Samphire with eggs and butter

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Sipping an early cup of coffee in bed, I admired the view from my bedroom window of flat marshland, grazing cows and the sea beyond. I was staying with a friend in Norfolk for the weekend, just outside the flinty village of Cley. I was intrigued by a rather incongruous and lonely little blue hut that stood opposite the …

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Gluten Free and Gorgeous

Italian Bake Off

We recently posted a picture of Torta Caprese on our FaceBook page as it’s Giancarlo’s favourite dessert and one he can enjoy as it’s gluten free. Many people have asked for the recipe so here’s the one we use at home:-
Torta Caprese
Chocolate and almond cake from Capri
Little nuggets of almonds pack out this dense cake full …

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Pasta with Roman Raw Sauce

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This rainbow in a bowl is Rome’s celebration of summer. Bright red cherry tomatoes are tossed with capers, olives, basil, mozzarella, chilli and garlic, and finished with ricotta. I like the raw sauce served with hot spaghetti but it is often served cold stirred into cooled penne for a gorgeous salad.
 
Serves 4 as a main and 6 as …

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A Nutty Cocoa Ravioli Recipe

Done

Ravioli al cacao ripieni di gorgonzola e noci
Cocoa ravioli stuffed with gorgonzola and walnuts
 
The cocoa gives the pasta a gorgeous nuttiness in flavour and a rich chocolate colour that contrasts brilliantly with the melting gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts inside. Try to find creamy gorgonzola dolce, which has a sweet, mellow flavour instead of the harsher crumbly gorgonzola piccante. …

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Naked Pasta…

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Here’s an easy to make recipe from our latest book ‘The Long and Short of Pasta’ which from May 31st will be available to buy from all good book shops and on our on line store.
 
Gnocchi nudi in salsa di burro, salvia e pancetta
Kale and ricotta gnocchi in sage and bacon butter
The name of these gnocchi …

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The ‘best’ Ragu you’ll ever taste.

Caldesi Tuscany

If you want to start an argument with a bunch of Italians then there’s no better way than to ask them the secrets of the perfect ragu. Each will have plenty to say on the subject and swear blind that their nonna’s is the best. From stirring the ragu clockwise with a wooden (not metal) spoon to hand chopping the …

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Holding Back The Years…

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I recently appeared in the Daily Mail’s ‘FeMail’ in an article covering the secrets to remaining youthful as the years goes by. While I’m certainly not against growing old gracefully I do think that certain actions (or regimes if you like) are beneficial not so much to your looks but to your health and enjoyment of later life. Here’s the …

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A cheat’s way to make quick Tuscan roast pork…

PorkTenderloin

” That’s bloody marvellous, that roast pork” was the cry from from the Greek bishops who visited Florence in Tuscany in 1430. In fact what they said was “Aristos” in ancient Greek meaning “best or excellent” when presented with the famous Tuscan roast pork at a banquet held to unite  the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. And somehow the name …

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Christmas Baking Ideas

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Tuscan Christmas biscuits 
The shops in Siena are full of these biscuits at this time of year but they are easy to make and a freshly baked batch of these biscuits makes the house smell warm and inviting. We’ve made them gluten-free so everyone can eat them. Serve with coffee in the morning or dessert wine for dipping after a …

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A Fun Recipe From a Fun Day…

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We were recently invited by Paolo Arrigo to perform a demonstration at his Harrow based business Seeds of Italy (see his website here) where he sells Italian seeds that we use every year to grow vegetables and herbs in our garden. We chose to show the crowd how to make some wintery recipes from our latest book Tuscany: Simple Meals …

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