Luigi Afelba, more usually simply called “Gino” heads up the animated battery of chefs who cook your meal in front of you at the ‘La Boca’ Italian restaurant at the Columbia Plaza in St, Andrews Street Limassol. Gino loves nothing better than inventing or cooking a special dish, but masterminds the range of popular anti-pasti, salads, pizzas and pasta that this formula-food place offers. A most popular dessert is Tiramisu and this is Gino’s recipe.

Ingredients for 4 Servings

3 medium egg yolks
100 g caster sugar
250 g mascarpone (Italian soft cream cheese)
150 ml whipping cream
250 – 350 ml (about two full cups) of strong black coffee (instant espresso works beautifully)
80ml  Marsala, Greek Mavrodaphni or Cyprus Muscat sweet wine)
200g Sponge Fingers (Savoiardi)
1 tbsp ‘Disarino’ or other Amaretto Liqueur
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)


  1. Put the eggs, the Amaretto and the sugar together into youu food processor bowl and whizz until the mixture turns pale yellow ands creamy.
  2. In a second bowl whip the cream until it makes soft peaks.
  3. With a spatula beat the Mascarpone until it is soft.
  4. Fold the Mascarpone into the egg mixture.
  5. Fold the cream into the mixture, mix, cover and put in the fridge.
  6. Put the coffee and wine into a shallow bowl and mix.
  7. Dip half of the sponge fingers quickly into the coffee mixture, to coat both sides of them.
  8. Line a serving dish with the soaked sponge fingers, laying them snugly close to each other.
  9. Pour half the Mascarpone mix on to the sponge fingers and use a spatula to make the surface level.
  10. Soak the remaining sponge fingers and arrange them on top of the cream, making a second layer.
  11. Spoon the remaining cream over the top and level the surface.
  12. Put in the fridge to set – about three hours. Before serving, dust generously with the cocoa powder.



PESTO - Ingredients 1Pesto is Italian – a quite pungent blend of fresh basil, pine-nuts (“Pinolia”), cheese, garlic and olive oil. It is a great accompaniment to Pasta and Gnocchi, but around my table it is often spooned on to grilled or fried chicken and fish. It is simple to make and it’s a super summer dish. It’s economical, too; a generous teaspoonful is adequate for a normal plate of pasta. There is plenty of fresh basil around, now and pine nuts are generally available, although these come from China and are not nearly as freshly tasty as those which come from Lebanon or Syria. So if you have a relative or friend who goes to and from either of these places, get them to bring you a Kilo (which will cost around €50.00, but kept in a tightly fitting lidded jar they will last some time).

One other point: use a mild extra virgin olive oil – avoid powerful (and expensive) full-bodies oils. The quantities given will meet the demands of four big, six average, or eight light pasta eaters. In a buffet a dish of, say, Marks and Spencer’s super Papardelle and Pesto, it will go further still. If all is not eaten at the first sitting, put into a jar this fresh Pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge.

As for equipment, I use a food processor, but if you are a traditionalist then get out the pestle and mortar.

The Classic Pesto Recipe

2 tbsp pine nuts
50 g / 2 oz fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
A pinch of coarse sea salt
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp freshly grated mature Pecorino cheese
120 ml / 4 fl oz / ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

This is the traditional pesto recipe of the western Riviera. You can vary it, but whatever you do, use a mild extra virgin olive oil, not a peppery one.


  1. Brown the pine nuts a little, which heightens the flavour. Spread on a baking tin and put into a hot oven for a few minutes, or turn continuously in a hot non-stick frying pan.
  2. Put the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and salt into your food processor or a mortar.
  3. Whizz until smooth (but still with visible little bits of pine nuts and basil, or work your the pestle, to crush all the ingredients against the side of the mortar until the mixture has a nice grainy paste consistency.
  4. Remove to a small bowl.
  5. Mix in the grated cheeses and pour over the oil very gradually, mixing well.

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