Cooking Italian For GOSH

My absolute favourite cuisine is Italian food. I've never been happier than sat in a restaurant on the Isle of Capri trying to choose between all the pizzas, pastas and risottos, let alone the sumptuous desserts and liquers.

And it stands to reason that if I can't be on the Amalfi coast, then if you hand me an Italian cookbook and put Dean Martin on, I'm going to be just as happy.

The ASK Italian Cookbook contains a variety of easy-to-prepare recipes straight from the ASK Italian kitchens. Over 100 recipes have been contributed by the chefs who work there, plus TV chef Theo Randall, author Carla Capalbo and plenty of other experts to create this new Bible of mine for starters, mains, sides and desserts. There are even ideas to make with children.

What makes this one different?

For every one of these cookbooks bought in an ASK Italian restaurant, £4 of the £15 will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. If you buy it through a bookshop or another third-party retailer then a minimum of £1 will be donated. Over the past few years ASK Italian have raised money to build a ward kitchen and an adolescent recreation and dining room in the hospital's new Cardiac ward, they hope to continue to raise funds to help with physical and emotional support of patients and their family.

I've had a go at one of their recipes: ravioli di spinaci e ricotta.

Ok, so it's not ravioli because I've tried making that before and the results weren't worth a mention. However the sauce is straight out of the book and it took me a matter of a few minutes to cook. In fact, it took me longer to find the bottle of white wine than it did to make the entire sauce. And it tasted delicious. I can't wait to try the salads and puddings.

ASK Italian is just one of three companies who have chosen to support GOSH, The White Company and Disney are two others. Look out for specially marked products to help support the charity.

My son has spent four nights in a children's hospital, and it was the worst 96 hours of my life. He left there healthy and happy because of the attention given to him. I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to have a child who needs long-term health treatment.

GOSH needs to raise at least £50 million every year to help rebuild and refurbish Great Ormond Street Hospital, buy vital equipment and fund research to pioneer new treatments and cures for childhood illness. Through donations and special product purchases, they provide hope to very ill children and their families.

For more information log on to

I received this book free for the purpose of this post. I have since made a donation of £10 to GOSH.

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