Nonna's Piadina

March  8, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 6 (recipe can be multiplied)
Author Notes

Piadina, a rustic Italian flatbread, is one of the first recipes my mom, shown in the photos, taught me how to make when I was little. And I’m sure it’s one of the first recipes she learned as a young girl. It's a regional Romagnola recipe -- as old as the hills -- dating back hundreds of years.

As a kid, I loved playing with the dough and rolling out my very own piece, misshapen and crooked. To this day, I still can’t roll them perfectly round like mom could.

In our family, piadina is a fixture at almost every get-together, be it lunch or dinner. We love to eat it sandwiched with paper-thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma, or sautéed cabbage, or sliced mozzarella, or a schmear of squaquerone cheese, maybe some frittata, or Nutella. My favorite way to eat piadina is with a salad of sliced red onion and wild home-grown greens that we call radicchio, but are more like bitter dandelion greens. The feasting possibilities are pretty much endless. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

Nonna’s Piadina another great recipe from mrslarkin passed down from her Nonna. I have to say, and I can say this being Italian, Nonna’s are notorious for leaving out something from a recipe just so it can be said, “well it was really good, but it's nothing like Nonna’s” -- it didn’t happen here. The piadine came out exactly as they should -- kind of a cross between a biscuit and flat bread. The dough handled like a dream and is very forgiving. I could not get mine in such beautiful circles like mrslarkin's Nonna, but I think that takes practice. They were just perfect and made an amazing base for breakfast pizza -- the rest of them were frozen, awaiting the antipasti on New Years Eve. This is a great recipe, easy to make and totally delicious. —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 heaping tablespoons shortening or leaf lard
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 handful Fillings of your choice like Prosciutto, ham, mozzarella, fritatta, salad, Nutella, pretty much anything you want
  1. Place flour in a mound on pastry board or counter. Sprinkle on salt and baking powder, and mix together with your fingers.
  2. Make a well in the center. Drop in the shortening and rub it together with the flour using your fingertips. Lumps are okay! And it will still be pretty floury.
  3. Make a well again and pour in water and milk. Mix with fingers until dough comes together. Add a little more warm water or flour, if needed. You want a soft dough – not at all sticky. Knead for a couple minutes, and roll into a log shape. (Alternatively, all the mixing can be done in a large bowl. I like to use a fork to mix everything together.)
  4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, using a scale if you have one. With one hand, gently roll each piece on the board/counter into a ball. Mom says to use your thumb and nudge the dough ball under with each turn. Set each ball to the side on a sprinkling of flour and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat griddle to medium. Slightly flatten a ball and roll out dough to about 9 inches in diameter. Gently lift and place on hot griddle, scoring the piadina all over with the tines of a fork. If bubbles appear, quickly pierce those suckers with the fork. Cook each side for a few minutes or until each side develops some lightly browned spots. Remove to a clean dish cloth. Repeat with each ball, and stack each cooked piadina over one another. Loosely cover with a dish towel. When done, cut piadina into quarters and enjoy with your favorite sandwich fixings.
  6. Piadina freezes well. Reheat on a griddle over low heat, or wrapped in damp paper towels in the microwave.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cookbookchick
  • calendargirl
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Terry Bardoul
    Terry Bardoul
  • AntoniaJames

51 Reviews

cookbookchick March 6, 2021
I love this so much, Liz! Step-step with your beautiful mama! I am going to make this recipe as a tribute to her memory.
mrslarkin March 6, 2021
I am so glad!! She would love it. Enjoy.
calendargirl March 26, 2018
Liz, I love this! Missed it the first time but no longer. My daughter just was home on break from grad school and asked for your pumpkin scones. Cheers!
Jill M. March 23, 2018
This dough is nearly identical to my grandmother’s recipe for baked raviolis (which I’ve never found in a book). Can’t wait to try it rolled out!
Rosalind P. March 23, 2018
Many thanks for this great recipe! A small question at the end, and one little, tiny cavil: I would fill this page and more with "please, please, please" -- give measurements in weights instead of, or along with, volume. You know that weights, especially in baking, are more accurate and easier. I know, I know...American home bakers don't use weights. Well, they do, more and more. And even if most don't, many do, and what's the harm in including weights. I KNOW you have a scale, because you recommend weighing the individual dough pieces. So would you consider it, please? And i will end with another thank you for this great recipe and a question: can i substitute a vegetable based milk for dairy milk?
mrslarkin March 23, 2018
Hello Rosalind! I will weigh the ingredients the next time I make this. My mom always made this, and most other recipes by memory, feel, and sight. Never used a scale. I think all Italian nonnas have that magical ability! ;)

I think any “milk” would work here, but I haven’t tried it myself. Let us know if you do!
emcsull March 20, 2018
pardon me but what's "leaf lard" ?
emgoh March 20, 2018
I recalled it is from an animal but couldn't remember the specifics. Dug around and found that it is form pork: "The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare" visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin." (Wikipedia)
Terry B. September 4, 2017
Where can you find squaquerone in California? Is there an alternative?
mrslarkin September 5, 2017
Hi Terry. I'm not sure if it is available in US. There are recipes on the Internet you can try to make your own. 😁 On my to do list.

Stracchino (or Crescenza) is another similar cheese, and I think it might be available in US.

AntoniaJames January 8, 2015
Love this recipe. Putting it on my baking-to-do list for next week. Congrats, Mrs. Larkin! ;o)
mrslarkin January 7, 2015
Thanks for the nice review, sdebrango. So glad you enjoyed the piadine. That's actually my mom in the pictures. She is known as Nonna to all of us.
mariabustillos December 11, 2013
You two are super cute, and I can't wait to try the recipe! <3
Kristen K. November 9, 2013
Please don't hate me for asking, I just can't do lard! Has anyone used a sub? Thank you!
mrslarkin November 9, 2013
No judging here. My sister uses coconut oil with great results. I know a few people who use vegetable oil. Crisco or Spectrum shortening are great.
Kristen K. November 9, 2013
THANK YOU! I'm a big user of coconut oil!
Julianamaria October 9, 2013
Thanks so much for posting this - I can't wait to try it! My mom's family came from Rosali Reggio Calabria. I sure wish she was here to try it with me. She passed last December.
Pinch&Swirl October 3, 2013
Aww, such sweet pix. And such and easy and delicious looking recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Waverly October 1, 2013
Thank you for sharing your family recipe. I love the slide show.
mrslarkin October 2, 2013
You're welcome, Waverly!
alex D. March 11, 2013
omg! grew up eating piadina with prosciutto crudo and mozzarella...great finding it here! thanks for sharing and beautiful mom!
mrslarkin March 11, 2013
ciao, Sandro. Grazie! My mom and dad are from San Marino. Where are you from?
alex D. March 11, 2013
Ciao! I'm from Mantova, which is in Lombardy - very close to Emilia Romagna where the piadina was invented (i think). I've been to San Marino quite a few times, really nice there. Do you ever go back?
Laura P. November 25, 2017
Wow I was just online and looking for a Piada recipe. My husband and parents are from San Marino too (Borgo ventoso). I will try this tomorrow. Thank you :)
pauljoseph April 6, 2011
Almost like chapathy I will try thank you for your lovely recipe mrslarkin
mrslarkin April 6, 2011
Thank you pauljoseph!
Midge September 28, 2010
Love the story and pictures. I have similar memories of rolling out dough with my grandma; still have the kid-sized rolling pin she gave me. Must try this.
mrslarkin September 30, 2010
Thanks Midge! Fun food memories!
gingerroot September 28, 2010
What wonderful photos and recipe. Thank you so much for sharing both!! The museum I used to work at had a great piadina sandwich filled with prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and pesto - I am so happy to have a piadina recipe now, will definitely try soon.
mrslarkin September 30, 2010
Oh, thanks gingerroot! The museum piadina sounds very yummy!
mrslarkin June 1, 2010
That is so great, thirschfeld! Glad you liked the piadina. And glad you used the lard, too! More authentic that way. Looking forward to your Hoppin' John recipe, which I hope you'll post!
thirschfeld May 31, 2010
Made these tonight to go with all things a Hoppin' John dish I have been working on. They are so so so good. Thanks so much for posting this recipe.
thirschfeld May 31, 2010
Oh and of course I went the lard route.
Annelle April 26, 2010
Love the recipe and the pictures!
mrslarkin April 26, 2010
Oh, thanks so much, Annelle!