Silvia Colloca’s gluten-free recipe plan for your long Italian lunch (2024)

--- Season 3 of

Cook like and Italian with Silvia Colloca

airs Tuesdays at 8pm on SBS Food, or stream it free via SBS on Demand ---

There’s so much more to Italian cuisine than glutenous pasta. With a bit of insight into the art of Italian cooking, it’s simple to fully embrace the beautiful flavours of Italy’s regional cuisines, while enjoying a gluten-free lifestyle.

Cook and host of SBS’s

Cook Like An Italian,

Silvia Colloca, shares her secrets to gluten-free cooking in the show’s third series.

She explores a few different ways of cooking without gluten and includes recipes featuring naturally gluten-free ingredients.

Here are five meals you can make at home that, when served in succession, create a stunning, gluten-free long lunch.

Silvia Colloca’s gluten-free recipe plan for your long Italian lunch (1)

Roast lamb with potatoes Source: Jono Fleming

1. Roast lamb, Abruzzo-style

Lamb is the meat of choice in the Italian region of Abruzzo – a mountainous destination set against the Adriatic coastline where shepherds have raised sheep for millennia.

This gluten-free recipe honours the lamb of the pastoral region by roasting it.

Colloca’s version of the dish uses lamb shoulder. However, leg of lamb or cosciotto was the traditional cut of choice.

Start off by marinating the meat in olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Then, roast the lamb slowly in the oven to allow the sweet taste of the meat to shine through.

“This is one of those dishes that requires about ten minutes of prep,” Colloca says in episode seven of the third series. “Then you just pop it in the oven for four hours and magically, four hours later, you have the most mouth-watering roast dinner you could ever dream of. Lamb shoulder is so succulent.”

The cook pairs the dish with chat potatoes and bay leaves, roasted alongside the meat.

“All the juices from the fat of the lamb, as it slow bakes, will be absorbed by the potatoes, which in turns will go extremely soft on the inside and crunchy and dark caramel on the outside. They are just mouth-watering.”

Get the recipe
Roast lamb with potatoes (Agnello arrosto con patate)

2. Rocket, Parmesan, pear and walnut salad

Rather than baking vegetables to pair with roast lamb and potatoes, Colloca opts for a classic Italian salad made of rocket, Parmesan cheese, pear and walnuts.

Naturally gluten-free, this easy and fast recipe is a staple in many Italian households.

To make, dress the ingredients in balsamic vinegar to amplify the sweet, nutty flavours. Cast the salad against a roast dinner and Colloca says you’ve got yourself a deliciously simple meal.

“There are many miraculous things about springtime in the Abruzzese region of Italy but I assure you slow roasted lamb, potatoes infused with pan juices and a fresh pear salad is a sweet and savoury wonder.”

Silvia Colloca’s gluten-free recipe plan for your long Italian lunch (3)

Source: Jono Fleming

3. Fig and pecorino focaccia

How about some bread on the side? Colloca’s gluten-free fig and pecorino focaccia comes with all of the aromas, air and bouncy flavours that the iconic bread is known for.

“Gluten-free free or not, focaccia should be light and it should be bouncy,” she says. “When it’s dressed with figs and pecorino cheese, it becomes so much more than table bread.”

The focaccia starts with dough that uses gluten-free flour made from potato starch, rice and soy flour. The gluten-free flour replaces the use of glutinous plain flour at a ratio of 1:1.

Get the recipe
Gluten-free fig and pecorino focaccia (Focaccia ai fichi e pecorino senza glutine)

Colloca also adds Greek yoghurt to make the dough soft, as well as olive oil for bounce.

The figs are placed evenly on the dough before salt and balsamic vinegar top the focaccia. If figs are not available at the time you make this dish, try using grapes instead.

The bread is then baked. Don’t forget to sprinkle a generous serve of pecorino cheese on your warm focaccia and enjoy.

Silvia Colloca’s gluten-free recipe plan for your long Italian lunch (5)

Coffee, cocoa and hazelnut amaretti Source: Jono Fleming

4. Flourless, chocolate amaretti biscuits

These sweet treats are soft, chewy and made with naturally gluten-free hazelnut meal.

Colloca also adds Dutch cocoa powder to the mix of ingredients as well as espresso to transform the cookies into “rich brownie bites of heaven”.

“This is one of those recipes where there are not many ingredients and its miraculously gluten and dairy-free.

“It is also an incredibly forgiving recipe because basically you just have to squish the paste together and then you shape it in whichever shape you like. Once it bakes it always looks good. It keeps forever as well.”

Silvia Colloca’s gluten-free recipe plan for your long Italian lunch (6)

Source: Jono Fleming

5. Liquore di caffé (coffee liqueur)

Cap off your decadent gluten-free meal by sampling Colloca’s traditional coffee liqueur, which you’ll have already made in advance. It combines the feeling of having a coffee, desert and alcohol into one recipe.

To make, combine freshly brewed espresso coffee, milk and thin cream in a pot, then add caster sugar. Once the mixture has cooled, add vodka (or pure alcohol).

The liqueur concentrate can be sipped in an espresso glass or used to top an affogato, created with gluten-free ice cream or gelato. “Homemade coffee liqueur drizzled over gelato is pure affogato heaven,” says Colloca.

Once made, the coffee liqueur keeps in the fridge for a week or freeze for up to two months.

Liquore di caffé (coffee liqueur)

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