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…

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…

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…

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…