissance cookbook for a guide.
A celebration of Italian cookery, wine and culture, beginning in Ligurai, “the gastronomic birthplace of Europe”. Antonio Carluccio visits a priest's mother who feeds an entire village during the wine fiesta, cooks for a monastery, and tastes the best olive oil in the world. Recipes include spaghetti with seafood, rabbit stew with roasted rosemary potatoes, and the definitive pesto sauce.
In Piemonte, Antonio returns to his childhood haunts for a family lunch. He meets the man who has styles half the cars in the world and is a dab hand at pasta. Recipes include beef topside simmered in wine, fritto misto and cabbage and cheese soup.
In Emilia Romagna (the birthplace of Verdi), Antonio meets a parmesan maker following in his forefather's footsteps and visits Modena, famous for parma hams and balsamic vinegar. Recipes include authentic bolognese sauce, parma ham, melon soup, and roast duck with peppers in balsamic vinegar.
In Umbria, Antonio searches for his beloved truffles. He also attends the annual grape-picking festival and brings all of his fungus-finding expertise to bear on a porcini mushroom hunt, before turning his quarry into a delicious meal. Recipes include a rustic lentil and sausage casserole, sauteed mushrooms with chili and garlic, and pasta with white truffle sauce.
In historic, picturesque Venice, water is a big part of daily life, even when it comes to shopping Antonio savours the wonderful spices of the Rialto market and cheers on the teams in the annual gondoliers' race. Recipes include seafood salad, Doges' ice cream and peaches in wine.
Students at Milan's famous design school make an extraordinary costume for Antonio. In turn, he cooks them a special meal, before visiting what he considers to be the best food shop in the world. He also shares a moment of calm with fishermen on Lake Maggiore, and checks out the risotto in Sannazzaro.