Sept 8

8 September, Italy – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’

Today was food day. From the moment I got up I decided I was going to stuff my face with as many Italian delicacies as I could get my hands on. First stop – Jean Pierro’s pasta tutorial in Bologna.

Bologna would be the home of spaghetti Bolognese, if that dish hadn’t actually been made up in the UK. In Bologna they actually cook ragu sauce with tagliatelle, and Jean Pierro teaches people how to make it the traditional way with no garlic or tomatoes, just minced meat, onions, tomato puree and milk (or wine if you’re cooking for adults). Susan and I had fun rolling out some fresh pasta before I dressed up as French food critic Rene Mangetout and prowled round the kitchen shouting at them both. Turns out Susan is actually startled fairly easily and I frightened the life out of her a couple of times walking up behind her and screaming insults about her cooking unannounced. Sorry Susan!

By the time I’d ploughed my way through Jean Pierro’s complimentary breakfast cake and creamed coffee, then hoovered up the leftovers of his pasta I already felt like I’d had lunch, but when we arrived at our next location – an ice cream factory – we were whisked up to the canteen and I somehow ended up with two different plates full of yet more lovely Italian food. Seemed rude to refuse it so I wolfed that down too. It was obviously a bad idea as we were then presented with a huge plate of Italian biscotti and a coffee machine to get us through our filming of their ice cream making machinery collection, which of course involved the consumption of lots of free ice cream.

I say ice cream, but the factory actually makes gelato, which is subtly different (it’s frozen at a lower temperature and contains more milk). Once I was dressed up as Gameshow Man Susan had the misfortune of being spoon fed some rather more ambitious gelatos from their range such as parmesan cheese, tomato and anchovy flavour. Don’t think she’ll be bothering again.

By the time we got back to the hotel the novelty of continually stuffing my face was starting to wear off, but for some reason once we got to the local trattoria I ordered some sea bass and even more pasta for my main course. Woke up at 3am feeling a bit sick. I wonder why?!

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