Posts tagged cooking school perth
FREE Pasqua Activity Printout for Kids

Children’s 'Pasqua" (Easter) Activities

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Pasqua in Italy is based heavily on religion. In this FREE 4 page printout I created you can read a simple and easy explanation of Easter in Italy to your children and fill in the activities with them. Building your child's Italian vocabulary is a fantastic start for them if they want to learn Italian, and mixing it with learning about some of the Italian culture and traditions is a perfect combination. Does your little one know that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist in Italy? Italian children still eat chocolate Easter eggs. The egg is a symbol of 'new life', and they usually have a 'sorpresa' (surprise) in them. 

Enjoy this FREE 4 page Easter activity printout and build your child's Italian vocabulary. BUONA PASQUA A TUTTI !

Pasqua in Italia.pdf

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Easter Fiadone Recipe

Fiadone Cake - Easter Ricotta Cake

This morning I woke up really early with the urge to bake a couple of traditional Italian Easter cakes. There's nothing I like more than to rise before the sun and bake while our bambini are still snuggled up in bed asleep. I'm pretty certain they love waking up to the smell of a freshly baked crostata or biscotti too. We love a little 'sweetness' for breakfast in our home. It's one of those 'Italian' things.

Our kids aren't too fussed on 'La Pastiera Napoletana', so I made them a 'Crostata di Nutella' instead. I'll be sure to share the recipe one day soon. But for now lets talk Easter...

Here are the ingredients for a Fiadone cake my beautiful mother in law handed down to me about 20 years ago when we temporarily lived in the in laws home in Italy before getting our own apartment. She would make it every Easter. I don't pretend to be a cookbook writer but I love to share recipes. When it comes to the method, well, I believe that if you practice making something with love enough times you'll work it out.

For the pastry:

10 tbsp of type 00 plain flour

1 egg

2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sugar

about half cup water


Knead it well and set aside to let rest while you make the filling. You will need 

5 eggs

5 tablespoons sugar

1 grated lemon zest

about half kilo ricotta ( I use Thats Amore Cheese Ricotta. It's the creamiest and the best and it's already drained and ready to go)

(if you have any fresh cream you can add a dash to the mixture also)

Roll out the dough and place it over an oiled ciambella tin:


Fill with the mixture and flap the edges over to cover the mixture


Here are the 2 Easter Cakes I made plus the Crostata di Nutella. 

The Pastiera (pictured left) was on the top shelf of the oven and overcooked slightly on one side just the way my husband likes it. Perfectly imperfect!

Conservare le Olive
Olive Picking

It’s olive picking season! And like every other year I get asked ‘how do you do your olives’? So this year I thought I’d write a short blog and include the recipe.

This time each year, we usually have an olive picking day with friends. I’ll make a delicious ragù and some fresh pasta so we can sit and enjoy lunch, a glass of wine and a few laughs together after the job is done.

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Our wonderful, kind and very healthy 95 year old neighbour Signor Gangemi, who migrated from Calabria around the same time as my parents, has an olive tree that is over 70 years old, and boasts some enormous and the most wonderfully smelling olives I have ever seen. We also have two olive trees on our verge, much younger than our neighbours, but with equally delicious olives on them.

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It just so happens that our trees fruit on alternative years, so it’s olive harvesting every year for us, because Signor Gangemi has an abundance of them when his tree fruits and he loves to share. Infact we spend a lot of time heading over to each other’s houses to share some sort of produce from our yard. He especially loves our fresh eggs, and when my children run them over, they never return home empty handed. It’s just one of those ‘Italian things’.


Now the olive conserving is my husband’s job. He’s responsible for changing the water each day leading up to the day we jar them, so here is a very rough explanation of how you can make your olives if you happen to be picking some this year. I’d be the worst cookbook writer ever, because I don’t measure ingredients (another one of those ‘Italian things’), but here goes in point form, and you can also email me with any questions



-Pick the olives !
- slit each olive with a knife – or – lightly bash each one with a hammer


-place the olives in a bucket of fresh water (make sure they are covered)
-change the water each day with some fresh water for at least 2 weeks. This may need to be done a little longer depending on the size of your olives. The best way to tell if they have lost their bitterness is to taste them.


-prepare the brine by melting 200gr of salt per 1 litre of water  and bring to boil (you’ll have to work out youself how much brine you may need depending on the quantity of olives you’ve picked. You can always make more if you need it so it’s best to start small and work it out from there.

Once boiling,  and for about 10 litres of water you’ll need to add

-a handful of peppercorns

-4 or 5 bayleaves

-lemon rind

-a clove of garlic (or more if you prefer more)

-a handful of rosemary twigs


-Using your sterilised jars, place the olives in them, poor in some vinegar (we use our own homemade red wine vinegar) maybe to a quarter of the jar, and top up with the brine.

Enjoy your labour of love!    

'I Fiadoni.' A Traditional Italian Easter Recipe from Molise

It's Almost Pasqua!

For every region it Italy, Easter comes with many different traditional recipes. In my papà's region, with 'Pasqua' come 'I Fiadoni Molisani', sweet or savoury. It is a recipe you'll need a load of eggs for! 'Le uova' (eggs) being symbolic of spring and abundance. 

Other names for 'i fiadoni' are 'casciatelle', 'sciarone' or 'fiarone'. Whatever you choose to call them, they are delicate and delicious, and pair beautifully with an aperitivo, or a simple glass vino rosso or bianco.

They are shaped like a mini calzone, and are filled with a tasty cheese & black pepper mixture, or you may prefer the sweet version which is filled with ricotta and choc chips or candied fruit. While cooking they puff out, like a balloon ready to burst. Each town has it's own variation of how to make these little traditional Easter morsels, but the one I'm going to share with you is my mother-in-laws savoury version. They are very easy to make and smell absolutely delicious while they are cooking. Enjoy!

La Ricetta 

Il Ripieno

Let's start with the filling....

500gr of grated pecorino cheese 

5 eggs

1 small sachet of yeast for sweets (lievito per dolci)

Black pepper (I put a few pinches but you can put more or less)

Nutmeg (a couple of pinches)

2 beaten eggs put aside to paint the tops of the fiadoni before they go into the oven which should be preheating at 180 - 200 degrees

Once mixed together it should look a similar to this. 

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La Pasta

Now for the pastry...

500g of plain flour 00

4 eggs

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup milk

1/2 sachet of yeast for sweets (lievito per i dolci)

Place everything in a bowl like so and mix into a messy ball

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Knead away!

Make smaller balls to roll out with a rolling pin before putting them through the pasta machine

Work the dough through the pasta machine until you get to around number 6 or 7 on your machine 

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Flap the pasta in half so it covers the filling and with your hand gently push around the edges of the filling. With a glass or cookie cutter, make a half moon shape.

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Place them onto a tray, snip the top of the pastry with some scissors or poke with a fork, then paste them with the beaten egg before placing them in the oven.

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Place them in the over until golden brown. They should puff up and some of the cheese will ooze out of the small hole you made in the pastry.

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Buon appetito and Buona Pasqua!

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La Mamma Italiana

My childhood memories of ‘mamma’ and ‘nonna’ are fond. Very fond!  I was raised by a mum I call ‘ma’ and a nonna I also call ‘ma’, because she looked after us while my parents ran restaurants. Mum and nonna raised us as a team. For Italians there's not much difference between the two. Italian mothers live for their children. Here are some common traits of ‘la tipica mamma italiana’ (the typical Italian mum)…

My eldest child and I

My eldest child and I

Sleep overs

Absolutely not. Not a chance. Unless of course you sleep at your cousin's house or your nonna’s house. That’s different because that is ‘famiglia’ and your mum knows your family will treat you exactly the way she treats you. They will make sure you are fed, and that definitely puts an Italian mothers mind at ease!

My mamma and I

My mamma and I

Affection in public

Age is not an issue for an Italian mother. She will show you affection in public whether you like it or not. She is the matriarch. The boss. You have no say! But you respect her like no other and you like it just like that…

My son and I at the family farmhouse in Italy

My son and I at the family farmhouse in Italy

No vitamin supplements required

You will always come home to a two to three course meal and there will be enough to feed an army! It’s actually ‘the norm’ to you and you only realise this when you bring your non Italian friends over for a feed and their eyes pop out of their heads.  Pasta, carne, insalata, verdura, zuppa, pane, formaggio, frutta, acqua, vino, caffe`, amaro and the list goes on….
Every part of a balanced diet will be waiting for you at meal time and she does it with such ease.She even has her own cure for the common cold via food. It’s called ‘pastina in brodo’ (little pasta in chicken broth).

My bambini with their nonna Luisa making lasagne

My bambini with their nonna Luisa making lasagne

Mum’s night out?

I don’t think so! An Italian mother won’t even go to a wedding unless her children are invited.  ‘Wherever I go, my children come!' She’ll tell it loud and proud and won't care who she offends. As a matter of fact, it’s her who’s offended! And oh how that makes us feel loved.

My nonna (94 year old) and I

My nonna (94 year old) and I

Cuore mio (or mia if she is referring to a daughter)

This is what Italian mums call their kids. It means ‘my heart’, which really says it all. That love is so profound it hurts, and it’s no wonder Italian kids are as sassy, confident and as bright as they are! I’m so darn proud of my Italian mum and nonna. They’ve made me ‘la mamma italiana’ that I am today !There are so many songs in Italian about la mamma it was really hard to choose one! I picked this very old, beautiful classic Italian song you may be familiar with. I have also added the English translation of it.  Enjoy!


Mamma son tanto felice

Mamma I’m very happy

Perche ritorno da te

because I’m returning to you

La mia canzone ti dice

My song tells you              
ch'è il più bel giorno per me!                                               

That this is the most beautiful day for me
Mamma son tanto felice...

Mamma I’m very happy
Viver lontano perché?

Why would I live far away?

Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola,

Mamma, only for you my song flies
mamma, sarai con me, tu non sarai più sola!

Mamma, you’ll be with me, you’ll never be alone again!
Quanto ti voglio bene!

Oh how much I love you
Queste parole d'amore che ti sospira il mio cuore

These words of love that my heart sighs to you
forse non s'usano più,

Perhaps are no longer used,
ma la canzone mia più bella sei tu!

Mamma but my most beautiful song is you!
Sei tu la vita

You are life
e per la vita non ti lascio mai più!

And for life I will never leave you!

Sento la mano tua stanca:

I feel your tired hand
cerca i miei riccioli d'or.

Search for my golden locks
Sento, e la voce ti manca,

I hear you fading voice
la ninna nanna d'allor.

The lullaby of once upon a time
Oggi la testa tua bianca

Today your grey hair
io voglio stringere al cuor.

I want to hold close to my heart

Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola,
mamma, sarai con me, tu non sarai più sola!
Quanto ti voglio bene!
Queste parole d'amore che ti sospira il mio cuore
forse non s'usano più,
ma la canzone mia più bella sei tu!
Sei tu la vita
e per la vita non ti lascio mai più!
Mamma... mai più!