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tuscany

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

Making our home in Tuscany: How it’s going

As some of you know, we recently bought and renovated our first home — right out of lockdown in 2020 — in the place my husband Marco was born, San Miniato. It’s a hill top village between Florence and Pisa, and equidistant to Siena, San Gimignano, Livorno (the sea! The fish market!), Lucca and Pistoia. It’s really in the heart of everything. From the large windows of our home, a 100 square metre apartment that was built in... Read More

Nonna Vera’s Almond Cake and a new cookbook

Introducing my new cookbook, Torta della Nonna ~ Making sweets was my first foray into cooking independently in the kitchen, and as a teenager I could often be found baking my way through my mother’s cookbooks, in particular an American pie cookbook – I have always had a thing for pastry. You will see a bias towards it in this collection too, from southern Italian custard and jam bocconotti to ricotta-filled crostata and Florence’s... Read More

Bitter orange marmalade from San Miniato

It’s not every day that you walk into a butcher shop and come out with a few kilos of bitter oranges aka Seville oranges or arance amare in Italian. But it’s also, I think, not every day that you find a butcher shop that has this sort of garden out the back with a sweeping view over the valley and terraces of mandarins, lemons and Seville orange trees. San Miniato seems to be full of these terraces of citrus trees and one of the homes... Read More

A dreamy weekend at Adler Resort in Bagno Vignoni

The Valdorcia is one of my very favourite areas to visit in Tuscany, it embodies so much about what I love about this region — the green and golden rolling hills, magnificent stone hamlets, rustic and genuine country food and the delights of the natural landscape, in particular the pampering hot springs. In Bagno Vignoni, one of the most charming towns of the area, natural thermal springs flow that have been attracting travellers since Roman... Read More

Lina’s pollo in galantina, an Italian family classic

My favourite butcher shop, Sergio Falaschi, which is one of the reasons why we bought a house in San Miniato (joking — sort of!) has one of the prettiest and enticing counters, it could compete with any pastry shop window. It is run by my friend Andrea, Sergio’s son, and they are the fourth and third generation to run this shop, with great care for the products, and in turn the heirloom breed animals and local farmers they work with (see... Read More

Making Prosciutto di Cinta Senese with Sergio Falaschi

I have long been taking advice from my friend and favourite butcher, Andrea Falaschi (above), a fourth generation butcher who goes by @guidofalaschi, the name of his great grandfather who first opened the family butcher shop in 1925 in San Miniato. We share the same passion for ethically and sustainably raised free-range animals, Tuscan traditions and quality over quantity when it comes to eating meat. Andrea works with his father, Sergio, in the... Read More

Truffle, artichoke and anchovy (ancient grain, sourdough) pizza

Christmas may be upon us but since 2020 is a very different kind of year and we will be just us, I feel we can do something kind of different for Christmas too. Homemade pizza is something we have always loved making but to make it special I thought I might put truffle on it so we came up with this rather unusual combination — but oh it works so well! We recently moved from Florence to my husband’s hometown, San Miniato, which is half... Read More

Chestnut panforte, a gluten free and vegan treat

This is a slightly untraditional variation on the most traditional recipe I know for panforte — a sweet, dense, spicy medieval cake from Siena. The recipe comes from the bible of Tuscan cooking, Paolo Petroni’s Il Grande Libro della Vera Cucina Toscana and every time I make panforte (since I first posted about it back in 2011) I make some kind of variation on his recipe. To be honest, I usually don’t deviate from it much unless... Read More

Garibaldi Innamorato’s Zuppa Corsa, a fish soup from the Tuscan coast

The supermarket was offering the prettiest fish plucked out if the waters of the Tuscan arcipelago last night — so fresh they smell of the sea and are still in rigor mortis — for a steal, 6 euro a kilo. Look at how bright eyed and beautiful they are! These small fish — a mixture of different types of sea bream known as fragolino (the pink one, known as pandora in English) and mormora (striped sea bass, with the yellow stripe on... Read More