In tribute to the godfather of Italian gastronomy, Antonio Carluccio, who recently died, we are sharing three of his favourite recipes.
Antonio grew up in northern Italy, where he foraged for mushrooms with his father, so this is an apt recipe to start with. First fry three garlic cloves and 1.2kg mushrooms in a pan until just cooked. Season and sprinkle with a handful of fresh parsley. Brush one side of eight rectangles of ready-made filo pastry with olive oil. Place one sheet on top of another so you have two layers and spoon a quarter of the mushroom mixture into the centre. Gather up the corners to create a parcel. Once you have made all four, bake in the oven at 220°C/450°F/gas mark 8 for 10 to 12 minutes.
Spaghetti alla carbonara
First cook 220g of spaghetti until al dente. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry 25g of cubed pancetta. Beat two eggs with 50g of grated parmesan cheese. Add the pasta to the frying pan and mix well before taking off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly and then mix in the egg and cheese mixture.
If you prefer leaving the cooking to others, you can try classic cuisine and modern fare at Italian restaurants in Dublin such as www.forno500.ie. Some of these use their own family recipes, so you could be getting an authentic twist to a well-loved dish.
Risotto with mushrooms
Put two litres of chicken or vegetable stock in a pan, bring to the boil and keep at a low simmer. Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan, add a chopped onion, and fry for about 10 minutes. Add 300g of sliced button mushrooms and 50g of rehydrated and chopped dried porcini. Cook for another five minutes before adding 350g of carnaroli or arborio risotto rice. Stir for a minute or two before adding one or two ladles of the stock. Keep stirring and adding stock, a ladleful at a time, as each is absorbed, which should take about 18 to 20 minutes. Check that the rice is al dente – cooked but still with a bit of a bite – and that the risotto is moist. Remove from the heat and add 20g of grated parmesan and a knob of butter, then stir, season and serve.