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ten years: la carbonara

The Italy that I love, that I inhabit, that I feel content to be bringing my children up in, is what I call everyman’s Italy.  It is above all an accessible Italy, where the best things in life are free (or at least cheap); a world made up of rambling public parks and bustling markets, of boisterous […]


ten.7 something old something new

What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel’s pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome but which she now probably makes using notes from the very same Dan, her friend and […]


ten.3 ciambelline al vino

What I’ve learnt from the Italians. You can bake without butter. I grew up in a fairly butter heavy culinary environment.  In the sense that at my parent’s house there is always a butter dish on the kitchen bench, with salted butter ready to be smeared on toast, sneaked onto potatoes and used in cakes.  My […]


outdoor museums: shopping in Rome

If a city, especially one like Rome, is a great outdoor museum, then shopping is one of the (legitimate) ways of exploring it.  Lexically speaking to do the shopping or fare la spesa is a needs based activity, consisting mainly of a long list stuffed into your back pocket (or left at home on the kitchen bench) and […]

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ripe tomatoes and baby food: pappa al pomodoro

During the first year of Alberto’s life I found myself skulking around corners in my Roman apartment building to avoid a certain generation of neighbors, dreading the inevitable lecture on the brodo vegetale.  Being a first time mother, and all the more a foreigner, I was clearly crying out for guidance on the arts of child nutrition.  I wanted […]