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Shopping with a foodie: Gino D'Acampo

by Leah Hyslop
Shopping with a foodie: Gino D'Acampo
Photograph by Dan Jones

We browse the aisles with Italian celebrity chef and television presenter Gino D'Acampo. His latest book is Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (Hodder & Stoughton, £20).


‘It has to be freshly grated – definitely not the dried stuff that smells like old socks! Parmesan lifts the flavour of pasta to another level; just make sure that you don’t add it to seafood pasta – a big no in Italy!’

Dried pasta

‘If I could, I’d eat pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It’s the ultimate fast food – just boil, then drain and add extra-virgin olive oil, chilli flakes and a sprinkle of Parmesan.’

Balsamic vinegar

‘I like the syrupy rich flavour of a good balsamic. It can liven up any veg dish, or be used as a marinade or dipping sauce.’

Tinned chopped tomatoes

‘So many pizza sauces, pasta dishes and stews all begin with a tin of chopped tomatoes. They add vibrancy and flavour.’


Extra-virgin olive oil

‘An amazing, versatile ingredient. A good extra-virgin olive oil is fruity and bitter. It’s perfect for salads, as a dip for breads, and for drizzling over dishes.’

Fresh rustic bread

‘Sharing bread and oils before a meal is an Italian tradition. My grandfather had a wood-burning oven and locals used to bring him the ingredients so he could make them fresh breads and pizza. I still remember the delicious smell of the bread baking.’


‘I love Guinness! A pint with a spicy pizza and a game of pool – the perfect boy’s night.’


‘I’m a fan of hazelnuts and chocolate combined. Nutella ice cream sandwiched between freshly baked cookies is a must-try!’


‘Parboil them, then pan-fry with a little olive oil and pancetta, and serve sprinkled with Parmesan.’

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