Phil Vickery's Italian Feasts

Published Friday, 13 June 2014
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As the England football team gears up for its first World Cup game on Saturday night against Italy, Phil prepares an Italian inspired feast that is perfect for a family or group of friends who want to dig in whilst watching the game.

Phil Vickery's Italian Feasts
This Morning's Phil Vickery. (© Rex Features)
Preparation time
30 minutes
Cooking time
20 minutes
Preparation time
15 minutes
Cooking time
12-15 minutes
Preparation time
15 minutes
Cooking time
15 minutes
Preparation time
15 minutes
Cooking time
25 minutes

Roasted Chickpeas with Tomatoes & Tallegio


  • 2 x 240g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 410g can cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • salt
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 150g Tallegio cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 150g jarred roasted red peppers, cut into thick strips
  • 200g sun blush tomatoes, cut into 2 or 3 pieces


  1. Pre heat the oven to 220°C gas 7.He
  2. Toss the chickpeas and olive oil together well, then add a little salt and pepper, mix well.
  3. Spoon into a baking tray, then roast in the hot oven for 15 -20 minutes to brown nicely. Stir occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, roughly puree the beans in a processor with the 5 tbsp of olive oil, tomato puree, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. You may need to add a little more oil.
  5. Once the peas are cooked spoon into a bowl and pour over the puree mixture, mix well and cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cooled add the cheese, peppers and tomatoes, mix well, but carefully.
  7. Serve as a starter or as an accompaniment to grilled bread, meats or fish, nice with a bar b q.

Grilled Chicken with Honey & Vinegar


  • 4 medium chicken breasts, skin on scored with 3-4 large slashes
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • juice 2 large lemons
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • freshly milled black pepper


  1. Place the Balsamic, honey, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper into a small bowl, mix well.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in and thoroughly coat in the mixture and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Pre heat the grill to the hottest setting
  4. Pop the chicken breasts onto a tray or dish then under the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  5. Once cooked, remove and cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Bruchetta with Chilli, Parsley and Shallots

Phil says: "I first used Orzo about 5 years ago, it really is very nice indeed, and a pleasant change from the norm. Sometimes called 'birds tongue pasta', (as it does resemble the real thing), it not only cooks very quickly, but it's great in pasta bakes, salads and even soups.

"Here it works very well with chilli, parsley and a touch of mayonnaise as a cold starter."


  • 8 slices of char grilled bread
  • 100g Orzo
  • 25g Parsley, washed and roughly chopped, stalks and all
  • 1 small red chilli, de seeded and chopped very finely
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 11/2 tbspns Good quality mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • A little olive oil


  1. Place a pan of cold water on the stove, add a little salt and bring to a rapid boil. Add the orzo and boil rapidly until they are cooked but not overcooked, drain well and refresh under cold water. Drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan add the shallots, red chilli, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. When soft add the parsley and stir until slightly wilted, add a little salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Spoon into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, just enough to bind everything together, you can omit the mayonnaise completely if you want to, and just use a little dressing or olive oil.
  5. The secret is to keep all the colours as fresh and as bright as possible. Keep covered and at room temperature.
  6. Stir the cooked orzo into the chilli mixture and stir well.
  7. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and cook the nettle bread on both sides until lightly browned, don't bother about the bread being fully browned, just slightly coloured.
  8. To serve, cut the slices of bread in two, and pile on the orzo mixture, serve at room temperature, with a squeeze of lemon.

Blue Cheese Arranchini


  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 750mls veg stock, approx
  • 75g grated blue cheese, very finely grated or pasted
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 250g dried breadcrumbs


  1. Place the oil into a pan and heat, then add the onion and cook for 5 mins to soften slightly.
  2. Add the rice and coat well, then add the wine and cook until all evaporated or absorbed into the rice.
  3. Gradually add the boiling veg stock, stirring all the time, until the rice is just cooked and nice and thick.
  4. Remove from the stove, add the cheese, salt and pepper, mix well, then chill really well.
  5. Once chilled mould small amounts to the size of a large marble.
  6. Roll each one in flour, beaten egg then the breadcrumbs, and then chill well.
  7. Deep fry in oil with a temp of 175°C, in small amounts.
  8. Serve warm.
© UTV News
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