Swiss Guards launch Vatican cookbook

Favourite recipes of Pope Francis and his predecessors

The Vatican's Swiss Guards have launched a cookbook of recipes favoured by Pope Francis and his two predecessors, Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

Titled Buon Appetito the book features recipes of classic dishes from the popes' home countries of Argentina, Germany and Poland, as well as favourites of other top Vatican officials. The book of recipes, currently only available in German, was compiled by 24-year-old David Geisser who joined the elite papal regiment last year but is known in his native Zürich as the Swiss equivalent of British chef Jamie Oliver.

Pope Francis has a well-documented love of cooking, and the book highlights Argentinian classics such as spicy empanadas on pepper salad and sirloin dish Colita de cuadril, not forgetting the pope's favourite, dulce de leche, something like Italy's Nutella.

As for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the book cites Bavarian specialites such as the roast pork dish known as schweinebraten, and wurstel salad. The book also features pierogi, a type of Polish dumpling traditionally filled with potato, meat, cheese, fruit or sauerkraut, and a favourite of Pope St John Paul II.

Geisser includes recipes selected by top Vatican officials including secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin whose favourite dish is gnocchi with basil, pesto and pancetta sauce, otherwise known as gnocchi al Vaticano, while the prefect of the papal household Georg Gänswein, the German archbishop nicknamed in the media as Gorgeous George, prefers the Roman classic saltimbocca alla romana.

The book costs €47 and is available at Vatican bookshops.