Why are all good Italian things a four-letter word?
For a long time Turi on Putney High Street has been my Italian restaurant of choice. But many friends have often mentioned Riva in Barnes. It's only two or three miles from our office, but I had never been there until today. I had lunch there with Melissa Ulfane of Pushkin Press, who always initiates me to the most delightful places in London. Apart from its great, cosy atmosphere, the food was staggeringly good and simple. At least enough to impress a hardcore amateur cook like me. I'll be returning there many times.
But that will have to wait until I'm back from Italy. I miss my family and I miss Rome, Tivoli, Albano. I can't wait to get there – Icelandic volcano permitting. There's nothing like the pappardelle al sugo di lepre from the Cacciatori restaurant in Genzano – or Ariccia's porchetta – or the porcini bash you can have anywhere in Lariano – or the wine you can drink in any tavernetta in Frascati.
Oh well, my mouth's watering again. . .