Italy is calling me . . .

For anyone following my blog you’ll know that I have a long held affection for Italy. It is my special place, the place where I always feel like the best version of myself.

Perhaps it’s because their whole approach to food and life resonates deeply with me. In Italy food is such an intrinsic part of their identity. It is how families come together; it is how they celebrate the bounty of the land and the sea; secrets are passed from generation to generation. They have a certain touch that I’ve not experienced anywhere else in the world.

And what I particularly love about the cuisine is how enormously it can differ from region to region. Talk to any Italian about food and they will tell you that the cuisine from their region is the best in Italy.


As someone who loves food, Italy is a destination that is never going to disappoint.

So when it came time to book a summer holiday (by summer holiday I mean a destination on the other side of the world that will facilitate an escape from New Zealand’s winter) my husband was the first to suggest we return to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Funnily enough I put up no objection to this suggestion.

And now here we are with only one week to go before flying off to the Italian sunshine. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century. I’m actually having a little trouble with the waiting. Not that I’m the most patient person at the best of times and I know that anticipation is all a part of it. But come on now. I’m ready!!

Italy is calling me . . .


Italian Tomato Sauce with Linguine

Serves 3


  • 500g tinned Italian tomatoes
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt
  • 175g linguine, cooked to packet instructions and drained
  • 125g bacon, chopped
  • Grated Pecorino cheese


To make the tomato sauce, place the tomatoes in a saucepan with the butter, onion and salt (if you have it use freshly ground sea salt). Cook the tomatoes uncovered at a very slow but steady simmer for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon.

After 45 minutes of slow simmering the tomatoes will have reduced and thickened into a lovely sauce. Taste to check the seasoning. You will probably need more salt – salt really is essential to get that rounded flavour. Discard the onion.

Now you absolutely could simply toss this divine sauce through pasta and dinner is done. But I decided to add some sautéed bacon. You can sauté the bacon separately in a pan while the tomatoes are cooking and stir through the sauce before you toss with pasta. A good grind of pepper is nice too.

A quick thing to note – I found this tomato sauce would comfortably serve three when I cooked it but you could easily double it to feed more people.

Once you’ve served into pasta bowls grate over some fresh Pecorino cheese. Take it to the table and on your first mouthful close your eyes and imagine you’re in Italy.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Rob Williams says:

    Susan and I love Europe and Italian cuisine particularly. Best wishes for a memorable trip. We will give the linguine and tomato sauce recipe a go. I should disclose that we know your parents well and attend the Torbay ward with them. If there is anything at all that we can assist you with at any time, please let me know, Buongiorno.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. annika says:

    Hope your vacation proved to be the perfect winter escape. Looking forward to hearing about it. Our summer vacation is coming to an end and surprisingly, I’m actually looking forward to getting back to a routine!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron says:

    What a romantic coastline !

    “Do you know the land where the lemon-trees grow,
    in darkened leaves the gold-oranges glow,
    a soft wind blows from the pure blue sky,
    the myrtle stands mute, and the bay-tree high?
    Do you know it well?
    It’s there I’d be gone,
    to be there with you, O, my beloved one…”


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