Tuscan stews are like their makers – robust, generous and not for the faint-hearted. This slow-cooked beauty features sage, Chianti, oyster blade steak and a princely seasoning of black pepper.
Not one to alienate her girl-crushing fans, Silvia shares plenty of vegetarian recipes on the show. A zealot for zucchini, she chooses to hollow and stuff the green vegetable for this gorgeous gratin. We deem it an essential on your next antipasti plate.
The French might be famed for their baking abilities, but Italians know some sweet tricks too. Typical of Italian desserts – and cooking in general – this recipe uses extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Add some Sambuca, fresh apricots and flaked almonds, and bravo, you’ve got a fruit cake phenomenon.
According to Silvia, Italians don’t often order takeaway – no pizza?!? – because most home cooks have a plethora of simple recipes under their belt. This one-pot chicken dish is a cinch. Simply throw your herbs, poultry, wine and tomatoes into an ovenproof pan, then pour yourself a glass of vino while it cooks.
Silvia says no family feast gets under way in the Colloca household without her mum’s roast capsicum salad. Sporting a beautiful charred flavour, the well-oiled antipasto will knock your socks off. Scatter with herbs and serve alongside a freshly-baked loaf. Belissimo!
With hazelnuts, Frangelico and coffee-spiked cocoa, Silvia’s torta gianduja literally takes the cake. It’s rich, moist and flourless... basically a chocolate lover’s dream. Oh, and did we mention it tastes even better on day two?
Bump shortbread and ANZAC bikkies off the baking list this weekend and opt for Silvia’s almond and lemon biscotti instead. The recipe lends itself to experimentation – try adding chocolate and hazelnut, or pistachio and orange. Just remember to have your espresso on the ready.
Don’t be fooled by its name, pizza rustica ain’t the salami-clad snack you might’ve expected. It’s actually a pie consisting of silverbeet, ricotta, salami and eggs, housed within a rich, buttery pastry. Silvia says this one's a springtime fave.
The Italian name for this stew, polpi in purgatorio, translates as “octopus in purgatory”. Not exactly the cheeriest of thoughts, but we can assure you that as the cook and diner, you’ll be in culinary heaven. Serve with crusty bread and soak up the glorious sauce.
“The love child of sponge and Madeira cakes”, this lemon and ricotta variety is one the family will adore. Silvia likes to lace hers with a little Amaretto and dip it into coffee on a Sunday morn.
On her journey through the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Le Marche and Molise, Silvia re-discovers authentic cucina povera or ‘peasant cuisine’. Fresh and far lighter than the classics many of us are used to, this style of cooking showcases seasonal, locally-farmed produce like lamb chops with asparagus.