‘Mamma Knows Best’, Family Recipes Challenged by Danilo Cortellini

Mamma Know's Best?

‘Mamma Knows Best’, Family Recipes Challenged by Danilo Cortellini, is the latest e-recipe-book to be released by the Abruzzese Head chef of the Italian Embassy in London.

Danilo defines this cookbook as a tribute not a challenge to his Mother’s fantastic recipes and thanks her for being his biggest source of inspiration in the kitchen.

His love of Italian cuisine emanates through the descriptions of his home region of Abruzzo, his family, and the attention to detail he gives to each of the 15 recipes. It’s these qualities that have driven him to repeatedly push the boundaries of what it means to create great Italian food and so create new traditions.

Danilo’s father’s family are from Abruzzo’s chestnut capital, the small town of Senarica (TE) that hosts a fantastic autumn 3-day sagra celebrating their ample supply of the gorgeous ‘Lu ‘Nzite’ castagne, their local variety of sweet chestnuts. I was over the moon when opening the book to see 2 gnocchi recipes made with chestnut flour, one dressed with a traditional meat-based ragu and a lighter spring version of the gnocchi given a forest-based vegetarian recipe, I can finally try and recreate those sublime flavours eaten at the chestnut sagra. For those wanting to begin exploring different flours, I would buy the book for these recipes alone!

At a small, covid socially distanced bubble garden lunch I tested Danilo’s Boozy limoncello Tiramisu alternative to Mamma Lucia’s classic Tiramisu out on a cross mix of nationalities including an Italian who all revelled in the flavours. It took me double the amount of time to prepare, I’m not a trained cook and rarely make desserts, but my son had great fun assembling this lovely pudding in glasses as his contribution!

For each recipe, Danilo provides some background history of each dish and useful tips, for example, how do you make your supermarket Marscapone Cheese a tad less watery! It’s perfect for those who can’t visit Abruzzo at the moment and would like to recreate some flavours but also to try some new takes on classic family favourites!  Knowing that everyone loves his Timbale recipe on the blog, I have added his Springtime Veggie Timballo recipe to try!




If you would like a chance to win a copy of the e-cookbook, simply go to our Facebook or Instagram Page and enter our easy competition. We will be drawing the winner at 21.00 on Thursday, 15th April.


The digital e-cookbook costs £6.99, upon purchase a download will be emailed to you. £2 from every sale of this recipe collection is donated to EMERGENCY, a charity with roots in Italy chosen by Danilo. It provides free, high-quality healthcare to victims of war, poverty and landmines, alongside building hospitals and training local medical staff.


Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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