rustic Italian baking: with shortcrust pastry

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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…

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…

Artisans & Antiques: PUGLIA trips 2021

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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…

roads less travelled and unique places to stay

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May 2018.  It is mid afternoon when we pull into the farm hotel.  A deep calm blankets the property and there is no sign of anyone apart from a French couple that pad across the courtyard toward the pool.  The tractors have been shut down…

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…

when in Rome: tips for travelers

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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. …

Rome, where to lay your head in the eternal city

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Alice, where should we stay in Rome? This city has become a jungle of where to sleep options, trickier to navigate than Piazza Venezia at rush hour, so I spend most of my time avoiding this question. Whilst booking, airbnb and co. have…

anglo-australian classics: meat pies

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When you go to a football game in the southern part of Australia, where we follow Australian Rules Football, a home grown style of footy first played in Melbourne in the 1800's, the standard stadium food is a meat pie, with sauce, otherwise…

anglo-australian classics: scones with jam and cream

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For better or for worse, Australia occupies a sort of novelty position in the eyes of many Italians.  Newspapers run spots about killer sharks and koalas on the loose, and us auw-stra-yalini get lots of questions like how long does the flight…

an Italian reading list

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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.…

rustic Italian baking: focaccia

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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…