Torta Pasqualina (Ligurian Easter pie)

Easter is just around the corner, believe it or not. I love the work that goes into Easter traditions — pies that take days to make, like the Neapolitan pastiera and the abundant use of spring eggs like in Tuscan Easter schiacciata. This torta pasqualina or Easter pie  (pasqua means ‘Easter’ in Italian), made with fine layers of dough and filled with chard, eggs and ricotta, is no exception. One of Liguria’s iconic dishes... Read More

Pollo al burro (chicken in butter)

You know when you have a dish in a restaurant that you can’t stop thinking about and every time you go you can’t bear to veer away from that dish so you keep ordering it, never trying anything else because you have been constantly thinking about it since your last visit? Well this, for me, is one of those. It is quite simple – chicken in butter, presented just as it sounds, a tender chicken breast floating in a delicious sauce of butter.... Read More

Making food memories with sweet pizza

I have to admit, I was late in the game with discovering Ruth Reichl’s work. In fact, I hadn’t really known much about her until she came to Australia last year for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to talk about her novel Delicious! But then I was serendipitously sent a wonderful book, the Italian translation of Reichl’s memoir, Tender at the Bone (La parte piu’ tenera in Italian). It’s the first of a series of... Read More

Crema Inglese

I found myself recently with an overload of eggs. We use eggs a lot in our household. Between my two-year-old’s favourite breakfast (soft boiled egg with toast fingers) and the amount of cake baking I tend to do, we go through a lot. That was one of the many reasons I wanted to get a couple of chickens for the backyard, but around the time our two black, fluffy Cochins both became broody and suddenly stopped laying, I serendipitously met the... Read More

Palamita sott’olio (Bonito preserved in oil)

I must admit that I am one to succumb to an impulse buy every now and then. Well, actually, almost all my produce shopping at the market is an impulse, except for when I actually plan for a recipe and need certain ingredients. Whatever looks good or cheap or particularly interesting is what ends up in my basket – perhaps it’s a box of figs, jammy, over ripe and going for next to nothing or a bunch of herbs that I don’t normally see,... Read More

Four ingredient (gluten & dairy-free) birthday cake

When I say that this cake only needs four ingredients I mean the frosting too. And what’s more, it’s completely gluten free and dairy free. It’s easy to make and light as a feather. In short, it’s a pretty magical cake that makes you realise you can do so much with just eggs, sugar and corn starch (the fourth ingredient is a 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar, which you could even leave out if you were very, very confident about... Read More

Date, fig and walnut focaccia

Last week I created a rather ambitious Christmas recipe for my Regional Italian Food column over at Food52 – a date, fig and walnut panettone. I have to admit, it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve baked, but definitely a satisfying one to make. It’s much easier to buy a large panettone at the local deli and call it a day, as making it at home requires a lot of patience, plenty of rising time, two days, special baking tins and a bit... Read More

Call out for recipe testers & Tuscan pork roast

This week I was given some bad news about my cookbook. It’s release will be delayed. For those who know already the process behind the making of a cookbook (or any book for that matter), it can take months and years of work but also a lot of patience and waiting around. I thought I was quite lucky that my book was going to be released just a year after being offered the deal, but the downside to that was an extremely tight deadline. The manuscript... Read More

The trouble with writing recipes & walnut and lemon buttercream cake

There’s nothing more disappointing than finding out that a recipe you’ve posted hasn’t worked out for someone. Worse if multiple people have had the same problem. Luckily in this case, it’s not my recipe, but it is a recipe that I’ve written about for my Food52 column, Regional Italian Food. It’s for a torta di noci, a traditional walnut cake from Calabria in southern Italy. I was drawn to it because of it’s... Read More

Swiss roll with Alkermes mascarpone cream and pistachios

It’s done. The manuscript is in. It’s been a whirlwind three or more months, where every spare minute of my day (when not devoting it to a toddler), every day and every evening, was consumed in the pages of my notebook, either scribbling recipes, testing, recording or researching them. It’s been quite an eyeopening experience and one that was made even more challenging with a little one around. Now I feel like I can finally breathe.... Read More