Recipes From Our Kitchen

April 2014

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~Umbria’s Favorites

Springtime is an exciting time in our Italian kitchen. Rustic, savory, and citrusy dishes, paired with delish wines and delectable desserts satisfy taste buds and liven the spirits! Join us as we cook Umbrian and hope you enjoy our recipes below!

Crostini Con Crema di Melanzane

Toasted Bread With Eggplant Cream

Number of servings (yield): 4


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 salted anchovy fillet
  • Few salted capers if desired, rinsed
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Few fresh basil leaves, snipped finely
  • Crusty bread or small toasts to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Leaving the eggplants whole, pierce them with a fork and place them on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes until tender, turning at least once as they cook.

    Peel off the skin and drain off any juice. Place the garlic, anchovies, capers, salt and pepper in a mortar and pound until all ingredients are well mixed. (Be careful not to add too much salt as the anchovies and capers are both salted.)

    Place the eggplants in a food processor along with the crushed garlic mixture and the olive oil. Pulse a few times until the mixture has formed a paste. Check seasoning.

    Serve the eggplant pate on crusty bread or toasts garnished with the snipped basil.

Risotto di Farro

Emmer Wheat Risotto

Number of servings (yield): 4


  • 8 oz Farro (emmer wheat)
  • 2 oz each of finely chopped celery, carrot, onion
  • 4 oz of tender green beans, cut into pieces (you can also use baby fava beans or new asparagus if you have them to hand)
  • 4 oz each of baby zucchini and potatoes, diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat a generous swirl of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and gently sweat the celery, carrots and onions together without letting them burn. After 10 minutes or so, add the green beans, zucchini and the potatoes and sauté together. Now add the farro and toast over a medium heat for 2 minutes, taking sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Slowly add ladlefuls of hot water to the pan, stirring often and adding more water as it absorbs, just as you would when making a risotto.

    When the farro is tender, check seasoning, and stir in the basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Serve with a final drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.

Involtini Di Carne Grigliati

Grilled Involtini

Number of servings (yield): 4


  • 1 lb tender beef or free range chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp minced rosemary
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Bay leaves


  • Arrange the meat slices in a wide, shallow dish and dress with a drizzling of olive oil and a little salt. Leave to marinade for a few hours, turning meat every so often with a fork so it marinades evenly.

    Meanwhile, mix together the breadcrumbs, minced rosemary and Parmesan cheese and add a pinch of salt. Pour in just a little olive oil and mix well. When the meat is ready, pass it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing well on both sides. Place a bay leaf at the center of each slice of meat and roll the meat around it. Secure with a presoaked wooden barbecue skewer and grill over a medium heat until meat is cooked (approximately 10 minutes).

Café Biscotti

Espresso Almond Bites

Yield: Makes 24 Cookies


  • 1 demi cup of espresso coffee
  • 3 cups (or 360 grams) almond meal
  • 1 cup (or 220 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 egg whites lightly beaten
  • Whole coffee beans to garnish with


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease two baking sheets.
    In a small bowl, mix the coffee with the water. In a bowl, mix together the almond meal, coffee, sugar, and egg whites to form a paste. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the baking sheets, topping each with one espresso bean.

    Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch and golden brown on the bottom. Cool & store in an airtight container.