Rachel Roddy’s recipe for bean and clam soup | A kitchen in Rome

A shellfish and bean minestre that makes a few clams go a long way What will I do when I run out of fingers? How will I keep track of the masked months – March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October – the counting of which has been my habit ever since the national […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for marsala cake | A kitchen in Rome

Sicily’s famous fortified wine makes for a versatile ingredient – and lends this sponge the flavours of zabaione If I could afford it, I would always have a bottle of marsala made by the De Bartoli family on my shelf. When there is one there, there is no one I would rather share it with […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for mushroom risotto | A kitchen in Rome

Like clockwork, the rains come to wash summer into autumn, and a seasonal risotto noses its way on to the menu Not because the angle of the sun has changed; nor because of a message from the leaves; nor even because the mushrooms were irresistible, but because it was on the schedule: I made a […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for panzanella | A kitchen in Rome

This punchy chopped salad of soaked and torn stale bread, onions and tomatoes dressed in olive oil and vinegar has many variations – but how will you make yours? “There is too much ambiguity in that terrible adjective, ‘true’, that would brand as false any variation, any inventiveness and departure from the rule.” This quote […]

Vatican fights to ‘free Virgin Mary from mafia’

Pope backs drive to end ‘deviant spirituality’ of Italian crime families who use Madonna as a shield of religious respectability Early in his papacy, Pope Francis responded to a particularly gruesome double murder in Calabria by travelling to the region and issuing a ringing condemnation of ’Ndrangheta, the local mafia-type organisation responsible. Addressing an audience […]

Padrenostro review – a deep dive into a director’s subconscious

Claudio Noce’s very personal picture is a beautiful mess that views the harsh adult world from a child’s perspective As a child in the 1970s, writer-director Claudio Noce stood in the wings while a leftwing terrorist group – the Armed Proletarian Cells – targeted his father, Rome’s deputy chief of police. The trauma, he says, […]

Escape: the woman who brought her trafficker to justice

Thousands of young women leave home in Nigeria every year on the promise of a good job in Europe, only to be trapped by debt and forced into prostitution. But one joined forces with investigators in Italy to expose the traffickers. By Ottavia Spaggiari Susan had been on Italian soil for exactly three days when, […]

A taste of summer: Rachel Roddy’s recipe for granita | A kitchen in Rome

The sound and smell of granita – a Sicilian invention – being scraped every half-hour has become a signature soundtrack of a sweltering Roman summer The mosquito coil smouldering away on the terrace, and scratching ice: August summed up in a smell and a sound. “If you leave it alone,” my eight-year-old tells me, “it […]

‘It’s a demarcation in the day, a bit of self-care’: how to enjoy aperitivo hour like an Italian

Aperitivos are more than just pre-dinner drinks – do them right and they’re la dolce vita in a glass. Giulia Rhodes explores how we can all embrace the pleasures of pre-dinner drinking, Italian style Starting the evening Italian style means aperitivo. A pre-dinner drink, served with snacks, friends – and ideally a prime people-watching seat […]

A city out of time: what do we dream of when we dream of Rome?

On a writing grant to the eternal city an Italian-born Australian encounters its two faces – the tourist’s fantasy and the residents’s reality My desire to live in Rome germinated on a European holiday almost 20 years ago. I exited Trastevere train station, bleary eyed after the long-haul flight, and was instantly revived by the […]

‘I just don’t exist’: the Italian chef Italy will not recognise

Luca Neves was born in Rome and has always lived there, but for 12 years he has been undocumented, trapped outside hardline migration laws ‘We want to build a life’: Europe’s paperless young people speak out Early rays of sunshine filter through the kitchen shutters as Luca Neves launches one of his daily live cooking […]

How Nespresso’s coffee revolution got ground down

Nestlé’s sleek, chic capsule system changed the way we drink coffee. But in an age when everyone’s a coffee snob and waste is wickedness, can it survive? In 1975, a young engineer named Eric Favre took a trip to Rome that would change the history of coffee. Favre had recently started working at Nestlé’s headquarters […]

Rachel Roddy’s favourite recipe for chicken and tomato | A kitchen in Rome

Mallika Basu’s murgh masala can be tweaked to your heart’s content so it changes to suit you – wherever you are The shutters remain down for some trattorie, restaurants and bars; padlocks remind us of how things were just under a month ago, how difficult things still are. Most, though, are now rolled up. And, […]

Summer’s here: Rachel Roddy’s three-bean salad recipe | A kitchen in Rome

A three-bean salad is perfect throw-together summer fare, and it will keep long enough for people to linger over to the picnic table And suddenly it is summer. Normally I spend weeks standing on the shoreline of the hottest season, reluctant to change my clothes, habits or the arrangement of things. And then, when I […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for couscous with sweet-and-sour aubergine and chickpeas | A kitchen in Rome

This year’s Sicilian holiday looks doubtful, but that’s no reason not to enjoy the nostalgic pleasures of caponata-style, sweet-and-sour aubergine “Lick your arm, then bite.” I remember being taught this by a Greek friend when I was about 10: to lick a salt-streaked forearm, then to take a bite of watermelon, enjoying how salty and […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for green beans in cream with roast chicken

The last days of lockdown and the early summer brings a gradual awakening to the trattoria of Rome, and the welcome return of a favourite dish of seasonal green beans His hands on his hips, Andrea walked down the middle of the room, counting. It was the day before restaurants and trattorie could, if they adhered […]

Dreams of Italy: readers’ travel tips

A friendly football bar, the ‘real’ sword in the stone, plus walks, festivals and fantastic food … you responded in droves to our request for Italian highlights For an unforgettable day away from the bustle of Rome, walk part of the Via Appia Antica, among the oldest paved roads in the world. For a demanding […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Puglian rice and mussels | A kitchen in Rome

A simple stovetop almost-risotto of rice and mussels from the heel of Italy Pulling beards from mussels is one of the most satisfying cooking tasks. Especially when you have preoccupations tugging at your attention. In fact, maybe “tugging” is a better word to describe the mussel task; tugging the wispy beard that pokes out of […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for anchovy and roast tomato salad | A kitchen in Rome

Buy the best anchovies and tomatoes you can lay your hands on for this intensely flavoured salad There are 32 ways to say “anchovy” in Italian. Thirty-two regional names, many of them in dialect, for the small, slender fish with silvery sides and receding lower jaw. The most common names, though, for the much-loved chinless […]

Trekking the Sabine Hills: in praise of Italy, summer and freedom

The author recalls dawn starts, oven-hot air and the chorus of cicadas that accompanied his walk through the hills north of Rome Poggio Mirteto, Cantalupo, Casperia, Vacone, Configni, Stroncone. Hilltop towns in the ancient land of Sabina, calling to each other across parched patchworks of vineyard and cornfield. Woods, orchards, olive groves. You could drive […]

Gucci bids farewell to fashion week as brand goes seasonless

Italian label cuts shows from five to two each year and declares fashion calendar obsolete Fashion week is over, according to Gucci. In a virtual press conference broadcast from his Rome studio, the label’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, announced that Gucci was slashing the number of fashion shows it holds each year from five to […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for charred spring onions with pancetta | A kitchen in Rome

They may be a Sicilian specialty, but cipollate catanesi are easy to enjoy anywhere – all you need is intense heat Maybe it is because I know the chances of going to Sicily this summer are slim, but I keep playing bits of the trip in my head in the same way I used to […]

Life after lockdown: ‘Rome is trying to find her equilibrio’

Italy’s bars, shops and salons reopen, but amid the relief Romans are still waiting to find out what life will be like post Covid-19 The Eternal City absent of traffic and chaos is something we’ve dreamed of. In my lifetime in Rome, I’ve experienced the city almost empty on a few occasions: usually late-night and […]

Cheese and cheerful: Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta bake | A kitchen in Rome

A hearty, heartwarming cheesy pasta bake that makes good use of store cupboard odds and ends “A mess”, “disorder”, “confusion”, “unclear” are some of the words that come up when you look to translate the word pasticcio. It is used to describe a 17th-century theatrical piece by multiple authors and composers, a sticky situation that […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for courgette, cannellini bean and herb soup | A kitchen in Rome

Knowing how much salt to add, and when, is an under-rated skill. See how it transforms a simple spring soup With its flared top, funnelled length, high heel and spur, Italy is unmistakably a thigh-high boot. It becomes a knee-high boot if you cut it in half, following a line from Rome on the Tyrrhenian […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for leftover spaghetti frittata | A kitchen in Rome

A locked-down Roman kitchen makes enterprising use of leftover pasta in a moreish spaghetti ‘fry-up’ topped with lots of cheese How many people does it take to turn a frittata di pasta? Here, at the moment, two. We discuss (argue) about when exactly, and whether a pan lid or a plate is better for inverting, […]

This is a mighty triumph for George Pell. Now prepare for a storm of rage from the cardinal’s supporters | David Marr

By the ultimate authority we recognise in this country, Pell was wrongly imprisoned. His supporters will vent but will Rome join his celebrations? This is a mighty triumph not just for George Pell who is breathing free air for the first time in a year, and his backers who invested millions in his defence, but […]