Batzina, a Greek Courgette, Feta and Mint Pie

Batzina is a traditional ‘pie’ from Thessaly in Greece which was originally made with just four ingredients: flour, cheese, milk and eggs; it’s name is derived from the word batzos which is a hard white goat and sheep’s cheese originating in Western Macedonia. This version, which also features grated courgettes, is inspired by my friend…

Neapolitan Buffalo Mozzarella with Zucchini alla Scapece and Borlotti Beans

‘Italian food is all about the ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy‘, so says Wolfgang Puck and this classic dish of Naples is a testimony to that. Zucchini alla Scapece is a zesty summer salad which, whenever I taste it, immediately transports me back to long lazy lunches sitting around a table heaving with…

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…

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…

Ratatouille Niçoise with Saffron and Lemon

In respect of creating the classic Provençal dish of ratatouille, the monumental culinary reference book, Larousse Gastronomique states that ‘according to the purists, the differenut vegetables should be cooked separately, then combined and cooked slowly together until they attain a smooth, creamy consistency’. I couldn’t agree more. For so many years, I had to endure so…