Has anyone seen the BBC's newest foodie show Economy Gastronomy? Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett - top London chefs are set the unenviable task of devising a system to slash our food bills and eat better than we've ever done before. It seems as a nation we have become obsessed with labels and branding on food - is splashing out on expensive ingredients really a short cut to delicious results?
The Italians would say no! Italian cooking is about simple good quality ingredients cooked with passion. I'm often amazed when I go to Italy how few ingredients are in the most amazing dishes - take Simone's (our chef in Tuscany) tomato and basil sauce - all you need is good quality Italian olive oil, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and fresh basil - it's hardly going to break the bank, but you would be amazed a the depth and richness of flavour.
The secret is seasonality. Of course basil picked metres from the kitchen window is going to taste better than the shrink wrapped variety 'fresh' off a 14 hour flight from South Africa (which is now staring at you from the refrigeration cabinet). If you follow the seasons your cooking will be cheaper and tastier, plus by restricting yourself to key local produce you'll become more creative in the kitchen!Our Italian cooking holidays are all about respecting where food comes from the way that Italians do. The credit crunch has taught us a lot about how we spend our money, lets start to look at how we cook our food.
Why not try your hand at Italian style credit crunch cooking in Italy itself - Flavours offer cooking holidays in Sicily, Tuscany, Bologna and Puglia
You can catch Economy Gastronomy on BBC2 on Tuesday at 19:00 (GMT)