Introducing a range of authentic Italian dishes, straight out of the family cookbook of ‘Nonna’ Gagliardi!

‘Nonna’ (‘Nana’) Dina Gagliardi is a proud Italian, and mother of Donald Russell’s own Managing Director, Tazio. As such, we consider her an authority on Mediterranean home cooking, as well as on seeking out the very finest ingredients.

Dina spent 2 weeks at Donald Russell, working closely with our chef Matthias, and passing on her unique family recipes, refined over a lifetime of cooking.

They spent this time poring over her handwritten notebook of recipes, and cooking and tasting, cooking and tasting, until each dish met Dina’s discerning and very high standards!

These delicious dishes reflect her traditional Italian love of home cooking – taking pride in providing her family with wholesome meals, rich in natural flavour. Our chefs have recreated her original recipes, painstakingly preparing each dish by hand. We hope that you’ll enjoy them…

Punta Ripiena

Mild and sweet breast of veal, rolled around a savoury beef and pork stuffing, made extra tasty with parmesan, parsley and a hint of garlic. This speciality from the North of Italy has been kitchen ready prepared by our butchers and cooks within 90 minutes following Dina’s cooking instructions.

Pollo Ripieni

Our chefs have taken half of a finest free-range chicken, and skilfully deboned, stuffed and rolled it as per the Gagliardi family’s home recipe. The Northern Italian style stuffing features lean turkey mince, complemented by creamy goat’s cheese, ceps and capers.

Pork Involtini

Involtini means ‘little bundles’ – ours are made of prime pork loin, rolled around a moreish stuffing of pecorino and other cheeses, with sweet shallots and peppery fresh rocket.

Polenta Fritters

Made of ground, golden-yellow maize, polenta is a traditional accompaniment in Italy. Ours has already been pre-cooked and shaped into these lovely disks, so all you need to do is crisp them up in a frying pan with some olive oil or melted butter. From grilled meats to saucy casseroles, we haven’t yet found anything they don’t go with!

Aubergine Parmigiana

Melt-in-the-mouth aubergine, layered with rich, Mediterranean tomato and creamy cheese sauces, all topped off with grated cheese and baked in the oven. This ‘al forno’ style Italian speciality may just be the tastiest vegetable dish ever…


This classic Mediterranean vegetable dish is as flavoursome as it is colourful! Lush and meltingly-tender, with sweet onion, courgette, aubergine, mushrooms, and of course, lots and lots of sun-ripened peppers. Perfect hot through pasta, this is also traditionally served cold in Italy as an accompaniment to steaks and grilled meats.

Mushroom Risotto

If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this risotto! Both sliced and ground ceps (or porcini mushrooms, as they’re known in Italy) provide an abundance of wild flavour, enhanced with lovage, nutmeg and a little garlic, and of course, a drizzle of finest truffle-infused olive oil. Rather than spending hours picking your own wild mushrooms and slaving over a hot stove, you can enjoy all this wild flavour in the ping of your microwave!

Vegetable Risotto

Tender Arborio rice, cooked until creamy, with oven roasted courgette, peppers and other Mediterranean vegetables. Finished with a touch of garlic and oregano for an authentic Italian flavour. Enjoy it after less than 8 minutes in your microwave from frozen.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Durum wheat spaghetti, lightly dressed with a rich and intensely meaty Bolognese sauce, like they serve it in Italy. Made using our premium minced steak, the best of Italian home cooking meets the best grass-fed UK beef in this classic dish which simply heats in your microwave!

Minestrone Soup

‘Minestrone’ itself is used to denote a very substantial soup, more like a stew, and that’s exactly what ours is. Made to Nonna Gagliardi’s family recipe, ours contains potatoes rather than pasta, and is also packed with fresh vegetables, pinto beans and tonnes of natural flavour. We dare you to find a more wholesome soup!