all the articles tagged as:

summer

Tomato paste making at Anna Tasca Lanza, Sicily

It began with 120 kg of tomatoes. Six huge boxes of small, somewhat oval tomatoes of a Sicilian variety called siccagno, from the word secco, dry. They’re grown in tiny bushes, low to the ground, without any water at all. When you cut them open they’re just flesh, no juice, and deep, deep red. They taste almost savoury, as if they’ve been sprinkled with salt. Intensely tomato-y. It’s late August and I’ve arrived (with... Read More

An idea for a cherry semifreddo

Ever since losing my ice cream maker (I lent it to a friend who put it in the dishwasher — never do that!), homemade semifreddi and granita have taken over as my go-to summer desserts when it is truly unthinkable to turn on the oven. The beauty of making semifreddo, which usually has a base of pure whipped cream, whipped egg whites (an Italian meringue) or both is that you can flavour it with whatever you like — I’ve used it with... Read More

Fish soup on Giglio Island

We spent a week in our favourite holiday place, the very special Giglio island, a tiny island in Southern Tuscany that can only be reached by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano. It’s the kind of place where time slows down and there is a simplicity to the rhythm of the days when you’re on an island like this so we really slow down when we are here (especially in a spot like Pardini’s Hermitage, where we stayed one year). One of the things... Read More

Insalata Gigliese, a summery salad from a Tuscan island

I’m counting down the days until we get back to our favourite annual Tuscan holiday spot, Giglio island, and in the meantime I’m feeling a little bit nostalgic about the cookbook where this recipe for Insalata Gigliese (a deliciously refreshing salad of tomatoes and celery) comes from, Acquacotta. I recently found out that it is getting harder to find copies of Acquacotta because it sadly isn’t going back into another reprint, which... Read More

Grottaglie, a ceramic lover’s dream in Puglia

It was serendipitous that I read Patience Gray‘s recipe (which is more of a description of this beautiful summer ritual than actual measurements) for “salsa doppia” (bottled tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes in layers over orecchiette and a shower of pecorino cheese) while visiting Grottaglie in the province of Taranto in Puglia, a small, somewhat unglamorous town that has been known for centuries for its artisan ceramic production. Gray describes... Read More

Pici all’aglione, Tuscany’s rustic pasta al pomodoro

Cooking post-lockdown is still keeping us grounded, but also relaxed and even entertained. I have been turning more than ever to Tuscany’s comforting, frugal cuisine for inspiration – it just feels right. Not because we can’t get ingredients or are rationing but just using what we have on hand or what is abundant (hello tomatoes) at the little bottega in the piazza, skipping that trip to the supermarket in favour of staying home or close... Read More

Venice, post-lockdown, is still about the cicchetti

I don’t know if it’s just me but even after leaving Venice I feel like I’m still swaying on a pier waiting for the vaporetto. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it was one too many spritzes or a little bit of Venice’s version of Stendhal’s syndrome (also called Florence syndrome, from the feeling of dizziness and like you might faint after being exposed to the great beauty of the Renaissance city that I call home) but... Read More

Strawberry tiramisu

I made a video of my girls and I making strawberry tiramisu recently on Instagram and it was such a hit, I loved seeing others making this, so decided it should be a permanent recipe on the blog too! There are so many reasons I love this version of tiramisu, first and foremost because strawberries and cream in any combination is a treat. But also, this tastes like strawberry shortcake without having to bake (note that down, those without an oven... Read More

Homemade Mascarpone for a No-Bake Raspberry Pandoro Cake

I’m back home in Australia for a couple of months, a blissfully extended holiday with the family before a busy and exciting book tour! It’s been a long time since I’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s here, let alone my mother’s January birthday, so I wanted to create a very special birthday cake for her. Around this time, the raspberry bush — taking over a large corner of the garden — flourishes and every... Read More

Pardini’s Hermitage: Paradise on Giglio Island

Late last August we had only a handful of days to go away somewhere, to escape the heat of Florence, the crowds, the daily grind. And so we decided to treat ourselves and spent them at Pardini’s Hermitage, a secret hideaway sort of a place on an island that is a gem in itself – Giglio Island, a very special place for us. I was already attracted to it by the fact that the only way to get there is by boat. Not the island, I mean, I’m... Read More