Who'd have thought that something containing only five ingredients could be so delicious? Roast some cherry tomatoes in the oven with olive oil, garlic and basil. Meanwhile, heat up more garlic and basil in a pan with some oil, add a tin of plum tomatoes, fill the tin with water and add that too, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add a couple of handfuls of stale bread torn into chunks and simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes from the oven and their roasting juices, some more basil and olive oil, and voila. The very essence of an Italian summer, but warmed up to suit our chillier climes. I ate it with crusty bread and cheese - strong cheddar goes very well with it, though parmesan would be good too if you want to score authenticity points.
On the subject of chillier climes, a cake that smells and tastes of Christmas: figs, red wine and honey. The recipe is from carbohydrate king Dan Lepard and can be found here. It's a fruit cake but lighter than you'd expect; not quite heavy enough for winter, but just right with its notes of cinnamon, ginger and cloves now that we seem to be heading into autumn. It won't win any prizes for aesthetics, but the taste is what counts.