Today I wanted to talk about the book Gino’s Italian Escape. The book shows off Gino’s favourite recipes from all over Italy and allows us to have a true taste of Italy in our own home.
Gino gives an introduction to each section with sweet stories about his life, all connecting to food. Including tips he has learned from the makers of his favourite ingredients. Gino also provides his know-how about what ingredients he prefers for certain dishes and why.
I bought this book when I was at Gino’s restaurant in Manchester. I loved the food there. When I was ordering I found it hard to decide what I wanted especially since my boyfriend and I were sitting next to the pass. I saw so much delicious looking food being prepared. At the end of the meal I knew I had to get one of Gino’s books. The book has not a disappointed, there are so many recipes to choose from.
Each recipe makes it clear that simple but quality is the key to Gino’s cooking. You don’t need a complicated recipe. You just need great ingredients and your meal will be delicious. Cooking from this book was a pleasure and trying to choose what to talk about here was difficult so I decided on the last two dishes I made.
The Calzone, one of Gino’s dad’s favourites is also a favourite of my boyfriend, so I had to make one for him. I am not a calzone fan, I will always choose pizza but I would happily eat this one again. Gino’s recipe has a wonderful dough which is very easy to work with and quick to make. As long as you don’t put your fillings to the edge it should work out fine. I made my own tomato sauce as I didn’t have any passata but kept everything else the same. My calzone came out a bit messy but very tasty. The boyfriend approved too. The fillings went very well together and once you have mastered the dough you can customise it to fit your preferred tastes but this is worth trying first.
Gino’s Italian Escape also has a recipe for a Butternut Squash Risotto which I didn’t want to make as I had seen a lot of Hell’s Kitchen episodes to know this dish can be difficult. Not long ago I had some squash to be used up and thought why not just give it a go. The risotto’s taste was good however mine was thicker than it should have been. Gino says it should ‘run’ on the plate and mine did not. The slacking on the constant stirring may have been the issue here. I thought it was quite creamy and a comforting dish, good for when it’s cold outside but I’ll need some practice.
Going through the book you can imagine Gino as a superb host to any social event – he provides ideas for all types of gatherings. This book walks you through meals for any time of day with his great stories to inspire, tips from the experts but all whilst making it feel easy and that it can still be done to your own tastes. Gino is providing beautiful Italian food but also allowing it to be our own.
I can see Gino’s Italian Escape being a book I refer to regularly and not just when I want Italian. When the focus is on simplicity and great ingredients this book will always provide some inspiration when you want something that is quick to prepare yet still provides great taste.
Get your copy on amazon here.