Monday soup for the soul

After last week’s impromptu “let’s just all have a week off as everyone got ill”, everyone’s back and out of the house and so I spent the whole of my Monday morning – err, cleaning the kitchen. Yes, really, life is that glamorous, although it’s actually quite a nice feeling in a way, kind of […]

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We are what we eat (but make it Italian)

Call it a modern day version of one of those much loved and much stained notebooks that I have sitting on my bookshelves in my kitchen, the ones that belong to my grandmothers and mother. They’re the ones hidden between the other books, Italian classics such as Artusi’s The Art of Eating Well, various other books […]

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Bologna porticoes and the women’s marches

I took the picture last Thursday in Bologna before the women’s marches. There’s something so calming about Bologna. It manages to be lively and vibrant without feeling chaotic. It’s also one of Italy’s oldest university cities (yet feels more like a big town), is home to so much cultural and political activity. I sat in […]

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Arancini di riso alla milanese or Milanese style rice balls

Saturday 25th November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I want to share a recipe for arancini di riso, or little oranges of rice as they’re known, a popular dish from the south of Italy. The reason I want to share them is because I ate them once, cooked by […]

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November is sausage ragù

You can’t beat a sausage ragù. You can’t beat any ragù, and I generally make mine with half beef mince and half sausage Italian sausage meat anyway. But today went pear-shaped and I was in a hurry, and so the sausage casserole with polenta I’d planned to feed my family for lunch and was feeling […]

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Easy Saturday cooking

Saturday cooking. When the week is over and although the workload might not exactly be finished, there’s nothing I love more than a bit of Saturday lunchtime pottering in the kitchen. At the moment I’ve got Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well on the kitchen worktop, along with a […]

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Up Lake Como without a plan

It started off as it often does with a vague idea to go off somewhere that ends up somewhere else which is always the best thing about it. On this day in particular, I wanted to explore the part of Lake Como between Como and Bellagio. I ended up in Molina, a hamlet of Faggeto […]

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Eating chisciöi above Lake Como

True to every stereotype, it’s a beautiful Spring day up on Lake Como and I’m sitting on the sheltered terrace of Crotto di Biosio, feeling like I’ve hit the jackpot in some game called la dolce vita. Of course living in Italy isn’t all dolce vita, by any means. My life is very probably your life, and the […]

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Easter cakes in Lodi

The Agnello di Pasqua (Paschal Lamb or Easter Lamb) is a classic Easter cake from the Lodi area or the Lodigiana. It’s made of flaky pastry and is usually filled with crema pasticciera (Italian custard). Variations are fillings of Chantilly cream or chocolate. At Pasticceria La Lombarda (the Lombard) in Lodi, they have been preparing cakes […]

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Montespluga

“Go there today,” the woman in the café tells me. “You don’t get many days like today.” “No?”  “Not up the Spluga. You probably get about five clear days every summer, really clear days.” I’d set off that morning, passport at the ready, with the intention of going up the border into Soglio in Switzerland. […]

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Memories are made of breakfasts

When I was young, I can distinctly remember going around telling everyone: “When I grow up, I’m going to live in France,” France being the only place that I’d visited outside the UK. I’d been on a school trip to Normandy when I was about ten. It was the early 80s and a big event, especially […]

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Being home

It changes when you move away, the perspective. The familiar is still familiar but you see it through a different lens. The old lens has long been cast aside. Or maybe it’s still the old lens but it’s transformed over the years. You’re still holding the camera and you decide the anglem which is why […]

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