On Weds (7 May) we're welcoming Antonio Carluccio to Mumsnet HQ at midday for a webchat. The undisputed godfather of Italian food, Carluccio has just published his latest and 18th cookery book, Antonio Carluccio's Pasta.
Antonio has lived in London since 1975 where he moved to set up and run the Neal Street restaurant and later his successful chain of Carluccio's restaurants. In 1998 he was awarded the title of Commendatore by decree of the President of italy for his knowledge and enthusiasm and lifetime's service to the Italian food industry and in 2007 was awarded an OBE.
Carluccio says of his latest book ?The most important thing that I would like to give you all is a taste of the experience, love and passion I possess, which will help to make it easy for you to reproduce some of these pasta dishes for yourself. I won?t be upset if, in some cases, you may use more or less of my suggested ingredients. I would, however, be a little ?hurt? if you added garlic and oregano to a Bolognese sauce.?
Come and join Antonio and find out why he's upset by the thought of garlic in bolognese sauce on Wednesday at midday or if you're unable to join us then, post a question in advance on this thread. Everyone who joins will be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of his latest book. You can also try a couple of Carluccio's pasta recipes from the new book here.
I don't have a question I can think of at the moment but I have to say Carluccios is one of my favourite restaurants in the world.
Great food for me and the kids and always so, so welcoming to children. In the last 7 years I have averaged a visit at least once a fortnight. I wish the Carluccios ethos regarding staff attitude and food quality could extend to more chains.
Hi Antonio I won't be able to join in live, but I'm looking forward to catching up with the webchat. Your recipes are fantastic & it's a real joy to eat in one of your restaurants. I was wondering, what's your favourite dish to make - is it your favourite to eat too? Thank you.
I am not around for the web chat, so here is my question. Italian food is one of our family favourites, but one of the things I struggle with is how to cook pasta properly al dente. Is there a knack to it? If so, I would love to know what it is! Many thanks.
Ooh, hello. DP would like to know the secret to a really good, but simple, tomato sauce for pasta? We can never get the right flavour, and he's vegetarian, so my 'just chuck some bacon in' method doesn't work any more
My Italian chef handsome swain (who is chuntering away answering all of the above questions but I shall sit on him and not let him steal Antonio's limelight ) wants to know why, generally speaking, Italian restaurants in the UK (present company excepted of course!) just aren't.
For example, he always orders a carbonara when in the UK, as an acid test of whether it's a "real" Italian or not. (it invariably isn't)
Is there some reason do you think, why Italian chefs/restaurateurs think the British palate can't cope with a "real" Italian? Have we become too "internationalised" and need our carbonara to have cream and mushrooms in it?
And a sneaky invite, when you are next in Puglia, pop in and I'll whip you up some orecchiette con le cime di rape!
We love risotto here, more importantly, my fussy little boys love it
Because I usually haven't got time to stir the stock in slowly I usually put it in the pan in one go and bake the risotto in the oven. Is there a massive difference between oven baked risotto and risotto cooked 'properly'? Also, what's your favourite risotto?
I don't have a question (I'm a bit too starstruck!). I'd like to say thank you for your Covent Garden shop where I bought delicious foodie presents for lovely Dad every birthday and thank you for Carluccios restaurants for serving lovely food and being properly child friendly.
My daughter is training to be a Patissiere. What advice would you give her for her training and career? What would you say to your younger self?
Love your recipes, use them often and have bought ALL your books. I am an inveterate food writing collector and yours look mighty fine and stand book spine to spine with the other great Italian food writers- Anna Del Conte, Valentina Harris, Giorgio Locatelli, Pellugrino Artusi, Cesare Casella and Marcella Hazan.
Hi Antonio, lovely to see you on MN. I consider myself a good home cook, but am terrible with anything involving flour, is it really worth me making my own pasta, (with all the swearing that will involve), on occasion, or should I just continue to buy it?
Btw, you probably wouldn't approve, but I made the most amazing ragu with brisket last week <grin>
I have a 21 month old son who cannot eat eggs, nuts (all types), and nut family foods (e.g. lentils, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans etc etc) due to life-threatening allergies. He loves the bolognase I make for him (and would eat it every day if allowed) but I do not like it at all for myself. Any ideas where I could find a sauce that the whole family could enjoy that is tasty & safe for him.