Spaghetti with purple sprouting broccoli, garlic and chilli

I wouldn’t claim that there’s anything remotely original about this recipe. It’s just very, very nice for one. Or two. Or four, come to that. My brother Johnny, a long-time resident of Rome, likes to make it using a variety of broccoli you can’t find in this country, which has a wild, slightly bitter flavour, […]

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Kenniford Farm Kitchen

There are few things to match a well filled bacon bap when seasoned with a judicious splash of HP sauce . on a  Saturday morning, particularly after a rigorous Friday night. Last Saturday, we had pulled into the car park outside the vast Mole Valley Stores at South Molton in Devon, Andrew, Sarah and I.  […]

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High Pollen Count

I wonder what they would make of oyster ice cream with  smoked eel pearl in Skegness, where Jason Atherton was born. And of the warm oyster in dashi that sat alongside it, come to that. And of the barbecued mackerel with frozen ajo blanco and cucumber ketchup; of the quail escabeche or strawberries with black […]

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Ciccia in umido (aka stewed beef neck)

I was inspired by Dario Cecchini (see Food for Fort) to go and buy a bit of beef neck for Sunday lunch for 10 people. That was a bit of an adventure in itself. “I’ve can safely say,” said Peter Broomhall, butcher and, even more importantly, abattoir owner  “that I’ve never, ever sold beef neck […]

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Great Western, Wolverhampton

It’s a great pub, a proper pub, of a kind that’s almost extinct.   Crisp, smiling, friendly service. Coal fires. Railway & Wolves FC memorabilia clutter the walls. A poster advertising A Night with Steve Bull. No music or games. Batham’s Best Bitter, Holden’s Black Country Mild, Golden Glow and Bitter on draught. Ace porky […]

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Dario Cecchini (2) – the technical bit

When I say esoteric meat cookery, it’s not often you get the opportunity to eat beef Achilles tendon or neck muscle or buttock. That’s the kind of thing in which Cecchini specialises. In British butchery, there are about 24 generally recognised cuts. In French butchery, 40 or so. In Italian butchery, there are 60-plus – […]

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Dario Cecchini (1) – the story

“My name is Gilda,” said the striking-looking woman sitting next to me. “I am a lawyer. We are from Brazil.” She gestured to the two women beside her. “They are judges.” I blinked. The judges were of improbable youth and considerable beauty. Blimey, I thought, they’d liven up the Old Bailey in wig and gown. […]

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