Sayonara, spaghetti

Food Stuff

Eating: Britain's cooks turn to convenient option

Despite the popularity of television chefs, Britain has become a nation of convenience eaters. A recent survey showed that 95 per cent of the country uses ready-made meals. Kate Watson-Smyth reports on the rise of pre-prepared food.

OUR CHANGES

This morning The Independent has changed. It has changed because The Independent exists not only to be newsy and entertaining, but also to be challenging and innovative. When we first launched, 11 years ago, we changed the broadsheet market, bringing fresh ideas and attitudes. We aim to do the same again, by creating a paper that is accessible and easy to read while being serious and responsible; that meets the needs of modern readers, and enables us to give you the best writing and the best pictures in the format that most suits you. For that reason we have spent many months testing this new paper with you, our readers, and with readers of other papers. We are confident that you will find it a vast improvement.

Letter: Blair's boar

Letter: Blair's boar

Eat, drink and steer clear of an Italian art attack

Bologna's food is legendary. So, says Toby Follett, let's eat. But whatever you do, don't ask for spaghetti you-know-what

'Joan gave a ghastly smile before pushing the helm further'

In this extract from The Art of Coarse Sailing, Michael Green's classic account of a disastrous sailing holiday on the Norfolk Broads, the narrator Mike, crewing the boat Merryweather with his friend Beaver, is monitoring the progress of holiday companions Joan, Dennis and Arthur on another yacht, Quiet Dawn...

Enjoying a little murder at dinner

Chris Maslanka reveals the shocking truth about no-holds-barred, murder mystery, fancy-dress dinner parties

Italy: a country where a man may beat his wife but cannot flog fishy pasta; ROME DAYS

It's all right to beat your wife to a pulp, just as long as you don't do it too often. Should your battered wife then divorce you, you're still OK because you can skip your alimony payments without risk of criminal prosecution. You can say as many rude things as you like in public about the Virgin Mary, just as long as you leave the Lord God's name out of it. Oh, and should your line of business ever tempt you to off-load cans of food that are way past their sell-by date, go right on ahead. In Italy, it's all perfectly legal.

Whitbread eyes pounds 40m BrightReasons sites

Whitbread is in talks to acquire the sites owned by BrightReasons, the Pizzaland and Bella Pasta group which has 180 outlets. The price is expected to be pounds 40m-pounds 50m, far lower than previous estimates. Whitbread is undertaking its due diligence process so the deal is unlikely to be announced with half-year results next Tuesday.

Anger sweeps Belgium over child-sex ring

Palaces in Antwerp and Hasselt with stones; there was a bomb scare at the Vilvoorde home of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene; and demonstrators in Turhout with pasta in their hair gave the public prosecutor dried spaghetti.

Mine's a duck and plum ravioli

Spag bol was once the height of exotic Italian cooking for the average Briton. But now that everyone knows their tortellini from their tagliatelle, simple linguine is no longer good enough, unless it's flavoured with chocolate and can be cooked al dente within five minutes.

another scary thing about loch ness

I was in a restaurant last week when the waiter appeared, poured half a glass of wine, and lingered at my elbow. I tried to resume my conversation, but his presence gnawed at my concentration, and after a few seconds I'd had enough. "What is it?" I snapped, voice unexpectedly high. "You're not a hotel porter, you know. If I decide to give you a tip, it'll be at the end of the meal and not before, you scrounger!"

Weightlifting: Noodle power lifts Zhan

OLYMPIC GAMES

creativity: worms turning to new pursuits

Worm Awareness Week has just begun, with no one more aware of them than our creative readers. "Can them," advises Mollie Caird, "and give them, with a tin-opener, to Sir Richard Scott." Celia Coleman uses them at night, instead of water in her water-bed, to give an all-night massage. During the day, they serve as hair-extensions for the Medusa look.

FOOD & DRINK; DAILY BREAD; JAMES OYEBOLA

WHAT THE HEAVYWEIGHTBOXER ATE ONE DAY LAST WEEK
News
news
News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices