Symi Roast Tomato Soup With a Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

I first tried this beautiful interpretation of the classic roasted tomato soup on the island of Symi, a glorious island that elegantly lies in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of South West Turkey. Although it’s a relatively barren place, the island’s rich merchant founders made the most of its…

Greek Kritharaki with Lemon, Herbs and Pine Kernels

Here’s a beautifully bright pasta dish to brighten up your day whatever the season. There’s something extraordinarily comforting about eating kritharaki (kριθαράκι) or orzo; it’s the luxe softness of it I think as well as its ability to soak up all your favourite flavours be they rich or light. This vibrant lemony herb-packed recipe is…

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…

Pesto alla Genovese

It’s early on Tuesday morning at Genoa’s Mercato Orientale and a light summer rain still lingers in the air. Softly fragrant and warm. Dozens of men and women are quietly and efficiently focused on the business of setting up their stalls stopping only occasionally to bid someone buongiorno. Fragrant bouquets of basil line the stalls their uniquely…

Quartieri Spagnoli Aubergine Parmigiana, Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Deep in the heart of of the Quartieri Spagnoli – the Spanish Quarter – in the centre of Naples sits a tiny family-run restaurant called Hosteria Toledo. It’s one of our favourites and our go-to place when we arrive in this glorious chaotic city. The family are justifiably proud of their long-held faith in the generous…

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…