'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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C'e` or Ci Sono ? When do we use them?

C'e` or Ci sono ?

This week in one of my private classes I touched on when to use c'e` (there is) and ci sono (there are).


Ci in Italian means a variety of things, but in this case it means ‘there’.

So ci means there and e` means is. Ci + e` = c’e` (take away the i and throw in an apostrophe. (When there are two vowels together one usually gets dropped.)

Therefore c’e` means ‘there is’.

Ci sono

Ci again meaning there, and sono means ‘are’.

So, ‘ci sono’ means ‘there are’.


Ecco ! some examples:

There is an apple on the table– c’e` una mela sul tavolo

There are two apples on the table– ci sono due mele sul tavolo

There is a boy at school – c’e` un ragazzo a scuola

There are five boys at school – ci sono cinque ragazzi a scuola

There is a car ……– c’e` una macchina.

There are eight cars ….– ci sono otto macchine.

If you are using c’e` or ci sono when asking a question, you would simply change the tone of your voice using the same sentences. For example, 

"there are two cars" - ci sono due macchine (statement) and "are there two cars?" - ci sono due macchine (question).

If you want to make the sentence a negative affirmation you would use ‘non’ at the beginning:

There is not an apple on the table - Non c’e` una mela sul tavolo

There aren’t two apples on the table – Non ci sono due mele sul tavolo

There isn’t a boy at school –  Non c’e` un ragazzo a scuola

There aren’t five boys at school – Non ci sono cinque ragazzi a scuola

There isn’t a car… – Non c’e` una macchina…

There aren’t eight cars… – Non ci sono otto macchine…


So as you can see, if we are speaking about something in the singular (one of something) we use c’e` and if what you are speaking about becomes plural (more than one) we use ci sono !


La frutta  (fill in with the missing c’e` or ci sono)

1.               una pere verde      2.                un’arancia grande.     3.               tre mele rosse.    

4.                 delle fragole piccole.     5.               un’anguria grande.  

6.                una banana gialla.    7.               tre pesche dolci.       8.                  sei albicocche.

 C’è o ci sono? Complete the following phrases

1. ………. una scuola vicino casa.
2. Sul tavolo ………… un piatto.
3. Sulla scrivania ……….... due penne.
4. Sotto il tavolo ……… un cane.
5. Accanto alla banca …….. un bar.
6. ……….... tante persone al bar.
7. Non ………..… piu` ragazzi a scuola.
8. ……….…. tutti i nostri amici.
9. Guarda, ……..….. un topo!
10. …………. due persone.

1. Non ………….. più pasta?
2. …………. qualcuno a casa?
3. I miei amici ………….… ancora?
4. Non ………….. più speranza.
5. ……….….. un cane in piazza.
6. ………..…tanti studenti.
7. …………..… molte persone in chiesa.
8. ……..….. ancora molta strada da fare.
9. Non ……….…. più pane.
10. …………….…… tante fragole.

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!

Buona Pasqua
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Venerdí Santo - Good Friday

I have spent a few Easters in Italy and loved everything about them of course! I learned how to make
'i fiadoni molisani' with my mother-in-law, a traditional puff type pastry filled with ricotta, and I experienced the Good Friday Easter Procession which was unlike anything I'd experienced before. There was a heaviness in the air all day, and when the procession began, with it's band and choir walking through the 'centro storico' (the historic centre) of Campobasso in Molise, followed by a sea of people dressed in black, I felt the goosebumps rise all over me and watched as a small city came together to mourn the death of Jesus Christ. I'm not particularly religious, but it was a very deep reflection of tradition and culture and one of those moments you don't easily forget.
There are many processions held right across Italy on Good Friday. You can find and watch a lot of them on YouTube. Here is a snippet from the one held each year in Campobasso.  

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Pasqua - Easter

You won't find the Chocolate Easter Bunny in Italy! L'uovo di Pasqua (Easter Eggs), La Colomba di Pasqua (Italian Easter Dove Cake) and La Pastiera (wholegrain ricotta pie, traditionally from Naples) are just a few of the sweets you'll find at an Italian Easter lunch.
Easter eggs represent new beginnings, and doves, the symbol of peace.

There is a saying in Italy though : Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi! Which means, Christmas with family and Easter with whoever you like! Easter lunch is usually eaten like every other day at home with immediate family, and consists of a pasta dish for first course and for the main meal some capretto (baby goat) with a 'contorno' (side dish) like potato, greens and salad. For desert it is usually some 'Colomba di Pasqua', 'un amaro' (a digestive alcoholic drink) and an espresso. At Christmas we'd tend to hang around all day after lunch, but at Easter it would be out and about with our friends afterwards...

Here's a link to the Colomba di Pasqua Recipe -

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Pasquetta - Easter Monday

Easter Monday, the day after Easter known as 'Pasquetta',  is a national holiday. It is tradition to go on a picnic that day as by then the weather is usually perfect for it and just what's needed after the extremely long and freezing cold winter.
We would take panini (rolls) with cold meats or leftover meat from the main course served at Pasqua lunch, frittata (omelette), bread, cheeses, leftover pasta and of course il vino! It is definitely a fun day.

Buona Pasqua a tutti! (Happy Easter to all)

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