10 great gourmet adventures in italy, chosen by antonio carluccio

One of the joys of visiting Italy as a tourist is sampling and savouring the wonderful ingredients and produce specific to each region. Homemade pasta sauce quick Regional specialities can be purchased at food markets, delightful places to visit where you will be tasting – and possibly buying – some of the country’s best products. Homemade spaghetti sauce from whole tomatoes My favourites include the Rialto in Venice, the Porta Palazzo in Turin, San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale in Florence and the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, or in Napoli and Sicily where every village has a market.

Homemade tomato sauce for pasta recipe If you’d like advice on where to eat, ask the vendors. Tomato pasta sauce recipe nz They, more than anyone else, will know where the best place is to go for fresh fare.

What I find fascinating about Italy is the provenance of good food and discovering where to source the best of everything. Homemade pasta sauce without tomatoes For example, the best rice with which to make a beautiful risotto is Acquerello which is produced in Livorno Ferraris. Homemade pasta sauce from garden tomatoes I’ve visited all the Italian regions in my search for the best pasta and I’ve found it in Campania, Puglia and Emilia-Romagna. Homemade pasta sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes Good olive oil can be found in special places, such as Tuscany, Umbria, Liguria or Garda for the lightest of tastes, or Puglia, Calabria and Sicily for more intense flavours.

I’m a lover of sublime yet simple regional food, particularly from small trattorias – run by mama, papa and the entire family Antonio Carluccio

Meanwhile, Italian wines have improved beyond recognition in recent years. Homemade pasta sauce with tomato sauce With more than 1,000 grape varieties and with wine territories in 20 regions with rich soil and favourable climate, they now easily compete with the best in the world. Tomato pasta sauce recipe italian The Veneto and Lombardi valleys produce a sparkling wine, which has nothing to blush about next to the haughtiest French champagnes.

People from Napoli in the south live on vegetables and fish and the local cuisine is spectacular. Homemade pasta sauce for baby But all over the country, you’ll find markets which offer sumptuous fruit. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with garden tomatoes It’s incredible to be able to buy a ripe, white-flesh peach, which has been grown amongst rows of vineyards. Homemade pasta sauce with tomato paste Bear in mind that the classic finish to a meal in Italy is not pastry or cheese as in England, but a ripened fruit with all the sweetness of the sun.

Treviso and the entire area north of Venice is a special place for radicchio, spadone or the radicchio tardivo di Treviso. Quick homemade pasta sauce recipe The underground water is what gives chicory its sweet flavour and lovely maroon colour. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch Compared with other radicchios, including the round chicory of Chioggia and that of Castelfranco Veneto, the Treviso is more expensive because of its complicated cultivation process. Homemade pasta sauce nz In Treviso, you may even find grappa made with radicchio. Best homemade spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch Try and visit between September and October, as that is when the leaf chicory is at its best. Easy homemade cheese sauce for pasta Also, look out for risotto with radicchio – delicious.

Telegraph Tours offers an exclusive three-day Prosecco festival accompanied by wine critic Susy Atkins, which takes in Treviso and Venice, from £995 including return flights and transfers. Homemade pasta sauce tomato Telegraph Tours (03331 222 036; telegraph.co.uk/tt-susyatkins). Recipe for homemade tomato pasta sauce Departs June 9-11, 2017.

Peperoni or pepper, which is originally from South America is popular all over Italy, especially in Piedmont. Sauce for pasta and salmon Here they have developed Quadrato di Asti, a large, square, very meaty pepper, mostly used for bagna cauda (a dipping sauce) but also for stuffing or frying. Sauce recipe for shrimp pasta When I was growing up, my mother used to cut them into small strips and fry them – and they would caramelise. White sauce recipe for pasta with cheese Add garlic, vinegar and salt and you have a delicious starter or side dish. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with canned tomatoes Italians are so fond of peperoni that they hold regular festivals of peppers in Cuneo or Asti.

Great Rail Journeys (01904 521 936; greatrail.com) runs an eight-day Gastronomic Piedmont tour, from £1,445 including accommodation, first class Eurostar rail travel, some meals, guided tours and a wine tasting. Homemade pasta sauce recipe without tomatoes Departures between April and September 2017. Homemade meat sauce for pasta 3. Best homemade pasta sauce recipe Liguria – Anchovies in oil

Salt-cured anchovies that are hand-filleted and preserved in oil, also known as Alice and Acciuga, are loved by Italians. Best homemade pasta sauce The biggest producer of anchovies can be found in a valley between Liguria and Piedmont where they are kept in wooden barrels and sold in markets. Homemade pasta sauce jamie oliver Anchovies can be eaten raw and fresh. Easy canning homemade spaghetti sauce recipe Acciugata is a Ligurian sauce made by dissolving fillets of anchovies in olive oil. Homemade butter sauce for pasta In Camogli, they hold an annual festival of fish, Sagra del Pesce. Red sauce for pasta recipe The fishermen prepare the fish, including anchovies, and fry them on an open fire in a pan measuring 10 metres in diameter, with tons of olive oil. Sauce for pasta recipes This festival attracts all northern Italians..

An eight-day Trails of the Cinque Terre and Liguria from Explore (01252 883 758; explore.co.uk) starts from £1,099 including accommodation, some meals and flights. Homemade tomato pasta sauce for freezing Departures between May and October 2017.

Puglia, Calabria and Campania are the vegetable gardens of Italy thanks in part to the areas’ fertile land. Homemade pasta sauce with tomatoes A huge variety of vegetables is produced and transported seasonally up to the north. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with hamburger The industry of preserved vegetables is enormous because Italians like to have a few pickled bits and pieces for antipasti, preserved in vinegar or salt and oil. Making spaghetti sauce from scratch fresh tomatoes They are very appetising – and can be eaten as a snack or as an accompaniment to roasts and barbeques. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe food network These pickled vegetables can even made into fritters. Homemade pasta sauce recipe for canning My favourite is sundried tomato fritters, which make for delicious snacks year-round.

Cox & Kings (020 3811 0749; coxandkings.co.uk) offers an eight-day Puglia and Basilicata tour, starting from £1,195 b&b including flights and wine, cheese and olive oil tastings. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce canning Departures between May and October 2017.

The sought-after Bergamot used for flavouring Earl Grey tea, liqueurs and scents can be found in Sicily, Campania and Calabria. Pasta sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes These areas have sub-tropical temperatures and well-drained organic soil. Homemade tomato pasta sauce from scratch Oranges are served with a salad of smoked herring and they are also used to make orange flower water and jam of every kind, which are all staples of the Italian pantry.

An eight-day Highlights of Sicily from Kuoni (01306 855 334; kuoni.co.uk) starts from £ £1,459 including accommodation, some meals and flights. Homemade italian pasta sauce recipe Departures between May 2017 and October 2018.

Artichokes are actually a flower and are one of the most beautiful and most loved vegetables in Italy. Fresh pasta sauce recipe tomato An extraction of the juices produces a substance full of iron which is used to make a liqueur called Cynar, drunk as an aperitif, digestif or diluted for long drinks. Homemade pasta sauce recipe fresh tomatoes 98 per cent of the crops are exported both in preserved and fresh forms. Easy homemade pasta sauce recipe In the Rialto market in Venice in springtime, you can find already peeled hearts of artichokes, which are called Castraure.

An eight-day Pompeii, Herculaneum and Classical Campania trip from Andante (01722 713800; andantetravels.co.uk) starts from £1,895 full board. Homemade tomato pasta sauce for bottling Excludes flights. Homemade pasta sauce diced tomatoes Departures between April and October 2017.

Athough every region produces its own pork speciality, the area most famous for pork is Emilia-Romagna, where Parma ham originates. Homemade pasta sauce with italian sausage recipe There are many other regions which produce commendable meats, for example Calabria, where chacuterie is made and the Calabrese and Abruzzi regions where people use lots of chilli and fennel seeds to produce wonderful salamis. Homemade italian spaghetti sauce from scratch recipe In addition to Parma ham, Emilia-Romagna is famous for Parmesan, a cheese produced exclusively with milk from the area. Homemade tomato basil pasta sauce recipe Every Italian region has its own cheese speciality, either made from cow’s or goat’s milk. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe using fresh tomatoes Cheese is a big tradition and Italy has around 400 varieties. Simple homemade sauce for pasta According to Charles de Gaulle, a nation with that many cheeses would never lose wars. Recipe homemade pasta sauce Italy doesn’t have more varieties than France, and admittedly, has lost some wars, but the cheeses are exceptionally good and different, like Mozzarella and Parmesan to mention two.

Adagio (01707386700; adagio.co.uk) has an eight-day Bologna – La Grassa tour, from £1,399 full-board including flights. Easy homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes Departures between March and October 2017.

Being a lover of mushrooms, I ought to know the best places to find them in Italy. Tomato pasta sauce jar It is a common pasttime in season to forage for mushrooms. Homemade pasta sauce recipe easy If you were visiting the area of Trento between August and October, visit the Piazza Vittorio, where you will find the biggest variety of wild mushrooms. Cheese sauce recipe for pasta bake Preserving mushrooms is a big business, particularly porcini, which can be used year round, in sauces for pasta, risotto and polenta. Sauce for pasta dishes One of the most interesting places to visit is Borgotaro where they hold the Porcino Mushroom Festival in September.

Exodus (0203 131 2941; exodus.co.uk) offers an eight-day Dolomites, Lake Garda and Venice Ride, with some time in Trento, starting from £1,199 b&b including flights and bike hire. A sauce for pasta Departures between April 2017 and September 2018..

Balsamic vinegar which is now en vogue, has been fashionable in Italy for at least 300 years. Easy homemade white pasta sauce recipe Balsamic vinegar is from the region of Emilia-Romagna, specifically the area of Modena. Tomato pasta sauce recipe Old ladies and mothers would look after many barrels, stored in the lofts of their houses, where they are allowed to ferment and develop. Healthy homemade pasta sauce from scratch They use various sized barrels from a capacity of 10 litres to 100 litres. Homemade pasta sauce to can Initially balsamic vinegar is grape juice, which is cooked down to a thick consistency, which then receives acidity from a fungus, transforming the sugars into vinegar. How do you make homemade sauce for pasta It is also used as a medicine (hence “balsam”) for colds and other ailments. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with canned tomatoes Every family had an old bottle aged 25 years, at which point concentration is at a maximum.

A five-day Bologna, Parma and Ravenna tour from Riviera Travel (0330 029 3848; telegraph.co.uk/tt-bologna-tour) includes a visit to a traditional artisan to sample Modena’s balsamic vinegars, starting from £619 b&b including flights, guided tours and tastings. Homemade sauce for pasta and chicken Departures between April and July 2017.