Welcome back to our series of interviews with some of Freddie’s friends. This week, we’re talking to James French, Italian cook extraordinaire and founder of pasta delivery service Nonna Tonda. He talks to us all about Italian cooking, seasonal ingredients and the deep links between food and flowers.
Plus, keep an eye on our Instagram, to win some goodies from Nonna Tonda (and from us too!).
- What is your top tip for making the perfect pasta dish?
Always make sure to reserve enough pasta water to add to your pasta and sauce when tossing together. You want to do this over a low heat till the starchy water gives the sauce a silky finish.
2. What role do fresh, high-quality ingredients play in authentic Italian cooking, and why are they so crucial?
Italian cuisine is in essence simple, however making simple taste delicious is not so simple! By using the best quality ingredients, what can seemily be a basic dish, can actually be an incredibly delicious one.
3. Much like flowers, cooking is seasonal, what ingredients are their very best right now?
Tomatoes from Sicily, aubergines and red peppers from Lazio & basil from Liguria are all right in season.
4. How do you start decorating the table for dinner parties? What is the key ingredient to a perfect place setting?
Candles are a must, as lighting is so important and they bring the whole table together. I personally always have a bottle of good quality olive oil on the table, it is something that you don’t think you need until it is right in front of you!
5. Are there any UK grown wildflowers that are safe to eat and can help finish a dish?
Fennel flowers grow wild in the UK and are a great garnish for seafood and pork dishes.
Join us next week to channel your inner wellness guru!