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…

Pasta with cream of avocado and lime

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and nowhere is that more true than in the kitchen. When the fridge was almost empty and I suddenly realised at 10pm that I was hungry… well rather than calling for a pizza (again) I decided to rack my brains for something to make. I…

Cuttlefish stuffed with broccoli

Seppie ripiene con broccoli e gamberetti from Campania I’ll be honest, this isn’t so much a traditional recipe as a twist on something I tried in a restaurant and liked. It is a winter version of something of a summer classic, as cuttlefish, although available all year round in Southern Italy, is mainly eaten, lightly…

Roasted vegetable soup

Vellutata di verdure al forno from Liguria You all know that I like soup in the winter. Really like it. It is absolutely the best thing, with some lovely crusty bread, to warm up the cold winter nights or to provide a healthy, satisfying lunch on a freezing, grey, dismal day. I ¬†also adore roasted…

Pasta with Chickpeas

Pasta e ceci alla romana from Lazio This is definitely a dish that is eaten regularly in Italy in winter, and it is from what is known as la cucina povera¬†(poor cuisine) because the ingredients are so cheap and readily available. The homely roots of this pasta dish don’t make it any less tasty than…

Spicy bean and endive soup

Minestra di scarole e fagioli from Campania It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s miserable and dark. Yes, even in Southern Italy, it is December after all! All of this means only one thing… Soup! When you come home on one of those horrid winter nights after a long day at work there’s nothing better than a…

Spicy Pumpkin Risotto

Risotto alla Zucca from Lombardy Tonight I went to my friend Isabel’s house for dinner and she made me a delicious plate of risotto with squash: This is true comfort food, straight from the cool (relatively) climes of Lombardy in the North of Italy, and with its deep, warm colour and slightly spicy sweetness it…