10,000 Miles to Home ~ Meeting my Italian Family Part 2 {Marc Knight}

So I was finally in Italy, a place I had tried to imagine in my dreams for many years.  No matter how many photos I saw or the endless surfing on the internet looking at where my family were from prepared me for the reality of the real thing.

Fresh off the train my cousin took me into the town of Arezzo.  I was instantly amazed.  This place is old I thought.  My mind started wandering trying to soak in the history.  In Australia we think 200 odd years of white Australia is old and all of a sudden I am looking at places that are several hundred years old.


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Simple Lemon Muffins

These muffins are my standby quick-someone-is-coming-over muffins. Also perfect for school holidays, morning teas, picnics, beach days and little baked gifts for friends or family.

They are light, delicious and have a lemony crispy topping.

You can finish these off within 20 minutes and there is minimal clean up. These little gems are also the most asked for baked recipe I have so to post them here means that all my friends have access to them any time.


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Italian Lemon Muffins

I love lemon.

Anything with lemon makes me weaken and indulge. These muffins are just delicious. I have two recipes to share. Both look the same, but taste different.

This one requires a few more steps, but it is worth it.

Do you love lemon too?


Italian Lemon Muffins

Italian Lemon Muffins ~ Tuscan Inspired


1 3/4 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
grated lemon rind
Juice of the whole lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • Heat oven to 180 C or 375 F
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt into a bowl and make a well in the center.
  • In another bowl combine ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon juice & rind and the egg. Pour this mixture into the well. Stir until mixed.
  • Divide batter into a 12 muffin tin.
  • Bake for about 16 minutes. Test with a wooden tooth pick in the center and if comes out clean they are ready
  • Serve warm or cold. Delicious with lemon curd and cream.

Tuna, Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Barilla Product Gifted as part of Good Food and Wine Show Brisbane

Tuna pasta and any combination of additional ingredients is a big stable around here. It is the kind of dish you can have most, if not all of the ingredients sitting in the cupboard and throw it together within 20 minutes.

One of the first dishes I made in the Italian kitchen so one taste takes me back.

It is also a great menu item when we are camping or caravanning.

Tuna pasta is the ultimate standby meal.

Here is one variation


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One Pot Wonder ~ Oven Roasted Paprika Chicken

one pot wonder paprika chicken.JPG

I love a 1:1:1:1 meal. One chopping board, one knife, one tray, one hour and maybe include one (other) person to clean it all up and you have yourself a perfect midweek dinner.

I first made something like this in Italy last year. I had a bunch of ingredients and threw it all together and a delicious meal came out. Since then I have change it around many times to include what I have on hand. The following version is great because most of the ingredients are available year round (in Australia anyway).
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Slow Cooked Italian Lamb Roast


Heaving a platter of Italian Styled lamb to the table with a steaming bowl of smooth and cheesy polenta will impress the fussiest two year old and long time chef (well in my house it does) This lamb is one such recipe I have been making for a few years now. I throw it together to impress friends with the casual Italian style share plate dinner which has becoming popular in many restaurants recently. Continue reading