Inspired Italian Recipes From Bookings For You Luxury Villa Specialists

When I began the drive from Nottingham to Surrey, the thought of some great Italian food certainly kept me going, especially when I hit the M25 getting around London.  Fortunately, the Italian cookery masterclass hosted by luxury villa specialist Bookings For You and the Giovannini family certainly did not disappoint and made the 4 and a half hour drive worth it.

One of the joys of booking a villa for your Italian holiday is being able to cook your own food.  Undoubtedly you will eat out while you are away, but sometimes the dishes you eat inspire you to cook the recipes in your villa or even bring them home to recreate that holiday feeling when you’ve returned to daily life.

Enjoying the regional food is a really big part of going on holiday for me, and often it’s being able to enjoy the local ingredients that really make the experience.  The Giovannini family are well aware of this and transported many of the ingredients from Volterra in Tuscany by car to the Bookings For You Italian masterclass.  That’s what I call dedication to authentic Italian cuisine. As well as being Italian master chefs and bakers, the Giovannini family also own the Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne, a stunning converted farmhouse surrounded by rolling hillside in beautiful Tuscany.

One of the most important things I learned at the Italian cookery masterclass was not to be afraid of flavours.  Italian food seems to be about good quality ingredients and plenty of herbs and seasoning.  The rest is fairly easy, the Giovannini family reassured us, and as the day unfolded I definitely began to agree with them.

The first dish we were shown was roasted wild boar or Coscio di Cinghiale Agli Aromi con Olive.  Wild boar features a lot in Tuscan cuisine and this dish is eaten mainly at special occasions and weddings.

If you want to recreate this dish at home you will need the following:

Coscio di Cinghiale Agli Aromi con Olive


1 kilo of wild boar

20 sage leaves

5 grams of rosemary

5 garlic cloves



Extra virgin olive oil

White wine

Black olives


Hand chop the sage, rosemary, garlic cloves, a good handful of salt and some pepper until all the flavours have been released and combined.

Make several insertions in the wild boar and stuff the garlic and herbs deep into the slots.

Place the wild boar in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and poor over about half a bottle of white wine.  Return to the oven for about an hour before adding the black olives to the tray.  Roast for a further 30 mins or so.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan of wild boar but once I tasted this dish I was very much converted.  It was tender and packed full of flavour.  Perhaps more importantly it seemed like an Italian recipe that could easily be created at home.

My second favourite recipe from the day was Crostini con Fegatini, a popular appetiser from Tuscany made from chicken liver pate and baked tuscan country bread.  It’s one of those dishes that you want to keep coming back to, and I was definitely guilty of that during the cookery class.  To make Crostini con Fegatini you will need the following:

Crostini con Fegatini


Tuscan country bread toasted in the oven until crisp

300g chicken liver

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

6 sage leaves

500g of butter




Melt the olive oil and butter in a frying pan.  Chop the garlic cloves and sage leaves and add to the pan along with the chicken livers.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the chicken liver is throughly cooked transfer the ingredients of the pan to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Spread the chicken liver pate on the toasted bread and serve.

As well as these traditional Tuscan dishes we were also shown how to make fresh pasta.  I was literally blown away by how much better fresh pasta tastes compared to the dried variety that we buy in the supermarkets.

I also got to try my hand at filling some of the spinach and ricotta ravioli, which was a lot of fun.  Fortunately the sheets of pasta had already been made, so with a little guidance from the head chef, there wasn’t a lot that could go wrong!

Now the best ever Tiramisu recipe is going to be Italian, right?  Well I think so and it’s also my favourite dessert so I was pleased that we were being shown how to make it properly by the Giovannini family. This is probably the recipe I’m most likely to recreate at home, due to it’s simplicity.



8 eggs

120g sugar

500g mascarpone cheese

sponge fingers

espresso coffee



Carefully separate the egg yolks from the whites, making sure that there are no yolks at all in the egg whites.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until creamy.  Slowly add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk mixture whisking gently as you go.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they are completely stiff.  Fold the stiff egg whites into the mascarpone cream gently.  In the meantime take your sponge fingers and soak them quickly in the cold espresso coffee.  To avoid them getting too soggy just pop them in the coffee, turn over for a second and then use them to layer your dish.

Once the bottom of the dish is covered in sponge fingers, smooth a layer of the mascarpone cream over the top.  Add another layer of soaked sponge fingers followed by more of the mascarpone cream mixture.

Finish the top of the tiramisu with a dusting of cocoa and pop in the fridge to set.  Ideally it should be left overnight and served the next day.  Delizioso!

Watching these authentic Italian recipes being created in a kitchen in Surrey certainly helped me to feel a little bit closer to that holiday vibe, and I suspect if you try them at home they will quickly get you dreaming of your next holiday too.  If you’d rather cut to the chase and get your Italian holiday plans in action, why not check out the luxury Italian villas you could stay in with Booking For You now.

Pin for later 

3 Easy Italian recipes you can make at home including roasted wild boar, tiramisu and chicken liver pate from the Tuscany region #recipe #Italianfood

I was invited to the Bookings For You Italian Cookery Masterclass in exchange for this post.  I was also compensated for my time. 

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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18 Discussion to this post

  1. Ooh, I could gobble up some of that tiramisu right now! It looks incredible, as does the rest.

  2. That wild boar was just delicious – although there is something about the taste of Italian food, even the simplest ingredients and recipes are so full of flavour.

  3. Wickaninnish Tessouat says:

    That italian food looks delicious, i want to try it out now! good post 😀

  4. V Reddy says:

    Italian food is definitely something which I relish…I try to always have Italian food when I go out with my family. Thanks a lot for these innovative recipes!

  5. Justine says:

    Love love love Tiramisu. I’ll have to try this recipe.

  6. Jon says:

    Wow! The Wild boar looks amazing! I’d love to try that!

  7. Talya says:

    Ahhhh the crostini with chicken liver is my absolute weak spot although I have never made it myself so will have to give this a shot!

  8. Mrs M says:

    Wow that is one hunk of meat! I’ve never had wild boar but it looks delish!

  9. Sonia Cave says:

    Oh my these dishes look delicious. I love the look of the toasted bread, a real weakness of mine, especially once I have smelt it

  10. I would love to try making this dish at home. Looks very yummy.

  11. Lorna says:

    I would seriously love to do something like this Masterclass, for my Italian genes. Thanks for the recipes.

  12. Kara Guppy says:

    This looks like a fabulous event. I love Tuscan food and would love to try that Wild Boar

  13. Laura Dove says:

    Oh wow what an amazing event! That wild boar sounds utterly delicious!

  14. Anosa says:

    We just returned from Tuscany on Monday, we spent 5 days in Italy in our own villa and spent the evenings cooking Italian foods but ate it during the day. This is an impressive class I am so jealous

  15. Ooh wow, these recipes sound amazing. I’d have never thought about cooking wild boar at home. And topped off with Tiramisu? Yum. Love villa holidays!

  16. I love Italian food so much I definitely want to try wild bore and this sounds like a fab masterclass.

  17. Oo all of this food looks so delicious and sounds amazing too! I love Italian food so this would be right up my street. I would love to have a go at making my own ravioli too!

  18. Stephanie says:

    Oh these look so yummy, so easy to make too. would love to try wild boar

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