THERE was a time when the mention of Italian food would make people think no further than spaghetti, pizza or tiramisu.
But over the years the British palate has grown more adventurous as people have explored the wealth of cuisine from around the globe.
Italian has always been a favourite, whether it is a simple plate of spaghetti vongole or a more exotic lobster risotto infused with the scent of truffle.
Italy’s culture is deep-rooted in its love of food and there is an Aladdin’s cave of flavours and textures offered in its dishes - for those willing to take the plunge.
The secret of great food is of course high-quality, authentic ingredients and when it comes to a taste of Italy, Peccando promises nothing but the real thing.
Set up by housewife and keen cook ‘Beata’, www.Peccando.com is the go-to website for people who want to delve deeper into the adventure of Italian cooking.
The name ‘Peccando’ means ‘sinning’ in Italian - an apt title as all its products are “worth sinning for”, Beata told me.
She said: “Just as supermarkets sell the sort of food we need for our daily lives, we provide speciality items which transform the way we eat.
“Our website has detailed descriptions of hundreds of foods, delicacies and authentic Italian ingredients.”
The website sells virtually every type of pasta including Cavatelli, a thick pasta with curled edges, Orecchiette which means “small ears” in Italian, and elongated ‘Strascinati-, which means ‘dragged’ in reference to the manner in which it is shaped.
There are also black varieties infused with squid ink including Fettuccine egg pasta and Spaghetti Squid Ink.
People wanting to impress their dinner party guests can stock up on Chillies stuffed with Tuna, delicious Grilled Artichokes cooked on volcanic rocks and a wide selection of cakes and biscuits.
Italians are known for their love of coffee and Peccando sells authentic ground and decaffeinated varieties.
Beata said: “Peccando is an online grocery run by Italians and specialising in the finest Italian products ranging from ready-to-eat delicacies to the kind of great ingredients not usually available outside Italy.
"We are strictly governed by this criteria when choosing our products: that they must be of the highest quality, must be produced and certified in Italy and, above all, they must taste great.
“Most of our suppliers are not manufacturers – they are family-run small businesses benefitting from decades of tradition and passion for what they create and they are making their delicacies available to Peccando.
“We don’t have a bricks and mortar presence so the only visit you need to make is just a click away."
Anyone who is nervous about turning their hand to Italian cooking can make use of a selection of recipes on the site.
Before long you could be knocking up Trofie pasta with salmon, Black olives tart, or Orecchiette al pomodoro - a popular pasta and minced beef dish.
Peccando makes home deliveries from Monday to Friday at £5.90 for parcels up to 20kg.
Free delivery applies for orders of more than £69.