Broccoli, parmigiano & lemon cake

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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…

lockdown recipes: fennel and potato bake

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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…

how we shop: and lombrichelli pasta with zucchini

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I often wonder whether there is a spike in sales of real newspapers over the summer holidays.  August in Lubriano is the luxury of walking to the edicola (Lubriano still has one), buying a paper, and maybe stopping in at…

ten years: and a recipe for broccoli pasta

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It is May 7, 2015 and I am on an early morning train bound for Milan, on my way to a rather special book launch and to have a look at EXPO, the Universal Exposition running with the theme 'Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life'.  I go with a…

ancient grains: farro with roasted pumpkin

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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…

how to peel an artichoke and other stories

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Quick, it's artichoke season, hurry to the market.  There are bulbous deep purple Romanescos, paler green but equally plump globes, and pretty tulip shaped violette. There are baskets, piles, and crates.  Truckloads parked on street corners…

ancient grains for every season

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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…

rustic Italian baking: with olive oil pastry

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Finally have an olive oil pastry recipe to call my own.  Well, not my own, I found it in a recipe book produced by Allegra Pomilio and her friends from ristorante La Bilancia in Pescara.  You can buy and download their neat recipe book here,…

ten years: good starts, il sofritto & pasta & fagioli

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The preface to this series needed to go something like this: Not for a minute do I believe that Italians hold the copyright to good sense in the kitchen.   I should have started by saying that the Italians in these ramblings are like…

ten years: about the oil, grilled summer vegetables

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What I have learnt from the Italians Not all oils are created equal I started writing this post from Beirut, part of a recent roll of finding time to put words together only whilst on planes, trains or in hotel rooms.  I was back in…

anniversaries and artichokes

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This year, on May 1 to be precise, I will celebrate ten years in Italy.  Ten years since I lugged a large case and several other bags up the three flights of stairs in Via del Babuino only to be told by Angelica, the art student that rented…

a jar of jam & a basket of beans: niçoise salad

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Every time I go home to Melbourne my mother has an array of boxes waiting for me in some corner of the house.  Shoe cartons filled with Sade and George Michael cd's, larger boxes bearing my carefully tissue swaddled collection of Guy…