A NEW Italian canteen has opened in Swanage, run by Sicily-born chef, Angelo Fichera.

The restaurant, Peppina, is located on Institute Road, and Angelo will be baking bread and making pasta on the premises, using fresh and authentic ingredients. Peppina is named after Angelo's grandmother, whose cooking inspired his passion for food.

Angelo said: “My grandmother died when I was young but as a kid I always remember her teaching me how to make her favourite recipes and I still remember the techniques she taught me now. Her signature dish was a maccheroni in a rich tomato sauce. All of her food was delicious so she was definitely my inspiration when launching the restaurant. I want people to feel like they are walking into my grandmother’s house when they come to Peppina.”

The canteen serves a range of Italian classics and desserts, with Angelo using organic flour from Sicily in his pasta dishes.

Angelo added: “I cook typical Italian recipes: Carbonara, ragu and pasta alla Norma. The recipes are simple but effective and all the ingredients are as fresh as possible. When the dishes are made right, they're actually very healthy. You can eat pasta every day like the Italians do and be fit like us!"

Despite dedication to the classics, Angelo is not afraid to try something new, and went on a pasta-making course in Milan earlier this year. "We created spaghetti alla vongole, using fresh clams, for the Swanage Fish Festival, and it was so popular we had to bring it back."

Yet the pasta isn't the only star of the canteen: Angelo's pizza is made from fresh sourdough and sold by the slice. Crispy on the bottom, it is made from a secret blend of organic flours to give it a unique rustic taste.

Angelo cooks and prepares the dishes right in front of customers, so they can see exactly what goes into their meals and how fresh the ingredients are. He's eager to share his knowledge and gives a bit of background to the recipes while he cooks. "That's what I mean when I say you're coming to our house; it's exactly what I'd do if I had friends over for dinner. I want it to be as much about the experience as the food."

Peppina also sells ice cream, bread and pastries, offering the full taste of Italy.

All the dishes are available to have in or take away. "People can eat in Peppina or take the treats home with them. You can spend five minutes with us or two hours, but I hope that the outcome is the same – satisfied taste buds and customers who want to come back time and again.”

Peppina is open from 12pm every day except Monday. For more information visit www.peppina.uk or follow the Facebook page.