Pumpkin and chestnut soup with ginger

There are a lot of pumpkins in our house following our visit to the Fiera della Zucca di Piozzo last weekend so I’ve been hunting down new pumpkin recipes. This one for a rich creamy pumpkin soup also makes great use of the sweet chestnuts that have started to fall in the woods around our…

Pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with garlic sage butter

It’s pumpkin season here in Italy and this weekend we finally made it to the Fiera della Zucca di Piozzo just a short drive from our house. This regional pumpkin festival has been held for more than quarter of a century and this year more than 550 varieties were on display. The town has trademarked…

Foraged fig jam

It’s been a wonderful season for fruit and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to pick wild figs from a tree close to our house all summer long. Last year I tried my hand at foraged fig chutney which was delicious with cheese, but this year I decided to go down the sweet route,…

Garden vegetable soup

As Summer slides into Autumn here in Italy, I’m busy picking the crops that I planted as seeds back in the Spring. Last month I harvested more than 30kg of tomatoes…of which more later! I’m now moving onto the root vegetables, beans and leafy greens including iron-rich cavalo nero which I’m growing for the first…

Warm potato salad with feta and fava beans

I grew up in a tiny farmhouse in the Welsh hills and one of my strongest memories as a child is sitting at the wooden table in the kitchen with my mum and dad popping broad beans out of their soft white furry pods. But I really didn’t like the taste of broad beans –…

Torta rustica ai luvertin

The weather has been very changeable here in Italy over the past few months. After a long hard winter with seemingly endless snow we had a few very warm weeks and now the weather veers between sunshine and heavy rain – which may sound very familiar to those of you living in the UK but…

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…

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,…

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…

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…