Soft choc chip cookies

It’s more than 6 months since I saw my grandson Rex and his mum Jaz, who also happens to be one of my very best friends. In fact I have only seen them half a dozen times in the last 18 months due to my busy travel schedule before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the…

Torta Pasqualina

Torta Pasqualina – or Easter Cake – dates back to the 1500s and originates from Liguria which lies just to the South of us here in Piemonte. It’s not actually a cake but a savoury pie made with layers of thinly rolled pasta brisee, a shortcrust pastry made with olive oil instead of butter, and…

Baked beetroot falafel with homemade pitta bread

This recipe, adapted from We Are So Vegan (but only slightly), was exactly what was needed as a lunchtime snack whilst gardening at the end of exceptionally challenging work week. A delicious combination of so many of my favourite things…falafel in soft pitta bread with crunchy salad smoothered in creamy lemon yoghurt dressing and hot…

Baccalà, chickpea and tomato stew

Since living in Italy I’ve often see piles of dry salted cod (known here as baccalà) piled high in wooden crates but until now I had never actually eaten it and rarely seen it on the menu in our local restaurants. The history of baccalà goes back a long way, most likely to the Vikings,…

Cottage pie

Anyone who had spent a winter in the UK will be familiar with cottage pie which is the ultimate comfort food. The history of cottage pie – also known as shepherd’s pie when made with minced lamb rather than beef – goes back to the 18th century and is thought to originate in the North…

Lentil and mushroom cannelloni

So this weekend I held my first ese ne tekrema cooking experience via Zoom. Despite a few technical hitches it was great to cook with two friends in Portugal and the UK, both of whom were making fresh pasta for first time. I’m calling it an ’experience’ rather than a ‘lesson’ because for me cooking…

Tibetan momo with chilli sauce

Tibetan momo have a very special place in my cooking heart. There was a time in my life when I used to visit India on a very regular basis, sometimes two or three times a year, spending a month at a time in Sikkim which sits in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was there…

Leek, cheese and potato pie

I adore Italian food for obvious reasons but one of the things that Italians don’t make enough of is a good pie! Pies are something of a staple food in the UK and come in very many different forms – large and small, savoury and sweet – with a huge variety of fillings. Whilst pies…

Roasted sprouts with chestnuts and maple syrup

Lots of people think they don’t like sprouts but it’s simply not true…what they don’t like is the way sprouts are typically cooked! You should never, ever boil sprouts. The trick is to roast them in butter adding chestnuts and maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness. Perfect for Christmas lunch but also at any…

Roast stuffed pumpkin

Lockdown in Italy has been tough but this weekend Piemonte turned yellow which means we are now allowed to travel outside our commune for both essential and non-essential reasons and the shops are fully open, albeit with a 6pm curfew. I don’t enjoy shopping in general but I do enjoy a trip to our local…