No knead wholewheat focaccia

Italian focaccia

One of the first cookbooks I bought when I moved to Italy was Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread. I have a track record of stuffing up anything with yeast, so no knead focaccia was right down my alley. Who cares if you have to wait 24 hours before you can indulge in your carb craving? You’ll never have to worry about whether you’ve kneaded enough or too much/ if it’s risen enough or if it’s “passato al lievito” (over-yeasted) as my parents in law say. Well, they also laughed at the idea of 24-hour bread making. My mother in law can knock out a perfectly risen and baked loaf of Italian bread in 30 minutes. Bakers, right?

licorice italian easter bread (Schiaccia di Pasqua)

Another Easter recipe! This time, one from my very own tiny town in Southern Tuscany, Manciano. We’re not famous for much, but we do make one hell of an licorice Italian Easter bread or schiaccia di Pasqua. 

Italy as a whole has changed so much, even in the 10 years I’ve been here. I think a lot of tourists really want a snow globe experience where all the locals are just simple country folk who walk home in the morning with fresh bread under one arm and the day’s paper under the other. In the evenings, nonnas sit outside and gossip while tomato sauce cooks in the saucepan and their tubby little grandchildren ride their bikes. 

Italian Easter Pie

Easter is around the corner, so it’s seems like an Italian Easter pie should really be on the menu.

It was a really sad weekend in our tiny Tuscan town. One of its residents passed away suddenly on Friday night from a cancer and it shook the town a little. Deaths in small towns are a community affair, especially if the person isn’t old. That sounds heartless, but we have a lot of senior citizens. They live on average well into their 80s. It’s incredible. Someone should write a book about it! French women mightn’t get fat, but Italians live forever!

Italian bread dumplings (Canederli) recipe

bread dumplings

Giulio and I are headed on a weekend trip to Trentino, which is a snowy escape in Northern Italy. Since I’m only in it for the food, I am looking forward to the change in culinary pace. We country Tuscan folk don’t have very exciting lives and its nice to get away from all the wild boar and ragù pastas.