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Italian – Meal in a Box

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Delicious flavours of rural Italy, in a box!  The only ingredients you will need to provide is butter and a little black pepper!  With dessert, if you have a blob of vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or double cream it’s lovely!

Chef’s Tip: The recipes are vegetarian, if you’d like to add any meat or fish feel free to do so.

Menu – Potato Gnocchi, Rustic Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce with Piano Bread, Caramelised Apple with Biscotti Crumb

Rustic Arrabbiata Tomato Sauce, Serves 2

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • . 4 fresh tomatoes
  • . 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • . 1 teaspoon of harissa paste (if you don’t like spice, use tomato paste)
  • . Salt & Pepper
  • . 1 Banana Shallot, finely diced
  • . 1 teaspoon sugar
  • . Sprig Thyme – stalks removed
  • . Teaspoon of olive oil
  • . Lemon – squeeze


  1. 1. Using a box grater, grate the tomatoes into a bowl – discard the skins. 
  2. 2. In a small pan, heat the olive oil then soften the garlic and shallot.   Add the harissa paste, then the tomatoes and stir – season with salt and pepper, plus a teaspoon of sugar – taste and then keep warm until needed.  Add squeeze of lemon as you serve.

Potato Gnocchi, Serves 2

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • . 2 Medium potatoes – cubed, skin on– approx. 400g
  • . Pinch Salt
  • . Fresh ground black pepper
  • . 35g plain flour (you can use gluten free flour)


  1. 1. Boil potatoes until soft, then drain and return to warm pan to dry the mixture – you will see the steam.  Remove from heat and mash in a bowl with a fork.  Allow to cool.
  2. 2. Once cooled, add salt, pepper taste for seasoning, then add half the flour – lightly mix adding extra flour if it’s sticky.  Split the mixture into half and roll into sausage about 1 inch in diameter.  Chop into 1 inch slices, give a quick squeeze in the palm of your hand and place on baking tray that has been greased with a little oil and butter.

To cook – preheat oven to 200C – place your tray on middle shelf for 8 minutes, they should crisp up and go slightly brown.

To Serve – place gnocchi centrally on plate and spoon sauce over the top.  Shaved parmesan to finish.

Music Paper or Piano Bread including Gluten Free Version

So called as the breads are rolled super thin so the light shines through and to give a good crunch, you can make in advance and served at room temperature, or warm, straight from the oven.  Toppings are up to your imagination, we have picked a classic rosemary, garlic and sea salt.

Ingredients, makes 4

  • . 200g plain flour (for GF, we used Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Flour), plus some for dusting
  • . 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (Check your baking powder is GF)
  • . For Gluten Free only – 2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
  • . 125ml water
  • . 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • . Pinch salt


  • . Sea salt
  • . Garlic – roughly chopped
  • . Rosemary – leaves picked, and stalks discarded
  • . Olive oil



  1. 1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with a spoon, the teaspoon of olive oil, then add the water gradually.  The dough will pull together quite quickly…add the water slowly so you can see if it’s had enough…use hands to pull into a ball – if too sticky add a little of the dusting flour, if too flaky a splash more water.  Knead with a tiny bit of flour on the surface, you should work the dough for about 4-5 minutes using the palm of your hand, not your fingers, then set aside in the bowl – use a splash of oil on your hands to cover the outside of the dough so it doesn’t stick.
  2. 2. The gluten free is just the same, but the dough is more delicate.  Once it has pulled together, give a gentle knead and set aside in the bowl, it will feel like a soft plasticine, use a splash of olive oil on your hands at the end to leave the ball so it won’t stick in the bowl.
  3. 3. You can proceed immediately or let the dough rest.  If leaving for a long time, cover with cling and put in the fridge.

To Cook – preheat oven to 200C

Split the dough into 4, then roll flat each piece flat and thin – it doesn’t really matter if there are a couple of tears in the dough.  Place on the baking sheet and then drizzle oil, scatter garlic, seasalt and rosemary leaves on top.  Gluten free – roll between 2 pieces of grease proof paper – get as thin as you can and then remove top grease proof and put the other sheet with the bread on top on baking tray.  Add toppings as before.

Into oven for roughly 10 minutes, if should crisp up and get a little brown – it’s harder to get the colour into the GF, but the taste is as good!

Caramelised Apple with Biscotti Crumb – serves 2

Biscotti Crumb

  • . 25g butter
  • . 25g flour (you can use Gluten Free)
  • . 25g sugar

Spices – ginger and cinnamon


  1. . In a small, non stick pan, melt the butter, then mix the ingredients together, keep stirring until it forms a crumb like texture and starts to colour.  Set aside to cool

Caramelised Apple – serves 2-4 depending on size of apples!

  • . 2 small apples,
  • . Teaspoon Butter – room temperature
  • . Teaspoon Sugar
  • . Squeeze of lemon juice
  • . ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder


  1. 1. Oven to 180C, slice the apple in half and quarters.  Remove the core and slice thinly.  Squeeze some lemon juice on to prevent browning.  Arrange the slices on the greaseproof paper, the should overlap,  and maybe do a couple of layers. 
  2. 2. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl with a teaspoon and spread over the apples.
  3. 3. Pop into the oven for about 10minutes – set aside to cool (you can serve hot)

To serve, slide the apple off the greaseproof onto a plate, position in flower shape, scatter crumb over the apple – if you have some ice cream or crème fraiche this adds to the taste!

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