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…

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…