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,…

Santorini Tomato Keftedes with Feta and Wild Oregano

At the beginning of my adult life, I spent a lot of time exploring the Greek Islands. I did pretty much all of them from Paxos and Corfu to the North to Santorini and Rhodes in the South. I was drawn to the azure sea, the oregano-covered mountains, the tiny beaches, the glamorously bearded Greek academics…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill and Mint

Originating from the Ottoman Empire, this is my version of the popular Greek dish, tzatziki (known as cacık in Turkey). It’s simply a bowl of authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious…

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…

Turkish-style Baked Eggs with Biber Salçası

Here’s a very quick one for you. I’m dashing about all over the place right now so, for supper last night, I threw together these Turkish-style eggs. It’s another perfect dish for these cooler autumnal evenings or brunch. Ingredients 1 tsp cumin seeds A splash of extra-virgin olive oil 450g jar of roasted red peppers, drained…

Greek Melitzanosalata, Roasted Aubergine Dip

As many of you already know, my very favourite way to eat is to place several dishes across the table alongside a pile of bread and last night was no exception. We enjoyed a couple of left over stuffed peppers from last week’s gallery menu – I don’t throw anything away, I merely repurpose it; luscious Santorini tomato keftedes…

Lucca Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Salsa Verde

This recipe is inspired by an al fresco dinner we recently enjoyed in the beautiful city of Lucca in Tuscany. We were sitting on the outside of the infamous Piazza Anfiteatro when I noticed a long snake of very young children each holding tiny posies of flowers with their very handsome teacher who was nervously whispering instructions to them….

Livorno Cannellini Bean, Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad

On a recent trip to Tuscany, I was astonished to discover that the covered markets in both Lucca and Pisa had been closed down. It seems that even the Italians are succumbing to pre-prepared food that can be grabbed on the go. Indeed, one man I spoke to who reminisced fondly about the dishes his…

Sicilian Pea and Ricotta Salata Bruschetta

The word ‘ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is a Sicilian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and a refreshingly salty taste (similar to Cheshire cheese). It’s great for slicing, crumbling and…