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florence

Introducing the new edition of Florentine

My first baby, Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence, which I started writing in 2014, was published in 2016. And this month it has been launched in Australia and the UK (the US will have to wait a few more months until 9 February 2021) with a brand new look! It has a slightly smaller format to the original, still hardback only, and a moodier, darker, beautiful marbled cover. The recipes and photographs are the same as the original, where I was... Read More

Lockdown in Florence: Comforting chicken and farro soup & home deliveries

These are strange and surreal times and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (not such a bad idea) you probably already know that the entire nation of Italy is under lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, Covid-19. Things change every day, with new regulations, new realities, new travel bans, new closures, every single day. The current situation on the 13th of March is this: Florence is deserted as citizens are encouraged to stay... Read More

Florence food and wine summer workshops

Book right away for July 2-5 here or September 10-13 here! We have had such an incredible response to our White truffle and Wine retreat in November that we couldn’t wait to share a few more dates for similar — but ‘mini’ versions — food and wine focused workshops. The first will be in July 2-5, 2019, and the second will be in September 10-13, 2019, which will coincide with the wine harvest season. We plan to repeat... Read More

Budino di Riso (Baked rice pudding) from Tortellini at Midnight

This isn’t a pretty dessert, let’s face it. But then so many treats that you could label comforting aren’t usually, are they? And I would put this in the same category as bread and butter pudding, rice or semolina pudding, even french toast or pancakes. It’s simply good, rather wholesome, definitely rustic and absolutely homely. An oldie (literally; it comes from Pellegrino Artusi’s classic cookbook from 1891) but a... Read More

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 attempt at making Tuscan gnudi (ricotta and spinach balls that, rather than be encased in pasta like for ravioli, are simply dusted... Read More

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 else (birds and bugs included) has noticed. In years of scouring farmers markets, I have never once come across wild plums, even though they are well-used... Read More

Four ways to fall in love with Florence

It was 2001. Two weeks shy of my 21st birthday, exactly 15 years ago. I arrived at the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence after flying halfway around the globe to Rome to start a semester-long etching course as part of my Fine Art degree. I had a suitcase and a few Italian lessons behind me — not enough to understand a conversation but maybe to figure out a menu, for the most part. I had no idea where I would even stay the night, let... Read More

Renovating a kitchen in Florence

I’ve put up with some pretty awful kitchens in my 18 years of renting, particularly in Florence. Most of them called for some inventive improvising and I’m sure in some way or another that I’m a better, or at least more resourceful, cook because of them. There was the one in the studio apartment with a mini bar as a fridge and only one burner, next to the bed. There was the one in a loft over the stairs – only one person could... Read More

Settignano, the Other Florence

We’ve moved again. I’m losing count but I think it’s the seventh move since I started this blog which I began while living in a shabby fifth-floor apartment that I fell in love with for its rooftop views of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, never mind that it was freezing in the winter and a sauna in the summer (the bathroom may have been miniscule with no water pressure but who could pass it up when there was a view of the Duomo... Read More

Favourite Florence Eats

{Updated 16 January 2020} One of the things I was keen to include in my first cookbook Florentine was a little address book of my favourite places to eat and shop for food like a local. They’re places I like to go to, places where you are guaranteed to find really typical Florentine dishes, at a good price, and eat well. For those who don’t have my cookbook yet, I wanted to compile a little list of some of my favourites, many of which... Read More