Livorno Balsamic-glazed Red Onion, Ricotta Salata and Olive Tart

Livorno, Tuscany’s quintessential port town on the southernmost edge of the Ligurian Sea, possesses a colourful history and a cosmopolitan heritage. My kind of place. Its shabby historic quarter – known as the Tuscan Venice – is crisscrossed with jade green canals along which skittish brown boys manoeuvre their launches as they attempt to coolly navigate…

Sicilian Peperonata with Lemon-infused Labneh

A lovingly nurtured peperonata – a classic Italian stew of red and yellow peppers, onions and plum tomatoes – is not only a thing of beauty, it’s incredibly versatile. I use it as a salad in the summer, a warming stew in the winter, as a topping to a crispy pizza or bruschetta, stirred into…

Messicane with New Potatoes, Rocket and a Wild Garlic Pesto

This is my interpretation of the classic Italian dish ‘trofie al pesto’ – the lockdown issue. I had half a pack of absolutely delightful messicane pasta in my – now meticulously reorganised – pantry. I also had a jar of foraged wild garlic pesto in my fridge, some leftover boiled new potatoes, some limp wild…

A Vibrant Mediterranean Tart with a Wild Garlic Salsa Verde

Yesterday’s rainy afternoon came over all productive with some contemplative baking alongside a backdrop of traditional Greek music. The result was this caramelised onion, roasted plum tomato and mozzarella tart garnished with rocket leaves, fresh basil and toasted pine kernels. When it came to supper time, we turned down the lights, turned up the music…

Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto, a Lovely Soup for Spring Days

At the end of last week I took delivery of a large bag of amazingly fresh vegetables from Goodness Growing which I wanted to use quickly before their crunchy magic started to wain. Of course it’s too warm for heavy winter soups so I decided to make this (very loose) take on a classic Genoese…

Umbrian Rocket and Walnut Pesto

‘When we first started cooking, dishes like lasagne and cannelloni were treated with suspicion. Few people knew what to expect. Thirty years ago these dishes were virtually unknown to the British population; only a few who had travelled to Italy had tried them. These dishes always had to be described in great detail before people…

Pizza Bianco with Lemony Courgette Ribbons, Dolcelatte and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Just an hour’s drive away from Assisi sits Cortona, a charming walled town in the Valdichiana Valley in southern Tuscany. After exploring its shady Medieval vicolos, inspiring artisan food stores and the beautiful duomo, we settled at the street-side table of a tiny local pizzeria. There we slowly sipped delicate glasses of an ice cold Italian rosato whilst we chatted over the…