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…

Pizza! I made pizza!

With my own hands! So exciting. It was the first of May on Wednesday and therefore a bank holiday and I had the most fantastic day… I took May the mutt to the football pitch to watch Roby play (he scored!), then we went to the beach, had an aperitif and our first dip of…

Last minute lemon cake

In life, things are often planned at the last minute (or not planned at all) and trust me that nowhere is that more true than in Southern Italy. The Southern Italians get undeservedly bashed by their Northern neighbours for a lot of things (I especially hate when they say that people here are lazy –…

Just Carbonara

Say you are in Italy. Say you want comfort food. You know, the kind of food that feels like “hugs on the inside”, all warm and tasty and makes you feel drowsy and contented after consumption… What do you choose? Why carbonara of course… You might notice it doesn’t look very liquid. That’s because it…

Made In Italy by Giorgio Locatelli

Most cookbooks are a mere collection of recipes, purely functional and not particularly interesting. Every once in a while however a cook book comes out which is far more than this… It tells a story, recounts the history of a nation, evokes emotions, sights, smells and tastes and inspires you to recreate the dishes not…

Lemon and basil chicken

Pollo al limone e basilico What are some of the flavours you think about when you think of the Mediterranean? For me, the top five have always been: 1. Tomatoes 2. Basil 3. Oranges and lemons 4. Olive oil 5. Garlic This tangy chicken dish incorporates all but the first of these ingredients into the…

It’s not just pasta…

Penne. Tagliatelle. Spaghetti. Fusilli. Farfalle. Rigatoni. Linguine. Lasagne. We all know what these are, more or less. But what about… Capelli d’angelo, lagane, mafalde, pizzoccheri, scialatelli, fideuà, trenette, ruote, stelline, cavatelli, gigli, lumache, ricciolini, strozzaprete and trofie? Yes, they are all still pasta.     Ok, so why are there so many different kinds? Well…

Black rice with winter squash

Riso Venere con la Zucca I know, I promised you some healthy Italian recipes. I’ve been super busy this week, so I’ll update you now! I have been eating healthily as promised and doing a fair bit of running with the pooch (she’s all better). I have lost about a kilo so it all seems…

Fluffy fresh strawberry spongecake

Torta soffice con le fragole Sometimes (read: often) you just need cake. And a home baked cake is somehow just so much better than a shopbought one. Baking is relaxing, as long as it goes right, and fills the house with the most gorgeous smells that make it seem so much more like a home….

Pizza party!

When you want to party in Italy what better way to go than a pizza party? My friend Carlo is lucky enough to have a proper wood fired pizza oven in his back garden, meaning that he can make the most incredible pizzas of all different flavours… There were tons of other pizza’s too, although…

Friggitelli

Friggitelli are all over the place at the moment. It is exactly the right time of year for them – the end of summer / beginning of autumn as the days begin to shorten but there is still enough heat and sunlight to not feel like putting your woolies on yet… although in all honesty…