Kirsty Young's castaway is the cookery writer Anna Del Conte.

Born to a wealthy Milanese family, she arrived in Britain in 1949 where her Italian ingenuity with food was sorely needed in a nation still facing rationing and no olive oil. Her books, starting with Portrait of Pasta in 1976, helped to change all that, and established her as a food hero for younger cooks like Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith.

She has still more to teach however: whatever you do, she says, you shouldn't serve bolognese with spaghetti as it's just the wrong shape. Tagliatelle is much better.

Record: Part of the duet from the first act of Otello
Book: The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Luxury: Extra virgin olive oil.