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rustic Italian baking: with shortcrust pastry

Originally I had lumped all my Torte Rustiche collection together in one post, but I have since broken them down according to pastry type. For brisée pastry click here: For olive oil pastry click here: For puff (and rough puff) click here. Shortcrust pastry, in both sweet and savoury forms, is perhaps the easiest of […]

, ancient grains: farro with roasted pumpkin

Plump, nutty, almost sweet, the most ancient of all grains is grown in Umbria, Abruzzo and in the Garfagnano area of Tuscany.  There are three types of Farro; farro piccolo; rarely used,  farro media; the most common form, best bought as semi perlato (semi pearled) so that it cooks easily but retains its goodness, and farro grande […]


Artisans & Antiques: PUGLIA trips 2021

At the heel of the Italian boot, Puglia is a land of wild beauty where the stark rocky coastline seems to fall into the sea; a land of ancient olive groves and carpets of flowers,  where the light dazzles against the white of the Southern baroque piazze. As sure as the sea in Puglia is of the clearest turquoise, the food that […]


ancient grains for every season

Farro is one of those ingredients that magic a meal out of a few vegetables.  It is wonderful in summer; with punchy tomatoes and fresh herbs or alongside the nicoise family of tuna, capers and olives, but also great in winter with pumpkins and brassicas. We eat it a lot.  Long faces are occasionally pulled […]


when in Rome: tips for travelers

Since I started writing here back in 2014, I have noticed that readers like information.  So here I am at the start of a new year, and a new decade, with some practical pointers for Rome (and some free opinion). This year I will turn fifty.  Surprisingly I woke up on the first of January […]


an Italian reading list

Sometimes I think about my final year history teacher, and how nice it would be to bump into him in a random piazza somewhere in Italy. Russel Staiff was one of those stand out teachers who take their students far beyond the standard textbook. We started our final year of European history with a screening […]


rustic Italian baking: focaccia

Roughly three years ago Rachel Roddy, Carla Tomasi and I sat in Carla’s kitchen with mugs of tea, looking out onto Carla’s blooming kitchen garden and chatting about how Market to Table would become our chance to cook together with curious travelers from around the globe.  Market to Table has become a glorious celebration of […]