One of the things I’m learning about blogging is that it’s very easy to rattle off your thoughts, post them online where they can potentially be read by more than half of the world’s population… and then think: “Oh shit!”

What’s troubling me is the thought that any day now I’m going to receive some correspondence from that esteemed London legal establishment Carter-Ruck (better known in some circles as Sue The Bastards R’ Us) informing me that their client, the Italian food writer Anna del Conte, is none too pleased about the way I described her in my last blog, Puttanesca.


So for the benefit of Carter-Ruck and Ms del Conte I’m more than happy to state publicly that when I referred to her as a “geriatric Italian with a dirty mouth” what I really meant was that she is one of the world’s most influential ambassadors of authentic Italian cuisine without whom the Brits would still be thinking the finest spaghetti came out of a tin marked Heinz.

Her 1976 classic Portrait of Pasta (fully updated and very reasonably priced with a five star review rating on Amazon) is one of the finest Italian cookbooks money can buy, packed full of tempting recipes that would persuade even stick insects like Keira Knightley to start shovelling in the carbs.

Her other notable works include Italian Kitchen, Gastronomy of Italy and Cooking with Coco (that’s Coco her 12-year-old granddaughter, not cocoa the brown powdery stuff that is best used for making bedtime drinks rather than pasta sauce).

If more people paid proper attention to the wonderful Anna del Conte IMHO, we wouldn’t be making the schoolboy error anymore of serving bolognaise sauce with spaghetti rather than tagliatelle. It’s a damn shame that TV audiences are only just waking up to the talents of this remarkable woman. She’s only now getting some decent exposure thanks to a TV series the BBC broadcast last year, The Cook Who Changed Our Lives, narrated by Nigella Lawson.

Which, come to think of it, explains a lot.

So please, please, pretty please – buy one of Anna del Conte’s cookery books.There, that’s all I have to say on the matter. Satisfied now Carter-Ruck?

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