This is another Val’s original. The recipe is a celebration of my favourite season (autumn, duh) and also a gift for my gnocchi-obsessed friend Jessie, who is half woman, half gnocchi at this point. Just to highlight my fearless approach to cooking, I will say that Butternut Squash is one of my cooking nemeses: it’s not particularly hard to cook (as a matter of fact, it’s almost foolproof) but peeling the bloody thing can often be very hard work and I don’t have enough pent-up anger to deal with the rock-hard texture of its skin. But don’t let that put you off cooking this - the result is 100% worth it. I anticipate this to be an absolute hit among my dinner-party guests this fall (ok calm down Martha Stewart, everyone knows my table can’t fit more than four people). Full recipe on my blog. Ingredients for 2 1 Large Butternut Squash, halved 2 Cloves of Garlic, Whole 1 Bunch of Fresh Sage 1 Bag of Gnocchi (approx 300g) 1 Large Knob of Butter 1 Mozzarella Ball or Smoked Scamorza (80g)
Ciao belli! Here's the second instalment of my newsletter Everything is Copy. Click here to view the post. Alternatively, sign up here to receive the next one straight into your inbox! *** CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE ***
I got the idea for this the other day when my friend Jessie stayed over for an impromptu dinner last Sunday. She said she felt like having something cheesy, while my flatmate Silvia specifically requested a risotto. We were all coming out of a fairly difficult week, so we agreed that whatever we'd end up eating should feel like a hug from the inside. I wanted to enhance it by adding an ingredient that would provide a meaty feel to the dish without resorting to actual meat, since Jessia and Silvia are vegetarian. I had to find a way to reconcile all these different dietary and emotional requirements. The answer was a no brainer: spinach and fresh mozzarella is a match made in heaven (smoked mozzarella and pumpkin are also a winning combination). I added mushrooms for meatiness - although you can easily ditch them if they’re not your thing - and red onions for brightness (and to trick my brain into thinking it was pancetta, which would also work fabulously in this recipe). And here’
A collection of shots from my endless lockdown walks in January and February. I could not go too far - so I choose to focus on the familiar in a bid to be shocked by the unexpected. East London is my physical and spiritual home. A place that balances raw authenticity with performative artificiality, serving as metaphor for the conflict that often occurs inside me. The quest to uncover my sense of identity is not always successful, so when I don't know who I am, I find comfort in the realisation that I am, indeed, a child of my surroundings.
Ciao belli! Here's the first instalment of my newsletter Everything is Copy. Click here to view the post. Alternatively, sign up here to receive the next one straight into your inbox! *** CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE ***
I have felt personally victimised by tall people my entire life. In primary school, I was the shortest boy in the classroom. This meant that when we did earthquake emergency training (seismic-country problems, you wouldn’t get it) I was always forced to be in the front of the queue as I was deemed most likely to perish in a stampede. Then the miracle of puberty hit and almost immediately brought me up to a very respectable 5’8ft (5’9ft if my hair is cooperating and I’m wearing Docs). I thought my days as a short man were over, as I prepared myself to observe the world from new, once unreachable heights. A young me, short and temperamental Then I moved to the UK, the place where dreams go to die. According to very reliable data found on the internet® the average height of men in Italy is 174cm, which makes me above average (by a meagre 1cm, sure, but still… hips don’t lie, and neither do weird internet surveys that don’t disclose their research methodology). In the UK, however, the ave
Welcome to Valerio's Press Review, the series in which I read a magazine or newspaper (okay... look at the pictures) and write mean things about the people in them. It's fun! 1) A revitalising afternoon of clam-digging on Southend beach? A day of snorkelling by the port of Dover? Make sure you pack Rolex’s newest submarine watch! You don’t want the fish to think you’re poor. 2) Dolce & Gabbana’s latest collection. The question on everybody’s lips is: do you really want to look like your rich friend’s beach house bathroom? The answer is, and always will be, yes. 3) Sam Claflin for Barbour. A GQ insider told me that his puzzled expression is due to the fact that, for the whole duration of the photo shoot, Sam couldn’t help but wonder if he’d remembered to feed the cat before he left his flat. Models... they’re just like us <3 4) GQ’s Staycation must-have items. If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only bring one item with you, what would it be? Duh! A £32