SLIGHTLY TROPICAL ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

We could be in the tropics at the moment with heat that rises to 35 degrees during the day followed swiftly by a monsoon-style storm at night….and I’ve even noticed some ominous bites appearing on exposed flesh early evening. That was understandable whilst we were weekending on the Italian coast but very strange to have…

FESTIVE ‘NO-PASTA’ TORTELLI with JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE & PUMPKIN

Twelve days ‘til Christmas and it’s just been snowing in the mountains. A clear starry night now beckons us outside promising roasted chestnuts, a glowing fire and a steaming glass of vin brulè mulled with warm spices! We’re celebrating! Tomorrow is December 13th an important date here because it heralds ‘La Festa di Santa Lucia’…

AUTUMN IN THE LANGHE: WHITE-TRUFFLE SCENTED POPCORN

Yes, truffle season has just started in the Langhe, Piemonte!….and the air in Alba is perfumed with bewitching wafts of this earthy fungus. Truffles might look like small wrinkled old potatoes but these buried treasures are not called ‘White Gold’ for nothing. Alba white truffles fetch the highest prices when they are finally auctioned in…

ORANGE CREPES WITH ASPARAGUS, BITTER HERBS & HORSERADISH

Forget cats and dogs…or even men…it was ‘raining’ oranges the day we joined the famous “Battaglia delle Arance” or “Battle of Oranges” that marks the end of carnival time in Ivrea, Piemonte. Along the lines of Siena’s “Palio” or the “Sagra del Torde” of Montalcino every ‘quartiere’ of the city competes to be crowned the…

PRESERVED LEMON, BASIL & POMEGRANATE SEED LINGUINE

“Do you know the land where lemons bloom and grow…..” asked Goethe…..and sadly I would have to reply “not yet”…or only through enthusiastic hearsay and ‘Inspector Montalbano’ TV episodes. Sicily, Goethe’s land of lemons, still remains shrouded in expectancy for me so that now – in lemon-blossom time – I can only dream of the…