- Cooking

As Italy Unlocks – We Celebrate its Classic Food

Next week (2 June) aficionados of Italian cooking around the world celebrate the International Day of Italian Cuisine. Whereas they would normally gather in Italian restaurants or fly to their favourite gastronomic corners of the country, this year they’ll do so in culinary isolation. Today, we share some simple classics with you, right here.


Chicken Cacciatore


Cacciatore means ‘hunter’ in Italian. This is a humble yet deliciously rustic classic ‘hunter’s-chicken’ using inexpensive chicken legs and elevating them to a truly tasty meal.

Fry 1 chopped red onion, celery stick, carrot and red peppers in olive oil then add and brown a couple of drumsticks each. Remove the chicken, stir in 2 tbsp of flour then 200ml of white wine before adding 1 tin of chopped tomatoes.

Chop and add 200g of mushrooms, a dozen halved cherry tomatoes, 2 grated garlic cloves, fresh rosemary & thyme, a good handful of black olives, a chicken stock bouillon and 2 tbsp of Stokes Chilli Jam. Simmer and return the chicken to the pot with sufficient water to cover the contents, just. As this begins to bubble, add four amazing dollops of our Bloody Mary, or Tomato Ketchup, half cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.

Served with a spiral of buttered sage spaghetti – it’s so, so good.

Gnocchi Carbonara


If you would like to have a go at making your own gnocchi, we have a good, simple recipe – HERE.

You’ll need 500g which cooks within 3 or 4 minutes when dropped (carefully) into boiling water. When it floats to the top it’s done. Sauté the cooked gnocchi on a high heat in a little butter for 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 2 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in another pan, brown several thick cut rashers of smoked bacon, browning it over a high heat. Set the bacon aside and, in the same pan with the bacon’s smoked and salty infused fat and oil, add 2 tbsp of our smooth Dijon or wholegrain Cider & Horseradish Mustard with 200ml of crème fraîche and stir.

As the cream warms, add sufficient grated Cheddar cheese to create a yummy carbonara sauce. Smother the gnocchi in the sauce, top everything off with the bacon and – ‘wow’, it’s good – deliziosa.

Sicilian Meatballs


Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / Gas Mark 6.

Soak 50g of raisins in 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. While the sweet raisins absorb the sharp balsamic, get a large bowl and combine: 600g of minced lamb (or beef) with 50g of chopped sundried tomatoes, 2 tbsp of Chilli Jam, 100g of breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, the juice and zest of a lemon, the soaked raisins, a good pinch of dried oregano, grated Parmesan cheese (about 50g) and a glug of our grownup Brown Sauce.

Mix all of this together well and roll the contents into roughly 25 golf ball sized meatballs. Fry to brown them all over in oil then set them aside.

For the spicy tomato sauce, soften 2 finely diced shallots for several minutes before adding 2 grated garlic cloves and 2 x tins of whole plum tomatoes. Roughly break the toms up with a fork (don’t mash them) and add 2 or 3 (to taste) tbsp of our sweet and spicy Chilli Jam. Now pour in half a glass of red with a few shakes of  our thick Tomato Ketchup and simmer for 25 minutes.

Pour the sauce into a casserole dish, add the meatballs, tear and add a Mozzarella ball (or 2) as well as a good grating of Cheddar cheese over the top, then bake for 20 minutes. Dust the dish with chopped parsley before serving with pasta.

Shop Safe : Stay Safe


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1. Only if you need to;

2. Keep your distance;


Delivered safely to your door – HERE.