Blog

Easter Adventures in Tuscany and tackling Carol Field’s Colomba

Surely the best thing about colomba, the Easter equivalent to panettone, is the sugared, toasted almond topping that covers the whole thing and crumbles when you cut it, so you sort of have no choice but just to pick up the crusty sugary bits and eat those on their own. I’d always thought that colomba […]

Easter colomba

A crateful of clementines

What would you do – you’re driving past hundreds of citrus trees. With a better look, they’re mandarins, or, more precisely clementines. On the roadside is a truck selling crates of them for 1 euro a kilo. You stop, right? And buy a crate of 10 kilos. Even though you have to get on a […]

clementine jellly

Radicchio, mascarpone and walnut cream

Of all the vegetables, radicchio just has to be the prettiest of all, don’t you agree? I have always loved gnarly Florentine tomatoes and purple-tinged artichokes too, but they’re beautiful for their rustic, imperfect nature. Radicchio, on the other hand, looks like each leaf was painted by an artist. Have you seen the ones with […]

radicchio cream with mascarpone and walnuts

A peek at The Puglia Encounter Workshop, Masseria Potenti

One of the highlights of 2017 for me was hosting a food and styling workshop in late October together with two warm and talented women, Saghar Setareh of Labnoon and Alice Adams of Latteria Studio in Rome (for a group of equally wonderful women), in the most stunning location — Masseria Potenti in Puglia’s wine country of […]

Masseria Potenti Puglia workshop

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