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campolecciano-bea's presepio 2 copy

Some of you will remember Bea from her delicious biscotti and cacciucco. Well, I am back in my friends’ gorgeous house by the sea where Bea cooks the most divine meals, some of which I am hoping to blog before I leave. Until then, I thought I would post the adorable panettone and icing sugar presepio that she made for my friends for Christmas. Such a sweet thing to do (no pun intended). Her edible effort is not unlike the non-edible one outside the Duomo in Perugia below. I guess there aren’t very many ways to depict baby Jesus just born in the barn!

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biscotti-finished with almonds copy

I am now far away from my Italian paradise but I still think back to those marvellous days by the sea in the middle of winter, staying with lovely friends in the most beautiful house eating delicious food prepared lovingly by Bea, their charming cook who this time showed me how to make pasta and biscotti. Her first batch of biscotti in the picture above was the classic version with almonds but when she was preparing the second batch, I asked if she could use pine nuts. Not what she would have used normally but they are my favourite nut and Bea didn’t mind changing her recipe slightly.

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