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Two Greedy Italians by Antonio Carluccio & Gennaro Contaldo

Two Greedy Italians is my favourite reading book. I say reading book and not cook book, because it is so visually appealing that I don’t just refer to it for recipes. It makes excellent bedtime reading, or when you are on route through London on a bus, or in the office trying to escape the computer for a few mintues. The photos are beautifully taken and perfectly symbolise the romance and colour that home cooking should celebrate.

In my spare time I love to grow my own produce. At 24, I am only a novice to my father’s Sunday hobby but I have built up a refreshing collection of vegetables and herbs over the past few summers. Last summer radishes, tomatoes and leeks were flourishing in my vegetable patch. This year I am adding sunflowers, blue poppies, spinach, varied tomatoes, beetroot and asparagus to the collection. Fingers crossed for some London sunshine!

One of the pleasures of having my own vegetable patch is the eating of my homegrown produce. Another reason I love Two Greedy Italians is because the recipes are simple and delicious and incredibly easy to make.

After checking my green house five minutes ago, I have spinach on the brain. La Vera Pizza Napoletana is my fail-proof recipe for when I have guests over. It is a crispy based pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella for a topping. I love to throw in a handful of my home grown spinach to add a little texture amongst the basil. Apologies for the slightly blurred pages of the book. My copy is covered in oil and flour from using this recipe so much – this is a sign of a good recipe!

Whilst I am on the topic of Antonio Carluccio, I want to point out that I am only 24 so don’t have an incredible amount of money to spend on ingredients, but at the same time,as a foodie – I want the most flavoursome and the best for what my money can buy. I want to recommend two products from Carluccio’s. Firstly the Tre Oli (Three Oils) is fabulous value for money. I enjoy using these oils on everything from pizza, bread, pastas to salad, fish, meat vegetables, cheese…The second product I want to recommend is the Carluccio’s Aceto Balsamico Di Modena I.G.P. The flavour of this oil is tangy and sweet. It compliments main courses of all kinds and is great for infusing vegetables with or dashing a little on summer fruits for something a bit more lively.