We are often overlook Italian flavours for game, but this Italian pheasant recipe - named after Gennaro Contaldo - shows that they make an excellent combination

We are familiar with including Italian flavours in our everyday cooking, but don’t often think to do so with game. This Italian pheasant recipe shows just how delicious this combination can be. From Mike Robinson’s book, Wild Flavours, this recipe named after Gennaro Contaldo melds the flavours of the Mediterranean – lemon, garlic and olive oil. This simple recipe works best with young birds.

If you are keen to get through the pheasant in the freezer, The Field has plenty of inspiration. Search our top 10 best pheasant recipes for the suppers worth bookmarking. Our pheasant chilli is particuarly good for clearing the freezer, as is this pheasant Keralan curry.


This Italian pheasant recipe comes from Mike Robinson’s book, Wild Flavours and is named after Gennaro Contaldo who appears regularly on Jamie Oliver’s TV programmes. It is, I have to say, quite divine and shows the rustic side of Italian food.

Serves 4

  • 2 pheasants (young if possible)
  • 50ml (13⁄4fl oz) good olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 4 whole bulbs garlic
  • 10 large rosemary sprigs
  • 2 glasses white wine

Remove the pheasants’ backbones (easily done with a heavy, sharp knife and scissors), halve the meat and trim off any nasty bits. Put in a bowl with the olive oil, seasoning and quartered lemons and mix. Squash the garlic bulbs (don’t peel), strip a third of the rosemary leaves off the stalks and add both.

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450F°/Gas Mark 8 and sear the pheasants in a hot, ovenproof pan. Add the rest of the rosemary and pour the white wine over.

Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and allow the meat to rest for 15 mins.

Now serve with foccacia bread or new potatoes and a salad. A delicious and unusual way to eat pheasant, and a great way to avoid tiring of pheasant suppers.