That's gra-tin-ah-tay, by the way. Because Maurizio is cooking it. Meanwhile, I'm in my favourite place, sitting at our kitchen table, close to the action and to the smell of roasting vegetables. (As well as the featured veggies, there are also peppers hissing and charring away on the griddle, and some kind of capery concoction being made, so the air in here is really tasty.)

So here is how you make this summery dish. It's a typical Italian starter or side dish, which you have have hot, cold, or even tepido, another word that sounds much better in Italian. Maybe they all do.

1. Halve your vegetables. We used tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes, and you could also use aubergines. If you did, you should do to it what Maurizio did to the courgette, which was to scoop out some of the flesh to create little zucchini boats, the better to carry more of the topping.

2. Make the mixture. This is what goes into lender for some good rough chopping: bread (with crusts. We used a granary loaf, and you can do one slice per person), a handful of parsley, or any other herbs such as rosemary or oregano, a clove of garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Spoon the mixture onto the vegetables and put it in the oven for about half an hour on 160.














How many blogs have been born of a necessity to share information with an audience other than the writer's long-suffering spouse? My retail blog, for example, tackles topics that fascinate me as a retailer (my day job) but for some reason fail to excite Maurizio. No, I also don't understand why he wouldn't want to hear my opinions on the perfect clothes hanger. Men.

As a couple, we are generally of one mind when it comes to food, but I think for his sake I could use this blog as an outlet for some of my more passionate (and repetitive) food speeches. It was only writing up the indignation I experienced when Tim Horton lied to me (also mentioned here - repetitive, see?) that stopped me tutting every time I saw their menu board.

So today I'll relegate one of my most frequent rants to this page. Peas. I love peas. Maybe I go on a bit too much about the sociological and nutritional properties of the humble pea. Every time we eat one. "Do you know," I always say, "I really like peas. Why don't people appreciate them? They are so underrated. They might be the least glamorous vegetable. Or legume. Is a legume necessarily a vegetable? How can peas not be in fashion when offal is? Mmmm, lovely peas." There, it's written, and from now on I limit myself to a brief "yum" when we have fusilli piselli.


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