A selection of my favourite recipes mostly, but not exclusively, originating in Italy where I now live. Since the COVID-19 lockdown I’ve become very interested in foraging and cooking dishes made from ingredients found in the woods and hedgerows around my house. I’ve created a separate foraging page for some of my favourite recipes.

Roasted squash and chestnut soup – There is something completely addictive about foraging for chestnuts and these days I return from every walk with my pockets bursting at the seams. This recipe combines the rich flavours of roasted chestnuts with the sweet charred flesh of some beautiful golden squash picked from my garden

Tray-baked sea bream with lentils and salsa verde – There’s nothing like drizzling homemade salsa verde over a perfectly cooked piece of tray-baked fish that you have filleted yourself to make you feel ‘chefy’!

Apricot, plum and lavender cake – This year’s apricot harvest was very limited, most likely due to the unseasonally cold and wet conditions during May. So the only option was to make them into a cake! I added a handful of the the plums that were just starting to ripen on the tree next door and some beautifully scented lavender.

Baked green pea fritters – Peas are normally regarded as a side dish or end up in a pea and mint soup, of which I’m not a fan. So after a quick search online I found this recipe for green pea fritters and decided to give it a try.

Gorgonzola risotto with mushrooms and asparagus – People often assume that it’s complicated and time consuming to make Italian risotto but it really isn’t – at least not the way I do it!

Pizza ortolana con pesto – Two months into the Italian lockdown my need for pizza has taken over so this is my take on the ortolana, which in Italian means “from the vegetable patch”, with added pesto for extra flavour.

Cinzia’s tiramisu – This tiramisu with layers of sponge soaked in coffee and rum, chunks of dark chocolate and a rich marscapone cream is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever eaten.

Ravioli with zucchini and garlic sauce – Although I live in Italy and have eaten (and loved) Italian food almost all my adult life, I’ve never actually tried to make my own pasta. Today I put that right with thanks to an online cooking lesson with Cinzia in Florence…

Lockdown cauliflower cake – This is somewhere between a savoury cake and a quiche made with both eggs and flour, great for quick and easy (bread free) weekday lunches.

Cauliflower, leek and Gorgonzola cheese – More comfort food in these COVID-19 lockdown days…

Polenta with pumpkin, mushrooms and sage – A comforting dish made with fresh sage which has anti microbial properties, builds immunity and helps keeps viruses at bay.

Tagliatelle con trota e ricotta – A simple and quick pasta dish made with smoked trout sourced from a nature reserve in Piedmont.

Torta de mela – A delicious, moist Italian apple cake made with organic apples grown on the sloping hills of Piedmont.