Thursday, May 11

The Perfect Pea Crostini Recipe



This is one of my all time favorite Spring dishes - pea crostini. It sounds so simple (and it is!) but the bright flavor and color of the young peas & crunchy toasted bread make me long for Spring all year round! It's a good thing that peas are found at every market, fruttovendolo and shop right now for next to nothing because I can't get enough! When the peas (or fave/broad beans) are in season there is no need to cook them down or cover them in heavy sauces - keep it simple like they do in the Italian countryside with just olive oil, a little garlic, salt & pepper ... that's it!


 

PEA CROSTINI

Serves 4

2 cups of fresh peas
couple glugs of olive oil
garlic clove, skinned, whole
squeeze of lemon
water
shaved parmesan
salt & pepper
baguette or crusty bread, sliced & toasted

Throw the peas in a pan & cover with water & a little salt. Bring to a boil & lower to a simmer. Cook a couple of minutes until the peas are tender. Drain.

Return the pan to the heat. Pour in a couple glugs of olive oil and the garlic clove. Heat the garlic & oil slightly.

Toss the peas into the pan & sautee for a minute or two. Then remove the clove of garlic. Begin mashing with the back of a wooden spoon or fork until you smash it up a bit. If the pan requires a few drops of water, that's ok to add a bit of water if needed.

Remove the pan from heat & season with salt & pepper add a squeeze of lemon and any herbs you like: mint, parsley, chive

Toast slices of good bread and top with a generous spoonful of peas. You can drizzle a little really good quality extra virgin olive oil as well if you like & finally a shave of parmesan on top!


Monday, May 8

Podcast from Italy: A Road Trip to Puglia


Well it's only taken us 8 years of recording podcasts (at times very sporadically) to finally break 100 episodes! We started recording the "Podcast from Italy" from our kitchen table as a way to candidly share with you what life is really like at our farm, inn and cooking school as American expats in a foreign land. We figured why not give it a shot? Even if we sound ridiculous, who would really listen anyway... Well we can't thank you enough for finding us and listening to our silly stories (with bad Italian & little to no real facts). As the years went one the podcast expanded to travels beyond, interviews, tales of moving abroad, roadblocks we've encountered, always a Dr. Gaggi update and most recently reading excerpts from what I just call - the book (my unfinished, unpublished, untitled book about our first year in Italy). If I do the math correct, we started the podcast in 2008 so we should hit 200 episodes sometime in 2025!


This week's episode a Road Trip to Puglia: Our season is underway with yoga retreats, cooking classes & bottling wine! An update on the coop - it's a full house with our new chickadees (instagram video below)! During a break in guests we packed our bag & snuck away South to Puglia and tell you all about our adventure in buying caciocavallo cheese!

PODCAST FROM ITALY: A Trip to Puglia Dowload/Stream on iTunesStitcher or Podbean

A post shared by La Tavola Marche CookingSchool (@latavolamarche) on

Monday, May 1

VLOG from ITALY: 008 Back in the Kitchen, Cooking Classes & Bottling Wine


Our season has officially begun at our farm, inn and cooking school in Italy! Busy with cooking classes, dinners, a yoga retreat & our annual tradition of bottling local wine with our guests! Lots of photos below of the last week - 



In case you missed it - here's last week's episode: ROME & BOLOGNA

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A few photos from April at our farmhouse, inn & cooking school - from yoga by the pool, cooking classes and bottling local wine - we've been busy!

















Tuesday, April 18

VLOG from ITALY: 007 - ROME...and a Roadtrip to Bologna


We're taking you to Rome on a Food Tour & Vespa Ride thru the city at dusk! VLOG from ITALY 007 - On a drive to Bologna we flashback to our last trip to Rome! We thought it'd be more interesting than the Autostrada! 

Food Tour thanks to Eating Europe Food Tours
Vespa Tour thanks to Scooteroma
WATCH VLOG from ITALY: 007 ROME


Incase you missed last week's - here's VLOG from ITALY episode 006


Tuesday, April 11

Dream of Living to Italy? This is Your Crash Course! October Workshop on Moving to Italy & Starting a Business



So you want to move to Italy and possibly start a hospitality/service (B&B, farmstay, inn or food & wine) business - where to begin?! This is your crash course! The first workshop in April SOLD OUT quickly so we are excited to offer another this October. Five days of food, wine and inspiration in Italy!

This is an honest, informative, humorous, engaging and inspiring series of seminars/lectures over the five days.

Even if you are planning for your retirement or holiday home it's all in the preparation and this intensive & intimate workshop will answer all your burning questions. We hope to provide you with a road map for this journey to make your dream of living in Italy a reality!

How to Move to Italy & Start a Business: 
OCTOBER 20-24, 2017

The mornings will be spent doing activities at the farmhouse with time to explore the area. Then return to the for apertivi and interactive seminars before dinner. The seminars/workshops will be broken into 3 Phases: Preparation , Transition & Execution:

  • How to Start a Business in Italy, understanding the business & tax structure
  • The VISA Process
  • Finding the Property & Negotiating
  • Defining your Niche & Identifying your Clients
  • Grass Roots Marketing & the Power of Social Media
  • Operations
  • Hospitality & Exceeding your Clients Expectations
  • Business, Culture & Expat Life in Italy
  • Small Business Owners Stories from Expats & Italians


Q&A with the Experts
Come prepared with all your burning questions! On hand will be "Insiders & Experts" from an Italian Commercialista (Tax Account, Business Advisor Specialising in European Financing) Fabio Centurioni, Business Attorney, Small Business Owners (expats & Italians) and of course Jason & I! The business owners are a mix of entrepreneurs that are operate in diverse settings from the rural countryside to the heart of a medieval village - giving you a better understanding on the pros & cons of city vs. country locations & living while sharing stories of their struggles, successes & what keeps driving them forward.

Read all the details here: Move to Italy Workshop

A few photos from the first workshop: what a great group of dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs!













Contact us at: info@latavolamarche.com
for more details!

Thursday, April 6

Podcast from Italy: Gigantic Easter Eggs, Vlogging Pains, A Lamb Recipe...and more from The Book!


We are fired up for our first cooking class of the season - pizza, only to have a classic April shower washout. The workshop went great - we just don't know if it was the content or all the food & wine!! Jason shares one of his favorite lamb recipes. And Ashley shares her frustrations on vlogging...damn Casey Neistat! This week - we share a few more excerpts from the unpublished, unnamed, unfinished book!

Podcast from Italy: #99 - Fired up for the first cooking class of the season, vlogging pains…and more excerpts from The Book! - Dowload/Stream on iTunesStitcher or Podbean

Here are a few of the Easter eggs in action:

Wednesday, March 29

The Lambs of Spring



Lamb
(A post by Jason)

Winters’ grip has loosened and the air has changed . The clocks have been moved back one hour. Ends of the fruit trees have begun to swell in anticipation of the bloom. The familiar hum of high torque, low rpm diesel engines combine with the squeak of metal on mettle as the plough follows dutifully behind the tractors echoes off the hills. Potatoes are in; The garlic and fava beans are up and have already been hoed and fertilized. Spring in our valley has finally arrived.


On the drive into Piobbico just past Il Castello Dei Pecori, on the left hand side, is a great field of grass. At first flat, it follows the terrain up the hillside with the perfect pockmark of trees ever so often as you would imagine. In the distance, far up the hill where the field meets the tree line, grazing peacefully, are several hundred lamb and sheep. Their presence and sheer number give perspective to the enormity of this field and I can barley make out individual shapes with the glare of the sun as I wiz by. They are alway there; each morning. In different locations of the field depending on time of day and where the sun might be shining but never less, heads down, peaceful grazing. They are never alone. The flock has two 55kg chaperones usually lying in the grass meters away. Cane Maremmano - Huge puffy white sheep herding dogs that are very protective of their flock and are not to be tested. They are led by slender man with a straw hat who carries a staff ( I can’t make this up). In the mornings I see him mostly walking almost the animals who don’t seem to pay him much mind. In the afternoons he might be taking some shade under one of the trees; enjoying a cigarette. 



This morning at the end of our road, I made a right hand turn. Just past Il Castello Dei Pecori as I came around the bend looking to my left into that vivid shade of green, the sun and the dew combined to transform every blade of grass into a tiny prism creating a brilliant effect. I scan that picturesque field with curious anticipation of catching a glimpse of the lambs grazing, a ritual now to begin my day. Today I look from the road all the way up to the tree line. No Lambs. I slowdown thinking they must be in the corner that’s hard to see if I go too fast. No big puffy white dogs. I pull over, get out, and look back down the field up into the opposite corner. The slender man with a straw hat and staff is not there. The Lambs are gone. Spring has arrived.


I am not a conflicted omnivore. I understand for what purpose those lambs were in that field. On Easter, like most Italians, I too will enjoy the traditional dishes of the season which will most certainly include Lamb.

I climb back into the dusty Hyundai, drive into Piobbico and do my errands. On the way back passing that field once more I say a silent thanks. I do not weep for the sheep, but rather renew my respect for them. An undeniable connection has been made between what I eat and where it came from so easily overlooked when displayed behind glass or neatly wrapped in styrofoam and plastic. I thank the Lambs and remind myself how lucky I am to live in this beautiful country. With all Her problems, all the craziness and corruption, a life in Italy is full of these little paradoxes all around, if you are willing to slow down and look for the Lambs.


Tuesday, March 21

Podcast from Italy: Ahh the beauracracy, it can come 8 years later and bite ya! + Chapter 4 of The Book


We are in full spring cleaning mode - from painting the guest rooms, working in the garden, planting flowers and taking care of business before the guests arrive in a week and half! That means tieing up loose ends with our immigration and farmer's union as well.... (Photos are from the peanut gallery at Coldiretti - the farmers union!) We find out the hard way that even 8 years later the beauracracy can come back and bite ya if you didn't take care of it properly. Lots of dinner with Gaggi and his totally comedic frustration of a dinner with bread. And Chapter 4 of the untitled, unpublished book about our move to Italy 10 years ago!
Podcast from Italy: #98 - Ahh the beauracracy, it can come 8 years later and bite ya! + Chapter 4 of The Book - Dowload/Stream on iTunesStitcher or Podbean

Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel and check out all our latest Vlog from Italy videos!

Sunday, March 19

VLOG from ITALY: 005 VENICE in 48 Hours


A few weeks ago we slipped away to Venice for 48 hours. After a five hour drive from our farmhouse we quickly decided to take a water taxi to our hotel! Why not?! It's been 10 years since we visited - let's arrive in style!  We weaved our way through the tourists packed canals dodging selfie sticks on every bridge & filmed a ton along the way! Our only plans were the opera - other than that we were left to explore...With all the cities beauty we were weirdly fascinated not by the architecture but the transportation of goods! 

WATCH: VLOG from ITALY: 005 VENICE


MUSIC:
Best Day of My Life, American Authors
Life in Color by One Republic

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