In chef’s opinion what’s the perfect pudding to serve with a selection of pastas for an Italian themed soiree?

Jacob Penn, Windermere

I WOULD make something ahead of time that is fairly simple to prepare, it gives you more time to concentrate on making beautiful pasta dishes for your lucky guests. I'm thinking about a panettone bread and butter pudding, served with some marsala flavoured mascarpone. Preheat your oven to 160C. Butter a shallow one litre baking dish. Cut 250g of panettone into large pieces, leaving the rusts on. Butter the pieces of panettone. Lay them into the dish, butter side up. Whisk together 2 free range eggs, 150ml double cream, 220ml milk, 2 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Pour the egg mixture over the panettone. Place in a deep roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin, so it is half way up the side of the dish. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes until it is just set. It should be nicely browned on top. In a small bowl, whisk together 250g mascarpone with 50g icing sugar and 2 tbsp marsala. You can use a sweet sherry instead of the marsala.