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.7 something old something new

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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…

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.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

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The late summer harvest season has been wonderfully satisfying in its very humble way on our little patch of volcanic soil at Lubriano.  Apart from the tomatoes and (Lebanese) cucumbers, we have had blooming amethyst like plums and our own…

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…

ten.3 ciambelline al vino

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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…

brutto ma buono: abbacchio alla romana

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Part 2 of my series celebrating ten years in Italy and what I've gleaned from the Italians in the kitchen.

about my father, seville oranges and making marmalade

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I don't often write about my father on my blog, unfairly so, because I am, and I think you can say this at 44 years of age, as much my father's daughter as I am a replica of my mother.  Our real shared love is for the Australian high country,…

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…

outdoor museums: shopping in Rome

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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…

ripe tomatoes and baby food: pappa al pomodoro

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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,…

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…