Limoncello

Limoncello… this quintessentially Italian, sweet, aromatic liqueur is incredibly easy to make at home. Who would have thought? All you need is: 1 liter of food grade alcohol (if you can’t get this then strong vodka like Smirnoff blue label may work but it won’t be the same) 5 or 6 organic lemons (sfusato amalfitano…

Chestnut 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…

Wordy Wednesday – E is for Esprimerti

Express yourself! This is what esprimerti means and if you have been learning Italian in a classroom you can probably order a meal and get train tickets, ask directions and talk about your family… but can you express your emotions? Can you express how you really feel? By this I also mean… do you know…

5 ways Italians are different to the British

It can’t be that different, I hear you cry. Both European countries, only one hour of time difference, essentially both “Christian” countries… surely the differences are minimal? Well there are similarities, and culture shock going from the UK to Italy of vice versa is surely not as great is it would be between say the UK and…

Wordy Wednesday – D is for Donna

Not the name. The word donna in Italian means woman. The etymology is simple, from the Latin domna meaning lady or mistress. There are no particular historic connotations of note. However… Italian society is notable for its lack of equality. The statistics speak for themselves. Circa 20% of women in Italy are unemployed in comparison…

Driving in Italy – the real rules of the road

The main rule to keep in mind when driving in Italy is that there are no rules. Or rather, there are, just don’t expect anyone to stick to them. They are more like… guidelines. Which, much like those emanating from the European Union, are routinely ignored. Most people will tell you “don’t drive in Italy” and…

Wordy Wednesday – C is for Ceramica

Ceramica, Ceramic. Practically synonymous with the Amalfi Coast, and in particular with Vietri, the first town on the coast after the city of Salerno. The town is linked to Cava dei Tirreni (a quarry turned city) and the art of ceramic deveoped from there. Vietri is now covered with colourful works of art in ceramic…

Birra in Villa – Beer festival!

Now most of us perhaps think of beer as being more of a Northern European thing… after all, the Southerners have wine. We in the North aren’t that great at making wine… so they won’t be great at making beer. Stands to reason, right? Um, wrong. Dratted Southerners… Birra in Villa in Castel San Giorgio…

Survival Guide – Coffee

Coffee. Many of us are addicted to the stuff. The Italians however take coffee obsession to a whole new level, and sometimes it can seem as though there are as many types of coffee in Italy as there are pasta shapes – that’s a lot of coffee people! It can get confusing, especially as there…