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Digital Subscriptions > delicious. Magazine > April 2019 > Francesco Mazzei’s ITALIAN EASTER FEAST

Francesco Mazzei’s ITALIAN EASTER FEAST

Francesco’s fresh take on cooking a rack of lamb will give your Easter brunch and lunch a springtime makeover. And despite this being a proper feast for six, it’s a menu you can get a head start on the day before, leaving you plenty of time to eat, drink and make merry

big weekend.

PHOTOGRAPHS MIKE ENGLISH FOOD STYLING SOPHIE AUSTEN-SMITH STYLING MORAG FARQUHAR

“In Italy we celebrate Easter on the Monday, gathering everyone in the family for a big day of feasting. Back home in Calabria, we’re lucky to have warm weather by Easter, so it’s usually a whole day of eating and drinking al fresco. We might start at 11am – it’s like a brunch for us – then we’ll carry on throughout the afternoon, with more friends joining as we go. It’s a time of drawn-out celebration.” CHEF FRANCESCO MAZZEI

FRANCESCO’S STORY

Unsurprisingly, Italianborn Francesco comes from a food-loving family, and he made his cooking debut as a lad working in his uncle’s gelateria, which unexpectedly launched his cheffing career. The next step was a job in Rome, then a move to London, where Francesco is now well known for his promotion of southern Italian food and ingredients. He showcases them in his three London restaurants, Sartoria, Radici and Fiume, and appears regularly on BBC shows Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef.

THE WELCOME BRUNCH

Asparagus with eggs, sun-blush tomatoes, black olives & baked ricotta

SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 2½ HOURS, SIMMERING TIME 30 MIN

This asparagus with eggs is a great way to start a day of feasting, combining beautiful seasonal asparagus with the classic Italian flavours of black olives and sun-blush tomatoes. Back home we would use paddaccio – a beautiful local cheese that’s a little like feta. You can’t get it in the UK, sadly, so I’ve substituted baked ricotta. It goes just as well, and you can use it for other dishes if you have some left over.

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About delicious. Magazine

Celebrate spring with our April/Easter issue: the maestro Francesco Mazzei creates an Italian feast while Raymond Blanc roasts a salmon French-style. Finish off with cakes from Bake Off’s Martha Collison, Paul A Young's new sticky, chocolate pud or Brick House's orange hot cross bun loaf. Read how in 1999 British food changed forever and find out whether counting calories works. If you've ever wanted to visit Amsterdam, we've got the latest foodie recommendations as well as a round-up of the best Easter eggs AND 16 extra pages of brilliant cheesecakes!