Hugh’s 3 simple things in a salad; tomato, bread and olive oil salad

One of the few cookery programs that I really fell in love with last year was Hugh’s 3 good things with chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. Each week Hugh and 2 guest chefs competed to win the best recipes using just 3 ingredients and it was this simplicity that really appealed. Many of the combinations in … Continue reading

Did someone say Spag Bol?!

“Spag Bol” my husband scoffs at me as I serve up a steaming bowl of spaghetti topped with a meat ragout. It’s up there with cappuccinos after lunchtime, pizza with pineapple, or worse still sweet corn, in his handbook of “when foreigners mess with Italian food”! If you think I’m exaggerating then let me stress … Continue reading

Summer lasagne

One of the things I’ve learnt since living in Italy is that there are as many variations on a classic lasagne as there are cars on the road. Everyone has their own take on it not to mention the red (tomato), green (pesto) and white (béchamel) versions; so nearly the Italian flag!, which regularly pop … Continue reading

Summer seafood salad, crudo and melone and stracciatella with tomatoes

So summer has finally arrived here in the north of Italy and for the last week we’ve enjoyed temperatures in the mid 30’s leading to much excited al fresco dining in the Sambolino household. We’ve managed breakfast, lunch and dinner outdoors most days and when the humidity has become too much we’ve had the luxury of … Continue reading

Happy memories meandering up the Mekong in search of noodle soup

This ever-changing weather is causing chaos with my taste buds and I find myself flitting from salad on hot days to jacket spuds on cold days to soup on humid days and in particular noodle soup, a favourite of mine from my sweaty travels in South-East Asia. Now I know that in the UK you’ve … Continue reading

“You’ve been Tangoed” with a quick and easy Carrot and Cranberry salad

This is one of the simplest and freshest salads you can make and I love the sweetness of the carrot and cranberries combined with the cider vinegar in the dressing. I recently tried this salad on a visit to Dublin as an accompaniament to grilled chicken and whilst I don’t know the dressing they used … Continue reading

TFIF (Thank fully it’s Friday!) – Who’s the spring chicken?

My nanna and her eccentric sisters (my great aunts) famously favour turkey (lovely and moist Bridget!) over chicken (too dry!) and whilst I like it slow cooked or casseroled in winter eg. with a good red wine sauce or gravy, I too struggle with spring and summer dishes that don’t involve frying (think Italian cotoletta) … Continue reading

Sun, Showers and an abundance of Salad!

The weather is a common theme in my daily routine. On waking my neighbours regale me with the latest focrecast including sniff tests (apparantly they can smell water in the air!) as well as wind analysis, cloud cover and the like. My success in the garden is largely due to this ecclectic group of pensioners … Continue reading

Recipe: Spring fever has me running back to a winter warmer ragu.

Just as we were celebrating the arrival of spring, down came the rains and on popped the heating as temperatures plummeted once more. As I write I am huddled in my beloved mexican blanket, a lurid pink, yellow and green affair that has kept me snug for over 20 years and adorned many a friend … Continue reading