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…

Wordy Wednesday – Italian non-words

Italian, just like English and probably every other language in the world, is full of non-words. Little mannerisms and interjections. Things you won’t find in the dictionary and won’t learn in a class, but which will help you to understand the Italians and to fit in with them. Here is a very brief list to…

Survival Guide – What not to do in Italy

There are oodles of guides out there on life in Italy, on how to fit in and how to get by. Some of them offer excellent advice, some of them make it plain from their ignorance that they have never once set foot in the Bel Paese. I have an advantage, in that I am…

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…

Wordy Wednesday – Amore

Wednesdays from now on will be dedicated to a word in the Italian language. Where possible I will stick to the alphabet, although X might be a bit of a bummer so I’ll probably end up skipping that one… The first word with A is easy: Amore. Love. It’s what Italy is all about. It’s the reason…

A fresh start

It has been a long time. Too long. I even considered completely abandoning this blog and setting up a new one, because I was embarrassed to come back to it after so long. I have decided that isn’t necessary though, and that it seems a tremendous shame to let everything here wither and waste away….

MIA

I have been missing in action for a few months and am aware of this, but I was having an extremely difficult time for personal reasons and simply finding the energy to get up in the morning was a chore. On top of this, I was thinking of nothing but my problems which are a….

The perks of living in Italy

One of the very best things about living in this part of Italy is that at the weekend, particularly in the summer, all you need to do is take the car (or even better, the vespa) for a 10-15 minute drive and you can stop for a coffee/icecream/beer/other (delete-as-appropriate) in one of the most stunning…

Drinking culture in Italy

The other day I was on the telephone talking to my grandmother and mentioned that I was going to go and have a glass of wine. She asked me who I was going with and I told her that I was taking my dog and a good book. But what will people think?  She asked…

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…