The American actor Stanley Tucci's culinary adventures in Italy reminded us why we all love the food, art and culture of the bel paese, as he travelled the peninsula stopping off to sample local dishes and understand the stories contained within.
Of course, pasta is the foundation of Italian cuisine, and with each region having their own local speciality, there is a whole panoply of dishes that capture the essence of the territory, produce and culture.
Tucci’s Italian adventure followed him eating his way around Naples and the Amalfi Coast, then north to Rome, Bologna, Milan and back down south to Sicily. Each region revealing its own culinary identity and local delicacies and of course pasta.
Here are the recipes for all the pasta dishes Tucci found on his trip. All of them are easy to make at home in your own kitchen. Deceptively simple, these dishes are the essence of Italian cuisine, and the secret is in the quality of ingredients and the technique in making them.
The mother of all pasta dishes is incredibly simple to make, but be careful, Italians are extremely opinionated on what is the correct way to make this pasta. However, follow this recipe and you'll crack the ultimate, satisfying pasta that you can whip up in minutes. You'll come back to this recipe again and again.
Another of Rome's famous four pasta dishes, caccio e pepe is very simple, using only 3 ingredients. It's all about technique, however, and it can be easy to get wrong. Here is Italian chef Riccardo Camanini from restaurant Lido 84 on Lake Garda. Our Through the Eyes series shows you how to prepare dishes, from the point of view of the chef, so you can experience first-hand how to prepare the perfect dish.
Get a masterclass in the Italian classic tortellini in brodo (tortellini in broth) from the maestro himself, Massimo Bottura. Bottura entertained Tucci when he went to Modena, and explained in detail the importance of tortellini in brodo.
Try this recipe for the original ragù from chef Alberto Bettini, patron of Amerigo1934, which has the reputation of serving the very best ragù in the city of Bologna, and therefore the world.
Try this colourful Emelian pasta, which goes perfectly with all kinds of meat and fish.
For real, authentic pasta, you have to make it yourself. The good news is, it's not difficult, it just takes some practice. Learn the secrets of homemade pasta with the Simili sisters, otherwise known as the Pasta Sisters.
Risotto alla Parmigiana
Okay, this is not pasta, but it is an incredible, simple Italian dish to add to your canon. Reliable, quick, comforting and delicious. Take a masterclass through the eyes of Riccardo Camanini.