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Broccoli, parmigiano & lemon cake

A bit like in the case of a carrot cake, the broccoli in this cake doesn’t necessarily add flavour (the parmigiano and lemon do the heavy lifting) but it does add vegetable substance in the place of extra carbs. And even though some of the nutrients have been lost in the boiling, the cake is […]


nostalgic baking: walnut crescents

This recipe is another family treasure, one of the hand me downs from my mother, my Auntie Margie and my grandma Marjorie, via my trusty recipe folder circa 1994 (home to butchers’ recipe cards, newspaper clippings and other late 20th Century gems). When I mentioned walnuts on the phone the other day Mum told me […]


lockdown recipes: fennel and potato bake

Thursday 19 March 2020.  Schools in Rome have been closed since the 6th, and we have been on official and increasingly stringent lockdown since Monday the 9th. How is it?  Relaxing?  Challenging?  All of the above.  Nothing to do but loads to do, a bit like tossing simultaneous balls and not managing to catch them […]

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mother’s love: anzac biscuits

A couple of days ago a gentleman asked me whether I was British.  I replied ‘No, I am Australian’.  He suggested that this was the same; making me essentially British.  I repeated that I was Australian, and that did not make me British. 2015 marked the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli, the start of […]


rustic Italian baking: with brisée pastry

The meeting spot is Villa Pamphilli, behind the swings and umbrella pines where the the ground slopes down towards the wild bit. It is a picnic, so everyone will bring something to eat and at least one rug.  The children will take their shoes off and run in the green damp springtime grass.  Someone will […]


festive baking: la Crostata Stellata

I developed this recipe for what I am calling a Crostata Stellata, for a Ci Piace Cucinare Christmas menu. It all started after our summer trip to Abruzzo, when I started researching traditional sweets for a Lunch in Abruzzo story. I stumbled across a recipe for Sfogliatelle Abruzzese, a kind of cousin of Neopolitan sfogliatelle, […]