La Cecìna Toscana, a Fermented Chickpea Flour Pancake with Rosemary

In pre-Covid times, it always amazed me that having eaten breakfast in England we can be enjoying a late lunch in Italy looking up to the sun and taking in the aromas of the streets: jasmine blossoms and linden trees fighting for our olfactory attention against smokey Vespas, buttery patisserie, melting chocolate, over-ripe peaches, the…

Umbrian Barley, Cavolo Nero and Lemon Soup with Pesto alla Genovese

High up in the hills of Umbria, winters can be long and very cold. A chilled silence wraps itself around the small towns and villages like a damp white cloak and the region falls into a kind of reflective slumber until Easter. Restaurants – at least those that choose to remain open after the feasting…

Minestra Aromatica, Potato and Arborio Rice Soup with Aromatics

This beautiful recipe is perfect for the early days of a new year when the desire for bright vibrant flavours vies for attention with the long walk towards the spring. This year, more than ever before, I have looked to silence and reflection these past few weeks, a quiet time in order to process everything…

Umbrian Farro Pilaf with Fennel, Roasted Grapes and Mozzarella

Waking up in Umbria to a view of golden Autumnal vineyards, distant mountains and white mist, the church bells ring out across the valley as the market stall holders quietly prepare for their first customers. There are tables piled high with the region’s seasonal bounty including the last of the grapes, sacks of farro, lentils,…

Torta Caprese, a Classic Italian Chocolate and Almond Cake

Despite the terror – it’s real – of travelling along it, the road that sweeps along the Amalfi coast is simply beautiful. To one side is the glittering Salerno Gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the other sit the mountains with their high terraces of ancient lemon groves. The light is clear and white….

Orecchiette with Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Parmesan and Mint

Sometimes I yearn for a pesto sauce that packs a bit more of a punch that the regular basil and pine nut version especially when the quality of shop bought basil can be patchy – who else has splashed out on a packet recently only to find that the leaves are all pretty much too…

Salerno Sweet Red Pepper and Fontina Cheese Frittata

They say that Salerno is the Amalfi Coast’s best kept secret so I probably shouldn’t tell you about it. It’s important you see that this grand old signora of Campania remains a secret otherwise all and sundry will be aching to reside in one of its cute little teracotta-roofed appartamentos piled one on top of…

Cetara Marinated Plum Tomatoes with Cipolla Rossa di Tropea DOP

Positioned high above the glittering Tyrrhenian Sea along the staggeringly beautiful Amalfi coast, the small fishing village of Cetara is often missed as the hoards head out to the more popular towns of Ravello, Amalfi itself or Positano to the beaches lined with ice cream coloured umbrellas laid out in their perfectly judged rows. They’re all…

Tuscan Cannellini Bean and Cipolla Rossa di Tropea Salad

Here’s another lovely salad recipe designed to enjoy outside on sultry summer evenings such as we’re experiencing now. Whenever I come across the universally loved cipolla rossa di Tropea – sweet red onions from the Calabria region of Italy – I am in first in line to buy them. I love their incredible sweetness which makes them perfect for adding to frittatas,…