avatar2013Hi and welcome. This is my blog about Italian family food. I live in Umbria, Central Italy, high up on the hills near Assisi, a beautiful medieval town. My husband Ruurd and I run a B&B with cooking school, Alla Madonna del Piatto. We also produce olive oil.

We love good, simple food. Fresh, seasonal food that can be made in a short time at the end of a busy day.

Here I want to explain some of my views about the culture and philosophy of Italian home food. In fact I want to explain how simple is it. All this would be much less fun without Ruurd’s wonderful pictures. And the opportunity to share this great food with my family and friends.

the family photographer
the family photographer



PS. I’d love to read your comments and questions  about my recipes and stories directly in the comment section of the relevant blog post.
If you wish to stay at our lovely agriturismo  or attend one of our delicious cooking classes please consult our website or write at madonnadp[at]gmail.com . Thank you!

PPS. In the video below by  A Road Retraveled you can visit my home and kitchen!

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3225721&dest=-1]

32 thoughts on “About

  1. I love this blog! Don’t change a thing about it! I’ve printed out the recipes already. I’m fowarding this to Jessica.



  2. Hi Letizia
    I love your blog…thanks so much for the email informing me of it. It’s been three years since my friend Karen and I visited you, but we remember it like yesterday. Our visit with you and taking your cooking class was the highlight of our trip. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.


  3. Hi Letizia,

    Greetings from Nashville! My husband, Joe, and I stayed at your lovely B&B in April, 2005. We are friends with Willi Honnegger, who told us about your place and recently emailed your blog. It’s nice to be able to get in touch. I’m happy to know that things are going well for you.



  4. i just discovered your blog and i am very excited about it..i am an expat american in piemonte italy! a fellow blogger! love your photos and basic reminders about pasta cooking!


  5. Ciao, Letizia e auguri!

    Our friends from Salem, Jim & Judy Kearney told me about you and I’m so glad to hear about your new cooking school. I will be leaving soon with some friends for a trip to Abruzzo and Le Marche, ending up in Verona and we were thinking about a side trip to Assisi from Sant Angelo in Vado. Perhaps we can come and see you! A presto — Linda


  6. My husband and daughter made the pasta this past weekend and I added the Limone sauce with smoked salmon …it was a huge hit.
    We have fond memories of our visit and the cooking school.My husband loves to make the pasta ..it is his thing to do with our granddaughter and family! So Thank you from Canada!


  7. Hi Letizia, Just found your blog through barogue sicily blog. Beautiful blog and recipes I am going to link you as my Italian blog this week will send you the link.
    I love your dress in this picture so gorgeous!


  8. Just a quick note to tell u how much I enjoyed the tasting and cooking class. Loved being st ur home. Meeting ur daughter ,google, checking out ur inn an ur land. What a lovely place u have. And u are top notch! Thank you for ur kindness. I’ve been back a week and made panna cotta last night. Yum! R u still banging ur head on the pomagrant or has it fallen!? Hope ur fall is going well! Fondly mary


    1. Hi Marybeth
      thank you so much it’s been wonderful to have you here! I have cut the pommgranate and made a table decoration with it, it was driving me crazy. All fine for the rest, we’re having wonderful wetaher and lovely guests. enjoy the fall and happy cooking. Ciao, Letizia


  9. Hello Letizia – in 2010 you posted information about Franco and Rita Mari. I have visited them several times in Deruta and own a number of their pieces. When I go online now, however, I do not find their website or any info about their shop. I know they closed down the shop by the highway and moved it to their home – we visited them I think in 2010 there. Are they still making their ceramics? I used to have Rita’s email address but can’t seem to find it now. Any help would be appreciated – thanks – Brian in Eugene Oregon


    1. Hi Brian, yes Rita and Franco are still making ceramics as far as I know. You can find Rita Mari on Facebook. If you don’t manage to contact her via FB, please let me know and I will ask her if she has another email. Thank you for supporting their wonderful work!


  10. Wow – looking closer at your site I see some wonderful recipes. I am part Italian (Chiavenna) and cook Italian frequently – but of course am limited to West Coast American fresh ingredients. One of my favorite desserts is Panna Cotta but it’s been hard to recreate that here – the cream, milk and gelatin is different. I’ve never made it successfully – the gelatin in particular is way different here. Did you post a Panna Cotta recipe that’s doable with American ingredients? Looking at your summertime salmon pasta – looks yummy. My fav is fresh tomatoes and basil and olive oil – so simple – and so delicious if the tomatoes are from the garden. I will try yours.


    1. Hi Brian, I have sent yu a PM with Rita’s Fb link. She is also in my FB friends list, my profile is public.

      As for the pannacotta, please try my recipe I know it works as many of the people who come to my cooking classes make it at home. If you have problems, please write a comment below teh recip and I will try to help!


  11. Hi Letzia:

    I want to be sure and get a couple bottles of your olive oil when it’s mfg in November. Is there a waiting list I can get on?

    Paula Mowles
    ( took your cooking class in April this year)


    1. Hi Paula! please send me an email at madonnadp at gmail dot com and I will add you to the list. I will write after after harvest in October to all those interested and then you can decide to buy! Thanks for asking about the olive oil!


  12. Dear Letizia and Rurrd! We have been closely following the terrible news about the earthquakes in your region and are very much hoping all is well with you and yours. Sending best regards from the Tirol! – Andy


  13. Ciao Andy
    thank you for your thoughts! all fine here, no serious damage in Umbria except a few stones falling down in Norcia and a couple of old but not ancient buildings in Castelluccio. The damage in Amatrice, 2 and 1/2 hours from here – in Northern Lazio – is indeed heartbreaking especially for the loss of lives.
    Thanks for thinking of us, we re perfectly fine but sad for what has happened.
    All the very best from us all


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