Blog

Ricotta gnocchi, a recipe from Ostro

I have known, and admired, Julia Busuttil Nishimura, for many years now and always felt connected through our love of Italian food, Tuscany (Julia lived in Florence and in Orbetello, just 10 minutes away from where we lived in Porto Ercole while I was writing Acquacotta) and Japan. So I have been eagerly awaiting her debut […]

ostro-ricotta gnocchi MG_8866

Trento Mini Guide and a Buckwheat Cake

Last month we spent a few wonderful days visiting our friends Rosa and Massimo who live just outside of Trento. It was our third visit to the area (on one of them I snapped up this recipe for persimmon cake), so I feel it’s about time to share some our favourite things that we’ve been shown […]

Trento pastel palazzi

Ricotta and spinach ‘gnudi’ video recipe

When I was writing the manuscript for Florentine, I enlisted the help of an army of recipe testers — about 80 people from all over the world — to test every recipe thoroughly. Only one came back to me consistently with problems. From Minnesota to Melbourne, three testers wrote to me that their very first […]

gnudi - Tuscan ricotta and spinach balls

Ten ways to survive an Italian heatwave

Newstands this morning declared the centre of Florence “feels like” 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) and signs warned of extreme heat this week, to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity. They say this is the last (the fifth) heatwave of the summer. Here’s how to deal with it. Under the Tuscan Sun may embody a […]

Summer-in-Italy

In Venice with Valeria Necchio, author of ‘Veneto’

“This is a food memory for me,” Valeria said, as we podded fresh, marbled-pink, borlotti beans, “Not exactly cooking but they were one of the first activities I was involved in as a young girl helping in the kitchen during the summer months: I was on podding duty.” If you are a long time reader […]

Venice-cichetti-vaporetto

Eggs and anchovies

My first memory of cooking was with my grandmother, Rosemary, in Sydney. She taught me how to make scrambled eggs on her electric stovetop, the kind with the coiled heating elements, in her small, linoleum-lined kitchen with cupboards that stuck a little when they closed. She was not an exceptional cook — I can remember plenty of bland […]

scrambled-eggs with anchovies

Crostata di Susine Selvatiche (Wild Plum Tart)

This is not a very practical recipe unless you chance upon a basket of wild plums at your local farmgate, like I did, while picking out some enormous, gnarled tomatoes, sunny zucchini flowers and purple and white eggplants the size of my fist. Or, even better, find yourself a wild plum tree that no one […]

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The Perfect Tuscan Coast Getaway 2017

I’ve been coming to the Etruscan Coast — the stretch of Tuscan coastline from Livorno to Piombino and all the islands in between — ever since I met Marco, over ten years ago. His grandparents, like so many Tuscans, have had an apartment here since the early 60s, so it was their stomping ground; their […]

Cecina-beach-Il-Faro-feature

Food and family — an interview for Wee Magazine

Last month I received a beautiful magazine in the mail. It had tactile rag paper, colourful and quirky illustrations and was filled with stories about families and their food habits, children’s food drawings, what people feed their families around the world and tales of good and real food — all in Korean! I was honoured to be interviewed in […]

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Workshop announcement: The Puglia Encounter

I’m so very excited to announce my involvement in a workshop in October this year in, what is for me, the most authentic and heart-racing region of Italy — Puglia. I’ve never eaten so well as in Puglia, or been so entranced by a place’s open spaces, its ancient olive trees, its cheap produce markets and […]

puglia-workshop