Mini mimosa pan di spagna (Italian sponge) cakes

pan di spagna

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re celebrating with mini mimosa pan di spagna (Italian sponge cakes)! Hooray!

The weather in Southern Tuscany has been absolutely disgusting. In the last ten days, we’ve had snow/constant thunderstorms, which is why my pan di spagna pictures are a little grey and moody and not their usual bright vibrant selves. Lack of light is a constant source of distress for me. I live in an apartment in the Old Town and it’s stacked living. We’e surrounded by palazzos (all of which are empty) that start casting a shadow over my kitchen at about 9am. Our bedroom is constantly dark. It’s akin to living in a giant concrete forest and I am absolutely hate it.

Wild boar braised in dark chocolate

tuscan wild boar recipe

Hunting is king in country Tuscany. It’s such a cliche to imagine country folk out with their guns shooting game, but it’s a huge part of what defines them and a real source of pride. When Giulio ran for mayor a couple of months back, one of the biggest criticisms lobbed at him was that he didn’t hunt. People couldn’t believe he’d never even seen gun, let alone not been raised to shoot and kill.

Overnight Coffee Bircher Muesli

bircher muesli

This bircher muesli recipe is for all of us who tell themselves they’re going to get up half an hour earlier to do yoga, who make a vow to always fix their bed before they leave for work and who swear that this year, this year, they’ll make the time to put on sickening makeup and do their hair before they go out the door…. and yet despite their best efforts, still hit the snooze button 15 times and get up 10 minutes before they have to leave.

Italian bread dumplings (Canederli) recipe

bread dumplings

Giulio and I are headed on a weekend trip to Trentino, which is a snowy escape in Northern Italy. Since I’m only in it for the food, I am looking forward to the change in culinary pace. We country Tuscan folk don’t have very exciting lives and its nice to get away from all the wild boar and ragù pastas.

Farro winter Italian salad with garlic and burrata

italian salad

I’ve taken my nonna’s recipe and picked it apart to create this simple winter Italian salad. Most people don’t realise you can eat a lot of winter greens raw. I remember the first time (and the second, third, fourth, fifth) time I served my mum raw green beans. She was not and is still not too impressed about them, but I love the crunch and the fresh flavour. It’s the same with the raw broccoli, fennel and purple cabbage I’ve used in this recipe. They are all delicious raw and super good for you because you’re not boiling out all the vitamins and nutrients. Since I was really keen to get my five a day into this salad, I’ve also used fresh green chilli (they’re a vegetable, right?) and chicory, a bitter local salad green that’s like rocket if all it ate was lemons.