Simple Gifts

Biting into a crusty loaf of bread, inhaling the verdant aroma of wild herbs, raising a glass of wine with friends — when it comes to food and life, the beauty found in the simplest of offerings cannot be denied. And nowhere are these simple delights quite as appreciated as in Italy, a land where food is celebrated for the exceptional quality it’s rooted in. 

Long before the slow-food movement gained modern momentum, Italians have been nurturing their unhurried relationship with food, earth, and nature for generations. The Mediterranean’s divine meals are uncomplicated, based on the best of simply prepared ingredients in their purest form: grown, nourished, and procured with utmost care. They are social occasions: easy, satisfying food shared over hours of conversation and laughter.

With only two main ingredients, this minimalistic recipe takes its cue from the fertile region: be sure to use the freshest ricotta and the best olive oil you can get your hands on. The Tuscan olive oil used here is known for its sharp, distinctive flavour profile. Pressed from olives grown in the inland hills of Tuscany and picked early in maturation, it takes on a characteristic green hue, with a raw vegetal nose reminiscent of fennel and a spicy bite that complements the herbal zing of rosemary. Drizzled over delicate milky ricotta, it needs nothing else for a true taste of the dolce vita.

Rosemary on Ricotta


  • Ricotta cheese
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A few drops of olive oil from the Tuscany region
  • A pinch of pepper
  • A pinch of fresh rosemary leaves

Place ricotta on a plate and break it up with a fork. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil over the ricotta, season with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper, and scatter fresh rosemary leaves over the top. Serve with crusty Italian country bread.

Text by Kate Missine  Translated by Zhao Wen  Recipe and photography by Gaelle Didillon