Gennaro's Cucina: Hearty money-saving meals from an Italian kitchen

By Gennaro Contaldo

In an era of excessive convenience and disposable food waste, Gennaro’s Cucina could not come at a better time – you will learn how to use simple ingredients in inventive ways, eat seasonally, spend less and, ultimately, eat better.

‘Cucina povera’ is the food that traditionally fed the poor of Italy yet remains the basis of most Italian dishes we love to eat today. It’s a simple philosophy – delicious, hearty meals using accessible and affordable ingredients. Encouraging an ethos of zero waste, Gennaro’s Cucina ensures that every part of the ingredient, and your budget, is put to good culinary use.

Along with the majority of post-war Italian families, a young Gennaro was raised on a diet harvested on a limited budget. Restricted choice of scarce ingredients meant they learnt the value what they had, how to cook dishes lovingly and use imaginative methods of preservation to make simple dishes go far: including salting, drying and curing.

In this inspirational cookbook, Gennaro takes you on a culinary journey of regional basic Italian staples and turns them into beautiful meals. With tips and ideas of what to do with leftovers, Gennaro helps home cooks squeeze maximum use from the ‘cucina povera’ ethos, turning humble ingredients into nourishing feasts without taste sacrifice.

From Sicilian chickpea fritters to lentil soups and bread salads – to more elaborate filled vegetables, delicious ‘poor-man’s’ ricotta dumplings and simple sweet biscotti, this book will transform the way you shop, cook and eat.


Format: Hardback
Release Date: 02 Feb 2023
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1-911682-60-8
Gennaro Contaldo’s warmth, Italian spirit and sense of fun have led him to be one of the UK’s most-loved chefs. He is renowned for being a mentor to Jamie Oliver and teaching him, with Carluccio, everything Jamie knows about Italian cooking. In 1999, he opened Passione in London, which was awarded Best Italian restaurant in 2005. He is a favourite on Saturday Kitchen, has his own YouTube food channel, and is an ambassador for Citalia, Parmigiano Reggiano and Birra Moretti. This is his eighth book with Pavilion, which include Limoni, Pasta Perfecto and Fast Cook Italian. He lives in east London with his wife and twin daughters. @gennarocontaldo

”'Proper, old-school classics to use up every scrap” - - Jamie Oliver

For Limoni: -

”'I can still remember the delight of eating my first Amalfi lemon whole, it was about the time I met Gennaro. Since then his books on Italian food have been a source of inspiration, particularly this one.” - - Rick Stein

”'Passionate, personal and practical, this joyous book will delight a huge spectrum of home cooks.” - -

For Pasta Perfecto: -

”'Accessible, easy to follow, and full of some fantastic seasonal recipes … there’s something to suit every mood, occasion and skill set.” - - The Daily Telegraph

'This deserves to become a well-thumbed kitchen classic.' - The Daily Mail, ‘Best Cookbooks of 2019’ -

”'There’s nothing Gennaro doesn’t know about pasta. He’s an absolute legend!” - - Jamie Oliver