As we turn back the clocks and the evenings draw in, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some nutritious comfort food, and dream of sunnier climes. We’ve been enjoying a memoir that helps us do both: Taste: My Life Through Food, by Stanley Tucci.

Taste is a witty, sensory, and heartwarming tribute to family, friends and experiences with food. Stanley Tucci takes us on a journey through America, Italy and the UK; through childhood, adulthood and parenthood; through times of joy and happiness; through ill health and recovery. And he intersperses recipes throughout – some of which you might just dream of trying, and some of which are super simple. Look for his version of Pasta Fagioli, for example, a nutritious and easy-to-make soup with kale, cannellini beans and marinara sauce – the perfect supper for chilly nights. Perhaps preceded by a cocktail. His instructions for those are very particular.

Searching for italy

And then, on television, there’s Searching for Italy – more Tucci, on his travels through Piedmont, Umbria, Tuscany, Liguria, Calabria, Puglia, Sardinia and more, immersing himself in the culture, tasting the wines, and learning to cook the signature dishes of the regions he visits.

Image thanks to Dagny Walter

You can watch on the BBC, or BBC iPlayer, in the UK; or on CNN or Amazon Prime Video in the US. And if you’d like to try making some of the dishes he features, take a look at La Cucina Italiana’s website, here.

As Tucci says in the introduction to Taste, when he shares his recipe for Negroni-Up, “the sun is now in your stomach”.

Buon appetito!

Until the next time,

Sam and Claire

P.S. If you enjoy reading about Italy, we have some other suggestions on our Reading List page, including Elizabeth von Arnim’s funny and uplifting novel,  The Enchanted April.

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