Angela De Luca presents a fantastic array of Italian delicacies, a delightful way to start any meal on a balmy summer's evening
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus up to a day marinating
  • Effort: medium


For the bruschetta

  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tins olive oil
  • 6 basil
  • 1 ciabatta bread, cut into thin slices

For the tuscan bean dip

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 x 420g tins cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 60 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the spicy aubergine dip

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 3 large red peppers
  • 1 large onion, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried dried red chilli flakes
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 135 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the marinated red peppers and courgettes

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthwise
  • 150 ml light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • pinch of salt

To serve

  • parmesan
  • thinly sliced Parma ham
  • Italian salami
  • baguettes


1. For the bruschetta: begin well before you want to serve the antipasti - even the day before. put the tomatoes in a bowl and add the garlic and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the basil leaves in a pile, roll them together tightly and slice through the roll of leaves to create strips. Stir these through the tomatoes, cover the bowl and leave the tomatoes for up to a day in the fridge.

2. For the Tuscan bean dip: heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir in the salt and the sugar. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are caramelised.

3. Put three-quarters of the beans in a blender or food processor. Add the stock, the remaining olive oil, a little salt and pepper. Add half the onions and process until you have a coarse paste. Empty this into a serving dish and mix in the remaining beans. Garnish the dip with the remaining onions, a sprinkle of parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover it and put it in the fridge.

4. For the spicy aubergine dip: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

5. Put the aubergines, peppers and onions in a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, chilli flakes, garlic and olive oil. Stir well to coat the vegetable cubes and spread them evenly on 2 baking sheets. Put these in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and golden. Allow them to cool, then pulse in a blender or food processor until they form a smooth paste. Stir the parsley through the dip, spoon it into a serving bowl, and cover and place in the fridge.

6. For the marinated red peppers and courgettes: hold the peppers over a gas ring with tongs until they are shrivelled and blackened (if you don't have a gas ring you can blacken them under a grill). Place them in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool.

7. Heat a ridged cast-iron pan over a very high heat until it is smoking hot. Add the courgette slices and cook for 1 minute on each side or until charred lines appear. Place them in a deep dish. Peel off the charred skin, remove any seeds and cut the pepper flesh into thin strips, then scatter them over the courgette slices. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and parsley together, along with a good pinch of salt and pour this over the peppers and courgettes. Leave them to marinate for 15 minutes.

8. Prepare everything for serving. Remove the dips from the fridge, and arrange the cheese, Parma ham and salami on a large platter with the baguettes. Just before you are ready to serve, finish the bruschetta; toast the ciabatta slices until they are golden and place a spoonful of tomatoes, along with their juices, on top of each one. Serve straight away.

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