I hope you all enjoyed my Italian adventure!

Wow, that went quickly. I can’t believe that my ‘Italian Food Trails’ series is over. I hope you enjoyed the six shows as much as I did making them. I’m delighted that the filming for another ‘Food Trails’ series, this one based in Ireland,  has already been shot and we met some fantastic people along the way so I really think you are in for a treat.

Now just a few thank yous from myself. Firstly to David Hare who produces the show and also to all the people who work on the show in the crew – nothing could happen without your expertise and support. And of course a big thank you to Simply Better Dunnes Stores who sponsored my ‘Italian Food Trails’. And finally to all my staff here at MacNean and my family who are always so so supportive.

(44)Neven's Italian Food Trails, programme five. Neven with Piergiorgio Castellani of Castellani Wines in Tuscany

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A fantastic time in Florence

Another episode of my Italian Food Trails aired tonight – time is going fast! I had a wonderful time in Florence, a city I had never been to before and I hope you enjoyed watching tonight’s show as much as I enjoyed making it. What a beautiful city. It was great fun getting a whistle stop tour around the city in an APE, a three-wheeled Tuk!
After seeing the Duomo and Santa Croce, the church where Michelangelo is buried, I met Francesco Sanapo, Italy’s top barista who represents Italy in coffee making competitions, and who taught me how to make the best cappuccino.

(43)Neven's Italian Food Trails, programme four. Neven with Florence tour guide Emma Molignoni.jpg

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A TRIP TO PARMA…

I hope you all enjoyed episode two of my Italian Food Trails. The series is being sponsored by Dunnes Stores Simply Better Range and I have to say I am just so delighted with how it has turned out.

I visited beautiful Parma in tonight’s episode and I had a brilliant time. It is known as the gourmet capital of Italy, and home to Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and balsamic vinegar.

(41)Neven's Italian Food Trails programme two. Thursday October 12th. Neven visiting Parmesan producer Mulino Alimentare

SO MUCH MILK…one thousand litres of milk are needed to produce 80kg of cheese!

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Making headlines in New Zealand

We are hitting the headlines in New Zealand with an article written by Annabelle White in ‘New Zeland’s Woman’s Weekly’ magazine. The article features MacNean House and Restaurant and I have to say I am so proud of the kind words she had for us. Annabelle traveled all around our great country staying in various places and eating in a host of different restaurants. We were delighted to have here here with us in Blacklion and even more delighted she enjoyed her stay.

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New TV series to be launched and another great time at the Ploughing!

It has been a brilliantly busy time of late and today (Wednesday) is such an exciting day with the launch of my new TV series in Dublin. Simply Better Dunnes Stores are the sponsors of the show and I am so excited about the series – Neven’s Italian Food Trails. It was such a thrill to film and I had so much fun and I really think you are going to love the dishes and also the fabulous people that we met along the way.

The programme airs on Thurs October 5 at 7pm on RTE One and I just can’t wait to see it all come together on the screen. And to get us all in the mood I am sharing a wonderful recipe for Ragú Ala Bolognese at the end of this blog – so make sure you read to the end!

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THE ITALIAN JOB… My Italian Ragu. I promise you will love it. Photograph: Fran Veale

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Ploughing just gets better and better

The National Ploughing Championships is without doubt one of the best few days of the year. It gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday) in Tullamore Co Offaly and goes on until Thursday of this week. I absolutely love the show and once again I will be in the Farmers Journal Tent. I love writing and working with the Farmers Journal and have been doing so for ten years and this is also my tenth year at the Ploughing as well.
I have three demos each day, at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. It is a great event for food and farming and there is certainly something for everyone. The very best of Irish food is showcased and it is brilliant to be back there again and as always I am sure I will meet some fantastic people; I always do at the Ploughing.
I have shared two recipes that I will be making over the course of the three days in this blog – a gorgeous Striploin Steak with Sauce Diane and a fabulous MacNean Cheesecake. Happy cooking everyone.

Neven Maguire at National Ploughing Championships

CHARACTERS… You always meet great characters at the Ploughing – of all ages!

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Vegetarian dishes for everyone

Here are a few dishes that I shared on the Marian Finucane Show this weekend. It’s always great to talk to Marian and she has a real passion for food. These recipes are vegetarian but not just for vegetarians! These are definitely dishes that everyone should try and I promise you will love them. First up is a gorgeous dish using spicy potato. Enjoy!

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