Try chef Ravinder Bhogal’s Italian plates and cocktails for a La Dolce Vita summer

Take your hosting up a notch by pairing the delicious Malfy Gin cocktails with some mouth-watering Amalfi-inspired recipes.

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

When it comes to those long-awaited lunches in the sun, Ravinder Bhogal can’t wait to bring the flavours of Italy to the table in new and exciting ways. The chef, journalist and lover of all things Italian wants to inspire you to wow your guests with creative recipes and beautifully presented cocktails.

A La Dolce Vita summer is certainly on the cards with these modern takes on classic flavours – inspired by the sunshine and spirit of the Amalfi Coast. And when it comes to your aperitivo hour, they are guaranteed to ‘set mouths watering and tongues wagging’.

“Each one of these dishes evokes the Amalfi Coast to me,” says Ravinder. Great food can transport you to a whole different world, and these recipes are each crafted with the spirit of Italy’s vibrant aperitivo culture in mind. 

Take the sea bream, cured with Malfy Gin that brings out the refreshing cucumber and sweet, slightly tart pink grapefruit, evoking a laid-back holiday lunch by the Med. Or enjoy the crunch of crostini and saltiness of anchovies that Ravinder has paired with a Malfy Gin Cinque Terre cocktail. 

Ravinder Bhogal

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

When you taste this cocktail, it’s like you’re in an Italian lemon grove

Ravinder Bhogal

And what better than a wobbly ball of burrata, the charred orange segments pairing beautifully with a drop of Malfy Gin Con Arancia poured over ice. 

These creative, contemporary plates are packed full of flavour – so you can savour every ingredient. And all go perfectly with the refreshing botanicals found in Malfy Gin.

Ravinder’s recipes for the perfect aperitivo

Ravinder Bhogal

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

Gin Cured Sea Bream with Cucumber, Pink Grapefruit & Pink Peppercorn

Ravinder Bhogal

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

Ingredients for the dish:
Serves 6, as antipasti

  • ½ cucumber, seeds removed, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 pink grapefruit, segmented
  • 85 ml tonic water
  • 6 very fresh, small (roughly 100g each) sea bream fillets, pin-boned and skin scored

Ingredients for the Malfy Gin cure:

  • 100ml Malfy Gin Rosa
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries, toasted & roughly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted & roughly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted & roughly crushed
  • Finely grated rind of ½ pink grapefruit and one lemon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g rock salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • Lemon zest to garnish

Malfy Gin

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

For the gin cure, mix together the Malfy Gin Rosa, juniper, fennel seeds, zests, sugar and salt to taste. Place fish in a non-reactive container and pat the cure mix evenly on both sides. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for flavours to cure.

In the meantime, place the cucumber & grapefruit in a shallow dish and pour over the tonic water. 

Wipe excess cure from fish with paper towels and pat dry. Leave in the fridge for another hour to firm up. Cut into 5mm slices, arrange on a platter. Drain the diced cucumber and grapefruit segments, arrange on the platter. Drizzle over a little olive oil & finish with some more lemon zest. 

PAIR WITH: Malfy Gin Rosa Gin & Tonic

Burrata with Charred Oranges, Peppers & Pistachio Dukkah

Ravinder Bhogal

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

Ingredients for the dish:
Serves 6, as antipasti

  • 2 oranges or blood orange, segmented
  • 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 ball burrata
  • The seeds from one small pomegranate
  • 160g ready roasted peppers in oil, drained
  • 1 pink chicory
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley picked
  • Pistachio dukkah
  • 20g pistachio nibs
  • 20g sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • A few black pepper corns, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • A fat pinch of sea salt

For the pistachio dukkah, put all the ingredients into a pestle and mortar & crush until you have a coarse gravel.

Lay the oranges over a heatproof tray & blowtorch until lightly charred. Whisk together the olive oil & vinegar, season with sea salt and black pepper. Cut the peppers into strips. Arrange the oranges, peppers and chicory leaves over a platter. Top with burrata & then drizzle over dressing. Sprinkle over the dukkah and parsley.

PAIR WITH: Malfy Gin Negroni 

Anchovy Crostini with Salsa Verde

Ravinder Bhogal

(Image credit: Natasha Alipour)

Ingredients for the dish:
Serves 6, as antipasti

  • 1 loaf Italian bread (such as ciabatta), cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 garlic clove cut in half
  • A tin of Anchovies ( good ones such as Ortiz) 1 long red chilli, sliced diagonally 

Ingredients for the salsa verde: 

  • I bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, torn
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 80ml lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
  • 6 good-quality anchovy fillets in oil, drained, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, chopped

For the salsa verde, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until combined, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Blitz roughly with a handblender - the texture should be quite coarse. Transfer to a small serving dish and set aside. 

Meanwhile, divide bread between 2 baking trays, drizzle with oil and rub with a cut side of a garlic clove. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and cool.

Cover each piece of the bread with salsa verde, top with a couple of anchovies & then scatter over the chillies & serve.

PAIR WITH: Malfy Gin Cinque Terre

Experience the magic of Italy and a taste of la dolce vita this summer with Malfy Gin. Enjoy responsibly

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.