All the Searching for Italy Recipes and Restaurants – Naples & Amalfi Coast (Episode 1)

What is Searching for Italy?

Imagine traveling through Italy, learning about its history and culture, and getting to see all of the amazing food every region has to offer. Well now you can – all right in the comfort of your own home! Searching for Italy is our new favorite show – not only because it’s our only way to “travel” internationally right now, but also because we adore Stanley Tucci!

Most people only know Stanley as an Emmy-award winning actor, (whose list of projects include: The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and Captain America), but he’s also a NY Times best-selling author of The Tucci Cookbook and a food connoisseur with impeccable taste!

In an interview, Tucci explained that the show was inspired by his Italian heritage (on both sides of his family) where the food, history, and culture was very important to them. After living in Florence, Italy, he had a renewed appreciation for his heritage and that’s when the concept for Searching for Italy was born.

Photo Courtesy of CNN

Lucky for us the show has been a smashing success, and has already been confirmed for a 2nd season (according to Deadline). We have been eagerly awaiting each episode (which airs every Sunday), and re-creating all of our favorite recipes from the show.

Here is the recipe and restaurant recap from episode 1: Naples and the Amalfi Coast…

“Take the energy of NY, mix in the gritty elegance of New Orleans. Add 3,000 years of history and cook it all up in the heat of the world’s most famous volcano. That is Napoli.”

– Stanley Tucci, Searching for Italy

1. Pizza Fritte (Fried Neapolitan Pizza ‘Pocket’) from Nonna Fernanda

Neapolitan Pizza Fritte from Nonna Fernanda
Photo courtesy of BBC

“This puffed pocket was pizza – before pizza was pizza.” Nonna Fernanda is considered one of the best pizza fritte makers in Naples. She is so well-renowned that even Jamie Oliver visited her in 2018 to learn how to make this beloved dish.

  1. Roll out pizza dough to about 6 inches in diameter.
  2. Put in the middle: fresh ricotta, provola (smoked cheese), pork fat, and basil.
  3. Fold over the dough to make a half circle and deep-fry until golden and puffed.

2. Neapolitan Pizza from Pizzeria la Notizia

Pizzeria la Notizia Margherita Pizza
Margherita Pizza from Pizzeria la Notizia

If you could have anyone in the world make a pizza for you, you should probably pick Enzo Coccia – the person responsible for having the very first pizza recognized by the Michelin Guide. Enzo goes to great lengths to ensure that every single ingredient is the best of the best. You won’t find a more perfect pairing than the fresh buffalo milk mozzarella of Il Casolare and the beautifully balanced crushed San Marzano tomatoes.

Enzo actually wrote the global standards titled ‘Neapolitan Pizza: A Scientific Guide to the Artisanal Process’ which you can find located here. But if you’re not quite ready to jump into a Michelin star-level recipe, here’s a simplified version of Enzo’s recipe that you can do from home:

  1. Roll out pizza dough (made with water, flour, salt, and yeast. Enzo doesn’t provide measurements, so you can also try our favorite pizza dough recipe, located here.)
  2. Cover with crushed San Marzano tomatoes and creamy buffalo mozzarella
  3. Grate pecorino on top for saltiness
  4. Add basil for fragrance
  5. Drizzle in olive oil

3. Chik├╣

Photo courtesy of

As described on their site, Chik├╣ is a ‘gastronomic and cultural space in Scampia: a location for events and also a restaurant’. Their food is a fusion of Neapolitan and Balkan cuisine, and their most popular recipes are: moussaka, sarme, ghibaniza/gibanica, and zeppole di san giuseppe.

4. Coniglio all’Ischitana (Rabbit Stew) from Il Focolore

Coniglio all'Ischitana Recipe
Coniglio all’Ischitana Recipe from Il Focolore

On the island of Ischia is a family-owned restaurant, Il Focolore, ran by husband and wife duo: Riccardo and Loretta D’Ambra. This rustic-style restaurant has a mostly meat-based menu made up of steaks, lamb, and their specialty dish of coniglio all’ischitana (a stew made from local wild rabbit in a traditional style of Ischia).

Get the full recipe and directions from here.

5. Spaghetti alla Nerano (Spaghetti with Zucchini) from Lo Scoglio

Spaghetti alla Nerano
Spaghetti alla Nerano from Lo Scoglio

The spaghetti alla nerano from Lo Scoglio is easily one of Stanley Tucci’s favorite dish. Tucci and his wife visited Lo Scoglio on the Amalfi Coast several years ago. And since then, they’ve been trying to perfect this spaghetti and zucchini dish at home. Lucky for us, the restaurant has shared their recipe which you can find here.

6. Lemon Delight Cake (Delizie al Limone) from Pasticcera Sal de Riso

Lemon Delight Cake
Lemon Delight Cake from Pasticcera Sal de Riso

When life hands you lemons, make lemon delight cake! Pasticceria Sal De Riso makes these amazing lemon cakes filled with lots and lots of cream. The star of this dessert? The Amalfi lemon of course!

Get the full recipe and directions from here

How to Stream or Watch Searching for Italy with Stanley Tucci

Searching for Italy Episode 1 Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Searching for Italy Episode 1 Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Watching from a TV? Watch it on the CNN channel live or ‘on-demand’.

Streaming from a laptop? Watch it from the CNN website (where you’ll need to login with your cable service provider) or a streaming service like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, AT&T TV, or Sling TV.

Streaming from a mobile device? Watch it from the CNNgo app. (Click here for the Apple Store, or here for the Android Store). The app can also be downloaded onto other devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and Samsung TV .

Season 1 Schedule

Episode #Episode TitleAir Date
Episode 1Naples and the Amalfi CoastSun, Feb 14, 2021 at 9PM PST
Episode 2RomeSun, Feb 21, 2021 at 9PM PST
Episode 3BolognaSun, Feb 28, 2021 at 9PM PST
Episode 4MilanSun, Mar 7, 2021 at 9PM PST
Episode 5TuscanySun, Mar 14, 2021 at 9PM PST
Episode 6SicilySun, Mar 21, 2021 at 9PM PST
Searching for Italy Season 1 Schedule

If you like this post, we think you’ll like our Spaghetti all Nerano recipe post.

Leave a Comment