Chesnut and Chocolate Calzoncelli

Calzoncelli are traditional Christmas pastries from Southern Italy stuffed with a cream of chestnuts and dark chocolate and fried… Incredibly calorific and incredibly delicious! They tend to be made in batches and fortunately they keep for quite a few days. You will need (makes 50) For the pastry… 1kg of plain flour 300g of caster…

Broccoli rabe and Sausage

Salsicce e friarielli from Naples This is a classic “piatto povero”. A simple dish that was cooked by poor people around the capital of Campania when food was scarce. The dish has remained true to its roots in its simplicity and can be found in restaurants and in pizzerias across the region. It’s simple and…

Roast wild boar in rich red wine gravy

I’m just going to come right out and say it: as a rule the Southern Italians (from this area at least) don’t know how to cook game. The meat ends up strongly gamey, tough and dry. The only exception to this is ragù di cinghiale which is a rich pasta sauce made with tomatoes, herbs…

Ricotta and Pear

Ricotta e pera dalla Costiera Amalfitana Combining creamy ricotta, sweet pears and light fluffy nutty biscuit what could be better than a traditional ricotta and pear cake? A tradition of the Amalfi Coast this sweet delight was made famous by one of Italy’s top pastry chefs Sal de Riso – we visit his café regularly…

“Regù” Salernitano

No, not a mispelling. I really do mean Regù, not Ragù. They say that traditional is best and that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and traditional Ragù Bolognese certainly isn’t broken but one of our friends, Domenico decided he was going to “fix” the recipe anyway, and change the name to make it…

A’mpepata e’ cozze

Impepata di Cozze (mussels with black pepper) A’mpepata e’ cozze, as they call this dish in Naples, is in my opinion one of the great unsung heroes of Mediterranean cuisine.  Considered cucina povera or the “cuisine of the poor” these molluscs were snubbed by the Godfather of Italian cuisine Pellegrino Artusi and were not mentioned at…

Ricotta mousse with dark chocolate, pear and whisky

Mousse di riccotta al cioccolato fondente e pere I feel like utter crap. Sorry. I have a serious headcold and a cough, and I had to go to a wedding today – beautiful wedding, and I had a lovely time, but now that I am home… Let’s just say I am writing this from my…

Linguine with king prawns, lemon and almonds

Linguine al profumo di limone e mandorle from Campania Since my last post focused on Italy as the country of  luuuuurve I thought it would be appropriate to share with you guys one of the courses I cooked for Valentine’s day this year. Valentine’s day has become incredibly commercial, kitsch and above all EXPENSIVE here…

Cuttlefish burgers

Polpette di seppia Some of the most delicious recipes I have ever made come from mistakes, disasters, serendipity. This, my friends, is one of those recipes! It came about when my local fishmonger forgot that when I buy cuttlefish I usually make stuffed cuttlefish (he usually remembers) and chopped my cuttlefish up. Of course I didn’t…

Loving to be lazy

Sometimes being lazy is necessary, and the best thing about being lazy in Italy is that it doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious meal. I mean seriously: Creamy buffalo mozzarella, fresh sun ripened tomatoes, fragrant basil and strong green extra virgin olive oil – the Caprese… accompanied by a side of spicy olives (home…

North vs South and Milanese risotto with porcini mushrooms

Risotto alla milanese con porcini from Lombardy On Italian TV at the moment there is a programme called “Benvenuti a Tavola”. It is based on the age-old North vs South rivalry which is surrounds pretty much everything in Italy and which ranges from the good natured to the downright nasty (some people going as far…

Pasta potatoes and courgettes

Or pasta, potatoes and zucchini, as you prefer. Yesterday was one of those days. You know, the days you really, really don’t want to go to the shops but you don’t have anything in the fridge that looks like it will make up a whole meal. I had been fancying pasta with courgettes for a…