Babà al rum is a small yeast- leavened cake bathed in rum and syrup. Such is the level of rum in this sweet treat, that it would probably ignite at the mere sight of a naked flame. In fact, it might be wiser to think of the babà as a cake flavoured shot, rather than rum infused cake.Read More
One does not go to Naples and pass up a pizza. Forgoing a pizza in Naples is akin to visiting Athens and deciding against a visit to the Acropolis or going to the pub and ordering a sparkling water. It is morally reprehensible.
Yes, you can find a decent slice of pizza elsewhere. But we are, after all, still living in a world where *voice rises to feverish pitch of indignation* people are happy to replace pizza crusts with a series of mozzarella stuffed cheesy balls and where ‘meat feasts’ and ‘barbeque chicken supremes’ actually exist.
So my budding pizza purists. You know where you need to go to get the proper stuff. You need to go to Naples.Read More
There are few greater joys in life than sinking your teeth into a big old wad of carbs. Aside from the gluten intolerant, who doesn’t love bread?
From a Warburton's white slice, to the worthier whole grain, to a more metropolitan ciabatta, we love the stuff. Yet, whilst these are all perfectly serviceable loaves, I would venture that nothing compares to the bread from Basilicata.
Continuing my #carbsarelovely campaign, here’s a quick guide to this lovely loaf:
Pane di Matera is special. The perfect loaf is conical in shape, with a thick brown crust and a soft, salty interior. Yeast must make up at least 20% of the formation and the entire loaf must weigh at least one kilogramme but not more than two. These aren’t my rules, Pane di Matera is IGP protected.
The bread originated in the Kingdom of Naples sometime during the 15th Century, though it was in Matera that ancient processes were refined. In the Sassi cave dwellings of Matera, without much money or space, peasants would traditionally prepare dishes communally. Housewives would prepare the dough the night before, leaven it in the morning and hand it over to the local baker, who would bake it all at the same time in his forno. To distinguish their loaves, each family would stamp the bread, a practice which is still in place today.
This is the kind of loaf which works with everything; perfect for sweet jams in the morning, perfect doused in olive oil and a perfect vestibule for scooping up leftover ragu. In fact, I’d say it would even be perfect slathered in a big wodge of butter and a slither of marmite.
Dense and intense. A must-try for anyone visiting Basilicata.
Want to learn more about Basilicata? Here a few good reasons to visit Matera, ‘the weirdest and most wonderful place I’ve ever visited.
Oh, how they love to eat in Puglia. Think big, beautiful burrata cheese, braised octopus, and huge slabs of focaccia covered in gorgeous globs of mozzarella and fresh vine tomatoes.
It’s a wonder they’re not all plodding along on the brink of obesity.Read More
Carbs are lovely aren’t they? So dependable. So comforting. There’s nothing a bit of stodge can't fix.
So why are we so scared of them?Read More
noun. Doughy nodules of joy shaped (somewhat deceivingly) like small doughnuts
Anyone who has visited Italy’s Southern most region will recognise them - they’re a staple of the Southern Italian shopping basket and are plonked down on the table at every opportunity.Read More
I’ve found my happy place. Its this bar/cafe/geletaria/chocolateria. It’s everything you could possibly ask for rolled into one pretty parcel.Read More
Pasticciotto are unassuming diminutive cakes eaten for breakfast across Puglia, particularly in the Salento region. The main reason I wear only kaftans now.Read More
So you want to learn how to make fresh fettuccine pasta like a real life Italian? Here's my nifty step-by-step guide on how to make your own fresh pasta. Straight from the mouth of a real life RomanRead More
Heavy on the carbs. That’s the way to do Rome. You need the pasta really. How could you possibly wiz around all those sites on anything less than a carbohydrate rush?
Pasta in Rome is delightfully faff and fuss free. So simple, so delicious, so completely diet-destroying.
Here are the big blockbuster dishes:Read More
Few foods inspire such a ferocious response from people as 'offal' does. Tell someone you've prepared offal for tea and you'll likely receive a barrage of onomatopoeia - 'bleurghs', 'eurghs' and probably a bit of gagging.
Rarely will you hear the words 'PHWOAR! Entrails? Please do pass over the plate!'
But, unless you are a Vegetarian, you cannot say you have eaten properly in Rome unless you've tried offal. Oxtails, brains, calf intestines and lamb inners are all menu stalwarts in Rome.Read More
Rome is a haven for gelato. There are probably just as many gelateria as there are churches in the city, from huge labyrinths offering over 250 flavours, to pokey windows, to gourmet establishments offering everything from pistachio to parmesan.
Rome is to the gelato afficiando, what Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to Augustus Gloop.
Here’s my guide to three of my favourite gelato in the city (all natural of course):Read More
My bathroom scales will attest to how much I have consumed in Rome.
Here's my guide to the top five street foods you must not miss in RomeRead More
'Saltimbocca' literally means 'jump in your mouth'. Such an apt title of a dish I have never known - these tender, tasty little morsels of meat literally melt in your mouth.Read More
Decadent breakfast debauchery at its finest. A maritozzi con la panna is a sort of raisin studded breakfast bun (not dissimilar to a brioche), sliced in half and filled with enough whipped cream to warrant a pieface slapstick sketch.
What’s not to love?Read More
I thought us Brits were masters of a pig sandwich. Most of us have grown up on a Saturday morning diet of sausage sarnies and bacon baps. We’ve all enjoyed a great big gorgeously greasy hog roast on Bonfire night.
Sadly, I think the Roman counterpart comes up trumps - a panino con porcehetta puts our sad and limp water-pumped sausage slapped between two slices of white hovis to shame.Read More
The best restaurants in picture perfect Camogli, Liguria.Read More
Liguria is home to one of the greatest and richest regional cuisines in the country. Stretching across almost 200 miles of coastline, with mountains on one side and sea on the other, Liguria has access to a diverse range of ingredients, from pine nuts, and basil to fresh seafood.Read More
This typical Ligurian dish shows just how proud the Genovese are of their pesto.Read More
By virtue of it no longer being the 1950s, most people in the UK know what balsamic vinegar is. It has fast become a staple in many a middle-class household cupboard, whipped out and laboriously sloshed over salads across the nation. Sometimes we might even go fancy and buy a ‘balsamic glaze’, to spruce up a cheese board or a few strawberries because Jamie Oliver says its a good idea.
Actually, we’re doing it all wrong.
The stuff we’re buying by the bottle from the supermarket isn't the proper stuff at all. A good balsamic vinegar is more expensive than a decent bottle of wine. It’s thick, syrupy, sweet and acidic in equal measures, and you can only get the real Aceto di Balsamico from Modena
I paid a visit to Acetaia del Cristo, a farm which has been produced this beautifully brown syrupy stuff for over four generations to learn all about it.Read More