Farinata and other food myths

Marco Polo discovered pasta at Kublai Khan’s court in China and brought it back to Europe. Catherine de Medici brought forks, artichokes, peas, asparagus, broccoli, truffles and sorbets to France and changed the way her…

Crostata di marmellata

My intention was actually to post about a rich ricotta-filled baked good for Easter. Think Neapolitan pastiera, Sicilian cassata or Giovanni Goria’s crostata di seirass[i]. The resolve to make these wonderfully elaborate sweets disappeared fairly…

La focaccia della befana

In Italy, the festive season does not end with New Year celebrations. So, if you’re hoping that I’ll be posting about  something a little bit lighter after all those deep fried zeppole I posted about…

Persimmon and walnut cake

There is nothing romantic about the summer heat in a densely populated inland city like Turin. Respite in the form of a breeze (and air-conditioning, as Italians generally don’t like colpi d’aria or ‘hits of…

‘Twice-cooked’ piparelli biscuits

There are few things I love more than analysing words and language. It’s only natural, I suppose, after studying languages (Italian, French, Spanish and a little bit of Latin), linguistics and several years of teaching…

Italy’s Day of the Dead

The urns of strong men stimulate strong minds To deeds of great distinction O Pindemonte And these urns make sacred for the traveller that earth which holds them – Ugo Foscolo, Of the Sepulchres, 1807…

Stuffed peaches alla piemontese

Peaches have always been one of my favourite fruits. Since moving to Turin, I’ve found myself hanging out for summer every year, partly so I can make stuffed peaches  (or pesche ripiene, as they are called…

Stovetop pan-baked flatbreads

If I had to choose my fondest food-related memory from my childhood, it would have to be watching my Sicilian nonni making sourdough bread in their backyard in suburban Sydney. Their ‘bakery’ was basically an…

Blueberry focaccia

Blueberries are now in full season and currently gracing the stands at my local market. To my great delight, they are proving to be a big hit with my 14 month old daughter.  Just when…