Alex James: Mozzarella magic in the Daylesford deli

Rural Notebook

The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, By Gillian Riley

In entries from "bitterness" ("Fernet Branca is... a weird and wonderful way of mitigating a robust meal") to "offal" ("the ritual sequences of feast and fast connected with pig killing is... a glorious argument against the tyranny of the 'balanced diet'"), Gillian Riley shows that a hefty, authoritative work on the world's greatest domestic cuisine can also be personal, entertaining and readable.

Ravioli with mascarpone, and sage butter

Serves 4

Roasted rhubarb with mascarpone

Serves 4

Parmesan biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/spending-powe-2.html">Spending power: Pasta Hut, huh?</a>

Pizza Hut is being re-named Pasta Hut to give the business a healthy, modern makeover. Or is it?

Howard Jacobson: You can keep your good health and long life. Just give me back my pasta

Better to live a brief life without fear than live to 100 and afraid of every pea that rolls on to our plate

Paperbacks: Delizia, by John Dickie

Admirable in every respect but the clichéd cover, this book is learned, enjoyable and wonderfully readable. Dickie explains the rich variety of Italian cuisine in this most regionally diverse of Western states.

The Weasel: The ultimate boy's toy

Are you racking the noggin for an answer to the perennial problem of what to buy the man in your life for Christmas? Well, rack no longer. The object on the table before me will get the testosterone surging in any gent. The sleek shape of its motorhead owes somethin to Raymond Loewy’s streamlined design for the 1938 Broadway Limited loco. Its double row of cooling vents is like the radiator grill of an early John Deere tractor. Its raked motorhead support column suggests the soaring tailfin of a ’59 Caddy. In short, it is the ultimate boy’s toy.



Takeover calls time on Britain's oldest brewery

When Humphrey Langridge began brewing ale 425 years ago in the Elizabethan village of Wandsworth, he chose the "pugnacity and bravery" of the ram as the symbol for his business.

Miles Kington: How to say 'do not refreeze' in 11 languages

The word for 'salami' is the same in every language - except, oddly, in Italian

Rocket pesto

Frankie Dettori: My Life In Travel

'I stay in the best hotels. I couldn't ride a race after an uncomfortable night'
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
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