Appetizers · Life in Umbria · Recipes · Summer · Umbria Images · Vegetables

cold wild-fennel and cucumber soup

August is a long, slow month in Umbria. Most of the world seems to be somewhere else. Italians flock to the beach and everybody else believes it’s not a good time to be here so it’s very quiet here on our magical mountain. Every evening at sunset we sit on the terrace with a glass… Continue reading cold wild-fennel and cucumber soup

All Seasons · Bread, Pizza and Focaccia · Recipes

the secret to make better pizza is to understand your flour

Pizza night in this house never goes unnoticed. The event has been planned in advance. Most likely we have just been on a hunt for a batch of good flour or other interesting ingredients. The kitchen is populated by notebook pages scribbled with the last method I’ll be  testing after much study and deliberation. The dough has… Continue reading the secret to make better pizza is to understand your flour

All Seasons · Life in Umbria · Meat Dishes · Recipes

Travels, gratitude and a quick dinner (balsamic and sage chicken scaloppine)

  What a wonderful and different springtime I have had this year! I am back from the most exciting book tour in the US where I have visited old and new friends and presented my cookbook at 4 different locations.  Also, I have taken with me a little bit of Umbria: a hand-woven cloth by… Continue reading Travels, gratitude and a quick dinner (balsamic and sage chicken scaloppine)

Bread · Family Stories · Pizza and Focaccia · Recipes · Spring

Torta di Pasqua, an Umbrian Easter bread

When I was a child in the late 1960s many homes, including the one of my Umbrian grandmother, didn’t have an oven and took their bread to the bakery for cooking. Easter was an especially busy time, with women preparing Torta di Pasqua, a leavened cheese bread traditionally served for our hearty Easter breakfast. In… Continue reading Torta di Pasqua, an Umbrian Easter bread

Desserts · Recipes · Winter

brustengolo, an ancient Umbrian olive oil and polenta fruitcake

This is a very rustic and ancient recipe from my hometown Perugia. Not too sweet, egg-free, gluten-free, robust, Brustengolo makes for a substantial snack full of healthy goodness. It’s basically a baked polenta enriched with dried fruits and nuts and flavored with the classic Umbrian combination of anise, fennel and orange. You can cook the… Continue reading brustengolo, an ancient Umbrian olive oil and polenta fruitcake

Appetizers · Fall · Pizza and Focaccia · Recipes · Winter

garbanzo bean farinata with caramelized onions and rosemary

As you probably know Italians have a long tradition of eating vegan food. You didn’t know it? Well, think about it: spaghetti with aglio, olio and peperoncino is vegan. Minestrone is also vegan. Eating fruit at the end of a meal instead of a dessert is the norm here. And, in addition we have a variety… Continue reading garbanzo bean farinata with caramelized onions and rosemary