Low-waste recipes from Gino D’Acampo


“This has to be one of my favourite soups of all time and it will keep you filled up for hours,” says chef Gino D’Acampo, who has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste for this year’s Food Waste Action Week.

“If you decide to make this recipe in the morning for later in the day, cook it up to the point when you are about to put in the pasta. Only add the pasta and cook for the last 25 minutes when you are ready to serve, or the pasta will go soggy.”

Zuppa di verdure

A simple but tasty dish that can be customised with whatever veg is in your fridge

(Haarala Hamilton/PA)

Serves: 6


3 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

200g canned cannellini beans, drained

250g King Edward potatoes, chopped into 2cm chunks

200g dark green cabbage (cavolo nero), any coarse stems removed, leaves roughly chopped

400g can of chopped tomatoes

200g French beans, finely chopped

2L vegetable stock, made with stock cubes

120g dried conchigliette pasta (baby shells)

4 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

60g finely grated pecorino cheese, to serve


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions, carrots and celery for 10 minutes, or until they are just golden.

2. Add the cannellini beans, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, French beans and stock, and bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat, half-cover the saucepan with the lid and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the lid, add the pasta with the parsley and continue to cook over a medium heat for a further 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste (I like to add half a teaspoon of pepper).

5. Check that all the vegetables are tender and the pasta is cooked and serve immediately in warmed bowls, with a sprinkle of pecorino cheese on top.

Insalata semplice di pasta con pollo, prosciutto e pesto rosso

This versatile recipe is flavoured with chicken, ham and red pesto

(Haarala Hamilton/PA)

“I love a pasta salad and this is a really tasty one,” says D’Acampo.

“I must admit, it came about just before we were off to Sardinia for the summer; the night before, I threw everything we had left over in the fridge or kitchen cupboards into it (which explains the apple and onions) and the outcome was delicious.

“That’s what I love about pasta salads: anything goes and you can be as creative as you like. This is perfect for lunch on the go, it’s filling and so versatile.”

Serves: 4-6


400g dried fusilli pasta

150g broccoli florets

100g green beans, trimmed and halved

5 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise

3 tbsp good-quality shop-bought red pesto

1 large red onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 large red apple, cored, cut into 1cm chunks

8 basil leaves, torn in half

150g cold chicken breast, cut into 1cm chunks

150g thick slice of ham, cut into 1cm chunks

5 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Fill a medium saucepan with water, add one tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook for two minutes less than instructed on the packet, giving you a very al dente bite, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, drain in a large colander and rinse under cold water to stop it cooking. Leave to drain in the sink while you prepare the vegetables.

2. Fill the same saucepan with water and one tablespoon of salt and again bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the broccoli and boil for one minute. Add the beans and boil for a further two minutes. Meanwhile, pour the drained pasta into a large bowl.

3. Remove the broccoli and beans from the heat and drain in the same colander you used to drain the pasta. Rinse under cold water and leave to drain in the sink.

4. Place the mayonnaise, pesto, red onion, apple, basil, chicken, ham and half a teaspoon of pepper into the bowl with the pasta. Sprinkle in one teaspoon of salt and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cooled broccoli and beans.

5. Place the pasta salad on a large serving platter. Sprinkle over the spring onions and drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge until needed. Please remember always to serve this at room temperature, to appreciate the flavours of each ingredient.

‘Gino’s Italy: Like Mamma Used To Make’ by Gino D’Acampo (Bloomsbury Publishing, £25).

Risotto cremoso con zucchine, piselli e peperoni

With peppers and courgettes, there’s plenty of hidden veg in this deceptively decadent dish

(Haarala Hamilton/PA)

“We have risotto on the family menu at least once a week,” says D’Acampo.

“I particularly love this quick version, and it gets lots of vegetables into the kids. My daughter Mia is not that keen on peppers, and yet, when they are in a creamy risotto, she never complains.

“This is a meal in itself, but I sometimes also top it with grilled balsamic chicken or some pan-fried garlic and chilli prawns. If, like me, you love adding a little kick to your meals, my tip is to either buy or make some chilli-infused olive oil and drizzle it over the top.”

Serves: 4-6


8 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 tsp roughly chopped thyme leaves

1 large yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes

1 large courgette, chopped into 1cm cubes

500g Arborio or Carnaroli rice

150ml dry white wine

1.5L hot vegetable stock, made with stock cubes

200g frozen peas, defrosted

60g salted butter

60g finely grated parmesan cheese

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Pour the oil into a large heavy-based saucepan, place over a medium heat and fry the onion, thyme, pepper and courgette for 10 minutes until soft, stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Add the rice and fry for three minutes, stirring to allow the hot oil and vegetables to coat the grains. Stir in the wine and cook for a further minute, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

3. Pour in a couple of ladles of hot stock and bring to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat and continue to cook and stir until all the stock is absorbed. At this point, please stay with the saucepan, because you need to keep stirring the risotto.

5. Stir in the peas. Pour in the rest of the stock, a little at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before you add the next. It will take 18–20 minutes and you may not need to add all the stock.

6. Once the rice is cooked, take the pan off the heat and add the butter, Parmesan, two teaspoons of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper.

7. Stir all together for 20 seconds, allowing the risotto to become creamy and all the ingredients to combine properly.

8. Serve on warmed plates and enjoy.

‘Gino’s Italian Family Adventure’ by Gino D’Acampo (Bloomsbury Publishing, £22).


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