Put down the pan. You’re doing it all wrong.
Judging by her accent, Michela Chiappa is as Welsh as a choir in a coal mine. But the perky Celtic pixie knows her Italian food. To prove it she even had the same hairspray-heavy do as the mobsters’ wives from Goodfellas.
Episode one of Simply Italian (Channel 4, Monday, 8.30pm) was all about pasta. Chiappa explained that Italians never eat Bolognese sauce with spaghetti - tagliatelle hugs the meat more efficiently.
Either way, this show should herald the death of the microwave spag bol. Her recipes were quicker than an Italian change of government and invariably looked as fetching as Chiappa herself.
Even so, she’ll struggle to get most people crafting their own farfalle. Tellingly, she admitted: “The more time you invest, the more delicious it will be.” And therein lay the rub. However tempting her sage and walnut pesto, for Brits pasta is primarily convenience food.
We got the obligatory travelogue bit, as Chiappa met a lovable crone who’d spent the past 60 years twisting tiny pasta butterflies with increasingly arthritic fingers. Less conventional was Chiappa’s recipe for homemade Parmesan - just leave some Cheddar in the airing cupboard for a couple of weeks, and try not to mind the smell on your clothes.
By the end her excessively ‘authentic’ pronunciation was starting to grate so much you could shave cheese on it. But the enthusiasm was contagious. Her own range of ready meals surely awaits.