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…

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….

Orecchiette pasta with turnip tops

Orecchiette con le cime di rapa from Puglia I was on the telephone to my Gran the other day talking about the availability of certain ingredients in the UK and in Italy, and she was reminiscing about certain foods that were available in wartime Britain but which have now all but disappeared from the market…

Halloween in Italy

Happy Halloween to all of you! Halloween is a funny one… I really love this time of year, and when I was a kid (and when I was a student to be fair) it was a fantastic excuse to dress up in as silly and as outlandish a costume as I could possibly conceive and…

Roman Holiday part II

I did mention that I would be back to discuss the most important parts of my visit to Rome with my parents, and for those of you who know me at all, either in person or via the internet, will surely be aware that for me this means the food and drink. Rome, like all…

Organic food, Italian style

Organic food. Good for you? Yes. Environmentally friendly? Yes. Tastier? According to enthusiasts… Expensive? Absolutely! Yes, organic food is costly and despite the best of intentions if you don’t earn a high salary it is difficult to eat organic without having to give up on many of life’s little luxuries. Ironically, the more natural a…

White wine escalopes

Scaloppine al vino bianco from Lombardy Scaloppine originally were a Northern Italian dish reserved mostly for holidays and parties. Nowadays, because they are so quick and easy to make as well as being relatively cheap they are eaten every day by many families the length and breadth of the peninsula. You can make these with…

Stuffed zucchini flowers with anchovies and mozzarella

Fiori di zucca ripieni di mozzarella e alici from Lazio Another Roman dish! This dish was immortalised in fact by Julia Robert’s in the film adaptation of the book Eat, Pray, Love. When she sits at that table in Rome, outdoors on the street, and cuts into the crispy shell of the flower so that the rich,…

Tagliatelle with langoustines and fresh tomato sauce

Tagliatelle ai scampi e pomodoro fresco Think Italian food, and you think messy spaghetti in tomato sauce (not as messy as in Naples perhaps, but still). Think classy and you think seafood. So this, my friends, is the perfect combination of classic Italian pasta and elegance. Not to mention tasty. Fish: also known as “the…