Rustling up dinner from the allotment, garden and bottom of the fridge


This weekend our family bundled into our car and drove down to Devon to see my sister Carly and show our Italian guest Pia what the south of England was all about.
As we arrived Carly whisked us off to pretty Instow, a village overlooking a vast estuary, where Pia was introduced to huge, warm, flaky pasties filled with meat …

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Fresh and Fast Tomato Sauce

Caldesi Tuscany

Nine-minute Italian tomato sauce
After years of not daring to alter Italian recipes from whichever mamma gave them to me, I have finally relented and developed this uber quick way to make a tomato sauce. In a classic Italian version the onions are slowly sautéed in olive oil first before adding the tomatoes. The sauce is then gently simmered for …

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Linguine with Crab, Chilli and Cream

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I am always seduced by fresh crabs for sale when I am by the seaside, particularly when someone else has kindly dressed them for me. Everyone loves the pale pink and white meat but there is always the dilemma of what to do with the intensely-flavoured and smoother brown meat.
In this recipe the both are used; the dark meat …

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Samphire with eggs and butter


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


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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