Italian recipes to celebrate Italian National Day

May 26, 2016 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)

Tenderstem broccoli (or broccolini) with crispy prosciutto

Serves: 6
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 25 minutes 


400g Tenderstem broccoli (or broccolini),
15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
zest and juice of ½ lemon
3 strips prosciutto
½ red chilli, seeded and finely diced
30ml (2 tbsp) capers
60ml (¼ cup) green olives
2 tablespoons capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil


1. Blanch the broccoli (or broccolini) in salted, boiling water for 3 minutes. Plunge into a bowl of ice water, then drain thoroughly.

2. Pan-fry the prosciutto in a little of the olive oil over a medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel and break into bite-sized pieces.

3. In the same pan, flash-fry the broccoli (or broccolini)  in the remaining olive oil until heated through. Add the lemon zest, juice and chilli.

4. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the broccoli (or broccolini) to a serving plate. Scatter over the olives, capers and crispy prosciutto bits. Drizzle with lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature.

Braised shin in red wine with buttered porcini mushrooms

Serves: 6
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes


30ml (2 tbsp) lemon-infused olive oil
1,2 kg free-range shins, bones in and excess fat trimmed
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
200ml red wine
2 stems fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh oregano
3 fresh bay leaves
800g tinned, chopped tomatoes
375ml (1 ½ cups) chicken stock
5ml (1 tsp) sugar
200g fresh exotic mushrooms, sliced
25g dried porcini mushrooms
30g butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

vegetables/creamy polenta, to serve (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat  a little of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the shin on both sides with salt and pepper., then brown the meat on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add a little more olive oil to the same pot and sauté the onion until softened. Add the celery, carrot and garlic and cook, 3 minutes.

3. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 250ml (1 cup) warm water for 25 minutes.

4. Heat the butter in a pan over high heat and cook the fresh exotic mushrooms, 10 minutes. Drain the soaking mushrooms and reserve 125ml  (½ cup) of the liquid. Add the soaked porcini mushrooms to the pan-fried mushrooms and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5.   Add the reserved soaking liquid and all the mushrooms to the meat dish. Adjust the seasoning and serve with vegetable sides or creamy polenta, if desired.

Hazelnut and Nutella chocolate torte

Serves: 12
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes 



50g hazelnuts, roasted
150g coconut biscuits
30ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
15ml (1 tbsp) icing sugar
70g butter

Chocolate torte filling

300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
80g butter
1/3 cup Nutella chocolate spread
60ml espresso coffee
3 eggs, separated
160g castor sugar
50g ground almonds
25g cake flour

Frangelico whipped cream

250ml (1 cup) fresh cream, chilled
15ml (1tbsp) icing sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) Frangelico liqueur

cocoa powder, to dust
Nutella, melted, to drizzle
chopped hazelnuts, to scatter
chocolate shavings, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 160° C. Grease and line a 23cm-round springform cake tin with baking paper.

2. For the base, place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the biscuits, cocoa and 15ml (1 tbsp) icing sugar and pulse again. Mix the crumbs and 70g melted butter together, then press the biscuit mixture firmly into the base of the prepared tin.

3. For the filling, melt the chocolate and 80g butter together in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water). Set aside to cool.

4. Add the espresso and Nutella to the melted chocolate, followed by the egg yolks.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the castor sugar gradually and beat until firm and glossy.

6. Sift the almond meal and cake flour into the chocolate and mix to combine. Add a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir through to loosen the batter. Fold through the remaining egg whites with light folding actions. Pour the filling over the base and bake in the oven, 50 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before unmoulding.

8. In the meantime, make the wipped cream. Whip the cream and 15ml (1 tbsp) icing sugar together, then add the liqueur and fold through.

9. Dust the top of the torte with cocoa and finish with a drizzle of melted Nutella and a scattering of chopped hazelnuts. Serve the torte with the cream and extra chocolate shavings.



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