Letizia Mattiacci

Easter is connected with the rites of re-birth and fertility which, in ancient times, were celebrated around the Spring equinox. In my hometown of Perugia, we celebrate Easter with a rustic cake called Ciaramicola. In the past, young women made …

Together with artichokes, zucchini flowers are considered to be a great delicacy in Italy and are used in a variety of dishes. They are especially wonderful served fried or baked as an appetizer. If you have your own vegetable garden, …

Artichokes, named carciofi in Italy, are edible flowers belonging to the thistle family. They are as iconic of Italy as the Colosseum, the cliffs of Positano, pizza and – of course – a ride in a FIAT 500. To my …

I feel fortunate to have experienced a completely different way of life in Italy. I was a child in the late 1960s, when many Umbrian villagers still didn’t have home ovens and took their bread to the bakery for cooking. …

I could become vegetarian any moment of my life, save for a few foods which I passionately like. My mom’s stuffed involtini rolls, a slice of well-aged prosciutto di Norcia and our family’s cotolette served with a green salad and …

I consider myself privileged, as in my family we had the best of two worlds in terms of food. I was born and raised in Umbria, a region famous for superb quality ingredients such as olive oil, truffle, fabulous prosciutto …

While common beans originally come from the Americas, broad beans (fava) have been a staple of European cuisine for thousands of years. In addition to their importance as a food crop, fava beans were considered sacred in ancient Greece and …

In the spring, life is sweet in Umbria. Wild daisies and blackthorn blossoms make their appearance along the country roads. Purple clouds of wisteria and rosemary come alive on walls and trellises. After a long and often rainy winter, the …

Passignano sul Trasimeno is the Portofino of Umbria, minus the glamour. A cone of gelato in your hands is practically obligatory for the ritual passeggiata along the shores of Lake Trasimeno. My fellow Perugians flock to the village on Sunday …

Eggplants are a summer staple in our home. I don’t cook eggplants in winter as they are likely to have been grown in a greenhouse, and I find them generally to be spongy and slightly bitter. Here in Umbria, field …