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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Our experts are here to help with all your questions about Italy. This month we find a favourite Neapolitan recipe, go cycling in Italy and ask about Americans buying property there…

FAVOURITE RECIPE

Q I’m looking for a recipe for pasta fazool. We had it on holiday in Naples and it was deliciously different! I have been online, but there are so many interpretations. I thought you might be able to help with a more authentic recipe.

A Pasta fazool is the Neapolitan dialect name for pasta e fagioli, the thick pasta and bean soup popular all over Italy and which has a thousand different interpretations! There are so many recipes for this soup as each and every region of Italy seems to have its own take on it. Basically, however, the recipe is always more or less the same, with a few variations such as the addition of tomato purée, other vegetables, herbs, pancetta, chilli or sometimes a different kind of bean. Here is our own version for you.

This recipe will serve four people and take about an hour to prepare.

• 300g dried cannellini/borlotti beans, or equivalent canned cannellini/borlotti beans

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About Italia!

When it comes to planning a holiday, so much of the enjoyment comes in the anticipation, which is why we have packed the issue with plenty of inspiration for your next trip to Italy, whether you’re going this year or next. We were intrigued to find out about the papier-mâché (cartapesta) tradition of Salento on our visit to Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’. Lake Como is breathtaking whatever the season, and a visit to Villa Balbiano, now restored to its former opulence, is a must.