About me


My name is Manuela and I was born and brought up in Milan, Italy by Sicilian parents. I moved to Sydney, Australia in 2006 with my loving husband Clint and we have 2 wonderful daughters: Victoria and Georgia who were both born here.

I love Australia and I consider myself really lucky to live here, so much so that I am naturalised Australian and I consider Australia my “home”. My husband is of Indian origin, so you can truly say that we are a “multi cultural family” and that is often reflected in what we eat.

I grew up in an artistic family: my grandfather was, and my father and aunts are all painters/artists. Besides my artistic side, I also inherited the love for travelling and experiencing other cultures from my parents, with whom I have travelled extensively since birth. As an adult, I am still discovering the world and all the fantastic flavours it has to offer! My passion for cooking runs in the family as well. Many of my recipes have been passed down from generations.

I love all kinds of food! I obviously specialise in Italian cuisine, but you will also find “non-Italian” recipes here, especially Indian ones. One of the reasons this site is in English is so that I can spread the concepts of authentic homemade Italian cuisine in the world. In all my travels, and more so now that I live in Australia, I have always been amazed by the “distortions” in many Italian dishes. So, if you are interested in “the real thing”, this is the place to be!



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  1. Maria Slothuus says

    Hello Manu
    Nice site ;o)
    It´s great to see new stuff…
    Maybe i´ll try the food in my family? My 5 years old daugther Julie like the cakes on the photos…. ;o)
    Love Maria

  2. says

    Hi Manuela and family, a breath of fresh air, a lovely site and some lovely dishes. I like when you say traditional Italian, the real thing is good.
    More than that i also like the energy you put into your descriptions. The artist family is inside eh. Big hugs to you and your family and keep up the magic.

    • says

      Hi Skjerstad! Thanks so very much for stopping by! I guess the love for traditional food of our countries is something we have in common! Hope to see you around here often! Manu

      • Kanan says

        Good evening !

        This dessert looks absolutely gorgeous and I am sure it tastes amazingly yummy.

        I was wondering if you could share an eggless recipe for the same.

        I do not want the vegan version..would love to try my hand on this

        Please reply

        Thanks !

  3. says

    Pure clean looking web blog. I can’t wait to explore your creation. I am new to blogging. Hope you have time to check out my travel blog. Perhaps it will be useful when it’s time to travel to America!


  4. says

    Hi Manu, nice to know you and glad that I get to know about your blog thru Tina-Pinay In Texas Cooking & Nami-Just One Cookbook. :)

  5. says

    Hi Manuela!
    I’ve just discovered your foodblog from Tuki’s contest. As you I’m an Italian food-lover that live in Australia, but I live in the opposite coast… in Perth!
    Do you know other Italian foodbloggers in OZ?
    Buon cucinamento allora! 😉


  6. says

    I found your site through one of my favorite blogger Nami @ “Just One Cookbook” and I would say, I’m impressed with your dishes. You have a new fan here.

    More success to you Manu.

    ray. . .

  7. Hygenia Lobo says

    Hi Manu, congratulations on your very own website. Great to see you doing what you love doing best. Love your recipes. Good luck and rest assured I will be peeking into to find new recipes.
    Hygenia, Isaac and Allan

  8. Toni says

    Manu, love…love..love your blog. Wow, you are so gifted with all of the lovely recipes. I am Viet Namese and can relate to your love for Thai Food. Can’t wait to find some time to read and learn more about you and all these recipes!! I love to cook, but so busy with 2 kids from school, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and to soccer practice for both that I don’t find much time to do what I love is to cook and bake. I managed to cook for my family though so at least I am still doing that. Thank you for sharing your life and talents with us. Hugs, Toni

    • says

      OOOOHHH THANK YOU so much for this sweet comment Toni! I really appreciate you taking time to let me know you like my blog!!! <3 <3 <3 I hope to see you around here more often!!! :-)))))

  9. says

    What a lovely blog you have! I was excited to see that you’re italian since I am too! Can’t wait to start following and try out your recipes!

  10. Olga says

    Hy Manuela, I’m looking at your site and I just want to go to kitchen and start cook!! thank you for sharing all this amazing recipes!!! Brava!!!

    • says

      Aaawww THANK you sooooo much Olga! That was a great compliment! :-)))) Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you like my recipes! <3

  11. says

    Brava Manuela,
    pubblichi delle bellissime e buonissime ricette. Evviva la cucina italiana nel mondo!
    Ti seguirò
    Complimenti per i tuoi bellissimi bambini

  12. says

    Carissima Manuela,
    ti ho trovata tramite Tasteologie e il tip post sul carbone della Bafana! Solo noi Italiane-all’estero- possiamo capire il valore di questa ricetta!
    Manu, lo sai sono anche io di Milano, trasferita a Sydney da qualche anno, due bimbi (1 e 4 anni) , nati qui, marito Australiano. Anche io ho un background ( e lavoro ‘vero’) nell’arte, anche io, come te, sono una appassionata della cucina Italiana VERA, quella delle nostre mamme, zie, cugine e nonne, che poco a che fare con ‘set salse ‘Alfredo’ o ‘Napoli’!
    Ecco il mio sito, se hai voglia di conoscermi. http://silviascucina.wordpress.com/
    Io vivo nelle northern beaches, tu?
    Sono davvero contenta di averti scoperta.
    Un abbraccio

    • says

      Ooops Myriam… you are absolutely right… couscous is of Berber origin, not so much Arab! I am going to correct that! Thank you so much for pointing that out. :-)

  13. says

    Hello! I just found your site and I’m already bookmarking endless recipes to try. It’s just what I’ve been wanting– classic italian recipes based in the different regions. I’m really an outsider to traditional italian cuisine but I’ve been hoping to try out some recipes. I’ve been bookmarking yours, and am looking forward to seeing your posts in the future. :)

  14. Kerrie Barling says

    Hi Manu,

    Im so glad I found this site. I love cooking italian and these recipes are to die for. Ill let you know how I go

  15. says

    Your little girls are so pretty (just like their mom!) :-) It’s great to meet you and to see your lovely smile! I’m still discovering your site. My sweetheart’s sister lives in Australia and he loves it as well, but we both live in Montreal and we’re Franch Canadian (although I think in a past life I must have been an Italian pastry chef ~ my two favourite foods although I also love most other cuisines as well!) I’m just wondering where you find the time & energy to do all this cooking, keep your website updated, and take care of 2 young children … please don’t tell me you also have a full-time job (unrealated to food or cooking), or I’ll gasp! Once again, congratulations, Manu ♥

    ~ marie

  16. says

    Nice to meet you Manuela, and are so glad to found your wonderful blog. What a lovely family you have with such darling daughters! Looking forward to peruse your recipes.
    Cheers :)
    Judit & Corina

  17. says

    Hi Manu, I love your site and you have wonderful kids. I also love coocking and baking, but unfortunately I don’t have time to keep my cooking blog updated. I have two kids, the older is 15 years old and her name is Manuela and nickname, Manu, like you. My younger is Carmen. I’m Brazilian, but my parents are from Bolivia, that’s why me and Luiz Fernando decided to name Manuela and Carmen, because they’re very Portuguese and Spanish names. Congrats and I will try your recipe with aubergines. I love them.
    Cheers, 😉

  18. Vale says

    Non ci posso credere! finalmente ho trovato un sito con vere ricette italiane, ma in inglese. Anche io come te mi sono trasferita in Australia, ma a Melbourne, un anno e mezzo fa, dalla bellissima Calabria.
    Dico VERE perchè finalmente posso mostrare ai miei amici australiani (di famiglie europee) appassionati di cucina, qual è l’autentica cucina italiana.
    Il tuo sito è bellissimo! grazieee!!!


  19. says

    I just found your site on foodblogs.com so I thought I would stop by and take a peek. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

  20. says

    Just “liked” your page on FB…we have a bit of similarity in our lives-I’m 100% Italian, but was born in Scotland and now live in Los Angeles! Looking forward to exploring your recipes and following along :) Christina

  21. says

    Ciao Manu! I have just discovered your blog! So happy! I have just started my own blog about italian cuisine in english, I am so happy to see that there are others. I will be happy to follow your recipes. Thank you! Nice blog and pictures!
    Have a look at my blog if you wish http://www.valuskitchen.com
    A presto Vale

  22. says

    Just found out your blog and loving it already! You have a great collection of recipes here and wonderful photography too.. I am a Pakistani and I am impressed how beautifully you can cook desi cuisine! Good job well done! :)

  23. Albertocook says

    Hai fatto prorio un bellissimo blog e complimenti per le ricette.
    Anch’io ho iniziato un blog sulle ricette della mia famiglia, io sono di Udine quindi sono sia ricette classiche italiane sia friulane.
    Ho fatto il blog in inglese per promuovere la cucina italiana nel mondo ( per quei pochi che mi leggono) e per fare pratica di inglese dato che voglio andarmene dall’ Italia ( mi piacciono tutti i paesi anglofoni USA CANADA AUSTRALIA anche perchè sono gli unici che possono dare un futura a mia figlia.
    Qui in Italia ci rimane solo la buona cucina e il turismo.
    Se ti piacciono le mie ricette puoi tranquillamente usarle e mettere sul tuo blog ne sarei onorato.

  24. says

    It is so nice to meet you through your guest post for Chef Dennis! I love Italian and Indian food so count me as a new follower of your blog! :)

  25. vivala-b.bird says

    Hi Manu,

    I found your blog through Nami. My family love Italian food and I am super excited to try your recipes. Thank you for sharing!!

  26. George Torassa III says

    I’m a chef at Le Cordon Bleu – California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California and my family and culinary heritage from genoa, liguria confirms your solid recipes. Great job keep it up.

    Buono fortuna,

    Geo. T.

  27. Antonella says

    Hi Manuela,
    I just discovered your website – love it! Born in Canada, Sicilian background, your recipes are true to the dishes I am familiar and grew up with. Having a passion for baking and cooking, I look forward to discovering the many more recipes from different regions on your future posts. Thank you for existing! :)

  28. Maria Luisa says

    Hello Manu! I’m very excited to try some of the recipes on your site. I am from Siciliy and my husband is from Genova. Regarding your pesto recipe, is it necessary to include parsley? My husband doesn’t remember his mother using parsley in her recipe when they lived in Liguria. Please advise. Thank you very much! ML

    • says

      Ciao Maria Luisa!! So glad to “meet” you and welcome to my site! :-)
      There are so many variations of pesto (some people also add a tiny little bit of butter in each plate to make the pasta more “creamy”), so not everyone uses parsley. I myself add it only when I have it at home, otherwise I only use basil. :-)

  29. amber says

    Hi Manu
    Did you know they advertised your blog on an Italian cooking Magazine called Sale e Pepe? I already knew about your blog and was suprised to see it there…but rightly so. You deserve it. It was on a section where they had step by step instructions to home made pasta like orecchiette. Congratulations. I love your site…but I’ve already told you that. :) Ciao again.

  30. laura says

    Hi Manu,
    Thanks for the blueberry muffins recipe. You have saved another wise rainy Sunday afternoon in Germany.
    Great stuff you’re doing with your blog. I look forward to trying the food!

  31. Teresa says

    Hello Manu!

    I was searching for a recipe for Panzarotti to make my husband for Fathers day and came across your site! My husband is Italian descent (both parents were born in Italy) so I bookmarked your site for more Italian dishes (and other ones) that I am planning to try!


  32. says

    Dear Manuela, you seem so lovely & what a wonderful melting pot family you have! I’m very happy to find you and your wonderful blog and look forward to exploring your archives in the near future as well. I love Italian food and want to learn more about Indian food and in general just love: food! So I’m interested in all your recipes.

  33. Jan Zandvoort says

    Dear Manuela,
    This must be the best site for food addicts around, love the italian kitchen. Coming saturday we’re of to our favourite island where we will stay for 2 weeks picking grapes and olives, its near Trapitello so you know were we are heading. Its Maud’s (this is my dear wife) twin sister who lives already for 30 years and married my brother in law Cesare. A few more years and we’re retired so we can stay there a lot longer. All the best for you and family. Lots of love from Jan and Maud from a cold Netherlands.

  34. vanessa says

    Hi Manu,

    Your blog is fantastic!
    It is making me hungry :) I grew up in Sydney and have parents from the Valtellina. We frequently eat many of your Lombardia dishes, pizzocheri is now my children’s favourite and would be the most requested dish when we head to nonni’s for dinner. I was most excited when I saw it on your website.

    As I live in Sydney also, I am interested to know where you buy your frozen porcini’s? … so I can buy some for my dad to cook for me 😉

    • says

      Hi Vanessa!
      I am so glad you like my site!! :-) I LOOOVE pizzoccheri… it’s one of my all time favourite dishes… so much so that I usually make them for my birthday! 😉
      I buy frozen porcini from an importer in Lidcombe: http://italianfood.com.au/ They also sell to the public. It’s just opposite from Costco. Hope it helps!


  35. Chef Jimmy says

    hello Manu,

    I have been looking for a miso soy caramel and i think i found it here! It looks so tasty I can’t wait to try it but really the sauce was something for a different take on a sushi roll sauce rather then soy sauce and wasabi. thank you so much!

  36. Lesley says

    It’s Tegan and Taylor-Maes grandma here. Claire has been telling me all about your wonderful food and said that you had a blog. Just looked at all your wonderful receipes will certainly be trying some out on the Ball family when I come over in December.

    Lesley xx

    • says

      Hi Lesley!
      What a nice surprise! Thank you so much for your sweet words, your comment means a lot to me.
      Looking forward to seeing you here again! :-)

  37. Sharon says

    Hi Manuela
    I live in South Africa and have spent all afternoon on your wonderful site! I am inspired to make a few of your family recipes – thank you for sharing them! Your photos, attention to detail and passion are evident – I can’t wait to try the real thing !

  38. Trupti says

    Hi Manu,

    I live in london and I am from india. Got connected thru your blog via chef at large on fb. N I have been hooked on to your blog since then. I loved all your desserts. The Indian desserts are great too.

    All the recipes seem possible and you make it look easy.

    Thank you,

  39. Maura says

    Ho la immensa fortuna di conoscere Manu di persona, e’ una donna meravigliosa, squisita, come tutte le sue ricette e le sue due gioie, Manu mette passione in quello che fa, e si vede.

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