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#WorldFoodDay Meet the Chef: Danilo Cortellini

As part of our World Food Day raffle, we’re giving you the chance to win a private cooking masterclass from one of our skilled chefs!

This week, the spotlight is on the fantastic Danilo Cortellini.


Originally from Abruzzo, in central Italy, Danilo valued how combining high quality but humble produce brought people together. He gained his experience in two of Italy’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, before then working at the Michelin-starred restaurants of London.

Danilo worked in many high powered kitchens before being offered the position of Head Chef at the Italian Embassy. This gave him a chance to connect with the produce he loves and give a personal touch to intimate dinners and large galas.

He has now opened his catering and event company Tiramisoo Events and published his first cookbook 4 Grosvenor Square, both in English and Italian.


Danillo shares his recipe for Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese – a heart-warming dish from humble origins but one that requires well selected ingredients. It is the most characteristic dish from the Valtellina Valley and truly represents the spirit and the way of life of this mountain region in the North of Italy.

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


60g unsalted butter

200g peeled potatoes

1 garlic clove

1 savoy cabbage

50g grated Grana Padano cheese

150g grated mild mountain cheese (mild semi-hard cheddar will work)

Salt and pepper to taste

For the pizzoccheri pasta

400g buckwheat flour

100g 00 flour

270ml warm water


Start by preparing the pizzoccheri.


In a bowl, mix together the two flours and add the warm water at roughly 40-50degrees, knead by hand and as soon as the pasta dough is formed, place onto a table and keep kneading with lots of energy until smooth and elastic.

Once ready, let the dough rest wrapped it in cling film for about 10 minutes. After resting and with the help of a rolling pin or a pasta machine, start to roll the pasta gradually until a 2-3 mm thickness. Dusting the pasta with some more buckwheat flour will help this process. Once you have the pasta sheets rolled out, with a sharp knife cut into short strips about half the length of traditional tagliatelle. Dust with extra buckwheat flour and set aside.

To prepare the savoy cabbage and potatoes, place a large pot of water on the stove on a high heat. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and keep aside for a stock and then rinse the cabbage well. Cut the cabbage into 4 parts and remove the internal hard stalk with a knife. Slice the cabbage and potatoes roughly into small cubes.

Once the water boils, drop the potatoes in first and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the cabbage. Keep mixing and after 3 more minutes gently add the pizzoccheri, but try not to let them all stick together by mixing the ingredients.

While the potatoes, cabbage and pizzoccheri are cooking together, in a separate pan melt half of the butter with the garlic clove and let it infuse for a few minutes until brown. After 3-4 minutes remove the garlic and strain the pizzoccheri, cabbage and potatoes and drop everything into the melted butter. Make sure you save some of the cooking water for later! Mix everything together, adding some grated Grana Padano cheese and the grated mountain cheese to the ingredients and set aside for a couple of minutes.

In a small pan melt the rest of the butter until brown and caramelised and pour over the top of the pizzoccheri. This will help the cheese to melt and will add an extra depth of flavour to the dish. Add some of the leftover cooking water to make it creamier and serve straight away.


Love Italian food? Win your own bespoke cooking masterclass with Danilo, try your luck and enter our World Food Day raffle here. Entry is only £1 and you can enter as many times as you like!

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