Cook with Jamie: Simple, delicious, rustic dishes from my Italian friends (and one from me too!)
For me, the heart of good food is friendship and being able to share delicious dishes.
So, with that in mind, I’ve pulled together some recipes from me and my two great friends and mentors, Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio. I first met these two legendary chefs back when I was head pastry chef at Antonio’s Neal Street restaurant in the early Nineties.
I thought I had the general idea of Italian food, but working with them made me realise I’d never seen it cooked properly before, and I used to go to sleep at night with my head hurting from so much information.
Jamie first met Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio when he was head pastry chef at Antonio's Neal Street restaurant in the early Nineties
They were hugely inspiring and gave me insight and confidence to stay away from fuss, and to focus on great, seasonal, home-made food.
Since then I’ve become more interested in what the nans and grandads were cooking than what the chefs were, keeping things really rustic – food that makes sense, is undeniably comforting and that you can really put a bit of love into.
Home-made pasta is such a big part of Italian cooking. Antonio has given you a beautifully indulgent ravioli dish that shows you fresh pasta made from scratch is totally achievable at home. With a simple butter and sage sauce to pour over, this dish will blow you away.
Gennaro’s really pulled out all the stops with a pheasant dish, served with Italian bruschetta to mop up all those lovely juices. And I’ve gone for Mediterranean-style red mullet cooked in the oven with tomatoes, olives and new potatoes to soak up all those flavours as it cooks.
JAMIE'S TOP TIPS
Brett Graham at The Ledbury is doing an amazing value menu at lunchtimes – 30 for two courses – so if you’re coming to London for the day, this is a gourmet meal for a steal. He’s probably one of the most exciting Michelin-starred chefs in town at the moment and loves his foraging and wild food.
It’s our ten-year anniversary at Fifteen and we’re still going strong. Stop by and try our pasta dishes, including Antonio’s ravioli on this page.
EGG IN RAVIOLI
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This is a delicious, Mediterranean way of cooking fish. I’ve added new potatoes to this recipe, as they’re lovely and will soak up the juices.
4 red mullet, gutted, scaled, and skin slashedOlive oil1tbsp sweet paprika2 lemons500g (1lb 2oz) new potatoes350g (12oz) cherry tomatoes, some halvedA good handful of black olives, pitted3 garlic cloves, finely slicedGreen salad, to serve
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Rub the fish with oil and season inside and out with the paprika, sea salt and black pepper. Grate over the lemon zest.
Slice the zested lemons and add to a large baking tray with the tomatoes, olives, garlic and potatoes. Place the fish on top, drizzle with olive oil then pop in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through. Serve with a green salad and a crisp white wine.
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