A Food & Travel Blog

New cookbook to win – Bill’s Italian Food!

13/08/2013 | By

Bill Granger Bill's Italian Food

Bill Granger has been one of Australia’s favourite cooking sons for quite some years now and over those years he has been spreading the love to the rest of the world.  He already has three restaurants in Sydney, four in Japan and one in London, but has added to those by opening another in Waikiki, Hawaii and a second central London establishment this year.  Bill is a self-taught cook whose relaxed and joyful approach to food is an essential element of his enduring popularity and is one of the main reasons I enjoy his food.  His recipes focus on the  freshness of seasonal produce and he manages to create dishes with great flavours without long, daunting lists of ingredients or complicated procedures.

His newest cookbook, Bill’s Italian Food (Harper Collins Australia) is a continuation of that happy tradition.  Australians have much in common with Italy, with our sunny Mediterranean climate and bountiful fresh produce, so it’s no surprise that we relate closely with Italian food and Bill’s simple approach to food combined with his spirit of generosity and sharing reflect much about the Italian lifestyle.  This uncomplicated approach is carried through to the layout of Bill’s new book, with the chapters divided into solution-driven chapters such as “Weekday”, Slow”, “Dinner”, “Party” or “Sweets”. Bill points out in the first pages of the book that, for the time-poor, much of this food can be achieved with the aid of cheats purchased in a deli, but goes on to give recipes for some of the simple pantry basics like passata and soffritto that  can be made and stored easily at home and will make the world of difference to your finished dishes.  It’s never occurred to me to make soffritto and freeze it (doh!), but I’ve certainly done so now.

Granger, Bill Bills ItalianFood Orecchiette, Broccolini and Chilli

The recipes in this book encompass every aspect of simple Italian food from a delicious and very quick Tomato and Mozzarella Gnocchi Bake (the first dish to catch my eye and a big hit with the troops), to hearty peasant dishes like Baked Cabbage and Bread Soup, the fresh and big flavours of a Griddled Squid and Herb Salad or a stunningly photographed Fritto Misto Platter that should evince gasps from any self-respecting dinner guest.  This is one of those rare books that seems to have a recipe that I want to try on every second page and is already looking a little grubby from too much pawing.

Granger, Bill_BillsItalianFood_Pan Fried Snapper_image_p107

Just to give you a hint of what is between the covers of Bill Granger’s Bill’s Italian Food I’ve got this recipe to share.  This fresh, simple and tasty dish is quick to prepare, but big on flavour.  While I’m in the mood for sharing, I’ve also got two copies of Bill’s Italian Food to give away to two lucky readers, thanks to Harper Collins Australia.  All the details for the competition are at the end of this post.

Pan-Fried Snapper, Capers and Lemon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
It's remarkable how a few simple ingredients can deliver such a great flavour punch. Male sure your fish is really fresh!
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 snapper fillets (about 150g each), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Season the snapper with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, skin side down, for 2–3 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden.
  2. Turn over and cook for a further minute then remove to a platter and keep warm.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, turn up the temperature and heat the remaining oil.
  4. Tip in the capers, garlic and lemon slices and sizzle until the capers burst open and look crisp.
  5. Spoon over the snapper and serve with green bean and little gem salad.

 Terms and Conditions

1.  This competition is open to Australian residents only and will be drawn on Friday 23 August 2013.
2.   Log in to enter, using the entry form in the link below, and click on each task to view the instructions.
3.   The first two tasks are mandatory and must be completed to enter the competition.  Subsequent tasks are optional, but will gain you more entries, thus more opportunity to be a winner.
4.   Make sure you record your entry to be counted.
5.   I have TWO copies of “Bill’s Italian Food” to give away to 2 lucky readers.
6.   The lucky winner will be drawn at random.
7.   The winner will be notified by email and their name will be posted here.  They must reply within 48 hours or the competition will be redrawn.

The copies of “Bill’s Italian Food” have been kindly supplied by Harper Collins Australia.

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  1. eamond tomaszewski


  2. catrina murray


  3. Carryl

    What an amazing give-away. That snapper looks delicious… as does Bill 😉

  4. Kate

    I loved having brunch a bills in Sydney a couple of months ago. I am a big fan of his style of cooking.

  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Veal Scallopini for me. What a lovely giveaway. I loved Bill’s series in the UK. He seems so friendly and laid back.

  6. Merryl Chantrell

    My favourite Italian Dish is My Mum’s Spag Bol which she started cooking in the late 50’s when we became friends with a lovely Italian Family who had migrated to South Australia. It quickly became a weekly favourite. Mum’s recipe has been handed down to all interested family members and friends since. I started cooking it when I left home at 16. The recipe has been tweaked it to suit the individuals and their own families but it is still being cooked and served by me 44 years later.

  7. Hotly Spiced

    I always love cooking Bill’s recipes. They’re very reliable and don’t have you driving all over town looking for some never-heard-of ingredient. I think I’ve entered the competition correctly but am not sure my answer to the question was recorded. My favourite Italian dish is pasta with black truffle sauce xx

  8. Kyrstie@A Fresh Legacy

    I can’t get enough Italian food since returning from our recent trip there. Gnocchi is my favorite.

  9. mellie jane

    Anything pasta :0)

  10. Corrie

    My favourite Italian dish (this week) is Ossobuco con riso e piselli…. ‘Osso buco with rice and peas’ taken from p194 of Tessa Kiros book ‘Venezia’.

  11. Eha

    Well, the fuzz is new but dares\say all else will be +++ ! Love Bill’s recipes, oft cook them for friends, would so cherish his latest offering 🙂 !

  12. Sonia El-Sheikh

    I love fettuccine Carbonara!

  13. Lizzy (Good Things)

    Amanda, I bet there are loads of delicious recipes using fresh ingredients. Love Bill’s style of cooking and have ALL his books, would LOVE to add this to my bookshelves.

  14. Xin @ Adelaidefoodies

    My fav. Italian dish is Fritto Misto. Just can’t resist seafood~ LOL Thanks for offering the giveaway, Amanda!

  15. Karlene


  16. kara

    Anything pasta. My go to comfort italian is always spaghetti bolognese.

  17. JasonM

    Pretty much anything involving gnocchi. But especially with burnt butter and sage.

  18. Alex

    My favourite is easily spaghetti, chilli, oil and garlic. Tasty and a perfect cold cure!

  19. Narelle Rock

    I love anything pasta, cannelloni, lasagne, bolognese, and easy and tasty meal that the whole family loves!

  20. Wendy Christidis

    My favourite Italian dish is Risotto Milanese. My Nonna taught me how to make it when I was little but no matter what I do, I can never make it as tasty as she did!!!!,

  21. Sarah T

    I would have to say my Italian Nanna makes the most amazing Italian dishes and they are all amazing!! But I would say my all time favourite is Cannelloni.

  22. Benjamin Travia

    Gnocchi, a traditional family favourite made on special occasions.

  23. Amanda McInerney

    Delightful, Lorraine – simple and fresh, but I used a lot more lemon. Husband loved it but, as usual, kids complained. They don’t like fish.

  24. Tracey M

    Drunken Spaghetti – delish! A gorgeous Tuscan dish!

  25. Lisa

    Definitely gnocchi. Yum!

  26. Alexandra

    Rocket, parmesan and olive salad with pancetta crumbs

  27. Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    I want this book! But looks like I’ve missed the giveaway, so I’ll have to get hold of it the old fashioned way!

  28. Amanda McInerney

    No Sarah – you haven’t missed it. Still running until Friday.

  29. Ross S

    Does gelato count?

  30. Marian

    I just love Aglio Olio Peperoncino – Aussie translation – pasta with an oil, chilli, garlic and parsley sauce. A truly amazing dish!

  31. Catherine Bedson

    Fabulous giveaway Amanda. I love Bill Granger and his style of cooking. My favourite italian dish is lasagna.

  32. Jennifer B.

    Gelati! Any flavour, any time!

  33. Suzie Elo

    I adore gnocchi, especially homemade with meatballs on the side. Delicious and never enough!

  34. Ariane Cahill

    Saw Bill making a delicious easy Lasagne on the morning show today- yum! I love how his food can be easy yet so tasty

  35. Lorna M

    Delicious homemade pesto pasta, yummy!

  36. karina w

    Spaghetti vongole! Light, tasty and delicious!

  37. Han E


  38. Amanda McInerney

    Congratulations to Ross Shaw & Ben Travia! Please check your inboxes.

  39. Robyn Turner

    BBQ pork ribs on salami days, woodfired tomatoes and pasta on tomato sauce weekends, and making gnocchi with 3 generations in the kitchen (flour fight included).