We absolutely love Michaela’s Tuscan Kitchen! From all the delicious Italian dishes to Michaela Chiappa’s simple tips and tricks, we’re always left wanting more after each episode.
As the season is winding down, we decided to chat to the lovable cook from Michaela’s Tuscan Kitchen:
What is your favourite memory from filming in Southern Italy for Michela’s Tuscan Kitchen?
Every minute was incredible – to just have the chance to spend a week in one of the most incredible places in the world was wonderful.
But I think my most memorable moment was visiting the olive oil farm as they were taking the first press of the olive harvest. It was a glorious day, we were surrounded by utterly stunning Tuscan landscapes in a beautiful villa and watching them pick and harvest the first olives. Then, a few hours later, having a taste of that oil was pretty special.
Could you share an unusual Italian dish everyone should try at least once?
Oooh, there are so many I would like to suggest… Personally, I think Italian Focaccia with white onions is the best. We have tried to replicate this in the kitchen but it’s never as good as it is fresh out of one of the Italian Forni (bakeries).
Also, I definitely would recommend trying Panzanella (which we filmed on the series). When I ate this salad it blew me away! It’s sooooo amazing! It’s the crunch of the olive oil soaked break which is the best!
And if you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend tortelli with zucca (pumpkin tortelli) we have the recipe in our book Simply Italian and the tortelli are so special when made the Piacentini style (like little sweet shapes and also in book).
Bag it: Simply Italian by the Chiappa Sisters, R379 at Takealot
Any special tricks you use in the kitchen when preparing yummy pasta at home?
- Always use an Italian brand of pasta. Don’t scrimp with supermarket substitutes as it will make a difference.
- Always use a large pan of water to cook your pasta (give it space to move!)…you need at least 3 x more water than pasta. Stir as soon as you drop the pasta into boiling water.
- Always taste pasta a minute before the pack instructions as it might be cooked – NEVER overcook your pasta as it hugely affects the taste.
- Always stir your sauce in over the heat before plating up…if you put cooked pasta on a plate without mixing any sauce/oil in, it will continue to cook and will stick together like glue, avoid this by stirring in your sauce immediately
Make sure you catch Michaela’s Tuscan Kitchen on BBC Lifestyle ( DStv channel 174), every Tuesday at 9:30 pm
Love spaghetti? Try this delicious Meatballs and Spinach Recipe: