No-churn gelato di melone with strawberry salad and mint

gelato di melone recipe

There’s a funny little scandal making its way through town this week. Our local gelato shop released a new flavour: gelato di melone or cantaloupe ice cream. Now that is cause for celebration around here! Our town is so small that hardly anything ever happens.

But not everyone was excited. As it turns out, the owner called his creation “gelato di popone”. Popone is a Tuscan dialect word for melon, but it also happens to be a not-very-nice nickname for one of our residents.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect since the gelato maker and so called Popone had had a bit of an argument the week before over politics.

Spiced Elderflower Italian Sponge Cake (Pan di Spagna)

Say ‘Benvenuto Estate’ (Hello Summer) with my Pan di Spagna or Spiced Elderflower Italian Sponge Cake! 

I was driving home from work a couple of days ago and I saw these gorgeous white flowers. I’m no botanist, but I know elderflowers when I see them. They were everywhere. Huge snow white blooms all along the roadside for kilometres. I had to pick them. Well, I had to go back to the office and convince Giulio to come with me to pick them because it was definitely a two man job.

Italian rice pie (torta di riso) with tangerine syrup

This Italian Rice Pie or Torta di Riso, as the locals call it, embraces spring flavours and one of my favourite things in the entire world, rice pudding. 

This week in country Tuscany has been extremely frustrating. Every day has started sunny and beautiful, so I wake up, get excited and throw on my favourite spring dress and a pair of sandals, then by mid afternoon it starts to pour. I mean pour. Thunderstorms and everything and I go to meetings and lessons looking absolutely ridiculous in my super strappy sandals without an umbrella – I left not one, but two, at the restaurant we went to on Saturday night, which is just fantastic. Obviously, I could have checked the weather, but I just can’t stop hoping that spring has arrived. 

Rustic stone fruit tart with peaches, blueberries and almonds

rustic stone fruit tart

I hope you had a lovely Easter break. Giulio and I went on adventure to see my father’s birthplace in the mountains of Northern Italy. It was so amazing to find myself in the town he left as a baby more than 60 years ago. To my surprise, it wasn’t even a town! It was a handful of houses and tiny little cemetery, where I managed find my great grandmother, who passed away only a few years after my grandparents immigrated. 

It was a sad, but ultimately satisfying journey to discover another piece of my roots and I can’t wait to share more of it with you, but today, we’re all about spring and this rustic stone fruit tart with peaches, blueberries and almonds!

Cornetto biscuits with from-scratch grapefruit jam

There are some recipes that I love unconditionally. These cornetto biscuits with grapefruit jam is one of them. As far as Italian breakfast pastries go, you don’t really have a lot of options. Unlike the French, Italians keep things really traditional – they’ll either have a custard filled cornetto, which is how to say croissant in Italian, or they’ll stick to dry biscuits dipped in their morning cappuccino.