Italian food

Torta di semolino: semolina cake (recipe)

This recipe is from Tuscany. No sooner is carnival out the way than we have an excuse for another sweet blow-out: San Valentino, or Valentine’s Day. And in a country famed for lovers and romance it’s seen as a big occasion—notwithstanding the fact that the original Saint Valentine was Italian. It’s also the very beginning …

Torta di semolino: semolina cake (recipe) Read More »

Plum-cake (recipe)

  Despite its anglo-saxon name, plum-cake is an extremely Italian dessert. In fact, the name doesn’t exist in British or American cuisine. This version of the recipe is taken from La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene written in 1891 by Florentine gourmand Pellegrino Artusi. Even though it contains candied peel and fruit, close …

Plum-cake (recipe) Read More »

Monte Bianco: recipe

  Although on a misty end-of-winter day like today you wouldn’t know it, La Madera is on the slopes of a mountain called Alpe Faggeta. A respectable height of 1,510 metres (4,954 feet) makes it taller than Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom. This appenine hill, however, would be dwarfed by the …

Monte Bianco: recipe Read More »

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Mozzarella in carrozza: deep fried cheese sandwiches (recipe)

For a long time, one of my favourite food blogs has been Keep Calm and Fanny On!, in which we are introduced the to the wonderful 1970s world of the British TV cook, Fanny Cradock. For those of you that don’t know her, Fanny was like a terrifying caricature of Julia Child, who corralled the …

Mozzarella in carrozza: deep fried cheese sandwiches (recipe) Read More »

Lasagne bianche ai noci: lasagne with white ragù and walnuts (recipe)

White ragù—Italian meat sauce without tomatoes—is one of my all time favourite dishes. I learnt it as a teenager from my Italian step-grandmother in her kitchen in Venice. She was noted for her ragù and people were forever asking her how she made it but, of course, she wouldn’t tell. But one summer morning while …

Lasagne bianche ai noci: lasagne with white ragù and walnuts (recipe) Read More »

Fritole venessiane: Venetian carnival fritters (recipe)

In Renaissance Venice, the period from 26 December until Ash Wednesday was one of chaos. The city was full of parties, festivals, but also of general misrule and often violence—tolerated by the authorities as a way for society to let off steam and a way to ensure good order for the rest of the year. …

Fritole venessiane: Venetian carnival fritters (recipe) Read More »