A Taste of Italy with IC Bellagio - Brownell Travel

A Taste of Italy with IC Bellagio

When it comes to the best cuisine in the world, Italy is always at the top of the list. The pasta, the pizza, the wine — what’s not to love? Our partners at IC Bellagio and their favorite Italian foodies have shared some of their favorite recipes with us so we can bring a taste of Italy into our homes. Buon Appetito!

Cestino di Parmigiano

Parmesan Baskets
By Giovanna from Palazzo del Vice Re


8 oz. (about one cup) finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into a circle of about 6 inches in diameter on the parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven, and work quickly using a spatula to drape the lacy Parmesan round over a jar or bowl while still warm to form the desired bowl shape. The round will start to crisp up as it cools. Please note: If the round is too hot, it may slide down the container and break. If this happens, gently press the cheese together to seal any large gaps.
  5. Let the basket cool completely, and then carefully remove it. Repeat the process to create as many baskets as you need.

La Perfetta Caprese

The Perfect Caprese Salad
By Giovanna from Palazzo del Vice Re


  • 4 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes (large variety, like beefsteak tomatoes)
  • 2 balls (8 oz. each) fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  1. First, make sure you use only local vine-ripened tomatoes kept at room temperature – never in the refrigerator! Cut the tomatoes into .-inch slices and layer on a dinner plate. They should be thick enough to make the most of the ripe, juicy flavor.
  2. Take a good quality, fresh mozzarella cheese. Ideally, you should use Mozzarella di Bufala, a specialty of the Naples region. Giovanna uses this cheese as a treat – it can be a bit on the expensive side, even in Italy! Of course, a very good fresh cow’s milk mozzarella (e.g. Fior di latte) can taste just as good. Slice the fresh mozzarella into discs – again, not too thin – and arrange them on the plate, overlapping with the tomatoes.
  3. Tear a good bunch of beautifully fragrant fresh basil leaves, and sprinkle the pieces freely over the tomato and mozzarella slices.
  4. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Finally just before serving, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over the dish.

Insalata Caprese is best served fresh – try not to let it stand for too long. To serve, all you need is good quality fresh bread, a glass of crisp chilled white wine and, of course, good company!

Gnocchi al ragù

Gnocchi in Tomato & Meat sauce
By Chef Barbara


For the ragù:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4cup Passata (tomato sauce)
  • Salt to taste

For the gnocchi:

  • 1 lb. potatoes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (+ a bit extra for working the dough)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste


  1. Peel and finely chop carrot, onion and celery.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Sauté the chopped vegetables until the onion is lightly golden.
  4. Add the ground beef and brown well.
  5. Once cooked, lower the heat slightly, and add 1/2 cup of white wine. Let it simmer and evaporate.
  6. Then add the Passata and salt. Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for an hour while you make the gnocchi.
  7. Wash the potatoes and place them unpeeled in a pot of boiling water, making sure they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes or until soft.
  8. Drain the potatoes and allow to cool before peeling.
  9. Mash the peeled potatoes together with 1/2 a cup of flour, 1 egg and a pinch of salt to taste.
  10. Knead the dough and roll into cylinders of about one inch in diameter. Cut the cylinders into one-inch pieces and lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them.
  11. Cook in boiling salted water. As soon as the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
  12. Serve with the meat ragù and a good sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Risotto Al Tartufo Classico

Traditional Truffle Risotto
By celebrity Anglo-Italian chef Valentina Harris


  • 1 1/2 oz. or 3 tbsp. lard or pork fat
  • 1/2 oz. or about 1 slice of lean prosciutto crudo, including fat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 14 oz. skirt steak, chuck or similar cut of beef, cut into large chunks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 – 6 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 14 oz. (about 2 cups) risotto rice
  • 3 oz. or 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 oz. (about 3/4 cup) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • Freshly shaved white truffle to taste (optional)


  1. Begin by mixing the pork fat, prosciutto and onion together to make a thick paste.
  2. Place this in the bottom of a heavy stock pot and fry together until the onion is soft and golden.
  3. Add the carrot and celery and fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Then add the beef and brown it thoroughly on all sides.
  5. Cover with the boiling water, season with salt and pepper and place a lid on the pot. Leave to simmer gently for about 3 hours.
  6. Strain the stock and discard the remaining chunks of meat. Put the stock through a food processer until smooth, then return it to the pan and bring it slowly to a boil. You should have about 2ó pints (about 5 cups).
  7. Add the rice, stir and simmer for about 20 minutes until the grains are all plump, fluffy and tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  8. Add the butter and Parmesan, and stir together thoroughly. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes and then pour into a warmed serving platter.
  9. While the risotto is resting, make sure the truffle is clean and ready to use.
  10. Cover the risotto liberally with freshly shaved truffle and serve at once.

Linguine al Pesto di Basilico, Agrumi e Mazzancolle

Linguine with Basil Pesto, Citrus and Shrimp
By Italian lifestyle and fashion blogger Viviana 


  • 1 lb. fresh linguine
  • 4 bunches (about 4 cups) of fresh basil
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 10 medium shrimp
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Boil the water for the linguine, and add a pinch of salt.
  2. Clean the shrimp and cook them in a separate pot of boiling water for 5 minutes so they stay plump.
  3. Wash the basil and pat dry. Add the leaves to a blender ready to mix.
  4. Squeeze the juice of one orange and half a lemon and add it to the blender along with the garlic, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients in the blender, pulsing only a few times to make sure the pesto doesn’t get too runny.
  5. When the pasta water comes to a boil, add the linguine and cook according to the instructions until al dente.
  6. Drain the pasta, place in a serving dish and top with the pesto and shrimp. Mix and serve while hot.

Frutti di Bosco con Zabaione di Prosecco

Fresh Berries with Prosecco Zabaglione
By Chef Johann


  • 2 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup Prosecco
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 amaretti cookies or macaroons, crumbled
  • 4 cups mixed fresh berries


  1. Fill a medium pot half-full of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Place egg yolks, Prosecco and brown sugar in a medium stainless steel bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Set the bowl over the pot of water in a double boiler, taking care not to touch the water, and whisk continuously until the mixture is thick and has doubled in volume – about 3 to 5 minutes. You’ll know the sauce is thick enough when it falls off the whisk in ribbons.
  4. Layer some of the crushed amaretti cookies on the bottom of several glasses or bowls, and place the fruit on the cookies, then spooning zabaglione over each one. Sprinkle with more crushed amaretti and serve.

Tiramisù alle Fragole e Yogurt Greco

Tiramisu with Strawberries and Greek Yogurt
By Italian lifestyle and fashion blogger Viviana 


  • 1 lb. strawberries
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 package “ladyfinger” biscuits (or alternatively, sliced sponge cake)
  • 24 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup rice milk (or other milk)
  • Ground cinnamon and ginger to taste


  1. Wash the strawberries, and remove the stems – put a few aside for garnishing. Cut the remaining strawberries into small pieces.
  2. Pour the orange juice into a bowl, and dip some of the ladyfingers in one at a time to ensure that they are well soaked.
  3. Line the bottom of another large bowl or a baking pan with the soaked ladyfingers.
  4. Layer sliced strawberries over the ladyfingers.
  5. Now take the yogurt and mix it with powdered sugar and up to 1 cup of rice milk, adding a bit at a time until you get a creamy consistency.
  6. Layer the yogurt mixture over the strawberries and ladyfingers.
  7. Dip some ladyfingers into the juice again and layer over the yogurt.
  8. Layer strawberries again, this time adding a sprinkling of ginger and cinnamon.
  9. Spread another layer of the yogurt on top of the strawberries. Continue alternating ladyfingers, strawberries and yogurt, ending with the yogurt. Garnish with the whole strawberries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
  10. Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.