Saturday, October 10

Apples & Pears

 Each year during our apple harvest I post a handful of apple recipes - this year simply enjoy the photos from an afternoon of picking our trees... I love autumn!

Tuesday, October 6

Apecchio's White Truffle & Local Craft Beer Festival

White truffle season has officially begun in Italy, as usual the festivities kick off at Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco Internazionale in Apecchio. Apecchio (our neighboring villages) is located in the "Truffle Valley" of Le Marche, the festival marks the 'unveiling' of the white truffles and talk begins on how the season will unfold.. Unfortunately due to a hot hot summer with little rain, the white truffles were...almost nonexistent compared to years past. One vender had only 300 grams going for 3,000 Euro/kilo and even he shook his head, hanging low and said 'they are not worth it, there is barely any smell...'

 There's still hope though, the season just began!

The truffles may have been lack-luster but the beer was flowing with countless local craft beer stands from Collesi to Venere, the cantina's were fully stocked and ready to pour.

We wandered the music filled streets hypnotized by the Indian Summer air - 

Nibbling and drinking along the way - just the way I like it...we finally settled down at Cantina Wine-bledon (ran by the local Tennis Association) for a hearty plate of polenta with white truffles & sausage - Jason opted for the go-to festival classic, grilled sausage piadine. We both scored and to top it off - the polenta master himself Franchino stopped by to say Ciao! (He was born in our house!)

 Late into the night the band played on, after my last bag of roasted chestnuts was been long gone,  the warm inviting glow of the cantina drew me in for another round of locally brewed blonde.

Visit Le Marche, Italy

Monday, September 28

Potato Harvest

We harvested our potatoes a few weeks ago but in the summer into fall rush, the time slipped away for me to post the photos. With Dr. Gaggi and Basilio (our neighbors) lending a helping hand with their tractor we harvested hundreds of kilos of white potatoes (perfect for mashed potatoes)...

But this is Italy, so first, before we work, we enjoy a caffè under the shade of a nearby tree with the veteran farmers!

Now the potatoes are stored in the cantina (a cool, dark, dry spot) and plucked from the baskets as needed thru the winter!

Monday, August 31

Join the Hunt...Autumn in Italy: Mushroom Hunting + Seasonal Cooking Class

 Crisp cool nights with the fireplace ablaze in a 300 year old stone farmhouse, trees colored red & burnt orange, fresh pressed olive oil & hearty vegetables from the garden - Autumn in Italy! Taste the flavors of fall in the Italian countryside at La Tavola Marche with a cooking class, five course feast & mushroom hunting in the woods!

Fall Foraging Special from 360 Euro/person
3 nights accommodation with breakfast, prosecco upon arrival, five course dinner with local wine, wild edibles walk & mushroom hunt and half day cooking class (class includes meal, wine & gift apron). Price based on PESCA apartment (double occupancy)

3 Nights in a stone farmhouse
Make yourself at home in a cozy apartment within our 300 year old stone farmhouse, with wood-bean ceiling perfect for two - one bedroom, one bathroom & a kitchen stocked with the essentials. Any three nights in September or October.

mushroom hunting
Head into the woods with our expert hunter for an off the beaten path hunt for local wild funghi. 

cucina povera
Prepared with fresh ingredients from our garden enjoy antipasta, primo, secondo, dolce, digestivo & caffe by candlelight with home-bottled wine from a local vineyard.

Flavors of Fall TOTAL ~ 360 Euro Per Person 
3 Nights Accommodations in Apartment Pesca (Open to dates of your preference)
Welcome Bottle of Prosecco
Breakfast Daily
Mushroom Hunt & Aperitivo
Half-day Cooking Class with Meal and Handmade Apron
Five Course Welcome Feast (Based on double occupancy in low season)

Click here: to book your culinary holiday in Italy

Sunday, August 16

Easy like a Sunday Morning...Photos & Video from the Garden in August

Happy Sunday - enjoy the sunrise from our farmhouse in the Marche countryside! Playing with my gopro and working out the timelapse settings...

It's been a hot hot summer this year! The garden is much happier than last year, especially the tomatoes (blight from wet weather & cool mornings) but nothing's doing better than the varieties of cherry tomatoes we grow: ciliegini, egg yolk & datorini. Picked daily and added to salads, pasta & pappa al pomodoro - we're eating kilos of tomatoes! But not everything likes the heat and the zucchini, pumpkins - basically the squash family is suffering.

After all these tomato photos, you may be craving a little Pappa al Pomodoro (Rustic Tuscan Roasted Tomato & Bread Soup):

The view looking back up at the house in the evening light at the end of the day...
Have a great Sunday and I'll be sure to post more garden photos next week!

Saturday, August 8

5th Annual Forage, Slaughter & Butchery Course in Italy

 Travel deeper this Autumn...
If you talk the talk, then this is your chance to walk the walk! We raise it, kill it and cook it - every October at our farmhouse La Tavola Marche, sharing with our guests the full circle of the food we eat.

5th Annual Forage, Slaughter and Butcher Your Meal 
27 October departing 1 November 2015 (5 Nights)  
= 925 Euro/person
If you call yourself a "foodie," pig lover, wine-o, gourmet or gourmand this culinary holiday is for you! A carnivore’s delight - whole hog butchering course, sausage making, chicken slaughtering with hands-on cooking classes, mushroom hunting, wine tour & cheese tasting with lunch and truffle festivals.  Includes: 5 nights accommodations, welcome five course feast, two full day cooking classes, wine tour & transportation, mushroom hunt, 2 butchery classes, pig-farm tour & lunch, breakfast daily, three lunches, four dinners, evening snack, wine with meals, heating, all taxes. (Based on double occupancy. Special discounted rate for group of 4 or more.) 

Book Now - Space is LIMITED since this is our LAST SEASON!!!

Thursday, July 23

Better Late Than Never...Garlic Harvest!

This year's garlic has come up late - but the old saying is true - 'better late than never' because these alliums are amazing!!

Thursday, July 2

3 Night Summer Special - Wood Fired Pizza, Porchetta, Cooking Class & Market Tour with Craft Beer Tasting

This is the ultimate 3 night stay in Le Marche - a true taste of the area!!

3 Night Summer Special -
Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 starting at 715 Euro/COUPLE

Arrive to our legendary Thursday Pizza Party, dine al'fresco and enjoy the best pizza of the area made before your eyes!  The next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden artisan meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting at the award winning brewery Collesi, followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway’ for a full Italian lunch!  Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron learning the local seasonal recipes of the area - with produce picked straight from our garden-farm! Includes accommodations. July - September!

BOOK NOW! or email for more details!

And here's a little something to whet your appetite "heaven on Earth" as Jason calls it!  One of my favorite stops on our Feel Like a Local Friday gastro-tour of Apecchio: PORCHETTA!!! 

Thursday, June 25

Wednesday, June 24

Quick Pine Nut Pasta Sauce

This is no alfredo sauce!! This quick and creamy (yet light enough for a hot summer day) pine nut sauce pairs perfectly with homemade pasta. After all the hard work of rolling your dough and making ravioli or cavatelli (or orecchieti, etc.) why drown your delicate pasta in a rich heavy sauce?!

Quick Pine Nut Pasta Sauce
Serves 6

handful of pine nuts (about 100 g or 4 oz) - you don’t have to use pine nuts, any nut of your choice
4 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
150 ml or ⅔ cup of cream
small handful (about 30 g or ¼ cup) of grated parmesan
salt & pepper
pinch of nutmeg

In a blender or with an immersion blender puree the cream, salt & pepper, nuts, nutmeg & cheese until its thick and mostly smooth.

In a pan on low flame, heat oil. Place in garlic glove browning on all sides. Once the pasta is cooked, strain the cooked pasta into the pan. Remove the pan from heat and pour cream mixture over. Toss and adjust the consistency with pasta water and taste.  Place into serving dish and top with a few extra pine nuts.

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