The Naked Chef at Home

I bought the Naked Chef when the series first aired on TVNZ – in fact, it’s signed by the author when he visited Aotearoa to promote the book and series – and it has been a firm favourite ever since. There are so many family favourites in here. Roasted asparagus with cherry tomatoes, black olives … Continue reading The Naked Chef at Home

Five Quarters

Five quarters: recipes and notes from a kitchen in Rome by Rachel Roddy. Hachette UK, 2015. The book I have chosen to start with, is not in fact a book I own, but one I borrowed from the library.  Why if I have mumble, mumble books on my own shelves, am I borrowing another one … Continue reading Five Quarters


As you may know, we left Bologna a little earlier than planned and in some haste. I had written this blog but not published it. As it turned out, the last meal I cooked in our Italian kitchen was my favourite – risotto. I can’t leave Italy without saying something about risotto, even though it … Continue reading Risotto


The most beloved pasta of Bologna is tortellini in brodo. I have explained in an earlier post the difference between this and tortelloni. I recently learned to make both of these and tagliatelle, which is the pasta usually eaten with ragù alla Bolognese, at the laboratorio of Bruno e Franco. This is one of my … Continue reading Sfoglia


It’s probably time to talk pasta. Pasta is the most important food in Italy and Bologna is no exception. Most Italians eat pasta every day either at lunch or dinner, or both. Each region has its specialities. In Wellington the pasta section in the supermarket is one or two bays in an aisle. In Bologna … Continue reading Pasta


In our Italian kitchen we are eating sausage, pasta, rice, and lots of vegetables. The market has such an amazing range of fresh seasonal vegetables that it is easy to get carried away. It is easy to buy only vegetables produced in Italy, mostly from the south it is true, but they haven’t travelled far. … Continue reading Verdure

Il anno nuovo

New Year in Italy involves fireworks and lentils. Fireworks I suspect because they are rumoroso and lentils because they resemble small coins and will bring good fortune to the home. We celebrated with friends over a meal of lentils, sausage, radicchio with grapes and creamy rainbow chard. I think you will want to make these … Continue reading Il anno nuovo