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,…

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…

Roasted aloo gobi

One of the very nice things about travelling on the Indian Subcontinent – which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Butan and Sri Lanka – is the predominance of vegetarian and vegan dishes. The fact that you specifically have to ask for dishes that are ’non-veg’ if you want to eat meat or fish tells you…

Cabbage and mushroom pasties

A few months ago my brother gifted me a rather lovely recipe book entitled Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. Written by Joshua McFadden, the book basically celebrates vegetables, pulling out the very best of their seasonal flavours to create hearty, loosely Italian themed and mostly vegetarian dishes. My first dish from the book…

Ramen noodle soup

Lockdown2 means that I need to find new dishes to cook and eat without being able to travel. And whilst I love Japanese food it’s not something I have ever cooked. So when my daughter introduced me to her Vegan Japaneasy cookbook by Tim Anderson I thought I would give it a try. It’s really…

Leek and aduki bean stew with cheesy dumplings

It might sound unlikely, but when my children were teenagers this was one of their favourite dishes – or at least that’s what they used to tell me! I think it was the combination of firm beans and soft vegetables in a rich, smoky tomato sauce with deep flavours of paprika and soy. Oh, and…

Roasted chestnut and squash soup

There is something very special about the chestnut (castagne) season in Northern Italy. It starts at the end of September when the first spiky green shells fall from the trees and within a few weeks the floors of the woods that surround our house are strewn, the shells bursting open to reveal the burnished brown…