Stepping back in time, the fascinating city of Matera

I have always wanted to visit one of the most unique and spectacular cities of Italy: Matera. I finally managed to get there whilst on our trip to Puglia. We flew to Bari (which is 55 Km/34 miles from Matera) and stayed at Polignano a Mare;  Matera is situated in the Basilicata region and about… Continue reading Stepping back in time, the fascinating city of Matera


Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

I have always thought that brown crab was delicious.. until I tried spider crab! Almost weekly now, I get a spider crab delivered to my front door, already cooked by my local fishmonger. Spider crab is cheap and very sustainable as there are plenty of them. Their meat is sweeter than brown crab but for… Continue reading Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

Pumpkin flatbreads – Piadina alla zucca

Flatbreads with pumpkin with ham and rocket

Autumn is here and with it pumpkin too! Like every year I have been using pumpkin quite a lot in my cooking. Pumpkin risotto will always be my favourite, so creamy and so silky.

Flatbreads are always nice, especially if they are homemade. This time I tried adding a little mashed pumpkin to the flour and it was interesting, I loved their golden colour but also their taste.

Add your own favourite topping: I had mine with Italian prosciutto crudo and rocket (arugola) and of course a little glass of red wine. I felt so much better afterwards.. a little bit of (good!) food always helps, especially if it is healthy too.

This is a tasty and quick snack. Today the children will have a surprise when they come back from school.. a nice “merenda” (snack) is waiting for them.

This recipe makes 4 flatbreads.

If you like pumpkin you must try my mum’s pumpkin cake with raisins, it is fabulous!

  • Prep Time : 15 minutes
  • Cook Time : 8 minutes
  • Yield : 4


  • plain flour – 150 g – 1 + ¼ cup + extra if needed
  • cooked pumpkin – 60 g – slightly less than 1/2 cup
  • olive oil – 10 ml – 0.34 fl oz
  • water – 40 ml – 1.35 fl oz + extra if needed
  • salt – pinch


In a bowl using a fork, mash the pumpkin. Add the flour, the salt, the oil and the water. Mix well. Sprinkle some flour on your worktop, then place the mixture on it. Using your hands make a ball.

Flatbreads with pumpkin

You might need to add a little extra flour or water in order to make a smooth ball. If it feels sticky, place it in the fridge wrapped in cling film for 30 minutes. Sprinkle your worktop with flour. Using a rolling pin make 4 flatbreads. Heat up a pan or a griddle pan until it is piping hot.

Cook the flatbreads on both sides until they have a slightly “chargrilled” look.


They should only take a couple of minutes each to cook. 

Now just place your favourite topping on them: cheese, ham, salami..anything your fancy and of course, a nice glass of wine will go perfectly with them.


Flatbreads with pumpkin ham rocket
Flatbreads with pumpkin ham and rocket

Fried zucchini sticks for appetizer

Are you entartaining over the summer or do you simply fancy something yummy to go with a glass of Prosecco? I had these zucchini sticks at a restaurant recently and I absolutely loved them. They are super simple to make: just slice the zucchini really thinly, sprinkle with salt, coat them with flour and fry!… Continue reading Fried zucchini sticks for appetizer

Healthy and simple oat & raisin cookies

I love simplicity in the kitchen. I rarely cook elaborate dishes these days. Well, sometimes I do, if there is a special occasion and of course it depends on how much time I have. In any case I much prefer quick and easy meals. The fact is that when you need to cook daily to… Continue reading Healthy and simple oat & raisin cookies

Mamma’s Krapfen recipe. Life is sweet :-)

The other day, whilst clearing up the shelves,  I found one of my mother’s old recipes which dated back to the late 70s: “Ricetta per Krapfen”. My heart, all of a sudden, sank. The recipe was neatly handwritten and it instantly brought back memories, memories of a happy childhood, of a deliciously sweet childhood. My… Continue reading Mamma’s Krapfen recipe. Life is sweet 🙂

Easy Easter cake with ricotta and chocolate

With the lockdown the internet has gone crazy. So many people are cooking and baking in a way that we have never seen before, at least in our lifetime and basic foods like flour and eggs and other staples seem to have disappeared from the shelves. In particular, flour and yeast seem to be the… Continue reading Easy Easter cake with ricotta and chocolate

Chocolate muffins with light ricotta topping

Where has the time gone?? I can’t believe it is February already. With January out of the way and Valentine approaching a chocolate fix would do us good Here you have a simple chocolate muffin recipe. Inside each muffin I have put a candied cherry but I think the best cherries (as fresh ones are… Continue reading Chocolate muffins with light ricotta topping

Salmon & spinach wrapped in pastry – Quick and easy

I was very pleased with this speedy little recipe. This is a good last minute meal, ideal as an appetizer or as an easy lunch when you have little time on your hands. This is when shop bought pastry comes really handy. You can use fresh or frozen fish and spinach or other vegetables you… Continue reading Salmon & spinach wrapped in pastry – Quick and easy

Italian pork scaloppine with mushrooms

Italian pork scaloppine with mushrooms By Alida 26/11/2019 Scaloppine are thinly sliced steaks which are very popular in Italy and are one of those classic recipes of the Italian cuisine. The type of meat can vary: from veal to chicken, beef or pork and they can be prepared in different ways. The meat is first… Continue reading Italian pork scaloppine with mushrooms