An authentic summer Italian recipe to try in your villa

10th May, 2017
When travelling to Italy, there is nothing quite like experiencing traditional Italian food, whether it is at a restaurant or a homemade feast in your own villa. With Italian cuisine being so incredibly enticing it comes as no surprise that it is one of the most popular in the world.

It has influenced food culture around the world and is even thought of as a form of art by many. Cheese, wine and pasta are an important part of an Italian meal, and for Italians, food isn’t just nourishment, it is life. Each region has its own spin on Italian food, with the north enjoying fish, potatoes, rice, sausages, pork and a variety of cheese. In the south, dishes are dominated by tomatoes, whether served fresh or cooked into a sauce, including capers, peppers, olives and olive oil, garlic and ricotta cheese.

So, if you want to cook up a storm when staying in one of our luxury villas in Italy this summer, we have the perfect three-course meal with you can try to create. 

Starter: Caprese Salad – Serves 4


2 to 4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 handful of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
500g of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste


It is as simple as arranging the tomato sliced, basil leaves ad mozzarella on a serving plate and drizzling with olive oil; just sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.    

Main: Ricotta Gnocchi – Serves 4


450g of whole-milk ricotta
1 large egg
170g of finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
255g of flour


1.     Set a strainer line with paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and let the cheese drain for around an hour.

In a large bowl. Mix the ricotta, an egg, parmesan cheese, salt and flour until the ingredients have been mixed well. Then cover and refrigerate for around 15 minutes.

To check the dough, roll a bit in your hand, and when it is ready, it should feel tacky. If it clings to your fingers, add a little more flour until you reach the correct consistency.

Before shaping the gnocchi, put a large pot of water on to boil, Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour and place it next to you.

Sprinkle your hands and the work surface with flour and break off a tennis ball sized piece of dough and roll it into a log shape about ¾ inches thick.

Use a sharp knife, cut the log into ¾ inch pieces. You can leave them in a ‘pillow’ shape or shape them into the traditional grooved gnocchi shape by rolling them off the back of a fork with your thumb.

Transfer this batch to the baking sheet and toss with flour to prevent them from sticking. Keep repeating the above process with the remaining dough.

Add one tablespoon of salt to the water and half of the gnocchi. Gently stir to make sure it doesn’t stick, and once they bob to the surface, let them cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove the gnocchi with a spoon and transfer to a colander and set over a bowl to drain.

Serve with a simple tomato sauce.

Dessert: Tiramisu


For the sponge:

5 eggs
200g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
300gs of flour

For the filling:

340ml of strong coffee (espresso)
250g of mascarpone
250g of whole cream
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar


Pre-heat over 180°C, grease a 9-inch cake pan.
For the sponge:

Beat the eggs and sugar until well mixed and add flour, baking powder and continue to beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased tray and bake for around 30-minutes. Once cool, cut into three layers.

While the sponge is cooling, make the coffee and let that also cool.
For the filling:

Beat together sugar and egg until frothy, and then add the mascarpone and cream and beat until thick.

Place one layer of the sponge on a large space and spoon the coffee on top and then cover with the cream mixture. Repeat this with the other layers then sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder on top. Once completed, leave to refrigerate for at least five hours and enjoy! 

Image credits: 
Juehua Yin and Paolo Valdemarin under Creative Commons