Ask the Foodie: Alex Bignotti

Nicholini's head chef Alex Bignotti has worked in a professional kitchen since the age of 14. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Alex Bignotti, 35, is the new head chef at Nicholini's, the Conrad hotel's Italian restaurant. He started working in a professional kitchen at the age of 14, while still at school.

Friday, 5 October, 2012, 10:47am


Tipiak Couscous

HK$24.50 for 500 grams, Taste

This French product is plain and hence takes on flavours well, so pair it with anything you fancy, from raisins and chickpeas to feta and peppers. The package notes that this is medium-grained, but it takes a keen eye to notice it's a bit bigger than Casbah's.

31 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Pasta power

The long strands

If you like spaghetti, eat it together with meaty tomato, creamy seafood or sauces made from olive oil. Add some mushrooms and sweet bell peppers and you may never eat anything else again!

16 Jul 2012 - 12:00am


1/F, 48 Peel Street, Central Tel: 2810 1098 Open: 6.30pm-midnight (until around 2am on Friday and Saturday) Cuisine: European

Price: about HK$450 without drinks. There's no service charge.

12 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Perfect pasta!

Pasta comes in many different mouth-watering shapes. But choosing the right sauce for the right shape is very important. Long or short, smooth or curved, each shape sucks up the sauce in a different way - and every way is delicious!

A peep into the past

11 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian - Savouring the Recipes and Traditions of the World's Favourite Cuisine

Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian - Savouring the Recipes and Traditions of the World's Favourite Cuisine

Saveur is one of the better food magazines out there, and its editors have produced an excellent series of books that includes volumes on American cuisine, French cuisine, and this one, devoted to the food of Italy.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Spaghetti 360

Spaghetti 360 403, 4/F, Windsor House Causeway Bay Tel: 2504 1878

Grub: Japanese/Italian

Vibe: The restaurant occupies a rather oddly-shaped area. Tables curve off around corners and are surrounded by ornate balustrades and tinted mirrors.

Who to take: Whoever you've dragged around/dragged you around on a shopping spree.

3 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Mist Pizzeria

7 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang Tel: 2881 8287 Open: noon-10.30pm Cuisine: Italian

Price: about HK$200 without drinks or the service charge.

Ambience: it's a long, very narrow space, but the high ceilings and folding doors that open to the street make it less cramped. The noise level was fine.

19 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Uno Duo Trio - Lana's Italian Home-Cooking

19/F Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay Tel: 3489 3862 Open: Saturday and Sunday noon-3pm; nightly 6pm-midnight Cuisine: Italian

Price: about HK$400 without drinks or the service charge.

Ambience: it's a bit like eating in someone's living room.

Pros: we enjoyed most of what we ordered.

12 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More!

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More!

1 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Mentaiko pasta with onsen egg

Onsen (hot spring) eggs are sold ready-made in the chilled section of Japanese supermarkets.

The ingredients take only a few minutes to cook, but you need to time everything so that the pasta is ready at the same time as the sauce.

1 onsen egg

50 grams angel hair pasta

20 grams unsalted butter

1 small shallot, minced

22 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Whip up a delicious pasta storm on a rainy day

Stuck at home on a rainy or cold day, and don't know what to do? Try making pasta; it is the perfect food to make when you've got time to kill.

19 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Pasta sauce

Lucini Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce

720 grams for HK$90, City'super

I like my Arrabbiata really spicy. Although this all-natural, no-sugar-added sauce didn't quite live up to its 'very fiery' promise, it was full of fresh and tangy flavour from vine-ripened plum tomatoes.

7 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Italian Tomato Cafe Jr

Italian Tomato Cafe Jr Shop A, G/F China Hong Kong Tower 8-12 Hennessy Road Wan Chai Tel 2529 9083

Grub: Cheap and cheerful Italian, with a subtle hint of Japanese

5 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Fresh pasta

A note of caution when buying fresh pasta: it doesn't keep well for long and grows mould pretty quickly, even in the fridge, particularly the preservative-free versions. So eat it up fast.

Giovanni Rana Fettuccine Verde

200g for HK$38, City'super

17 Jan 2012 - 12:00am