A recipe by Massimo Bottura, taken from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Ingredients for the candied pizzute olives

100 g whole Pizzute olives
200 g Sicilian orange flower honey


Remove the olive stones (pits). Marinate the olives in honey for 3 days, then remove and cut them into small pieces.

Ingredients for materano pepper oil

5 g peppone Materano (Materano chilli pepper)
50 g extra-virgin olive oil
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways


Grind the chilli pepper to a powder in a mortar. Mix all the ingredients in a pan and heat them to 50°C (122°F), stirring well.

Remove from the heat, then leave to cool and strain.

Ingredients for the candied capers

10 g salted capers
100 g muscovado sugar
20 g mineral water
5 g Villa Manodori Essenziale red pepper oil


Remove the salt crystals from the capers. Make a caramel with the sugar and mineral water. Add the capers and caramelize them for a few seconds.

Remove from the heat and let them rest for a few seconds, then add the pepper oil.

Ingredients for the coffee discs

300 g espresso coffee, made with a light Arabica bean
10 g sugar
2 g agar agar


Bring the coffee to a boil, add the sugar and immediately remove from the heat. Add the agar agar.

Stir well until it has uniformly thickened.

Spread it out flat on a tray, making surface as smooth as possible. Let it cool. Cut out 4 round discs about 2 cm (3/4 inch) in diameter. Cut a larger, 5 cm (2 inch) diameter disc, to form the base of the white chocolate cylinder.

Ingredients for the olive oil sponge cake

35 g egg yolk
25 g sugar
80 g egg white
25 g flour
10 g almond flour
2 g lemon and orange zest
12 g melted butter
20 g Villa Manodori extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat a fan (convection) oven to 180°C (350°F). Beat the egg yolk with half the sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white to stiff peaks with the other half of the sugar. Carefully add the whites to the yolks. Sift the flour and almond flour together into the egg and sugar mixture.

Add the citrus zest, melted butter and olive oil, mixing gently by hand.

Pour the batter into a baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake for 15 minutes.

When cool, cut into 1.5 cm (2/3 inch) diameter discs.

Ingredients for the white chocolate cylinder

100 g white chocolate


Melt the chocolate. Paint it on to greaseproof or wax paper and roll it into a cylinder 4 cm (1 2/3 inches) wide and 6 cm (2 1/2 inches) high. Let cool.

Ingredients for the chocolate-almond cookie

35 g almond flour
35 g bitter cocoa powder
35 g puffed rice
15 g sugar


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Mix the ingredients together with a little water to make a cookie dough. Roll out the dough to about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick and cut out rounds with a 2-cm (3/4-inch) diameter cookie cutter.

Bake on a silicone baking mat for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Ingredients for extra-virgin olive oil gelato

200 g whole milk
20 g candied lemons
4 cedrina (lemon verbena) leaves
40 g sugar
20 g powdered milk
10 g dextrose
3 g stabilizer
100 g inverted sugar
50 g Villa Manodori extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon


Bring the milk to a boil with the candied lemons, lemon verbena, sugar, powered milk and dextrose. Add the stabilizer and pour into a thermal mixer. Slowly add the inverted sugar and emulsify with the olive oil and lemon zest

Freeze in a Pacojet container and process just before serving.

Ingredients for the almond foam

50 g whole sweet almonds
50 g whole bitter almonds
200 g milk
20 g gelatine leaves
50 g simple syrup (half water, half sugar)

Marinate the almonds in the milk overnight in the fridge. Blend and strain them, reserving the liquid. Heat the liquid to 50°C (122°F).

Soak the gelatine leaves in water, then add the softened gelatine to almond milk. Add the simple syrup. Place the mixture in a siphon charged with a double cartridge.

Keep it in the fridge until needed.

Ingredients to serve

4 salted capers from Pantelleria, rinsed and dried

Dried oregano


Place 2 coffee discs on opposite sides of the plate. Put a salted caper on one and a candied caper on the other. Cover each caper with another coffee disc.

Place the large coffee disc in the middle of the plate. Put the olive oil sponge cake on top of it and sprinkle the cake with dried oregano. Add a few candied olives and 2 drops of Materano pepper oil.

Place the white chocolate cylinder on top of the cake. Fill it three-quarters full with olive oil gelato.

Add some more candied olives and another drop of Materano pepper oil. Place a chocolate-almond disc on top of cylinder.

Inject the almond foam into the cylinder and on top of the cookie to keep it in place. Serve immediately.

Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number three place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.