One of the nicer aspects of Italian life during the summer is the night life. I used to be a night person but life and its circumstances has changed me and nowadays I want to go to bed soon after I get up. But yesterday evening I really made an effort and went to make some night shopping in Pistoia with a friend. This is a new drive from the merchants of Pistoia, every Thursday this summer the shops, bars and restaurants will remain open until 23.30 in order to promote the night life in this sleepy little town. And it is clear people must be starving for it because there were loads of them all over the place! It was worth the effort of remaining awake for a bit longer because there was live music, a small handicraft market, bars and restaurant that have moved out on the streets and people people people all over the place. Happy children running around and I have seen more new born babies yesterday evening than in a long time with lots of young couples proudly presenting their latest effort to the world. And soon the local “festivities” are starting, we have two that we always attend at least a couple of times each because not only do you see a lot of people and catch up with what is going on but you eat quite well too because there are usually several restaurants and pizzerias incorporated. So I have to start practicing to stay awake now, I don’t know how but in one way or another I will succeed… zzzzzz

pasta with roasted vegetables

I love roasted/grilled (I don’t really know which is the right term) vegetables, they mean summer to me and here we have a fast recipe of pasta and this type of vegetables. You can use them for pasta salads as well!


1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 eggplant
1 dried peperoncino
1 clove of garlic
10-15 small black olives
Basil or parsley
Olive oil

– There are several ways of roasting/grilling bell peppers, this is the way I do it when I want it to do it fast. Cut the pepper into pieces, as large and as flat as possible and put these into a skillet or a pan without greasing it. I use a kind of grill pan made for roasting chestnuts with a lot of small holes at the bottom but you can use a grill or roasting pan or just an ordinary pan or skillet.
– Press down the pieces of pepper and roast them until they are a bit black and above all soft.
– Slice the eggplant and do the same but now you don’t need to press them down.
– Cut the pepper into strips and the eggplant into pieces.
– Heat the oil together with the garlic and the crumbled peperoncino. Add pepper, eggplant, olives, salt and the shredded basil or the chopped parsley. Let it sauté for a couple of minutes.
– Mix it with pasta and pour some good olive oil over it before you serve it.