Yotam Ottolenghi: 'I loved the pizza but Hassam had a massive cat I was terrified of'

My earliest food memory… When I was about five I remember going to a bakery in the Old City in Jerusalem run by a big man called Hassam. He used to bring us sesame-crusted pizzas from a hole-in-the-wall oven. I loved the pizza but he had a massive cat that I was absolutely terrified of.

Forget Sex and the City, here come the 'real' Girls

You might be tempted to describe a comedy written, directed and produced by its central character as a "vanity project". But from the very first frames of Girls, Lena Dunham's sharp, next-generation riposte to the gloss and fantasy of Sex and the City, it's obvious vanity cannot be calling the shots.

Forget Sex And The City, here come the Girls

First Night: Girls, Sky Atlantic, Mondays, 10pm

Forget Sex And The City, here come Lena Dunham's Girls

Ink pasta with samphire and squid

Serves 4

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Italians

The Italians who face England tonight think they are better dressed, better fed, better lovers. Simmy Richman begs to differ

Deborah Ross: Feed me! The mantra of a student who hasn't eaten all term

If you ask me, I would like to tell you a story, which I suggest you take as a warning. This is a story about a mother whose son comes home from his first year at university for the summer. The mother is quite shocked at his appearance, as he is thin and peaky, and looks as if he has been doing what he has been doing: that is, living on economy squash and reduced-price bread so he can better spend his overdraft on drink, clubbing, drugs and a new T-shirt that looks like all his other T-shirts.

Natalie Haynes: Thanks for the advice, but my fridge contents don't lie

Notebook: Surely food safety can be distilled into one simple rule... nuke it, and the stuff that might have killed you gets nuked, too

Deborah Ross: Son, your pasta calendars were only ever average, if that

If you ask me: When I said Mummy and Daddy can't be watching you all the time, but Santa is, that was also a lie
Pot Noodle: the snack equivalent of 'Zoo' magazine

Something for the ladies. Noodles in a pot

Pot Noodle, the instant noodle "dish" from Unilever, has never bothered the female market too much before. Coming in such delightful flavours such as Doner Kebab, Bombay Bad Boy and Sticky Rib, it's the snack equivalent of Zoo magazine; women wouldn't be caught dead with it. (Look, I'm not saying I've never bought one, but I think we can agree who they are targeted at).

Tagliolini with ceps and bacon

Tagliolini with ceps and bacon

Serves 2

Nick Goodway: Let's box clever and give big-hitter Terry a watchdog role in the City

Midweek View: If he's got a problem, he confronts it. There's a touch of philanthropy and a wave of the Union Jack too
Elegant: Bergerie de l'Hortus Rouge Pic Saint Loup 2009
Chrissie Wellington competes during the Challenge Roth Triathlon in Germany last year

Chrissie Wellington: 'Sometimes your worst races are your biggest triumphs'

I call myself an accidental athlete I first realised my capacity for endurance while I was [working for an NGO] in Nepal. I would cycle every day with friends and Nepali sherpas, and I outperformed all of them. So I started doing marathons and triathlons when I returned to the UK, and didn't stop. I'd never in a million years thought I could win the Ironman World Championships once, let alone four years running.

Mele e Pere, 46 Brewer Street, London W1

Take a trip down the apples and pears to Soho's sensational Italian newcomer

Blue-collar guy: Zach Braff rehearsing 'All New People'

Braff the medicine man has last laugh

All New People was a hit in New York and is coming to the West End. Its star and creator, Zach Braff, tells Alice Jones he's happy to leave Scrubs behind him

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin