Skip to main content


Polpette al Sugo (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

  Polpette al sugo is a favourite from way back, a frugal way of feeding the family.  They were always prepared and cooked in sugo (tomato sauce) for Sunday family meals.  During winter, a few freshly homemade sausages would also be added to the sauce for that extra flavour.  The sauce would be served on home made ferretti or tagliatelle , as 'il primo piatto' (first course), and le polpette eaten for secondo with a green salad on the side.  We always made sure that a few would be left for the following days school lunches. Everyone has a favourite meatball recipe, whether handed down from their nonna or mamma ; or discovered in someone's cookbook that they continue to make and swear by.  Mamma likes to add cooked potato to the mix, rendering them moist.  Some like to add ricotta, while I have added grated carrot to these and have done so since my girls were little.  It was a sneaky way of hiding a vegetable they weren't very keen on. Most would agree that they m

Lemon Ciambella


This ring cake called ciambella is an Italian breakfast favourite, and can be flavoured whichever way you like it. Vanilla and chocolate swirled or simply flavoured with any citrus you have.  This one has been scented with meyer lemons that are currently profusely growing on my little tree. 

I found myself picking these lemons earlier than I would normally have done; the branches were proving too heavy for this little tree. Meyer lemons normally fully ripen to a deeper yellow and sweeter in taste, but still lovely and super fragrant if picked earlier.  A basket has been placed at my front gate for the neighbours to help themselves and the tree, although still quite full is lighter and happier.

As promised, I share this slightly modified recipe that evolved from the need to introduce some gluten free cakes for my husbands new dietary regime.  Gluten free flour is new to my cooking and one that has pleasantly surprised me. In fact I have also used it in vegan cakes, making them less dense and lighter.  The two gluten free flours I recommend are Fioreglut by Caputo - ideal for bread, pizza and sweets; and for cakes, I found White Wings gluten free flour achieves favourable results. 

Lemon Ciambella

This Italian ring cake recipe by Silvia Colloca uses a basic yoghurt and olive oil batter. It makes a great base for any flavours.  I replaced the vanilla bean with grated lemon zest and regular self-raising flour with the gluten free.  A light glaze using the juices of one lemon is optional but highly recommended.

4 eggs

180 g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

grated zest of 2 organic lemons 

80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil

140 g (1/2 cup) Greek yoghurt

250 g (1 2/3 cups) White Wings gluten free self-raising flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and flour a ring tin.

Make the batter by whipping the eggs and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Mix the zest of two lemons, oil and yoghurt, then slowly adding the flour until combined, taking care not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, mix 6 tablespoons of icing (confectioners) sugar and the juice of one lemon a bit at a time until you achieve a very runny glaze. Drizzle over cake and allow to set if you can resist waiting before slicing into it.

This lemon ciambella is super soft and fragrant. You wouldn't know it was gluten free. 



Popular Posts