Freshwater prawn pie, pike and Roman “mostaccioli” were St. Francis favourite specialities. In spite of the strict vow of poverty, which made the friars immune to temptations  and thirst of power, he  appreciated a bit of gladness. Poverty made them physically free to travel a lot and  spiritually ready to apply  the principles of the Gospel to everyday life. Many followed the Saint’s example and changed their lives. In his life he only had a few simple pleasures, such as occasionally taking a nibble at the “mostaccioli”, the almond – honey cookies the Franciscan tertiary Giacoma dei Settesoli brought to him from Rome.
The friars from Rieti perfectly knew the tastes of the Saint. When seriously ill in the Bishop’s palace in Assisi, he expressed the wish  to eat pike, Friar Gerardo, messenger of the provincial minister of Rieti, brought him three beautiful pikes and some prawns. The recipe was handed down by an anonymous Franciscan monk, expert in the cooking traditions of the Rieti valley, who described a pie made with prawns, nuts and spices. This pie was common in that area and he could taste it in Fonte Colombo at a noble lady’s nearby castle.

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