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Montalcino Accommodation

Kids and Family Cooking

Kids and Family Cooking – 3 Star Deluxe with Sea View

 

 

3-Star Deluxe:
The 3-Star deluxe property accommodations includes rooms with a sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers, and air conditioning. There is a concierge, daily breakfast served in the common breakfast room and terrace are included, and free internet.

Program Price:

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a Petite Room without a sea view.

$4,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a Classic Room with sweeping Sea View and Balcony – Terrace.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Secret Garden – 4-Star Renaissance Palazzo with Sea View

 

4-Star Renaissance Palazzo:

The elegant Renaissance Palazzo was formerly a historical home dating back to the 1600s. It’s intimate and cosy atmospheres brings you back to the noble days of Positano’s past.  Hailed as the charming alternative to the classic hotel, this property offers luxury and elegance in spacious rooms with a sea view. Each room is beautifully decorated with comfortable bedding and linens.  The entire property is decorated in Mediterranean hues of blue and white with Vietri floor tiles throughout. Each room offers ensuite private bathrooms, hairdryers, safe, refrigerator and air conditioning, and is just steps from restaurants and shopping. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience.  The Renaissance Palazzo was recently renovated respecting the original architecture, façade and style. 

Program Price:

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view and terrace.

$5,795 per person, based on 2 guests in a suite with sea view and terrace.

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Kids and Family Cooking- 4 Star By The Piazza with Sea View

4-Star:
The 4-Star hotel is set looking out over the sea in the center of town. All the rooms are elegant, bright and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues, lemon yellows and the natural cool colors of the Amalfi Coast. Each room has a sea view window or balcony and is fully equipped private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, safe, direct-line telephone, Wi-Fi Internet, mini-bar, and Satellite TV. Every morning International buffet breakfast is included with cappuccino, fresh Italian croissants, pastries, cereal and fresh fruit to satisfy any international palate. The hotel’s beach-side sister property also invites guests to take advantage of its restaurant & snack bar. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Price:

$4,595 per person, based on 2 guests with sea view.

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with a sea view and balcony.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

Pricing starting at.

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Kids and Family Cooking – 4 Star – Sea View with  Swimming Pool

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4-Star With Pool:
The 4-Star With Pool hotel is set in a beautiful part of town looking out over the sea. All the rooms are elegant, light and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues and whites. The hotel terraces offer an unforgettable view over the bay and the town, with lemon trees and bougainvillea adding a magical touch of color. The infinity pool, set in the cliffs above the sea, is a place of utter tranquility and seemingly gives straight onto the Tyrrhenian sea below.  There is also a small wellness area with a Turkish bath and gym equipment for guests’ use. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Price:

$4,295 per person, based on 2 guests in an economy.

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view.

$6,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with sea view.

$7,695 per person, based on 2 guests in a Jr. Suite with sea view.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Kids and Family Cooking- 5 Star By The Sea with Sea View & Swimming Pool

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5-Star By The Sea:
Our exclusive 5-Star By The Sea Property enjoys a privileged location just a few steps from the sea, and features a restaurant, brasserie, bar and a seawater pool. Rooms have every convenience, and are furnished in Mediterranean style, with comfortable beds, and a large bathroom with shower finished in hand-painted ceramic tiles. All rooms face directly over the beach or sea, with a private outdoor area complete with table and two chairs offering breathtaking views over the beach and sea – perfect for enjoying the unique panorama of Positano. Every morning breakfast is served in a beautiful room framed with bougainvilleas, offering an enchanting view of the sea and the pastel colors of Positano. A selection of juices, coffees and teas accompany the homemade pastries served each morning. There is an internet point with free Wi-Fi and the knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to give advice and offer every assistance.

Program Price:
$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic with beach and sea view.

$6,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic premium with sea view and balcony.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Kids and Family Cooking – 5 Star By The Piazza with Sea View and Swimming Pool

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5-Star By The Piazza:
Our distinguished 5-Star Property By The Piazza property, located just a few steps from Positano’s main piazza, offers every possible comfort to guests looking for an unforgettably luxurious stay. Each room is unique, decorated with a stylish combination of antique and contemporary furnishings, with bathrooms made of marble and handmade tiles, most offering a whirlpool bathtub. Luxury linens and bath products add a special touch and the evening turn down service includes a special Italian chocolate for each guest. Rooms either offer views over the inner courtyard or have a small or French balcony with views over the village. Enjoy the very best Mediterranean food at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, soak up the sun by the pool or book a relaxing treatment at the Spa.

Program Price:

Please call for pricing as our 5 star luxury property rates vary per room and season from a classic, superior, Jr. suite or suite with terrace and sea views.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Kids and Family Cooking – Sea View by the Piazza B&B

 

B&B Sea View:

Our Sea View B&B option offers you a comfortable room with a terrace and sea view overlooking Positano.  The family-owned private property is quaint, and clean with a private ensuite bathroom.  Signora Francesca and her family welcome each guest and are your hosts throughout your stay.  Daily breakfast including warm cornetti, cappuccino, tea, homemade jams, fruit, and yogurt are served daily.  There is air conditioning, wifi, and daily maid service.  The property is in Positano by the piazza and overlooks the sea.  The beach is a few steps away as well as restaurants, wine bars, shopping, and artisan shops in the heart of Positano.

Program Price:

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests with Sea View and by the piazza.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Kids and Family Cooking – Garden & Mountain View B&B

 

B&B Garden & Mountain View:

Our Mountain View B&B option offers all of the amenities of a home-away-from-home during your stay including a comfortable room in a quiet location with a terrace overlooking the mountains. The property is comprised of individual private rooms, each with a private ensuite bathroom. At the family property, Signor Giuseppe and his father, Antonio welcome you and are available to provide information during your stay, including maps and directions and warm Italian hospitality. Daily breakfast, including incredible homemade cakes, cornetti, Italian pastry, and biscotti, prepared by his mamma and accompanied by steamy cappuccinos, American coffee, and assorted teas and fruit juices. The property is at street level with minimum stairs, one flight up for the higher rooms, and has a lovely restaurant on site along with a wood-burning brick oven churning out the best Neapolitan pizza on the Amalfi Coast. Each room has hair dryers, wi-fi internet, and air conditioning included. The property is in Positano and overlooks the Lattari Mountians.  Step out your door for a short twenty-minute walk to Positano’s piazza. Local buses are an easy option for those who do not like to walk along with local taxis which are also available.

Program Price:

$3,395 per person, based 2 guests with Garden and Mountain View.

Prices starting at and may slightly change during holidays.

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Dreamy Tuscany Accommodation 

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Lecce Accommodation 

10 – Dazzling Bologna

Bologna’s piazza dazzles – it’s like stepping into an old-fashioned storybook filled with ancient palazzos and bell towers, cobblestone walkways while the scent of Bolognese lasagne is everywhere. Join Rino and Lauren as they travel through Bologna, share their knowledge on local cuisine, where to dine and shop and how to drive a Ferrari.

Cortina Accommodation 

Le Marche Accommodation

Italian Alps Accommodation

 

09 – The Geometry of Italian Pasta

In Italy, there are over 1,500 pasta types, each one with its traditional sauce. Tune in and learn how Rino and Lauren mix, roll, prepare and teach you about the geometric shapes and sizes of Italian pasta!!!

Dreaming of Umbria Green Heart

Modena Accommodation 

 

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08 – Michelin-Star Chef Karime Lopez Dazzles at Gucci L’Osteria in Florence

Under the tutelage of Michelin-Star Chef Massimo Botturo, Chef Lopez is wowing guests from around the world with her delicate delicious creations.  Click to listen to our podcast.

07 – The Pope’s Pastry Chef

The scene is delicious.  Creamy butter is scented with vanilla, then sugar is carefully whipped in a silver mixer.  As the butter transforms into a light and airy texture, a heavenly scent zests the air.  In the far corner, a pasticciere, pastry maker, donning a tall white chef’s hat carefully weighs out chopped candied orange that will be added to the batter.  Another baker lays out rows of brown paper baking liners that will soon cradle the delicate batter.  They’ll be baked into beautiful beauties called panettone, an Italian sweet bread.  Follow me to Italy as Chef Salvatore tells me his story on how he first started

06 – Cooking with Italy’s Famous Singing Butcher Dario Cecchini

Rolling Tuscan hills, the scent of grapes permeating the air and the sleepy town of Panzano in Tuscany.  Meet world-famous Dario Cecchini in his butcher shop Antica Macelleria Cecchini as we travel to Tuscany.  A welcoming door is left open and the song Volare by Domenico Modugno plays on.  Inside, a small crowd has already gathered.

There’s a party atmosphere, everyone is sipping Chianti wine, and it’s only 10am on a Sunday morning.  Dario sings as he cuts the Chianina Bistecca, Tuscan steak!  Experience Tuscan food and wine of a lifetime!

05 – Experience La Dolce Vita, Fall In Love, Get Married!

As soon as you land in Roma Fiumicino Airport you can feel the vibe of La Dolce Vita – Passport control men who wink and make conversation and suntanned Italians sipping caffès at the bar exchanging conversations about anything.  Stay a while and fall in love or maybe even marry.

04 – Cross the Ponte Vecchio, Enjoy A Creamy Gelato & Discover The Enchanting Medici Family – Florence

Walk along cobblestone pathways, cross the Ponte Vecchio, discover Renaissance Florence and Catherine Medici in the City of Art!  Enjoy a creamy Florentine gelato – something else that Florence is famous for!  Bring your sketch pad and imagination and let’s go to Florence!

03 – Truffle Hunting In Emilia Romagna

Tie on your aprons and pack your bags because we are going on a truffle hunt with Signor Alberto in the hills of Bologna!  Follow me to Italy and learn how!!!

02 – Cooking Vacations Ingredients To Success

Love to cook?  Join us in our Italian kitchen and learn how to prepare antipasto, fresh pasta,
main courses and delicious desserts.  Cooking Vacations offers hands-on cooking classes and cultural tours in Italy’s 20 regions designed by Lauren.  earn to cook traditional Italian recipes with excellent Chefs, local expert cooks, Nonnas, pastry artisans, and bread and pizza makers.  Our Italian culinary holidays include market, vineyard and cultural landmark tours.  We are Italian and share our love for cooking in our culinary vacations with you.

01 – Falling In Love In Italy – Introduction

In our first podcast, learn how Lauren moves to Positano in southern Italy, meets Rino – an Italian race car driver, falls in love and gets married in an Italian wedding gown.

Italy is a dream place!  The people, the food and lifestyle.  From its bustling caffès, lively piazzas, and colorful outdoor markets.  There’s Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Navona and the cerulean seas of the Amalfi Coast. Travel with your host, Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli, travel, learn how to cook, and maybe, even fall in love.

Subscribe to our Cooking Vacations podcast on ITunes/Apple Podcast and be sure to leave a 5 star, delicious review!

Umbria Accommodation 

Charming Residence Piedmont

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Slow Cooking Positano


Slow Cooking 3-Star

3-Star:
The 3-Star property accommodations includes rooms with a sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning. There is a concierge, daily breakfast served in the common breakfast room and terrace are included, and free internet on the common terrace.

Program Prices:

$3,895 per person, based on 2 guests in classic room ground floor with sea view.

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with sea view and French balcony.

$4,095 per person, based on 2 guests in a super superior room with sea view, French balcony and jacuzzi.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Slow Cooking Villa Suites

Villa Suites:
The Villa Suites offer individual private suites within its structure, complete with private bath, kitchenettes in the superior suites,* private terrace and sea view. Each suite has its own layout and is decorated uniquely in Mediterranean style. There is no concierge or main hotel desk, as this is a private villa. The property owner and manager are on site and available to provide information for your stay, including maps, tour books and booklets. Positano has many stairs, but the villa is at street level with minimum stairs for Positano, including 4 flights of stairs throughout. The villa includes standard rooms and superior suites available on request at a supplement. Daily continental breakfast served in your room, daily maid service, mini-bar, in-room safe, hair dryers, Wi-Fi internet in the room and air conditioning included.

Program Prices:
$4,195 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view.

$4,495 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior suite with sweeping sea views, spacious and private large terraces.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Slow Cooking 4-Star Deluxe

4-Star Deluxe:

The 4-Star Deluxe property accommodations includes spacious rooms with a town/sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning. There is a concierge and daily breakfast is included. Our 4-Star Deluxe also boasts a Mediterranean restaurant on a terrace overlooking the sea. Free Wi-Fi internet is available. Added: Situated in a historical palazzo dating back to the 1600’s, our 4-star boutique accommodations blends old world charm with modern comforts. Each bedroom is bright, decorated in attractive Mediterranean hues of blue and white, cool tile floors and has a private ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, safe, refrigerator and air conditioning – just steps from restaurants and shopping. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience. There is also a Wi-Fi hotspot for guests’ use at surcharge.

Program Price:
$4,195 starting price per person, based on double occupancy with partial sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.

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Slow Cooking 4-Star By The Piazza

4-Star:
The 4-Star hotel is set looking out over the sea in the center of town. All the rooms are elegant, bright and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues, lemon yellows and the natural cool colors of the Amalfi Coast. Each room has a sea view window or balcony and is fully equipped private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, safe, direct-line telephone, Wi-Fi Internet, mini-bar, and Satellite TV. Every morning International buffet breakfast is included with cappuccino, fresh Italian croissants, pastries, cereal and fresh fruit to satisfy any international palate. The hotel’s beach-side sister property also invites guests to take advantage of its restaurant & snack bar. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Prices:
$5,595 per person, based on 2 guests with sea view.

$6,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with a sea view, balcony and jacuzzi.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Slow Cooking 4-Star With Pool

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4-Star With Pool:
The 4-Star With Pool hotel is set in a beautiful part of town looking out over the sea. All the rooms are elegant, light and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues and whites. The hotel terraces offer an unforgettable view over the bay and the town, with lemon trees and bougainvillea adding a magical touch of color. The infinity pool, set in the cliffs above the sea, is a place of utter tranquility and seemingly gives straight onto the Tyrrhenian sea below.  There is also a small wellness area with a Turkish bath and gym equipment for guests’ use. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Prices:
$Call for pricing, per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view.

$Call for pricing, per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with sea view.

*Prices starting at, room sizes and categories vary.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Slow Cooking 5-Star By The Sea

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5-Star By The Sea:
Our exclusive 5-Star By The Sea Property enjoys a privileged location just a few steps from the sea, and features a restaurant, brasserie, bar and a seawater pool. Rooms have every convenience, and are furnished in Mediterranean style, with comfortable beds, and a large bathroom with shower finished in hand-painted ceramic tiles. All rooms face directly over the beach or sea, with a private outdoor area complete with table and two chairs offering breathtaking views over the beach and sea – perfect for enjoying the unique panorama of Positano. Every morning breakfast is served in a beautiful room framed with bougainvilleas, offering an enchanting view of the sea and the pastel colors of Positano. A selection of juices, coffees and teas accompany the homemade pastries served each morning. There is an internet point with free Wi-Fi and the knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to give advice and offer every assistance.

Program Prices:
$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic with beach and sea view.

$6,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic premium with sea view and balcony.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Slow Cooking 5-Star By The Piazza

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5-Star By The Piazza:
Our distinguished 5-Star Property By The Piazza property, located just a few steps from Positano’s main piazza, offers every possible comfort to guests looking for an unforgettably luxurious stay. Each room is unique, decorated with a stylish combination of antique and contemporary furnishings, with bathrooms made of marble and handmade tiles, most offering a whirlpool bathtub. Luxury linens and bath products add a special touch and the evening turn down service includes a special Italian chocolate for each guest. Rooms either offer views over the inner courtyard or have a small or French balcony with views over the village. Enjoy the very best Mediterranean food at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, soak up the sun by the pool or book a relaxing treatment at the Spa.

Program Prices:
$ Call for pricing, per person, based on 2 guests, classic room.

$ Call for pricing, per person, based on 2 guests, superior room.

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Secret Garden – Garden & Mountain View B&B

B&B Garden & Mountain View:
Our Mountain View B&B option offers all of the amenities of a home-away-from-home during your stay including a comfortable room in a quiet location with a terrace overlooking the mountains. The property is comprised of individual private rooms, each with a private ensuite bathroom. At the family property, Signor Giuseppe and his father, Antonio welcome you and are available to provide information during your stay, including maps and directions and warm Italian hospitality. Daily breakfast, including incredible homemade cakes, cornetti, Italian pastry, and biscotti, prepared by his mamma and accompanied by steamy cappuccinos, American coffee, and assorted teas and fruit juices. The property is at street level with minimum stairs, one flight up for the higher rooms, and has a lovely restaurant on site along with a wood-burning brick oven churning out the best Neapolitan pizza on the Amalfi Coast. Each room has hair dryers, wi-fi internet, and air conditioning included. The property is in Positano and overlooks the Lattari Mountians.  Step out your door for a short twenty-minute walk to Positano’s piazza. Local buses are an easy option for those who do not like to walk along with local taxis which are also available.

Prices

$3,495 per person, based 2 guests, with garden and mountain view.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Coastal Living

Lemon Lifestyle ~ Penthouse La Terrazza – 3 Bedroom

 

Private penthouse, endless panoramic view overlooking the sea, this is La Terrazza.

La Terrazze is a three-bedroom penthouse offering spacious and luxurious living.  One bedroom offers a queen bed (called a matrimonial bed in Italy) and one bathroom with a bathtub. The second bedroom has a queen bed and one bathroom with a shower (no bath tub). The third bedroom offers two single beds (which can be converted to a queen bed), and a bathroom with shower (no bath tub). This suite also features a spacious living room with tall double doors that open onto an oversized private terrace.  There is a dining area and the kitchen complete with a microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens. The Crown Jewel of the property is the private terrace overlooking Positano and the sea – complete with outdoor dining area and a retractable awning.  There are additional balconies around the property.  Amenities include: wi-fi internet, satellite TV, safe, washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning. A 2-hour cleaning service is included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$4,995 per person, based on 3 guests in a 3-bedroom penthouse villa super suite.

$4,495 per person, based on 4 guests in a 3-bedroom penthouse villa super suite.

$3,995 per person, based on 5 or 6 guests in a 3-bedroom penthouse villa super suite.

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Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Fortezza – 1 Bedroom & Sofa Bed

Elegant, luxurious, glamorous, and romantic describe Suite Fortezza.

The Fortezza is a one-bedroom super suite with a queen bed (called a matrimonial bed in Italy) with a private ensuite bathroom including a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower ensuite.

A beautiful spacious living room with artfully appointed decor – a sofa (that opens to a queen-size bed) and a Vietri tiled floor – spills onto a private expansive terrace overlooking the sea. The terrace offers an outdoor table and chairs where you can dine al fresco, and lounge chairs to soak up the sun.  There is a dining area and kitchen complete with a microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens.  Amenities include:  wi-fi internet, satellite TV, a washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning and safe. A 2-hour cleaning service is included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 1-bedroom villa super superior suite.

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Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Torre – 1 Bedroom

Ultra luxurious, private terrace and flowering garden, sweeping view of the sea, this is Torre.

The super suite Torre offers a spacious bedroom with a romantic four-poster queen bed (called a matrimonial bed in Italy) set under vaulted ceilings with gorgeous Mediterranean decor. There’s an ensuite bathroom with Jacuzzi tub along with a separate shower. Walk out onto the oversized private terrace complete with outdoor dining table and chairs. The oversized living room offers comfy furniture and a sofa that opens to a queen-size bed. There is a dining area and kitchen complete with a microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens.  Amenities include: wi-fi internet, Satellite TV, washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning.  There is a 2-hour cleaning service included midweek. Romantic Torre is perfect for couples.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 1-bedroom villa super superior suite.

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Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Fiore – 2 Bedroom

 

Spacious and bright, decorated with cool Mediterranean colors, the Fiore Suite is perfect for families or friends traveling together.

The Fiore is a two-bedroom suite – with one queen bed (called a matrimonial bed in Italy) and two single beds (which can be joined together). There is one bathroom with a shower (no bath tub).  The Fiore Suite also features a living room with comfy sofa and dining room area.  The kitchen is complete with a microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens. There is also a large private terrace that overlooks Positano and the sea, along with a second terrace off of the living room.  Amenities include: wi-fi internet, satellite TV, washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning and safe.  A 2-hour cleaning service is included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$4,795 per person, based on 3 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$3,995 per person, based on 4 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.

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Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Isola – 2 Bedroom & Sofa Bed

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Charming Mediterranean elegance, a spectacular view overlooking Positano, this is Isola Suiteperfect for families or friends traveling together.

The Isola is a two-bedroom suite with one bedroom that has a queen bed (called a matrimonial bed in Italy)and private ensuite luxurious bathroom with bathtub.  The second bedroom has the option of either two twin beds or one matrimonial with a bathroom and shower.  A spacious living room offers a sofa that opens to a queen-size bed. There is a kitchen with dining area complete with a stove, microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens.  There are two private terraces overlooking the sea.  Wi-fi internet, satellite TV, washing machine,, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning, safe.  A 2-hour cleaning service included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite
$4,895 per person, based on 3 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite   
$4,395 per person, based on 4 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite

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Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Vettica – 1 Bedroom

 

Exclusive terrace overlooking Positano, evening sea breezes, this is Vettica. 

The Vettica is a one-bedroom suite that has a queen bed (called matrimonial bed in Italy) with one bathroom with bath and one bathroom with shower. An elegant living room offers a comfy sofa that opens to a queen-size bed area.  There is a dining area and kitchen complete with a stove, microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens.  A large private terrace with outdoor furniture overlooks Positano and the sea.  There is wi-fi internet, satellite TV, a washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning, safe.  A 2-hour cleaning service included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$4,695 per person, based on 3 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$4,095 per person, based on 4 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.

Lemon Lifestyle ~ Suite Sirena – 2 Bedroom

Cozy and sweet decorated with Mediterranean decor, the Sirena Suite is perfect for families or friends traveling together.

The Sirena is a two-bedroom that offers queen beds (called a matrimonial beds in Italy) – with a full ensuite bathroom and bathtub, and a second ensuite bathroom.  The Sirena also features a dining area and kitchen complete with a stove, microwave, dinnerware, pans and linens. A beautiful living room – with artfully appointed decor, a sofa (that opens to a queen-size bed) and a Vietri tiled floor – spills onto a private terrace overlooking the sea.  Amenities include:  wi-fi internet, satellite TV, washing machine, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning and a safe.  A 2-hour cleaning service is included midweek. There is a change of towels and beds made every day.  Super luxurious and exclusively private.

Program Price

$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$4,895 per person, based on 3 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.
$4,395 per person, based on 4 guests in a 2-bedroom villa suite.

City taxes not included and are collected at the time of check out by the concierge.

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Florence Accommodations – Boutique Hotel

3 Star Boutique Hotel

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4 Star Hotel

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Liguria Accommodation

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Taormina, Isola Bella Cooking

Luxury Villa Property with Sea View

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3-Star Boutique Hotel Barcelona

Sirmione Accommodation

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Luxury Boat Cruises

Sail away to Capri or along the Amalfi Coast with our Captains and discover the beauty of this special place!  Not only will you relax and swim, but sip a limoncello or Prosecco along the way.  Stop for lunch or dinner at any one of our local spots for dining – from favorite trattorias to Michelin-Star restaurants.  Sail, swim and soak up the sun on an exclusive boat excursions – from super sport boats to traditional excursions.  Our sunset cruises to Galli Islands, Capri or Amalfi are exquisite.  Sit back, relax, or stop for dinner and experience a one-of-a-kind experience along the Amalfi Coast!!!

Super Sport

Price

$1395 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests

Dolce Vita

PRICE

$995 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positano Super Sea Cruiser

PRICE

$695 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests

Positano Sea Cruiser

PRICE

$495 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Sunset Boat Cruise

All aboard for a private Sunset Cruise around the Amalfi Coast, departing from Positano. Sail by the private islands of Li Galli on the Aprea 32 (32-foot boat) with your Captain. Sip and cruise with an aperitivo of Prosecco, olives and chips and enjoy the seascape of the Amalfi Coast at dusk. Take your bathing suit and go for a late evening swim or dress up for the occasion for dinner to follow. The cruise starts at 6:30pm, departs from Positano port and lasts one and a half hours. Drinks and snacks are included. This is a private cruise just for your group.

Prices:

$1395 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.   Super Sport

$995 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Super Relax

$695 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Positano Super Sea Cruiser

$495 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Positano Sea Cruiser

Capri & Amalfi Coast Private Boat Tours

A private full-day boat cruise along the Amalfi Coast sailing around Capri with visit to the island of Capri where you can visit the Blue Grotta Azzurra, the Blue Grotta, and shop or enjoy lunch in one of the many beach resorts.

Start the morning off with a cruise to Capri for a full day of sea, fun and a visit to the most gorgeous island in Italy. This full-day excursion departs from Positano port at 9:00am, the boat continues around the island and on to the Natural Arch, White, Green and Blue Grottoes and lasts approximately 3 hours. Following the tour by sea, the boat docks in Marina Grande at around 12 noon and you have 4 hours on the island to explore on your own. Your Captain will explain your meeting point for the return.

Price:

$5895 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.   Super Sport

$2995 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Super Relax

$2495 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Positano Super Sea Cruiser

$2100 for a group of 1 to up to 6 guests.  Positano Sea Cruiser

Capri By Night

As the sun sets, sail from Positano to the island of Capri for a magical experience along the Amalfi Coast.  Your private Captain sets the mood with an aperitivo, Prosecco and bites.  Make sure you have your camera in hand to capture the colors, romance and landscape along the way.  Once you dock at the port of Capri, opt for shopping or dinner or simply experience the beauty of the island with a gelato in the piazza.  This tour is 4 hours from departure to return.  Group size is to 12 guests.

Diamante Accommodation

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Boston Accommodation

 

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The Unplugged Collection

  

Last Recipes

Fiori Di Zucchine Ripieni Su Carpaccio di Pomodori di Sorrento ~ Stuffed Zucchini Flowers on a Carpaccio of Sorrento Tomatoes

Makes about 10 stuffed flowers

Ingredients

  • 10 Zucchini flowers, cleaned & inside stem removed
  • 4 Sorrentino tomatoes or Heirloom

Ingredients for the Filling

    • 200 g Ricotta
    • 100 g Provola Affumicata (smoked Mozzarella), chopped
    • Small Bunch Fresh Basil, shredded
    • 2 Sorrento lemons (or any other fragrant lemons you can find), zest & juice separately
    • 10g Dried Oregano
    • 50 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper
    • 225 g ‘00’ Flour
    • Vì30 g Lemon Juice
    • 25 g Baking Powder
    • Cold Sparkling Water
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Vegetable oil, for frying

Preparation

Clean the zucchini flowers in cold water. Pull off all stems around the outside of the flower and remove inside stem gently.

Next, prepare the filling. Mix the Ricotta, Provola, shredded basil, grated lemon zest, oregano, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Fill each zucchini flower with the cheese filling and gently twist the ends of the flower to close. Make a batter by mixing the flour, lemon juice, baking powder and enough sparkling water to form a loose batter. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Dip each flower in the batter, let it drip off and repeat once more to coat. Immerse each flower gently into the hot oil. Fry the flowers until golden, turning as needed to cook evenly.

Remove from oil, transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Slice the tomatoes thinly, arrange on a serving dish and arrange the stuffed zucchini flowers on top. Season with a sprinkle of salt and serve immediately.

Pair With
Merotto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut – Bareta

Start your lunch or dinner with Morotto Prosecco, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut produced by Graziano Morotto in the hills of San Martino with 100% Glera. It pours with straw yellow hue with greenish reflections with a few bubbles. The bouquet: floral, delicate, with hints of golden apple, white peach and shades of cedar. Fresh and sapid with excellent acid-tannic balance.

Tagliolini al limone ~ Tagliolini Pasta with Lemon Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients

        • olive oil
        • Peal of 1 ½ lemons, cut in long, flat and wide strips, making sure not to include any white
        • Salt
        • Heavy Cream
        • Zest of ½ lemon
        • Parsley
        • Tagliolini Pasta
        • Curls of lemon zest to garnish

Preparation

Boil water for pasta and add a generous pinch of salt.

Splash olive oil into skillet, about 2 seconds per person, and heat oil over high heat. Meanwhile, slice lemon peal into long, wide strips. Add a scoop of the salted pasta water to the skillet and drop in the lemon peal. Cook together, stirring gently for just a few minutes, until the oil becomes yellow and the lemon smells strongly. When yellow, take out the lemon peal and throw away.
Add 2 tablespoons of cream, a pinch of salt, the lemon zest and a pinch of parsley. Remove from heat.
Add tagliolini (about 100g per person) to boiling water and boil rapidly until al dente. Drain water and add tagliolini to sauce, toss together for about 2 minutes, then serve.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to taste and a pinch of parsley for color. Garnish with curls of lemon zest.

Variation:

Serve in Parmesan crusts.

To make Coppette di Parmesan, the Parmesan crusts, line a small skillet with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese and heat over medium to high heat until Parmesan melts and starts to brown. Flip the melted Parmesan over a large container and use your hands to shape it into a bowl shape. Allow to cool and serve pasta inside.

Pair With
Valtellina Superiore, Il Pettirosso ~ Arpepe

Il Pettirosso Valtellina Superiore produced is a light and soft red Valtellina wine made from Nebbiolo grapes, where they are locally called Chiavennasca. Notes are fresh dark cherries and clean to the palate marked mineral and sapid aromas all while ending with a spicy finish. Made with Nebbiolo (Chiavennasca) 100% from Lombardy! If you love red wine, and like to pair it with fish – Valtellina Superiore is for you!

Torta Lavenda ~ Lavender Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 190 g butter
  • 190 g granulated sugar
  • 160 g plain flour
  • 70 g ricotta cheese
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 25 g egg white
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 3 eggs – 2 lemons
  • Confectioner’s sugar for icing, mixed with a little milk
  • Lavender branches, organic

Preparation

Cut the butter into small pieces, put it in a large bowl and let it melt naturally. Mix half of the granulated sugar with a spoon of lavander flowers. Zest the lemons and add to the butter. Next, add the sugar with the lavander along with a bit of salt. Whisk the ingredients. Add one egg at a time, then the almond flour, the sifted plain flour, the baking powder, 30 g of lemon juice and ricotta cheese. Butter then flour a 20 cm baking pan, then pour the cake batter inside the pan. Bake at 175° for about 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool. Mix the sugar with the egg white and a teaspoon of lemon juice, then glaze the cake. Plate with a bouquet of lavender flowers topped in the center of the cake.

Pair with
~Bianco Porticello, Terre Siciliane Bianco

In Italy, this wine is called, Summer In A Glass. Cool, dry and crisp Bianco Porticello is the perfect pair for a lunch, dinner or dessert. A dry white wine, with a straw yellow hue and emerald green reflections is the perfect summer choice. Made with Moscato Bianco and Malvasia delle Lipari, one sip and you’ll think you were in Sicily. A herbaceous scent with fruity notes, and hints of apple, make it fresh and balanced.

Chianti in Greve Accommodation

 

Spring Recipes

Quiche Ai Carciofi ~ Artichoke Quiche

Serves 8

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 ml (3-4 tablespoons) water
  • 130 g (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter, softened
  • 250 g (2 cups) ‘00’ flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 300 g (10 oz) artichokes, cleaned, trimmed, steamed in a pot until soft, sliced in small pieces

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) milk
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) light whipping cream (about 34% fat)
  • 30 g (1 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

For the crust, mix egg yolks, water, butter, flour and salt in an electric mixer then form into a ball. Cover and let rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Turn onto a floured surface and roll the ball out into a circle. Gently place each circle of dough into an 8-inch-round pie plate to cover the bottom and sides. Cover the bottom with the sliced artichokes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and cream together for the filling. Add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture into the pie plates and bake in a preheated oven at 170°C (about 350°F) for about 30 minutes until lightly browned on top. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

Variations: Substitute the artichokes with zucchini, spinach or escarole.

Pair With
Greco di Tufo Di Meo
Made from 100% Greco di Tufo grapes and deep straw yellow in color, this white wine offers up soft citrus blossom, citron and lime, with just a hint of exotic fruit. It is rich and full bodied but with a freshness that makes it a good match for this early spring dish.

Pasta Alla Campagnola ~ Pasta With Fava Beans & Sausage

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lbs 4 oz) fava beans, shelled then boiled until tender (keep the water) and half puréed, half kept whole
  • 75 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 150g (5 oz) fresh sausage- out of casing
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 50 g (½ cup) Pecorino, grated
  • 100 g (1 cup) Parmigiano, grated
  • Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 500g tubettoni pasta- large short tubes

Preparation

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic clove.  Sauté until blond, then add sausage and sauté together to brown.  Add the whole fava beans.  Be careful not to burn the onion. Add a little of the fava-water as needed.

Sauté together for a few minutes, then add the white wine and allow to evaporate.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just barely al dente (the pasta finishes cooking in the pan with the sauce, so it should be very al dente).

Add the puréed fava beans and stir together – adding a bit more of the fava-water if needed.  Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce.  Toss together well and just before serving, add the pecorino and fresh parsley.  Serve with grated Parmigiano on top.

Pair with
Falanghina Del Sannio, il Poggio
Straw yellow with green undertones, this Falaghina is produced just north of Benevento. With intense perfumes of mature white fruits, you will also catch the scent of wild flowers. In the mouth it is soft and rich, but with good acidity. Slips down a treat!

Agnello al Forno ~ Baked Lamb

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lbs 2 oz) lamb, cut in pieces
  • Salt
  • Chopped herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary)
  • Garlic, minced
  • 1 glass white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Place the pieces of lamb in a baking pan, add salt, chopped herbs, garlic, white wine, and a drizzling of olive oil. Allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) . Bake in the oven covered with aluminum foil and then remove foil and finish cooking until brown.

Pair with
Ischia Per’ e Palummo, Tommasone
This fabulous red hails from winemakers Tommasone on the Island of Ischia. Rich and intense, it offers up notes of fruit and spices, undergrowth as well as wild blackberries and raspberries. It is dry and full in the mouth, well-structured with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Great to accompany lamb and other meats, or, if slightly more chilled, rich fish dishes.

Tiramisù alle Fragole~ Strawberry Tiramisù

Serves 6

Ingredients For the Strawberries:

  • 400 g (1 lb) strawberries
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) sweet wine (Vin Santo, Marsala, Asti, Recioto)

Ingredients for the Cream

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g (½ cup) sugar
  • 250 g (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 150 g (5 oz) Ladyfingers (preferably San Vicenzi brand)

Preparation

For the Strawberries:
Wash and slice the strawberries, allow them to dry well. Transfer the strawberries to a bowl and add the sugar and sweet wine and leave to macerate for at least 3 hours.

For the Cream:
Separate the eggs. First whip the yolks with half the sugar (50g/1/4 cup) until thick and frothy. Then scoop in the mascarpone and mix until combined.

Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture. Let it rest in the refrigerator.

Drain the strawberries and reserve the liquid for soaking the ladyfingers.

Prepare the tiramisu in individual cups. Begin with a dollop of the mascarpone cream then place a layer of the ladyfingers dipped in the strawberry syrup. Next add a layer of the sliced strawberries following a layer of cream. Repeat in this order until the glass is full, creating one, two, or even three layers. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream. Decorate the top with any remaining sliced strawberries.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pair With
Gocce D’Ambra, D’Ambra, Ischia
We stay on Ischia for our dessert wine which is a passito made by Casa D’Ambra. After the grapes are left to become super-mature on the vines, they are placed on grills and left until they are suitably dried. The resulting wine is a beautiful deep gold color and offers up scents of apricot, dates and honey. It’s rich and sweet, but thanks to its acidity, not cloying.

Calabria 4 Star Luxury Beach Spa

Recipes February

Artichoke & Black Olive Salad

Serves 4

A delicious vegan insalata made with grano or farro, artichokes and black olives, this authentic Mediterranean salad makes the perfect antipasto, or accompaniment to grilled fish or meat.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (1 ½ cups) of grano or farro, presoaked overnight with water and salt
  • 8 artichokes, small, tender and cleaned
  • 1 red onion, small, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 g (generous cup) of black olives
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped finely
  • 2 pinches of dried thyme
  • Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Preparation

Clean the artichokes, remove the outer tough leaves, clean the stems and cut them in half. Put them in water with the lemon juice for 10 mintues. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the grains. Let cook for 1 hour and a half, until soft (or follow manufacturer’s instructions). Next, boil the artichokes in a pan with salted water for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool. When the grain is cooked, drain well and let cool and place in a bowl. Add the onion, olives, celery and the thyme to the grain, add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichokes and mix well.

This Vernaccia is a light straw color with greenish reflections and offers up aromas of spring flowers and fresh fruit such as green apple and grapefruit. Good acidity helps counterbalance the artichoke in the dish, and there are pleasant notes of fruit and citrus. Aftertaste is puckery and persistent.

Gli Gnudi or Ravioli Nudi ~ Naked Ravioli

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 600 g (1 lb 4 oz) fresh spinach
  • 600 g (1 lb 4 oz) day-old ricotta
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g (5 oz) of Parmesan, grated, plus extra when serving
  • 100 g (2/3 cup) rice flour
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 80 g (3 oz) butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Flour, enough to coat before baking

Preparation

It is best to use day-old Ricotta that has been chilling in the fridge; it will have released some of the excess moisture.

Wash and cook the spinach in a pan with a little salted water. Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, rice flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Squeeze the spinach, chop well and add to the mix. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Form balls with the mixture into large ping-pong size and roll them in flour to coat them. Drop them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top.

In a large pan melt the butter with the sage. Transfer the gnudi to the pan and coat with the butter, adding salt if necessary. Serve hot with a heavy sprinkle of Parmesan.

For these gnudi we have chosen a slightly softer white wine, a Vermentino della Maremma which will go well both with the ricotta and also the green spinach. The bouquet offers notes of sweet spring flowers, and, in the mouth, you will taste honey and fruit and eventually a soft, balanced acidity with a dry but rounded finish.

Ragú Di Carne Chianina~ Chianina Beef Ragout

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ kg (3 lbs 4 oz) ground beef (Chianina, if possible)
  • 200 g (7 oz) celery
  • 200 g (7 oz) carrots
  • 200 g (7 oz) onions
  • 500 ml (2 cups) Chianti Red Wine
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 g (4 oz) tomato concentrate

Preparation

Dice the celery, carrots and onion. In a pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the celery, carrot, and onion for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Then add the ground beef, continuously stirring until well browned.

Add the wine, cover the pot and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove the cover and let the sauce reduce. Add the tomato concentrate diluted with a glass of water. Continue simmering the ragu for another 20 minutes on low heat. Salt and peper to taste, turn off heat, cover and let ragu rest for 30 minutes prior to serving.

This ragú goes well with all types of pastas!

Here, any number of robust Tuscan reds would do the job, but we have gone for a Chianti Rufina. Made in one of Chianti’s smallest sub-zones, this Chianti offers intense aromas of herbs and dark berries. Rich and tannic, there are overtones of sage, blackberries, black tea, vanilla and pepper – the perfect accompaniement to a rich, meaty ragù. Open a little before you mean to serve.

Tuscan Torta di Mele ~ Apple Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds, peeled and ground
  • The grated zest of 1 lemon rind
  • 6 tablespoons sugar + ½ cup
  • 6-8 medium apples
  • 10 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preparation

Preheat oven to 170°C or about 340°F.

In a small bowl, mix the ground almonds with the grated lemon zest and the ½ cup of sugar. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters and then into thin slices.

Melt the butter.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the 6 tablespoons of sugar; add the melted butter, the flour and the baking powder, and beat well. Pour the batter into a cake tin lined with parchment paper.

Press the sliced apples vertically into the mixture, pushing them right down into the pan (so they are covered). Sprinkle the mixture with the sugar, almond and lemon over the top of the batter.

Bake in the oven for about approximately 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool.

What better than a shot of this heavenly nectar to accompany something as simple but satisfying as a homemade apple cake? This is no normal vin santo. Just imagine, it is made with a yeast dating back to the early 1900’s and is matured in oak barrels from the same era. Deep amber in color, the wine’s aroma is complex, with notes of hazelnuts, almonds, candied orange and chestnut honey. In the mouth, despite a deep caramel taste, it is surpisingly fresh and has an intense, balanced aftertaste. A special treat.

Recipes December

Tempting with recipes from our Christmas kitchen!

Panettone

Panettone is a typical Christmastime sweet from Milan, and as we mentioned above, there’s a really sweet story behind its inception.
**Remember to make your starter the day before you mean to make the panettone.

For the Starter

  • ¾ cup of flour
  • A pinch of natural yeast
  • 1/3 cup cool water

For the Dough

  • All of the starter
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons, softened butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open
  • 1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup raisins, pre-soaked in rum or Vin Santo even better!
  • ¼ cup lemon or orange naturally candied fruit
  • ¼ cup of crushed almonds, unshelled
  • ¼ cup of crushed pistachios, unshelled
  • A handful of whole almonds for garnishing, and some coarse sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, from an unwaxed lemon
  • Sugar pearls for decorating, if desired

Preparation

Mix together all the ingredients for the starter in a wide mixing bowl. When well mixed, leave to rest overnight.

For the Dough

Combine the starter dough with all of the ingredients for the panettone except the fruit and nuts, and mix and knead them together preferably in a mixer with a hoop or by hand, until the dough is soft and workable.
Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It will be light and airy. Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a paper panettone lining. Cover and let the dough rise until touches the rim, approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle a handful of almonds and coarse sugar over the top, before putting it in an oven preheated to 400°F. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked, remove the panettone from the oven and leave to cool. Decorate with sugar pearls if desired. Slice and serve with a hot cappuccino or a cold bubbly.

This Moscato d’Asti offers up aromas of fresh citrus fruits, dried and candied fruits as well as honey. Vivacious and well-balanced, its good acidity makes it eminently drinkable. Enjoy with panettone and all manner of dry pastries, tarts and dried fruits.

Zeppole ~ Christmas Fried Dough

Ingredients

  • 25 g (1 oz) natural yeast
  • 250 ml (1 cup) warm milk
  • 500 g (4 cups) ‘00’ flour
  • 2 tbsp (50 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Sunflower or peanut oil, for frying
  • Sugar and cinnamon, for dusting

Preparation

Dissolve yeast in milk. On a work surface, pour the flour and the sugar, mix and make a well in the middle. Add the milk mixture, beaten eggs, melted butter, salt and zest and slowly start to incorporate the flour. Kneed by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth. Cover and set aside to rise until the dough doubles in size.
Roll dough out into coils and twist into ribbons.  Set aside and allow to rise about 30 minutes.  Heat frying oil on a high flame until very hot.  Test oil by dropping in a zeppola – it should drop to the bottom, then rise to the top right away to make sure it is hot enough.  Fry for 3-5 minutes turning until golden.  Drain excess oil on a paper towel.
Toss with sugar and cinnamon while and serve while still hot.

While you could pair various types of passito or vin santo with these zeppole, this award-winning Prosecco would certainly do the job just as well. With its intense perfume offering aromatic notes of apple, pineapple, peach and even some flowers, this Prosecco is classic party fare!

Biscotti Di Natale ~ Christmas Cookies

These Christmas cookies are deliciously light and can be left plain or cut into different festive shapes and decorated as desired.

Ingredients

  • 100 g (½ cup) sugar
  • 200 g (1 1/3 cups) rice flour
  • 50g (1/3 cup) potato flour, plus additional if sticky
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

Preparation

In a bowl mix the sugar, both flours, vanilla, melted butter and egg. Mix all ingredients by hand. Once well combined, form into a ball and set aside for at least 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry dough into a rectangle. Using a pastry cutter, cut into stars or other shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 180°C (350°F) for about 20 minutes until golden. Allow to cool, decorate if desired, serve or store in an airtight container.

A good passito di Pantelleria will go well with many types of sweets and desserts, but we like it especially with cookies and biscotti. Ben Ryè offers a rich bouquet with notes of apricots and candied orange peel. Very fresh and intense on the palate, the sweetness followed by a long and satisfying persistence. Also good with cheeses and artisan chocolate.

Struffoli ~ Christmas Fried Dough In Honey

It is said that the Greeks brought struffoli to the Gulf of Naples back in the times of the Siren Parthenope, and still today, they are the emblem of a true Neapolitan Christmas. In the 1600’s, the nuns in Naples offered out them as small Christmas gifts to the people, but this delicious sweet soon became known throughout the south and center of Italy.

Ingredients

    • 400 g (3 1/3 cups) ‘00’ flour
    • 6 egg yolks + 1 egg white, if needed
    • 25 g (1 oz) butter
    • 1 tablespoon grain alcohol, optional
    • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
    • Zest of 1 orange, grated
    • Salt, to taste
    • 50 ml (2 fl oz) water
    • 270 g (1 1/3 cup) sugar
    • 250 g (3/4 cup) honey
    • 150 g (5 oz) candied citrus peels, chopped
    • 50-100 g (2-3 oz) candy sprinkles, as desired

Sunflower or Peanut Oil, for frying

Preparation

On a work surface, mix the flour with the egg yolks, butter, alcohol, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the grated orange and lemon zest. Mix well and if needed, add an egg white if the dough is too hard. Knead by hand for a few minutes then set aside. Let dough rest for about 1 hour.
Roll the dough out into long coils and cut into small, bite-size pieces. Fry small quantities of the dough in the very hot oil and when golden, remove and allow to drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. When all dough is fried, let cool to room temperature.
In a saucepan, heat the honey, the remaining sugar and water until the foam on top disappears and the color becomes light amber. Add the honey mixture to the struffoli and chopped candied citrus peels, and stir lightly with a large wooden spoon to combine.
Place onto a serving plate and sprinkle with candy sprinkles and some additional pieces of candied citrus peels to garnish, as desired.

Golden yellow in color, this passito from Campania offers up notes of dried apricots and white flowers. Silky soft on the palate, this wine nevertheless has a good dose of acidity and minerality. The finish is persistent and recalls candied citrus fruits, cinnamon and white peach. Great with all manner of Christmas pastries.

Panforte ~ Christmas spice cake from Siena

The first documentation of this sweet dates back to the year 1000 when it was made, not by bakers, but by the spice merchants who had access to the then very exclusive ingredients. (The cocoa was clearly a later addition.) As such, it was once a sweet to be enjoyed only by the wealthiest families. Sliced thinly, this specialty from Siena is a perfect accompaniment to small cups of potent black espresso or a glass of vin santo.

Ingredients for 1 cake

  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) almonds
  • 100 g (3/4 cups) walnuts
  • 100 g (3/4 cups) hazelnuts
  • 150 g (6 oz) candied orange and lemon peel, chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) dried figs, chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50 g (2 oz) cocoa powder
  • 75 g (3 oz) type ‘00’ or all-purpose flour
  • 175 g (1/2 cup) honey
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) icing sugar plus 1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F), and line a buttered 24cm (10”) round cake tin with rice paper. Otherwise, buttered, floured baking parchment will do.
Toast the three types of nuts under a hot grill, being careful not to burn them, then chop or whiz briefly in a food processor. Place nuts into a bowl and add the candied peel, the figs and all the spices. Sieve in the cocoa powder and the flour and mix well.
In a small, thick-bottomed pan (or in the microwave), gently heat the honey then add the sugar stirring continuously until the honey is hot and the sugar is perfectly incorporated. Pour honey mixture immediately over the fruits and nuts and stir gently until well mixed. Spoon mixture into the prepared cake tin, smoothing the top with the spoon. Bake for 40 minutes until dry. Allow to cool slightly then remove cake from tin and place on a wire rack. Once completely cool, dust the top of the cake with the icing sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Alternatively, the cake can also be covered with melted dark chocolate. Wrapped well in foil, this cake will keep for up to a couple of months.

A great dessert wine from the countryside north of Siena, this vin santo is amber in colour, with notes of almond, honey and spices. It is nevertheless fresh on the palate and has a measured sweetness that makes it the perfect accompaniment to this rich panforte and even some cheeses.

Amalfi accommodation

Amalfi B&B

Amalfi 4-Star

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Recipes November

Tempting with recipes from our Ligurian kitchen

Antipasto

Cozze Ripiene alla Ligure ~ Mussels au Gratin

Serves 4

Mussels are plentiful in Liguria and not too expensive, and this is a favorite way to serve them.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 100 g homemade breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Handful of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and marjoram, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

Place the mussels in a large frying pan over a medium heat, shake the pan a little and remove the mussels as soon as they open up. (Discard any that do not open.) In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and herbs. Season with a little salt and pepper and add just enough olive oil to bring the breadcrumb mixture together.

Place the mussels on a baking tray and place a small spoon of breadcrumb mixture on top of each one. Drizzle with a little more olive oil then place the mussels under a hot grill for about 10 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms. Serve immediately.

Cantine Lunae’s Albarola is a fresh white wine characterized by light notes of maritime aromatic herbs and intriguing aromas. It has good persistence in the mouth and finishes on an elegant note. Ideal for pairing with fish and seafood.

Primo

Pansotti Con Salsa di Noci – Ravioli with Walnut Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Pasta

  • 300 g 00 flour
  • 75 ml water
  • 2 small eggs (plus a little beaten egg to seal the pasta)
  • Salt

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 800 g spinach/chard/chicory/borage depending on what you have to hand
  • 100 g ricotta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 25 g melted butter
  • 50 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 250 g shelled walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 slices Italian bread, crusts removed, bathed in milk
  • 50 g ricotta
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

First make the pasta dough by placing the flour on a worksurface and creating a well at the center. Add the eggs and the water in the center, then a couple of pinches of salt. Whisk the liquid ingredients together using a fork, slowly incorporating the flour as you go along, and adding a little extra water if the dough seems too dry. Work the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable. Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and leave to rest for at least half an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling by quickly cooking your chosen greens in boiling water then gently squeezing them dry of excess liquid. Chop the greens finely and place in a bowl. Mix in the ricotta, egg, melted butter, Parmesan cheese and herbs. Grate in some fresh nutmeg and add salt to taste.

To make the sauce, pound the marjoram and garlic together in a large mortar. Add the walnuts a few at a time and the Parmesan cheese and continue to pound. Add a drizzling of olive oil and a little warm water, then squeeze the bread to remove excess milk and add to the mortar. Continue pounding until all the ingredients are well mixed. Place in a bowl then stir in the ricotta, adding just a little water more if the sauce appears too thick. Season to taste with salt.

To make the pansotti, divide the pasta into two even sized balls and, using a rolling pin, roll out into two very thin sheets of the same size. Brush one layer of pasta with a little beaten egg and place spoonfuls of the filling at aligned intervals at least 2/3 cm apart. Place the second sheet of pasta on top of the first and gently press down with your fingers between the spoofuls of filling to remove any air pockets. Using a small glass, cut out the individual ravioli and seal the edges by pressing between your fingers. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pansotti for 3 to 4 minutes.

As soon as the pansotti are cooked, remove from the water with a slotted spoon, place in a warm serving dish and add the walnut sauce, tossing to coat well. If you like, you can add a last scattering of grated Parmesan before serving.

Medium-bodied white wine, soft and fragrant, with notes of lemon verbena, grapefruit and mint, nice freshness and minerality with a lovely finish. A great accompaniment to vegetable pastas, fish dishes and cheese.

Secondo

Coniglio alla Ligure ~ Rabbit Ligurian Style

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 rabbit, cut into small pieces
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig each of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage, finely chopped
  • 50 g black olives
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • Chili pepper
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat a good drizzling of olive oil in a large terracotta pot and throw in the chopped onion, garlic and herbs. Stir them around for a couple of minutes then add the olives, the pine nuts, the pieces of rabbit and a few snippings of fresh chili pepper. Cook until the rabbit has begun to get a little color, turning often so it browns evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine, let it evaporate a little then add half a glass of water, cover, and cook over a low heat until rabbit is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.

An elegant well-balanced red wine, representing a landmark for this winery. (It was the first Ligurian wine to receive the DOC recognition back in 1972.) A few months in oak barrels gives it an intense aroma with hints of wild berries, cherry, dog-rose and spices. In the mouth is it is silky, velvety with saline hints.

Dolce

Latte Fritto ~ ‘Fried Milk’

Serves 4

May and June are the months of roses so take advantage of the brimming rose petals to create this refreshing aperitivo.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, plus two egg yolks
  • 150 g sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 liter whole fat milk
  • 150 g flour
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Icing sugar for decoration

Preparation

Beat together the four whole eggs, the sugar and the lemon zest until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the milk and flour. Cook this mixture over a very low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring continuously as you would polenta. Pour the mixture into an oiled shallow tray, cover with tin foil and leave to cool overnight. Cut resulting firm cream into diamond shapes. In a bowl, beat the two egg yolks and, in a deep frying pan, heat the oil. Dip the diamonds into the egg yolks and then into the breadcrumbs and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides. Remove from frying pan and drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

A great dessert wine, this Sciacchetrà is bright amber in color and offers notes of apricot, candied orange, dried figs and even a little hazelnut. It has a sweet, but never sickly, taste – perfect to accompany sweet bites, but also some cheeses.

Recipe June

Primo

Pasta Alla Campagnola ~ Pasta With Fava Beans & Sausage

Serves 4

This recipe, pasta alla campagnola takes its name from countryside. Handmade sausage incorporating the springtime fava of the season is one recipe we just cannot get enough of!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fava beans, shelled then boiled until tender – half puréed, half kept whole
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ kg fresh onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 150 g fresh sausage- out of casing
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 50 g Pecorino, grated
  • 100 g Parmigiano, grated
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 500 g tubettoni pasta- large short tubes

Preparation

In a large pan, heat a generous swirl of olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic clove.  Sauté until blond, then add the sausage and sauté together to brown.  Add the whole fava beans.  Be careful not to burn the fresh onion, and add a bit of the fava-water as needed.

Sauté together for a few minutes, then add the white wine and allow to evaporate.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just barely al dente (the pasta finishes cooking in the pan with the sauce, so it should be very al dente).

Add the pureed fave to the whole fava beans and stir together – adding a bit more of the fava-water if needed. Check seasoning. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce.  Toss together and just before serving, add the pecorino and fresh parsley.  Serve with grated Parmigiano on top.

It pours like Prosecco but is from the Amalfi Coast. Its soft notes of apricot and apple pair well with pasta, fish and springtime fruit like strawberries. A light and refreshing white wine that every wine lover should have in their cellar.

Fresh Pasta with Wild Asparagus

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Pasta

  • 300 g flour
  • 3 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • 10 g salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 100 g wild asparagus
  • 3 stalks of wild garlic,
  • 40 g aged ricotta
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt & pepper, as needed

Preparation

Lay out the ingredients for the dough on a flat surface. You can start mixing with a fork and then continue with your hands. Once you have obtained a nice, smooth dough, set it aside for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough and cut in strips to form tagliatelle noodles. Begin cooking the pasta in boiling salted water – you will need to remove when it is al dente.

Wash and cut each asparagus stalk in half. Heat the olive oil in a pan and then add the asparagus stalks. Add a little of the cooking water from the pasta and let cook until the asparagus is tender.

Finely chop the wild garlic and add it to the asparagus. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain and add it to the pan with the asparagus. Mix together well and then transfer to a serving platter. Top with the salted ricotta cut in very thin slices. Your dish is ready!

Getis, another great wine from the Amalfi Coast, is light and freshing and pairs well with pasta and spring vegetables and fish as well. Rose in color, its note are dry with a hint of berry.

Dolce

Prosecco Rose Petal Pops

Serves Makes 6 popsicles

May and June are the months of roses so take advantage of the brimming rose petals to create this refreshing aperitivo.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 cup cold Prosecco
  • 1/3 cup rose water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 30 untreated red rosebud petals, rinsed

Method

Combine the grape juice, Prosecco, rose water and lemon juice. Fill ice pop molds about a third full. Drop 2 or 3 rose petals in each and freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
Fill the molds another third of the way full and drop 2 or 3 more petals in. Insert sticks. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
Fill all the way with remaining mixture, and drop 2 or 3 more petals into each mold. Freeze until set, at least 8 hours or up to 1 week.

Refined and elegant with exceptional acidity and full body. Perfect as an aperitif, it will also pair well with various cold meats and charcuterie and fully matured cheeses.

Spring Recipes

Primo

Strangozzi Con Le Fave ~ Pasta with Fava Beans

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Strangozzi

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose or ‘00’ flour
  • 1 1 ¼ cups semolina flour
  • 1 cup water (more as needed)
  • semolina flour for tossing

Sauce

  • Generous swirl of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh fava beans, shelled
  • 1 generous handful of pancetta, chopped
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Preparation

To make the pasta, combine the two flours in a large bowl or on a wooden working surface and make a well. Add the water to the well and incorporate the flour and water with your hands and work until the flour and water are mixed together well.

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover with a clean cotton kitchen towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Generously sprinkle semolina on a wooden working surface and place the dough on the wooden board. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle or round shape until it is ⅛ thick.

Roll up the dough loosely into a log and cut the dough into ¼ to ½ inches strips (not too thin, not too thick). Gently unroll them and spread on a floured surface to prevent them sticking together.

When you are ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Fava Beans and Pancetta
In a large sauté pan, generously swirl olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place over a medium heat and add the chopped onion, sauté until golden.
Add the fava beans and the chili pepper and a little bit of water to the pan. Lastly, add the pancetta.
Season with sea salt and pepper.

When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cover. After a minute, lift the cover and stir the pasta. Cook until al dente. The pasta needs to be firm. Cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until hard to the bite. Remove and drain. Add to the sauté pan, add a little tiny bit of pasta water to the pan and swirl ingredients well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Pair with Umbria Grechetto Argillae IGT.

Made from 100% Grechetto grapes and golden yellow in color, this white wine offers up soft citrus blossom and a little nectarine with some peach and almond. It is rich and full bodied but with a freshness that makes this a good match for an early spring pasta dish.
www.argillae.eu/index.php/it/vini/grechetto

Secondo

Vitello di Umbria ~ Umbrian Veal

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 veal cutlets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

To Garnish

  • 1 small handful of fresh basil
  • 2 pinches of marjoram
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • A few mint leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 pinch of mustard seeds
  • 2 anchovies
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Wash and clean the herbs, by removing the leaves. Tear them into pieces. Wash, clean, bone and chop the anchovies.  Grind the herbs and anchovies together using a mortar and pestle, or mince using a knife. In a bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Add the herbs and leave to marinate.
Meanwhile, heat a pan with a generous swirl of olive oil. When the pan heats up, season the veal with salt and pepper to taste, and place in the pan. Let brown on both sides – turn once. Once the meat is browned on both sides, add sauce and serve immediately.

Pair with Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG Collepiano, Arnaldo Caprai.

Brilliant ruby with garnet highlights, this Montefalco gives up notes of spices, cocoa, blackberry and cherry with a herbal finish that accompanies the herbs in the Umbrian veal very well. Well structured, and well balanced there is good persistency on the finish.
www.arnaldocapraiusa.com/pagine/montefalco-sagrantino-docg-collepiano-000

Dolce

Torta di Vino Sagrantino – Sagrantino Wine Cake

Serves 10

Cook Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of brown cane organic sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour 00
  • ¾ cup unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or almond milk
  • 1 cup Sagrantino wine or any other full bodied dry red wine
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 vanilla pod

To Finish:

  • Cocoa Powder for garnishing

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Lightly grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt, and mix well.
3. In another bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk or almond milk, wine, olive oil and contents of the inside of the vanilla bean. Mix these ingredients with an electric mixer.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and continue to mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. The batter should be very thin.
5. Pour the batter into the Bundt cake pan, and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan.
7. Cool to room temperature, then dust with either the cocoa powder.

Pair with Montefalco Sagrantino Passito, Tabarrini.

Nothing could be a better match for this wine cake than its sweet wine counterpart. This elegant Tabarrini Passito is obtained by leaving the Sagrantino grapes to mature on racks for three months before vinification to concentrate the sugars. The wine is then matured for three years in French oak barrels. There are wonderful aromas of jam, sweet and Oriental spices, dried fruit and mint and the final result is an intense, concentrated rounded wine rich in tannins.
tabarrini.com/en/products

Perugia Cooking & Spa Accommodations

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Mountain View

B&B:
Our Mountain View B&B option offers all of the amenities of a home-away-from-home during your stay including a comfortable room in a quiet location with a terrace overlooking the mountains. The property is comprised of individual private rooms, each with a private ensuite bathroom. At the family property, Signor Giuseppe and his father, Antonio welcome you and are available to provide information during your stay, including maps and directions and warm Italian hospitality. Daily breakfast, including incredible homemade cakes, cornetti, biscotti, is prepared by his mamma and aunt; accompanied by steamy cappuccinos, Italian caffes, and assorted teas and fruit juices. The property is at street level with minimum stairs, one flight up for the higher rooms, and has a lovely restaurant on site along with a wood-burning brick oven churning out the best Neapolitan pizza on the Amalfi Coast. Each room has hair dryers, Wi-Fi internet, and air conditioning included. The property is in Positano, overlooks the Lattari Mountians and is a twenty-minute walk from the main part of town. Local buses are an easy option for those who do not like to walk along with local taxis which are available too.

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December recipes

Antipasto

Insalata di Rinforzo ~ ‘Reinforcement’ Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • 100 g (4 oz) pickled peppers
  • 6-7 salted anchovies, rinsed
  • 100 g (4 oz) capers in salt, rinsed and drained
  • 100 g (4 oz) black olives
  • 100 g (4 oz) green olives
  • 125 g (5 oz) mixed pickled vegetables such as carrots, gherkins, onions etc. cut into slices
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper

Rinse the cauliflower. Cut into small florets and cook in boiling salted water for about 7 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook – it should still be a little crunchy. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Place in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, cut the pickled peppers in half, remove the stalk and seeds, and cut into strips. Cut the anchovies into small pieces. Once the cauliflower is cold, place in a clean bowl with the olives, capers, pickled peppers, anchovies and pickled vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, a splash of vinegar and a drizzling of olive oil. Mix well and leave in the fridge for at least 3 or 4 hours before serving. This salad is often served on a bed of escarole.

Pair with Feudi Dubl Brut.

Pickles are notoriously difficult to match with wines, and the only real choice is bubbles. We’ve chosen Feudi Dubl Brut made from 100% Falanghina grapes, which offers a delicate persistent perfume and notes of ginger on the tongue, with mineral notes keeping the palate clean. A great all-round choice and doubles up as the perfect aperitivo!
http://dubl.it/

Primo

Spaghetti e Vongole – Spaghetti with Clams

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) of clams
  • 350 g (12 oz) spaghetti from Gragnano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fat garlic clove, halved
  • Half of a fresh red chilli
  • 8 ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
  • Scant half glass white wine
  • Handful chopped parsley

Preparation

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Rinse the clams in several changes of cold water. Discard any that are open or damaged.

Cook spaghetti according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat a very generous swirl of olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and chili, then fry gently for a few moments. Stir in the tomatoes (if using), then add the clams and the wine, and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the clams are open. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, then tip into the pan with the clams along with the parsley and toss together. Serve in bowls with bread for mopping up the juices.
**If you prefer, you can leave out the tomatoes. Also, some people like to shell about a half of the cooked clams and adding them back to the sauce before tossing with the pasta.

Pair with Marisa Cuomo Furore Bianco.

Made in a winery perched on the hillside directly overlooking the sea, it should be no surprise that this delicious white made from Falanghina and Biancolella grapes makes the perfect partner for spaghetti with seafood. With its delicate perfume of fruit and Mediterranean herbs and its generous well-balanced flavour, this wine is a winner.
http://www.marisacuomo.com/vini/furore-bianco.php

Secondo

Baccalà Fritto

Baccalà is salted dried cod. It needs to be soaked at least three days before using. At Christmastime, most fishmongers sell pre-soaked baccalà, otherwise you can do it at home.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 700 g (1 ½ lbs) pre-soaked baccalà fillets
  • 100 g (4 oz) flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) sunflower oil for frying

If the baccalà fillets still have skin on, remove it by lifting a little of the skin near the tail and pulling slowly in the opposite direction. Then, feel gently along the fillets, and using a pair of tweezers, remove any bones. Cut the fillets into thick chunks about 8cm (3 ½ in) by 4cm (2 in). Place the flour in a bowl and roll each piece of baccalà in flour, gently shaking to remove any excess. Heat the oil in a small deep pan to 180°C (360°F) and fry the baccalà in batches, turning every so often so it cooks evenly. After about 5 minutes or when the fish is fried to a deep golden color, remove from oil and place on kitchen paper to drain. Serve piping hot.

Pair with Ciro Picariello Fiano di Avellino.

Rich in minerality, the crispness of this Fiano cuts nicely through the oil in the dish. Stoney notes are balanced by warm peat, straw and white flowers, and the lingering aftertaste is well suited to the decisive flavor of the baccalà.
http://www.ciropicariello.it/Vini.html

Insalata di Baccalà

Baccalà is salted dried cod. It needs to be soaked at least three days before using. At Christmastime, most fishmongers sell pre-soaked baccalà, otherwise you can do it at home.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 700 g (1 ½ lbs) pre-soaked baccalà fillets
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped

If the baccalà fillets still have skin on, remove it by lifting a little of the skin near the tail and pulling slowly in the opposite direction. Then, feel gently along the fillets, and using a pair of tweezers, remove any bones. Cut the fillets into large chunks and cook in a large pan of boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the baccalà and leave to cool slightly. Using your hands, break the pieces of baccalà into small pieces and arrange in a flat serving dish. Season the baccalà with a little salt (check first – it may already be salty enough), and a drizzling of olive oil and lemon juice. Garnish with a little chopped parsley.

Pair with Casa D’Ambra Per’ E’ Palummo.

For our insalata di baccalà, we’ve chosen a light red that is nevertheless big on flavour and will make the perfect accompaniment for this salad. Ruby red and with a delicate wine-infused bouquet, this wine is light enough not to overcome the fish but also rich and complex enough to compliment the big flavors the baccalà has to offer.
http://www.dambravini.com/

Dolce

Roccocò – Christmas Almond Cookies

Serves Makes about 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • 500 g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 500 g (2 ½ cups) sugar
  • Scant teaspoon baking ammonia (or baking powder)
  • 2 teaspoons of pisto (mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, star anise & vanilla)
  • 400 g (14 oz) toasted whole almonds
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Grated rind of 1 mandarin
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) warm water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (360°F). In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking ammonia and pisto. Then stir in the almonds and grated lemon and mandarin rind. Add the warm water and mix well with your hands to form a soft dough. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water. Turn the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead briefly (adding a little extra flour if necessary) until it is not too sticky anymore.

Cut off small pieces of dough and roll them into thin strips about 15cm (6 in) long and 2cm (3/4 in) wide. Shape the logs into a doughnut shape, making sure the ends overlap a little. Place the roccocò on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with the beaten egg. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container. These cookies will keep well for a couple of months.

Pair with Castello Ducale Meteora.

Campania has some great passito wines on offer these days, and this offering from Castello Ducale in Benevento is deep amber yellow in color with a rich, natural sweetness. With its perfumes of citrus fruits, straw and honey, drink this wine with dry spiced cookies or desserts with cream.
http://www.cantinacastelloducale.com/

Autumn Recipes

Antipasto Caprese

Verdura Fritta in Pastella~ Fried Battered Vegetables

Ingredients

For the Batter:

  • 300 g Flour ‘00’
  • 25 g Brewers yeast
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water (as needed)

For Frying:

  • Oil (a lot)

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and pepper. Add the brewers yeast with warm water, mix with the hands to make a smooth and elastic paste.

Put a lot of oil in a pan, immerse the vegetables in the batter and when the oil is very hot drop the vegetables in.

Pair with San Salvatore Gioì, spumante brut rosé.

http://www.sansalvatore1988.it/en/prodotto/joi/

Primo Positanese

Fresine Con Pesce Azzurro Al Limone ~ Pasta With Blue Fish & Lemon

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500 g Blue Fish, such as Palamita (Atlantic Bonito), Anchovies, Tuna, or Mackerel
  • 150 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Glass White Wine
  • 1 Lemon (grated zest and juice)
  • Water, as needed to boil the pasta
  • 50 g Parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chili Pepper, to taste
  • 400 g Fresine Pasta</li

First, fillet the fish, cutting off head and tail and deboning it. Slice the meat into little cubes.

In a pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil with the crushed garlic cloves. Sauté until the garlic becomes golden and add the cubes of fish, the salt and the chili pepper, as desired.

Once the fish is colored add the white wine to blend the flavors together and cook until the wine has almost evaporated. Then add the parsley and the grated lemon zest. When it is almost ready, finish the cooking by adding the juice of the lemon.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce that you have already prepared. Add a splash of pasta water, as needed if it is dry.

Serve hot with a garnish of lemon zest curls and a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.

Pair with San Salvatore Pino di Stio white.

http://www.sansalvatore1988.it/en/prodotto/pino-di-stio/

Secondo Positanese

Tortino Di Alici ~ Baked Small Blue Fish

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 400 g Anchovies, cleaned and filleted
  • 250 g (Several slices) toasted bread
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Chili Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley, several leaves
  • ½ glass White Wine
  • 1 Orange, sliced

Carefully clean the anchovies, removing the head and inner spine under running water and splay them open.

In a food processor, combine toasted bread, lemon & orange zest, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili pepper, parsley, white wine and a couple of anchovies and blend to form a smooth mixture.

In individual size baking dishes, place a slice of orange at the bottom, then line the sides with anchovies. Fill with a spoon of the bread mixture, a layer of anchovies, bread mixture and close with a second slice of orange.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170° C (350° F) for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve hot with a garnish of chopped cherry tomatoes, arugula and Pantelleria capers.

Pair with Elea Paestum Bianco,

http://www.sansalvatore1988.it/en/prodotto/elea/

Dolce Positanese

Amalfi Coast Biscotti ~ Almond & Lemon Cookies

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 200 g White Almonds, ground finely
  • 200 g Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 1/2 cup of lemon zest
  • Flavor Extract as you like: Vanilla, Lemon, Almond etc

Whip egg yolks with sugar until the color becomes light, almost white. Add almonds, flavor extract lemon zest, and honey and mix well.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Keep a small bowl with water to wet your hands frequently so the mixture doesn’t stick. Shape into balls about 1-in round. It is important that the cookies are relatively the same size, so they bake evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 160 ° C or about 325 ° F until golden, about 15-17 minutes.

Allow to cool on cookie sheet and serve. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Variations: Roll the balls in cocoa powder, dried coconut or ground hazelnuts before baking.

Antipasto Bolognese

Porcini Croccanti in Zuppa di Borlotti al Rosmarino ~ Crispy Porcini Mushroom and Rosemary Soup with Borlotti Beans

Courtesy of Chef Alberto
This savory soup is made with crispy, flour-fried porcini mushrooms and seasoned with rosemary. A fabulous predecessor to our main course of beef fillets with rosemary potatoes, below.

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the saute:

  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • About 5 sprigs of Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • Salt, to taste

For the Soup:

  • 9 cups Water
  • 10 oz. Fresh Borlotti Beans (dried can be substituted if fresh in unavailable)
  • 1 ½ cup Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • ¼ medium Onion
  • 1 fresh Rosemary sprig, about 10cm

For the Porcini Crisps:

  • 9 oz. fresh Porcini mushrooms
  • Flour, for coating
  • Olive oil, for frying

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add the garlic clove, parsley and tomato paste with a sprinkle of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until cooked thoroughly, then turn heat off.

In a separate pot, add the water, beans, potatoes, carrot, celery stalk, and onion. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for a minimum of 2 hours.

In the meantime, cut the porcini mushrooms in slices of about ½ cm thick. Coat in flour and in a pan with hot oil, fry procini slices until crispy.

Towards the end of the soup’s cooking time add the soffritto mixture and rosemary sprig to the soup. Mix well and allow to continue simmering for 10 minutes. Transfer the soup to a food mill or processor and puree the soup until smooth.

Serve soup hot in individual bowls placing a few “floating” porcini crisps with an addition swirl of extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary bundle for garnish.

Pair with Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

http://www.argiano.net/i-vini-en/brunello-di-montalcino-docg/?lang=en

The Sangiovese grapes used to make this mid-level red begins to ripen in September and October, making this the perfect wine for early Autumn. With natural acidity and a savory finish, this bottle pairs well with fried porcini mushrooms with a the hint of rosemary.

Primo Toscano

Gli Gnudi (Ravioli Nudi) ~ Naked Ravioli

Savory, delicious, and easy to make – gli gnudi “naked ravioli” is true to its name, is prepared with spinach and sheep’s milk ricotta, rather than a more traditional tomato sauce.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 600 g fresh Spinach
  • 600 g Ricotta, day old
  • 6 Eggs
  • 150 g of Parmesan, grated, plus extra when serving
  • 100 g Rice Flour
  • 10 Sage leaves
  • 80 g Butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Flour, enough to coat before baking

It is best to use day-old Ricotta that has been chilling in the fridge; it will have released some of the excess moisture.

Wash and cook the spinach in a pan with a little salted water. Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile in a bowl mix the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Squeeze the spinach, chop well and add to the mix. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Bring to a boil a large pot of water. Form balls with the mixture into large ping-pong size and roll them in flour. Drop them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top.

In a large pan melt the butter with the sage. Transfer the gnudi to the pan and coat with the butter, adding salt if necessary. Serve hot with a heavy sprinkle of Parmesan.

Pair with Rosso di Montepulciano

https://www.wine.com/product/dei-rosso-di-montepulciano-2015

Rosso di Montepulciano is a fresher, fruitier version of its cousin, Brunello di Montepulciano, which is why we chose it to go with this classic spin on traditional ravioli. Together these lighter versions of their well-known cousins make for a fabulous pairing, as a sip of Rosso is rarely overpowered by the spinach and ricotta used in this dish.

Secondo Toscano

Filetto Di Vitellone Alla Chiantigiana ~ Beef Fillets with Chianti Wine Sauce & Rosemary Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Beef Fillets:

  • 4 beef fillet medallions of 200 g each
  • 100 g of Corn Flour
  • 100 g of Butter
  • 4 Sage leaves
  • 1 fresh spring of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄2 L Red Chianti Classico Wine
  • 1 Garlic clove

For the Rosemary Potatoes:

  • 600 g of potatoes
  • 1 spring of Rosemary
  • 1 spring of Sage
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil

For the beef fillets:
In a wide plate add the corn flour and season with salt and pepper. Drench the fillets in the flour mixture.

In a pan melt the butter being sure to not let it burn. Add the sage, rosemary spring, and the whole garlic clove. Then add the fillets allowing them to cook gently until they brown on both sides. Drain the fat from the pan and pour in the wine. Cook until the sauce become creamy. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with the potatoes.

For the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 180° C or 350° F.

Finely chop the sage, rosemary, and garlic. Peel and slice the potatoes into wedges. Wash the wedges and drain well. Season with the chopped herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and coat with olive oil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Pair with Chianti Classico

https://www.xtrawine.com/wine/Barone-Ricasoli-Chianti-Classico-Brolio-Bettino-2013/8122

A bold red typical of the Chianti region, made from red sangiovese grapes. When we think of Tuscan wine, this is the image we conjure in our mind, and the flavors familiar to the tongue. Use this bottle as part of your recipe or served on the side with dinner. Of particular interest in this bottle are the notes of ripe red fruit and spicy herbs that pair well with the rosemary potatoes.prodotto/pino-di-stio/”>http://www.sansalvatore1988.it/en/prodotto/pino-di-stio/

Dolce Toscano

Torta Di Mele ~ Apple Cake

Autumn conjures images of orange and red trees, shorter days, pumpkins and the Harvest Moon. But perhaps most famous of all is the celebration of autumn apples! This delicious Tuscan recipe is a fabulous finale to your favorite fall dinner with a hint of vanilla, raisins and pine nuts.

Makes 1 large cake

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar + 2-3 tbsp to sprinkle on top
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups ‘00’ Flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla or Zest of 1 Lemon, as you prefer
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ½ cup Pine nuts
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • 5-6 Rennet Apples depending on size, or baking apple, peeled and sliced thin

In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs with the sugar until foamy. Add the melted butter, flour, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix well and divide in half.

Mix half of the dough with the pine nuts, raisins, and the slices of about 4 apples (save about 1 apple to put on top).

Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan and pour apple mixture into the pan. Spread the rest of the dough on top, then top with the rest of the apple slices and sprinkle with a generous layer of sugar (a couple of tablespoons).

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about one hour. Use a toothpick to test if it is done, if it comes out dry it is ready.

Pair with Vino Passito ~ Muffato della Sala

http://www.wineandspirits1868.com/wine_gallery.php?bottle=2562&wine=Muffato+Della+Sala&mk=Marchesi+Antinori&l=it

This white dessert wine pairs well with the tart Reinette apple and highlights notes of vanilla in your dessert recipe. A typical wine of the Chianti region, it is always made from dried grapes with higher sugar content, delivering the perfect compliment to any tart dessert on your Autumn table.

Food Trails & Truffles Accommodations


 

Tuscan Accommodation in Chianti

 

 


 

Bologna 3-Star By The Piazza

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Cooking & Golfing Accommodation

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Spring recipes

Antipasto

Fettunta ~ Toasted Bread with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A traditional savory start to your Tuscan dinner – toasted bread with fresh garlic and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Choose to add fresh tomatoes and black olives bruschetta-style or serve as a simple snack.

Ingredients

  • Bread, sliced
  • Garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Tomato, sliced and black olives pitted (optional)
  • Oregano

Lightly toast the slices of bread and then rub them with a clove of garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. You can also add diced tomato and pitted olives tossed in olive oil, sea salt and oregano as a garnish.

Pair with Donna Olimpia Bolgheri

http://www.donnaolimpia1898.it

The vineyards of Bolgheri Bianco produce some of Italy’s very richest Vermentino. Light, brilliant straw gold and of medium intensity. Ample and clean perfumes with mineral hints, citrus fruits, white flowers, candy and honey. The palate is full and tasty, with a long lasting and pleasing aftertaste.
The name Donna Olimpia 1898, was given in 1898 to the estate in honor of Gherardo della Gherardesca’s wife Olimpia Alliata of Biserno to commemorate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Primo

Insalata di Carciofi & Olive Nere ~ Artichoke & Black Olive Salad

A delicious veggie insalata made with grano or farro, artichokes and black olives. This authentic Mediterranean salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or meat.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 artichokes, small, tender and cleaned
  • 1 lemon, organic, non waxed
  • 300 g (12 oz) grano, wheat berries, or farro, presoaked overnight with water and salt,
or use organic brown rice.
  • 1 lemon, organic, non waxed
  • 1 red onion, small and tender, peeled and chopped finely
  • 200 g (7 oz) black olives
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped finely
  • 2 pinches of fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Preparation

Clean the artichokes, remove the outer tough leaves, clean the stems and cut them in half. Put them in water and lemon juice for 10 mintues. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the grains. Simmer until the wheat berries or farro is cooked. Next, boil the artichokes in a pan with salted water for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. When the grain is cooked, drain, leave to cool then place in a bowl. Add the onion, olives, celery and thyme to the grain, then the olive oil and vinegar, and lastly salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichokes and mix well.

Pair with Vernaccia di San Gimignano

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/tenute+guicciardini+strozzi+rsrv+docg+vernaccia+st+gimignano+tuscany+italy/2013/

Hailing from the hills of Tuscany and the medieval town of San Gimignano, this elegant wine is one of Italy’s oldest white wines and the first to reach DOC status. As far back as the 13th century, royals were sipping this white, and since then, the dry, bitter-after taste of this wine remains characteristic of the region.
The full-bodied nature of this white makes it a perfect match for artichokes, pecorino or parmigiana, and herbal dishes such as pesto.

Secondo

Gli Gnudi ~ Florentine Ravioli

Prepared in our The Chianti Masterpiece Siena™ Tuscan Cooking Tour & Dario Cecchini Visit ~ 8 Day Program
https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/tuscan-cooking-tour-dario-cecchini-visit/

From la cucina povera comes a delightful take on traditional ravioli, delicate spinach and ricotta balls simmered in sage butter. Delicious, flavorful and a fresh addition to your Tuscan table.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) fresh spinach
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) ricotta, day old
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g (5 oz) of Parmesan, grated, plus extra when serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 100 g (4 oz) rice flour
  • 80 g (3 oz) butter
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Flour, enough to coat before baking

It is best to use day-old Ricotta that has been chilling in the fridge; it will have released some of the excess moisture.

Wash and cook the spinach in a pan with a little salted water. Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water, chop well and add to the ricotta mix along with the rice flour. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Form the mixture into large ping-pong size balls and roll them in the flour. Drop them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the sage. Transfer the gnudi to the pan and coat with the butter, adding salt if necessary. Serve hot with a heavy dusting of Parmesan.

Pair with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

http://www.wine.com/v6/Avignonesi-Vino-Nobile-di-Montepulciano-2012/wine/144375/Detail.aspx?state=CA

Tuscany is world-renowned for its classic red wines, grown from the Sangiovese grape on the hillsides of Montepulciano. Delicate bundles of dark, purple grapes hang from the branches in vineyards surrounding the town. Once fermented, these sweet grapes produce a medium-bodied red with hints of cherry and plum. These red fruit aromas pair well with green vegetables and will highlight the spinach in your Florentine Ravioli.

Dolce

Tiramisù alle Fragole ~ Strawberry Tiramisù

Prepared in our The Chianti Masterpiece Siena™ Tuscan Cooking Tour & Dario Cecchini Visit ~ 8 Day Program

https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/tuscan-cooking-tour-dario-cecchini-visit/

Ingredients

For the strawberries:

  • 400 g (14 oz) strawberries
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) sweet white wine (Vin Santo, Marsala, Asti, Recioto)

For the Cream:

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) sugar
  • 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 150 g (6 oz) ladyfingers (preferably Savoiardi brand)

For the Strawberries:
Wash and slice the strawberries, allow them to dry well. Transfer the strawberries to a bowl and add the sugar and sweet wine and leave to macerate for at least 3 hours.

For the Cream:
Separate the eggs. First whip the yolks with half the sugar (50g) until thick and frothy. Then scoop in the mascarpone and mix until combined.

Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar (50g) until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture. Let it rest in the refrigerator.

Drain the strawberries and reserve the liquid for soaking the ladyfingers.

Prepare the tiramisu in individual cups. Begin with a dollop of the mascarpone cream then place a layer of the ladyfingers dipped in the strawberry syrup. Next, add a layer of the sliced strawberries and follow with a layer of cream. Repeat in this order until the glass is full, creating one, two, or even three layers. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream. Decorate the top with any remaining sliced strawberries.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pair with Vin Santo ~ Tuscan Dessert Wine

https://www.wineworksonline.com/wines/Falchini-Casale-Vin-Santo-Toscano-Podere-Casale-2010-w865218721
Vin Santo or “Holy Wine”, is true to its name, a fabulous finale to any Tuscan menu. This dessert wine is made from grapes that have been dried on straw, producing a concentrated, sweet wine. With citrus aromas of apricot and orange, and a slight honey after-taste, this pairing will pop against the tart strawberries in this dish.

Secret Garden Demo

Secret Garden B&B

On a budget? Ask about our mountain view rooms at the B&B Economy.

Secret Garden B&B Deluxe

B&B:
The villa B&B offers individual private suites within its structure, complete with private bath, kitchenettes in the superior suites,* private terrace and sea view. Each suite has its own layout and is decorated uniquely in Mediterranean style. There is no concierge or main hotel desk, as this is a private villa B&B. The property owner and manager are on site and available to provide information for your stay, including maps, tour books and booklets. Positano has many stairs, but the villa is at street level with minimum stairs for Positano, including 4 flights of stairs throughout. The villa B&B includes standard rooms and superior suites available on request at a supplement. Daily continental breakfast served in your room, daily maid service, mini-bar, in-room safe, hair dryers, Wi-Fi internet in the room and air conditioning included.

Program Prices:
$2,995 per person, based on double occupancy with sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$685 single supplement.

*Superior Suites: Upgrade to a Superior Suite, starting at $445 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Superior Suites are available on the penthouse level of the B&B. Each suite has sweeping sea views, expanded space and kitchenette. The suites also have the possibility to connect for groups.

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Secret Garden 3-Star

3-Star:
The 3-Star property accommodations includes rooms with a sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning. There is a concierge, daily breakfast served in the common breakfast room and terrace are included, and free internet on the common terrace.

Program Prices:
$2,995 per person, based on double occupancy with sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$785 Single Supplement at the 3-Star, with double room for single use.

*Superior Rooms: Upgrade to a Superior Room, starting at $150 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Superior Rooms all have french balconies and sea views.

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Secret Garden 3-Star~By The Piazza

3-Star~ By The Piazza:
The 3-Star property accommodations includes rooms with a town and sea view balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning. There is a concierge and daily continental breakfast is included in the common breakfast room. Free Wi-Fi internet is available in the common areas. This property is just by the central piazza of Positano and has an elevator.

Program Prices:
$2,995 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$785 Single Supplement at the 3-Star, with double room for single use.

*Superior Rooms: Upgrade to a Superior Room, starting at $240 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Superior Rooms all have french balcony or terrace offering panoramic or sea view.

*Junior Suites: Upgrade to Junior Suite, starting at $475 per person based on double occupancy. The Junior Suites all have french balcony or terrace offering panoramic or sea view, and feature a Jacuzzi bath or Shower/sauna whirlpool.

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Secret Garden 4-Star

Positano 4-Star Deluxe2 Positano 4-Star Deluxe3 Positano 4-Star Deluxe5 Positano 4-Star Deluxe4 Positano 4-Star Deluxe8 Positano 4-Star Deluxe7

4-Star:
The 4-Star Deluxe hotel is set in a beautiful part of town looking out over the sea. All the rooms are elegant, light and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues and whites. The hotel terraces offer an unforgettable view over the bay and the town, with lemon trees and bougainvillea adding a magical touch of color. The infinity pool, set in the cliffs above the sea, is a place of utter tranquility and seemingly gives straight onto the Tyrrhenian sea below. There is also a small wellness area with a Turkish bath and gym equipment for guests’ use. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Prices:
$3,695 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$4,695 per person, based on single occupancy.

*Superior Rooms: $600 per person supplement, based on double occupancy, for Superior room upgrade with a balcony overlooking the village and the bay.
Please call for Single Supplement for Superior Upgrade with balcony overlooking the village and the bay.

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Secret Garden 4-Star By The Piazza

4-Star:
The 4-Star hotel is set looking out over the sea in the center of town. All the rooms are elegant, bright and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues, lemon yellows and the natural cool colors of the Amalfi Coast. Each room has a sea view window or balcony and is fully equipped private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, safe, direct-line telephone, Wi-Fi Internet, mini-bar, and Satellite TV. Every morning International buffet breakfast is included with cappuccino, fresh Italian croissants, pastries, cereal and fresh fruit to satisfy any international palate. The hotel’s beachside sister property also invites guests to take advantage of its restaurant & snack bar. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Prices:
$3,895 per person, based on double occupancy with sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$4,995 per person, based on single occupancy with sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.

*Superior Room: $545 per person supplement, based on double occupancy for Superior room upgrade with sea view terrace and Jacuzzi.
Please call for Single Supplement for Superior Upgrade with sea view terrace and Jacuzzi.

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Secret Garden 4-Star Deluxe

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4-Star Deluxe:
The 3-Star Deluxe property accommodations includes spacious rooms with a town/sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers and air conditioning. There is a concierge and daily breakfast is included. Our 3-Star Deluxe also boasts a Mediterranean restaurant on a terrace overlooking the sea. Free Wi-Fi internet is available.

Program Prices:
$3,395 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$4,295 per person, based on single occupancy, with double room for single use The standard room includes a sea view or sea and garden view with no balcony or terrace.

*Superior Rooms: Upgrade to a Superior Room, starting at $200 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Superior Rooms are more spacious and offer more balcony/terrace space with views.

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Secret Garden 5-Star By The Sea

5star_sea4 5star_sea5 5star_sea6 5star_sea1 5star_sea2 5star_sea3

5-Star By The Sea:
Our exclusive 5-Star By The Sea Property enjoys a privileged location just a few steps from the sea, and features a restaurant, brasserie, bar and a seawater pool. Rooms have every convenience, and are furnished in Mediterranean style, with comfortable beds, and a large bathroom with shower finished in hand-painted ceramic tiles.
 All rooms face directly over the beach or sea, with a private outdoor area complete with table and two chairs offering breathtaking views over the beach and sea – perfect for enjoying the unique panorama of Positano. Every morning breakfast is served in a beautiful room framed with bougainvilleas, offering an enchanting view of the sea and the pastel colors of Positano.
 A selection of juices, coffees and teas accompany the homemade pastries served each morning. There is an internet point with free Wi-Fi and the knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to give advice and offer every assistance.

Program Prices:
$4,395 per person, based on double occupancy with beach/sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
$6,095 per person, based on single occupancy with beach/sea view.

*Junior Suite: Upgrade to a Junior Suite, starting at $1,450 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Junior Suites all have a living & relaxation area, Jacuzzi with hydromassage, and a sea-facing balcony.

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Secret Garden 5-Star By The Piazza

5star_piazza7 5star_piazza1 Open diningroom in the terrace of Albergo Le Sirenuse - Positano 5star_piazza8 5star_piazza3 5star_piazza5 5star_piazza4

5-Star By The Piazza:
Our distinguished 5-Star Property By The Piazza property, located just a few steps from Positano’s main piazza, offers every possible comfort to guests looking for an unforgettably luxurious stay. Each room is unique, decorated with a stylish combination of antique and contemporary furnishings, with bathrooms made of marble and handmade tiles, most offering a whirlpool bathtub. Luxury linens and bath products add a special touch and the evening turn down service includes a special Italian chocolate for each guest. Rooms either offer views over the inner courtyard or have a small or French balcony with views over the village. Enjoy the very best Mediterranean food at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, soak up the sun by the pool or book a relaxing treatment at the Spa.

Program Prices:
$6,195 per person, based on double occupancy with inner courtyard view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
Please call for single rates.

*Room Upgrade: Upgrade to a Pool or Terrace View Room, starting at $1,500 per person per program, based on double occupancy. These rooms are located on the pool terrace floor looking onto the pool terrace & sea beyond.

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Secret Garden 5-Star Deluxe

5star_deluxe1 5star_deluxe2 5star_deluxe3 5star_deluxe4 5star_deluxe5

5-Star Deluxe:
Our magnificent 5-Star Deluxe property makes the perfect destination for guests who want to treat themselves to an unforgettable touch of luxury. Sculpted into the cliffside, this property blends into the beauty of the surrounding Amalfi Coast gardens while offering unparalleled views of Positano and the coast. Rooms are furnished to the highest possible standard, each with its own unique character, and all rooms have private sea-view balconies. Interior details include beautiful terracotta and majolica floors, luxurious designer fabrics and hand-painted doors and frescoes. Outside, the hotel is screened by bougainvillea, decorative vines and hibiscus. Our 5-Star Deluxe features a private sea access and sun deck, tennis courts, swimming pool, a superb Spa and Fitness Facilities, two gourmet restaurants and a terrace offering breathtaking views over Praiano, Positano and the Faraglioni of Capri. The property is located outside the main pedestrian center of Positano and offers a shuttle service regularly to and from town.

Program Prices:
$6,695 per person, based on double occupancy with sea view. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
Please call for single rates.

*Deluxe Double Room: Upgrade to a Deluxe Double Room, starting at $900 per person per program, based on double occupancy. The Deluxe Double Rooms all have a private sea-view terrace.

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Winter Recipes

Antipasto

Polenta Verde Delallo Veneto

from Cooking Vacations

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • One bunch of organic broccoli rabe
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt
  • One bag of Delallo Polenta
  • 1 or 2 chili peppers
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Extra Virgin olive oil

Using cold water, wash the leaves three times and break them up into small pieces.
Take a deep copper pan and drizzle generously with olive oil, add garlic cloves, sea salt, and 1 or 2 small chili pepper(s) to taste, and blonde garlic over low slow heat.
Add the broccoli rabe to the pan, cover, and sauté.
While the broccoli is sautéing, bring 4 ½ cups of water to a rapid boil. Put in a generous pinch of sea salt to taste.
Slowly add the polenta to the boiling water, slowing while stirring. The process takes 3 minutes.
At the 3 minute point remove from the stove and stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Take the polenta and spread it out onto a long wide pizza pan that has been lined with baking parchment paper, and sprayed with canola oil. Spread evenly and pop into the oven at 325°F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Remove from the oven and slice the polenta into even squares, about 4 inches by 4 inches each.
Put back in oven for another couple minutes.
Remove, top with a drizzle of olive oil and serve with the sautéed broccoli rabe.  You can also top with pesto, sugo rosso or any other sautéed vegetable.

Secondo

Umbrian Pollo Umbriaco ~ Umbrian Drunken Chicken

from Cooking Vacations

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

  • 1 medium fresh organic chicken
  • 1 cup of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup black cherries that have been pierced with a wooden skewer and put under red wine
  • 1 to 2 sweet onions, medium size, roughly chopped
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Parsley

Wash the chicken well and remove all skin and fat. Cut into pieces. Put in a deep bowl and douse with the white wine vinegar. Let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Take a baking pan and line first with foil and then parchment paper.
Lay the chicken out, spacing it apart. Add the cherries and onions spacing them around evenly. Ladle a scoop of red wine over the chicken drizzling it evenly. Salt and pepper and bake on 325°F for 20 to 30 minutes until cooked well and is golden brown. Serve garnished with parsley.

Secondo

Coniglio all’Ischitana ~ Ischian Rabbit

from Cooking Vacations

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 2 whole rabbits
  • Flour for dusting
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 300 g (10 oz) of spring onions, sliced
  • ½ small chilli pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 ml (2 cups) of white wine
  • 200 g (7 oz) of fresh tomatoes, halved
  • 500 ml (2 cups) of vegetable broth
  • 1 small bunch each of basil and parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Select the rabbit: head, shoulders, loin and posterior thighs.  Salt and pepper all sides, then sprinkle lightly with a little flour.  In a hot pan with very little olive oil, sear the rabbit on all sides until browned all over. Remove grease and oils from the pan.  In the same pan, add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onions and chili.  Fry and simmer a few minutes and then add the seared rabbit and bay leaves, and deglaze with white wine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. After five minutes add the tomatoes and the vegetable broth, cooking over medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Finally, add the basil and parsley. Serve with all the juices piping hot.

Dolce

Cenci Frittelle Di Carnevale ~ Carnival Fried Pastries

from Cooking Vacations

Ingredients

  • 500 g (4 cups) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • ½ small carton of whipping cream
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter (melted, cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package powder or 1 teaspoon liquid vanilla
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered Sugar

In a small bowl, mix about half of the flour with the baking powder. In a large bowl, add the eggs, whipping cream, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla and mix.  Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and mix until smooth.  Add the rest of the flour and work into a smooth dough, with little bubbles.

Cover and set in a warm place to rise for one hour.

Divide the dough into balls the size of a walnut.  Flatten the dough by hand or roll out with a rolling pin until very thin (you should be able to see the surface below).  Slice or shape into uneven strips.  Before frying, place the frittelle on a floured surface.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.  In batches, fry the strips until golden.  Remove and place on a paper towel to drain, then toss with powdered sugar.

Crispy and sprinkled with powdered sugar, these frittele di carnevale are called cenci in the north and chiacchere in the south of Italy.

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4-Star Luxury Hotel by the Lake

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December recipes 2016

Veneto ~ Venice

Biscotti Natalizi Veneziani

Makes 3 dozen cookies*
* Note: the number of cookies will depend on the size of the cutters.

Ingredients

  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ vanilla bean or natural almond, lemon or orange flavoring, to taste
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • Grated lemon zest, to taste
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten

Preparation
Add the salt and vanilla to the flour and then place on a clean work surface. Form the flour into a mound and create a well at the center. Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to the well in the flour and begin working the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolks, then slowly incorporate the flour. Knead the mixture just until the dough is smooth, without manipulating it too much, and form it into the shape of a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour before using.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. On a floured work surface, roll out with a rolling pin until it is about ¼ inch thick. Use Christmas cookie cutters to make your favorite shapes. Bake about 12 minutes or until cookies turn light golden brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Decorate as desired or serve plain.

Milan

Panettone ~ Italian Christmas Bread

For the starter

  • ¾ cup of flour
  • A pinch of natural yeast
  • 1/3 cup cool water

For the dough

  • All of the starter (mixture from above)
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons, softened butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup raisins, pre-soaked in rum, or Vin Santo – even better!
  • ¼ cup lemon or orange naturally candied fruit
  • ¼ cup of crushed almonds, unshelled
  • ¼ cup of crushed pistachios, unshelled
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, from an un-waxed lemon
  • A handful of whole almonds for garnishing
  • Course sugar pearls for decorating – we don’t use them

Preparation
Mix together all the ingredients for the starter in a wide mixing bowl. When well mixed, cover and leave to rest overnight.

For the Dough
Combine all of the ingredients except for the fruit, crushed nuts and zest, and knead them together, preferably in a mixer with the dough hook attachment, or by hand, until the dough is soft and workable. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 ½ hours. It will be light and airy.

Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest.  Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone paper lining. Cover and let the dough rise until it touches the rim, approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle a handful of whole almonds and some course sugar pearls over the top, before putting it in the oven.

Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F for 10 minutes then reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. When baked, remove the panettone from the oven and leave to cool.

Slice and serve with a hot cappuccino or cold Prosecco.  Happy Christmas!

Siena

Ricciarelli ~ Italian Almond Cookies

Makes 12 cookies

  • 1 ¼ cups skinless slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, divided into 2 equal parts, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg white
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden, about 5-8 minutes, taking care not to let them burn.

Pulse almonds, lemon zest, and ¼ cup powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Whisk egg white and salt in a large bowl until it forms medium peaks. Whisking constantly, gradually add ¼ cup powdered sugar; whisk again until egg white is very stiff but not dry. Fold in almond mixture and vanilla. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; using wet hands, flatten tops and press sides to make rounded diamond shapes. Chill for 30 minutes.

Bake ricciarelli until edges are lightly golden and firm and centers are still a little soft, 10-12 minutes; leave to cool on baking sheet. Dust with powdered sugar and store in an airproof container.

Napoli

Struffoli ~ Fried Dough Drizzled with Honey

Makes 12 cookies

For the batter

  • 240 g (2 cups) flour, sifted, or any non gluten flour such as Farina BiAglut
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 340 g (1 cup) honey
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Multi-colored sprinkles or candied orange and lemon fruit
  • Canola oil, for deep frying

Preparation
Pour the canola oil into a deep pan or fryer and slowly start to heat the oil to 185°C (365°F).

Meanwhile, place the flour and the sea salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and mix well to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead.  Divide the dough in half and roll out into two rectangles ¾ cm (¼ inch) thick.  Cut the dough into strips ¾ cm (¼ inch) wide, roll into logs the thickness of a pencil and cut the logs into pieces of about ¾ cm (¼ inch) long.

Test fry by dropping one piece of dough into the boiling oil.  If it sizzles right away the oil is ready.  Fry in small batches, putting only a few pieces of dough in the pan at a time for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.  Turn them occasionally during frying with a slotted spoon.  They’ll float to the top when done.  Drain well on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the honey with the sugar over a low heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the struffoli.  Stir constantly until all pieces are coated with the honey-sugar mixture.  Remove struffoli with a slotted spoon and put onto a serving plate arranging the small pieces in a pyramid or a wreath shape decorated with an orange in the center.  Garnish with colorful sprinkles and leave to set.

Sicily, Palermo

Biscotti di Pistacchio ~ Pistachio Biscotti

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 butter, softened
  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup pistachios out of their shell

Preparation
Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the eggs well with sugar, butter, oil, the contents of a vanilla bean, almond extract and lemon zest in a large bowl. Next add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add the pistachios. Form the dough into a 15×4 ½-inch log and bake for 25 minutes until they are golden. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool 15 minutes. While keeping your oven on, cut the log on an angle into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices. Place the biscotti back onto the cookie sheet and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden on their sides.

Sicily Seaside Villa

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Florence Accommodations

Florence 3 Star Kosher Cooking

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Florence 4 Star Kosher Cooking

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5 Star Florence Kosher Cooking

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September recipes 2016

Primo ~ Pasta

Tagliatelle Bolognese ~ Tagliatelle the Bolognese Way

Courtesy of Chef Federica, Bologna
Prepared in our Bologna ~ Tortellini, Parmigiano & Balsamico™ Bologna La Grande Cucina ~ 5 Day

Autumn welcomes the golden wheat harvest, and what better way to introduce the crop than with handmade pastas. The long ribbons of egg dough that make tagliatelle are native to the Emilia-Romagna region, and pair well with classic Bolognese sauce for a warm autumn delight. Chef Federica shares her version below.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups semolina flour (approximately)
  • 1 ½ cups white wheat flour (cake flour), 00 type (approximately)
  • 4 extra large eggs

Place the flour on a wooden board forming a kind of crater into which you pour the whites and yolks of four eggs. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour into the egg, then work the dough by hand until it becomes a smooth, pliable ball. Leave the dough wrapped in cellophane for 20 minutes.

With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until you obtain a sfoglia, a thin sheet of pasta of even thickness, that will have a surface of 70 x 50 cm and a thickness of a little less than a millimeter.

As soon as the level of humidity permits, roll up the sfoglia until it forms a squashed roll of 8 cm. Proceed to cut the pasta roll in equal slices, 6.5-7 mm thick, then unroll the tagliatelle and roll up again around your hand forming pasta nests.

In the meantime, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add the tagliatelle, making sure to keep them separated from one another with fork. After about three minutes the tagliatelle will float to the surface.
At this point, add half a glass of cold water to the pan to break the boiling point and then pour the tagliatelle into a colander to drain and place them in the pan with the sauce of your choice. Toss well and serve.

Secondo ~ Main Course

Ragù Classico ~ Classic Bolognese Sauce

Courtesy of Chef Federica, Bologna
Prepared in our Bologna ~ Tortellini, Parmigiano & Balsamico™ Bologna La Grande Cucina ~ 5 Day

Classic Bolognese Sauce is a must-have recipe for every chef’s kitchen, and early autumn is a fabulous time of year to prepare a hearty meat sauce. The classic recipe uses a combination of ground beef and pork coupled with a hint of red or white wine, the perfect addition to handmade tagliatelle. Chef Federica shares her version below.

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 5.3 oz (2/3 cup) ground beef
  • 4 oz (½ cup) pork
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato concentrate
  • ½ glass white or red wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Heat a swirl of olive oil in a pan, add the chopped carrot, celery and onion, and let them gently soften over a low heat. Add the ground meat to the pan, mix well, and sauté until the meat has browned.

Add ½ glass of wine, then, when it has evaporated, add the tomato concentrate, watered down with a little broth, and leave sauce to simmer for about three hours, stirring as necessary. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Dessert

Pizzicotti Dolci ~ Chocolate Bologna Cookies

Courtesy of Chef Federica, Bologna
Prepared in our Bologna ~ Tortellini, Parmigiano & Balsamico™ Bologna La Grande Cucina ~ 5 Day

Tie on your apron and prepare these traditional pizzicotti made with Majani chocolates. Cooking Vacations shares our recipe below.

Makes about 50 pizzicotti

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup of Majani dark chocolate
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of Majani unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups of white wine or Vinsanto

Preparation
Soak the raisins in a bowl with warm water and shave the chocolate into small, irregular flakes.
On a working area, place the flour in a mound, make a hole in the center and add in the sugar, cinnamon, drained raisins, cocoa powder, baking soda, oil and wine. Lastly, add the chocolate shavings.

Knead the dough with your hands until it is workable, and then roll out into a long log. It will be a soft and the consistency will be sticky. You can add additional flour if the dough is too soft.

To make the cookies, take small pinches, pizzicotti, of dough about an inch in length, and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for about 25 to 30 minutes.

August recipes 2016

Antipasto

Fiori Di Zucchine Ripieni ~ Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Courtesy of Chef Raffaele, Positano
Prepared in our Secret Garden Positano™ Cooking Tour: https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/positano-cooking-classes-amalfi-coast/

Squash flowers are ever blooming throughout the summer, especially on the Amalfi Coast, where the constant sun, volcanic soil and sea air contribute to their healthy growth. Italians are creative in using the delicate petals in frittata, pasta or even stuffed and flash fried. Here, Chef Raffaele shares his version from Positano.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 12 Zucchini flowers
  • 1 cup Mozzarella, as needed, chopped
  • 2 cups Ricotta
  • Several leaves Fresh Basil
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Breading:

  • Flour, as needed
  • 2 Eggs, beaten, as needed
  • Breadcrumbs, as needed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Peanut or Sunflower Oil, for frying

Clean the zucchini flowers in cold water. Pull off all stems around the outside of the flower and remove inside stem gently.

Next, prepare the filling. Mix together the chopped mozzarella (squeeze off extra liquid if needed), ricotta, several leaves of fresh basil that have been torn into small pieces, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Fill each zucchini flower with the cheese filling and gently twist the ends of the flower to close. Dip each flower in the flour, then in the beaten egg, and then in the breadcrumbs.

Heat peanut or sunflower oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Immerse each flower gently in the hot oil. Fry the flowers until golden, turning as needed to cook evenly.

Remove from oil, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, and serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, sea salt and chopped fresh basil, as desired.

Pasta

Fettuccine Di Basilico ~ Pasta With Basil Pesto

Courtesy of Chef Terenzio and Chef Mara
Prepared in our Villa O™ Cooking Tour: https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/v-i-p-tuscan-cooking-at-the-villa-8-day/
With green gardens in full bloom, what better time to create Italian pesto and handmade pasta than the summer months? Basil is one of those herbs that, when blended with nuts, creates a sweet and salty taste. This simple recipe actually dates back to the Renaissance in Florence, when sweet and salty flavors were often combined. This classic pasta with pesto recipe was created by Leonardo DaVinci. We have his original recipe in our Renaissance All Women Cooking Tour!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • A generous handful of fresh Basil Leaves
  • ½ cup of pine nuts or almonds or pistachios
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup or more of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 lb fettuccine dry pasta
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste, enough to create a smooth consistency

Place the basil leaves, nuts, garlic and salt in a blender and blend until the mixture is almost creamy. Add the cheese. Lastly, add the olive oil, starting with a ¼ cup, and watching the consistency. Add enough olive oil to make the mixture creamy. Adding the oil last protects the precious basil from burning.
Cook the pasta al dente. When done, remove from heat, and keep a little of the starchy pasta water in case you need to add it to the pasta and pesto. Mix the pasta and pesto well. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Dessert

Granita di Fragole Siciliano~Strawberry Sicilian Granita

Courtesy of Chef Davide
Prepared in our A Tale of Two Cities™ Cooking Tour: https://www.cooking-vacations.com/tour/taormina-cooking-classes/

Granita is a semi-frozen drink and or dessert made from seasonal fruit, sugar and water. Originally from Sicily, it is now served throughout all of Italy. In Sicily and southern Italy, kiosks or even push-carts are set up to sell melon, orange, lemon and other seasonal fruit versions of this refreshing slushed ice. Simple to make and delicious to taste, granita is a summer favorite for all ages.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups hulled strawberries
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 handful of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for garnishing

Preparation
Place the hulled strawberries in a deep pan and add the water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the strawberries are soft. Strain the juice from the fruit, remove the berries and measure the juice. You will need 1 ¼ cups, 12fl oz, of liquid. If you fall short, add clean bottled water.
Return the juice to the pan, add the caster sugar and heat until dissolved. Let it cool, then freeze and whisk to make granita. Garnish with the berries and serve.

Summer Recipes 2016

Summer in Italy!  Farmers markets along with fruit and vegetable stalls are in their glory at this time of year when every type of fruit and vegetable are blooming!  Sorrentini, pomodorini con lo spago, pomodorini del pennolo, zucchini and their fiori, eggplant, sage, basil and chili peppers are ready for picking and to be transformed into traditional recipes.  Let us tempt you with a few of our recipes from Chef Eugenio and Signore Carlo as we celebrate summer in Italy.

Bucatini Alla Matriciana ~ Matriciana-Style Pasta

Courtesy of Chef Eugenio in our Roman Holiday cooking tour

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 60-80 g Guanciale, pork cheek, cut into thin slices
  • 80 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 glass White wine
  • 50 g Tomato purée
  • 4 tablespoons Pecorino romano, grated
  • 320-400 g Bucatini pasta

In a large pan, add the olive oil and the guanciale slices and heat. Sauté until the pork until it becomes a dark red color. Pour off most of the liquid, then add the glass of white wine. Don’t touch anything until the wine has completely evaporated (when you no longer smell wine). Add a ladleful of the tomato purée and reduce heat to a minimum. Cook until the oil takes on the red color of the tomato. Remove from heat and add the grated Pecorino (about 1 tbsp per person). Be careful to not add too much at once.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the pan with the sauce. Toss together for a moment over high heat before serving.

Saltimbocca Di Vitello Alla Romana ~ Roman-Style Veal Saltimbocca

Courtesy of Chef Eugenio in our Roman Holiday cooking tour

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 600 g Veal, sliced thinly about 70 g to 80 g per slice
  • 8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
  • Flour, as needed
  • 80 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sage, several leaves
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 glass White wine
  • 1 tsp Butter

Pound the veal slices with a meat mallet until they are about 5mm thick. Lay out the slices on a work surface. On each veal slice, place a sage leaf, a slice of prosciutto and use toothpicks to fasten together. Dust with flour on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large sauté pan, heat extra virgin olive oil until very hot. Add the veal slices, prosciutto-side down, and a few additional sage leaves. Cook until you see the edges of the veal starting to turn light brown in color, then use a spatula to turn over and cook on the other side.

When the veal no longer sticks to the pan, add the glass of white wine, allow to evaporate completely and then add the butter. Reduce heat to low and allow to finish cooking another moment until the butter is fully melted.

Carciofi alla Giudia~Jewish-Style Artichokes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 globe artichokes
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare the artichokes by first peeling off the outer leaves that are tough and hard, beginning from the base, removing the leaves until you see they become tender. Once you’ve done this, with a small, sharp knife, begin trimming the top points of the artichoke’s remaining leaves, again working from the base up. When you reach halfway or so, cut the top half (or third, depending on how tender the artichokes are) of the artichoke completely off. Rub the artichokes all over with half a lemon.

Now trim the stem; chop the bottom off, leaving about 2 to 3 inches of stem and then trim it, peeling away the outer layer of the stem and the bottom of the artichoke so you have just the tender inner part attached. Place the artichokes in a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon until they are ready for frying. Drain completely and pat dry with kitchen paper before frying.

Heat about 3 inches of olive oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat and fry the artichokes gently (if you have a candy thermometer, this should be about 300º F or 150º C) for about 10 minutes, prodding them with a fork every now and then, letting them roll around to cook thoroughly.

Remove and drain the artichokes on paper towels. When cool enough to handle (you can also pop them into the freezer for a couple minutes to do this quickly), help open up the artichoke carefully by teasing some of the leaves out and flattening the artichoke a little.

Turning the heat up higher (this time about 350ºF or 180ºC), deep-fry the artichokes, head down (tongs are handy for this) for a couple of minutes or until crisp and a deep, deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels then serve while still hot, sprinkled with sea salt and some pepper.

Carciofi alla Romana~Roman-Style Artichokes

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mint, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoon Olive oil plus extra for finishing dash of dry white wine

Discard the tough outer leaves and chop the stems of the artichokes off just below the bases. Firmly press each artichoke upside down on the counter to make it “bloom.” Scoop out the choke (the hairy white part) and place the cleaned artichokes in a bowl of water with the juice of 1 lemon squeezed in. This prevents the inside of the artichokes from becoming an unappetizing greyish-brown when exposed to the air.

Mix together garlic, lemon, herbs, and olive oil. Take artichokes out of lemon bath, rub the mixture inside, spooning out any extra. Salt and pepper liberally. Place artichokes side by side, like soldiers at attention, upside in a heavy-bottomed pot with 1 1/2 – 2 inches of water and a dash of wine. You want the artichokes close enough together so that they can’t tip over and bob around.

Cover the top of the pot with a damp paper towel and place a tight-fitting lid over that – this is to prevent any steam from escaping. Cook on medium for 30-40 minutes. The artichokes are ready when a fork pierces them easily. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set on a plate to cool. Once they are lukewarm, drizzle olive oil over them. You want to wait to add the oil until the artichokes have cooled a bit so that they don’t immediately suck it up and become soggy.

Ciambelline al Vino ~ Wine Cookies

Courtesy of Signor Carlo from our cooking tour at Nonna’s Cucina In The Roman Countryside

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups Sugar
  • 2 cups White Wine
  • 2 cups Seed Oil
  • 3 1/3 lbs. Flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 225° F.

Mix all ingredients by hand until the dough is pliable and you can form it into a ball. Next, take off a small piece of the dough and roll it into a log approximately 12 inches long. Cut the log in half and join the ends of each to create a wreath shape.

Line the wreaths on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Orvieto Accommodations

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Spring recipes 2016

Spring is an exciting time in the Italian kitchen, the first crops of asparagus, artichokes, peas, fava beans and spring onions are piled high on the table and waiting to be transformed into light, healthy cuisine. Days are suddenly longer, the garden begins to take shape, and on warmer days, lunch is served outside under a big fancy umbrella keeping. Here are a few traditional Italian recipes to help you celebrate the new season and its produce.

Fragolone Aperitivo ~ Strawberry & Mint Prosecco

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 teaspoon of strawberry syrup
  • 1 wine glass full of Prosecco
  • 4 leaves of fresh mint

Mix all the ingredients well in a shaker, pour into a wine glass, and decorate with a couple of fresh mint leaves. Cin cin!

Risotto Agli Asparagi ~ Asparagus Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 6 cups of hot vegetable broth
  • Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ½ glass dry white wine
  • 12 oz Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • Handful finely chopped parsley
  • 1 oz butter
  • Salt and pepper

Discard the woody end of the asparagus and cut off the tips. Place the tips to one side and slice the stems into 1-inch lengths. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the minced onion. Sauté until onion becomes soft then add the sliced asparagus stems. Sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes until the rice becomes slightly transparent. Pour in the white wine and cook until wine has evaporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a ladle of hot vegetable broth (keep the broth on a low heat as you are adding), and stir for about one minute until absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, stirring continuously and adding broth as it absorbs. When the risotto is about half way cooked, add the tender asparagus tips to the pan. Continue cooking for a total of 15 to 17 minutes until the rice is al dente. Check seasoning, remembering you still have to add the cheese. Move the frying pan off the heat and add half the grated cheese, the parsley and the butter. Beat well to combine. Serve immediately, garnishing each dish with a little of the additional grated Parmesan.

Spiedini di Pesce ~ Seafood Skewers

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 oz fresh tuna, sliced into about 2-inch cubes
  • 8 oz calamari, cleaned & sliced into large (about 1 in) rings
  • 8 oz swordfish, sliced into about 2-inch cubes
  • 8 oz langostino, cleaned & remove head and outside shell
  • 8 oz jumbo shrimp, cleaned & remove head and outside shell
  • 8 oz cod, filleted, or substitute with a local fresh white fish of your choice,
    sliced into about 2-inch cubes
  • Fresh lemon leaves, untreated, or substitute with bay leaves

Sauce:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh mint, ripped by hand
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare each skewer alternating your different types of fish (salmon also works well in this recipe) with ½ a lemon leaf. For the calamari, thread a piece of langostino or shrimp in the inside of the ring.
Prepare your sauce in a bowl on the side, with olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon, a dash of balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste, fresh chopped parsley and fresh ripped mint. Mix lightly with a fork.
Grill the skewers on a heated, dry grill for about 7- 10 minutes until golden. Never put salt on the skewer before grilling.
Remove from the grill and drizzle the sauce over each skewer with a spoon before serving. Serve with a side dish of zucchini alla scapece or a veggie of your choice.

Tiramisù Al Limone ~ Lemon Tiramisù

Courtsesy Of Chef Filomena

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the Pan Di Spagna ~ Sponge Cake:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 120 g (1 cup) flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

For the Cream:

  • 60 g (2 oz) egg yolks (about 3)
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) lemon
  • juice
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.75 g (1 sheet) gelatin
  • 250 g (1 cup) mascarpone
  • 150 g (2/3 cup) light whipping cream (about 34% fat)

For the Bath:

  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) water
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • Lemon zest, in large strips
  • 3 tablespoons limoncello

For the Sponge Cake:
Beat the 4 egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour a spoonful at a time while mixing. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until white, then add the cream of tarter. Continue to whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until well combined. Pour batter into a 24-cm (9-inch) greased and floured round cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 170˚C (340˚F) for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into 4 horizontal slices or as needed. For the tiramisù, cut into 12 circles (about 3-cm/1 ¼ -inch diameter or based on the size of your serving glasses).

For the Mascarpone Cream:
In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until the color turns light, almost white. Add the lemon juice and whip for about 10 minutes. Add the lemon zest and cook the cream over a double boiler for 3 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the cream comes to 80°C (175°F). Remove from heat.

Soak the gelatin sheets in water to soften, then add to the cream while it is still hot. Mix well making sure the gelatin sheets dissolve then allow to cool completely. Mix in the mascarpone gently. In a separate bowl, whip whipping cream until fluffy and fold into mascarpone mixture.

For the Bath:
Heat water, sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and make sure the sugar is dissolved completely, then remove from heat. Allow to cool completely and remove lemon peels. Add the limoncello and your bath is ready.

To Assemble:
You will need 6 individual serving dishes or glasses. Dip pan di Spagna disks into the limoncello bath for just a moment and place as the first layer in your chosen serving dish. Do not soak. Spread with about half of the mascarpone cream, then repeat with pan di Spagna, mascarpone cream (usually 2 or 3 layers). Garnish with curls of lemon zest. Chill in refrigerator for at least three hours, or overnight.

Variations:
For a traditional tiramisù, use long espresso instead of the limoncello and leave out the lemon zest. Garnish with a thin layer of unsweetened cocoa.

Catania 4-Star Accommodations

 

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4 Stars Catania 9

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Cooking & Trekking Positano

Cooking & Trekking – 3 Star Deluxe with Sea View

 

 

3-Star Deluxe:
The 3-Star deluxe property accommodations includes rooms with a sea view and balcony, ensuite private bath, in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryers, and air conditioning. There is a concierge, daily breakfast served in the common breakfast room and terrace are included, and free internet.

Program Price:

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a Petite Room without a sea view.

$4,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a Classic Room with sweeping Sea View and Balcony – Terrace.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Cooking & Trekking – 4-Star Renaissance Palazzo with Sea View

 

4-Star Renaissance Palazzo:

The elegant Renaissance Palazzo was formerly a historical home dating back to the 1600s. It’s intimate and cosy atmospheres brings you back to the noble days of Positano’s past.  Hailed as the charming alternative to the classic hotel, this property offers luxury and elegance in spacious rooms with a sea view. Each room is beautifully decorated with comfortable bedding and linens.  The entire property is decorated in Mediterranean hues of blue and white with Vietri floor tiles throughout. Each room offers ensuite private bathrooms, hairdryers, safe, refrigerator and air conditioning, and is just steps from restaurants and shopping. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room each morning, and daily maid service is provided for your convenience.  The Renaissance Palazzo was recently renovated respecting the original architecture, façade and style. 

Program Price:

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view and terrace.

$5,795 per person, based on 2 guests in a suite with sea view and terrace.

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Cooking & Trekking- 4 Star By The Piazza with Sea View

4-Star:
The 4-Star hotel is set looking out over the sea in the center of town. All the rooms are elegant, bright and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues, lemon yellows and the natural cool colors of the Amalfi Coast. Each room has a sea view window or balcony and is fully equipped private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, safe, direct-line telephone, Wi-Fi Internet, mini-bar, and Satellite TV. Every morning International buffet breakfast is included with cappuccino, fresh Italian croissants, pastries, cereal and fresh fruit to satisfy any international palate. The hotel’s beach-side sister property also invites guests to take advantage of its restaurant & snack bar. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Price:

$4,595 per person, based on 2 guests with sea view.

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with a sea view and balcony.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

Pricing starting at.

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Cooking & Trekking 4 Star – Sea View with  Swimming Pool

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4-Star With Pool:
The 4-Star With Pool hotel is set in a beautiful part of town looking out over the sea. All the rooms are elegant, light and decorated with Amalfi coast ceramic tiles in azure blues and whites. The hotel terraces offer an unforgettable view over the bay and the town, with lemon trees and bougainvillea adding a magical touch of color. The infinity pool, set in the cliffs above the sea, is a place of utter tranquility and seemingly gives straight onto the Tyrrhenian sea below.  There is also a small wellness area with a Turkish bath and gym equipment for guests’ use. The knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to answer questions, give advice and assistance.

Program Price:

$4,295 per person, based on 2 guests in an economy.

$5,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room with sea view.

$6,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a superior room with sea view.

$7,695 per person, based on 2 guests in a Jr. Suite with sea view.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Cooking & Trekking – 5 Star By The Sea with Sea View & Swimming Pool

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5-Star By The Sea:
Our exclusive 5-Star By The Sea Property enjoys a privileged location just a few steps from the sea, and features a restaurant, brasserie, bar and a seawater pool. Rooms have every convenience, and are furnished in Mediterranean style, with comfortable beds, and a large bathroom with shower finished in hand-painted ceramic tiles. All rooms face directly over the beach or sea, with a private outdoor area complete with table and two chairs offering breathtaking views over the beach and sea – perfect for enjoying the unique panorama of Positano. Every morning breakfast is served in a beautiful room framed with bougainvilleas, offering an enchanting view of the sea and the pastel colors of Positano. A selection of juices, coffees and teas accompany the homemade pastries served each morning. There is an internet point with free Wi-Fi and the knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours to give advice and offer every assistance.

Program Price:
$5,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic with beach and sea view.

$6,295 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic premium with sea view and balcony.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Cooking & Trekking – 5 Star By The Piazza with Sea View and Swimming Pool

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5-Star By The Piazza:
Our distinguished 5-Star Property By The Piazza property, located just a few steps from Positano’s main piazza, offers every possible comfort to guests looking for an unforgettably luxurious stay. Each room is unique, decorated with a stylish combination of antique and contemporary furnishings, with bathrooms made of marble and handmade tiles, most offering a whirlpool bathtub. Luxury linens and bath products add a special touch and the evening turn down service includes a special Italian chocolate for each guest. Rooms either offer views over the inner courtyard or have a small or French balcony with views over the village. Enjoy the very best Mediterranean food at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, soak up the sun by the pool or book a relaxing treatment at the Spa.

Program Price:

Please call for pricing as our 5 star luxury property rates vary per room and season from a classic, superior, Jr. suite or suite with terrace and sea views.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Cooking & Trekking – Sea View by the Piazza B&B

 

B&B Sea View:

Our Sea View B&B option offers you a comfortable room with a terrace and sea view overlooking Positano.  The family-owned private property is quaint, and clean with a private ensuite bathroom.  Signora Francesca and her family welcome each guest and are your hosts throughout your stay.  Daily breakfast including warm cornetti, cappuccino, tea, homemade jams, fruit, and yogurt are served daily.  There is air conditioning, wifi, and daily maid service.  The property is in Positano by the piazza and overlooks the sea.  The beach is a few steps away as well as restaurants, wine bars, shopping, and artisan shops in the heart of Positano.

Program Price:

$3,995 per person, based on 2 guests with Sea View and by the piazza.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.

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Cooking & Trekking- Garden & Mountain View B&B

 

B&B Garden & Mountain View:

Our Mountain View B&B option offers all of the amenities of a home-away-from-home during your stay including a comfortable room in a quiet location with a terrace overlooking the mountains. The property is comprised of individual private rooms, each with a private ensuite bathroom. At the family property, Signor Giuseppe and his father, Antonio welcome you and are available to provide information during your stay, including maps and directions and warm Italian hospitality. Daily breakfast, including incredible homemade cakes, cornetti, Italian pastry, and biscotti, prepared by his mamma and accompanied by steamy cappuccinos, American coffee, and assorted teas and fruit juices. The property is at street level with minimum stairs, one flight up for the higher rooms, and has a lovely restaurant on site along with a wood-burning brick oven churning out the best Neapolitan pizza on the Amalfi Coast. Each room has hair dryers, wi-fi internet, and air conditioning included. The property is in Positano and overlooks the Lattari Mountians.  Step out your door for a short twenty-minute walk to Positano’s piazza. Local buses are an easy option for those who do not like to walk along with local taxis which are also available.

Program Price:

$3,395 per person, based 2 guests with Garden and Mountain View.

Prices starting at and may slightly change during holidays.

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Modena Bed & Breakfast Accommodations

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Winter Recipes 2016

~ Palermo & Taormina

Sicilian Caponata ~ Eggplant Relish

Eggplants were introduced into Sicily by the Arabs. This relish, served over pita triangles or garlic toast, can be a throwback to more ancient times by substituting powdered almonds for the tomatoes. Sometimes a light dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder is added to this recipe.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs Eggplant, cut into ¾-inch cubes, skin left on
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 4 inner Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 6 oz canned Tomatoes, minced
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup Capers
  • ½ cup Green Olives sliced
  • Salt, as needed

Place the eggplant cubes on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt all over. Allow to sit for 1 hour, then, using other paper towels, dry them off.

Heat the oil in a skillet until hot but not smoking and sauté the eggplant cubes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add the chopped celery and fry it in the same oil until it is golden, then remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the onion until it is soft, then add the tomato. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar and heat them. Add the capers and olives and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the eggplant, celery and onion/tomato mixture. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to stand for about an hour.

Serve at room temperature.

Fettuccine Di Carciofi ~ Fettucine With Baby Artichokes & Parma Ham

That faddish vegetable of the early Renaissance is revived in this pasta dish with a Renaissance of its own—baby artichokes. To prepare the baby artichokes, slice off the tops and bottoms and remove any of the purple or pink leaves. Drop in ice cold water with lemon juice, let set for 20 miuntes. Steam or boil them until tender, then cut them into quarters, lengthwise.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Parma ham, julienned
  • 2 tbsp Shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 4 cups hot Fettuccine, cooked ‘al dente’
  • 1 ½ cups cooked baby Artichokes
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • ¼ cup black Olives, chopped
  • Italian parsley, minced, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the ham, shallot, and garlic for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add the fettuccini and toss. Add the artichokes, stir, and heat through. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and olives, garnish with the parsley and serve hot.

Cassata Siciliana

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 large sponge cake, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Marsala
  • 1 – ½ cups Ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cups Caster Sugar (fine sugar)
  • 4 drops Vanilla extract
  • 2 oz candied fruit, finely chopped
  • 2 oz candied Orange peel, chopped
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, grated
  • 3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 4 drops Green Food Coloring
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • ½ cup Whole Glacé Fruits

Line the sides and bottom of an 8-inch mold with aluminum foil, then line it with sponge cake slices, reserving some to cover the top. Sprinkle with half the Marsala.

In a blender, combine the ricotta, caster sugar and vanilla and blend on low.   Add the candied fruit, candied peel, and the chocolate and mix until well – blended.

Add this mixture to the mold, cover with the remaining slices of sponge cake, and sprinkle with the remaining Marsala. Cover the mold with aluminum foil, press down on the molded ingredients, and refrigerate for 3 hours.

In a double boiler, melt the confectioners’ sugar and add the food coloring and water. Stir well with a wooden spoon and take care that it does not brown. Unmold the cassata and cover with the icing and the glace fruits. Slice thinly and serve.

4 Star Accommodation In The Heart Of Palermo

4 Star Property in Palermo~I

 

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4 Star Property in Palermo~II

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Taormina 5-Star Accommodations

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December 2015

~ Cook Like A Venetian

Zaleti ~Venetian cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • ½ cup seedless raisins
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala or sweet wine
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Put the raisins in a small bowl, cover with the white wine and soak for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine the two flours and the baking powder and mix well. Add the butter, sugar and egg, mix with your hands to incorporate. Add the drained raisins, pine nuts, vanilla, salt and Marsala then mix until you have a soft dough. Using your hands, roll small pieces of dough into ovals and place them on two baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Flatten the cookies a little with your fingers. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool on wire racks until completely cooled. When cold, dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Baicoli

Venetian Butter Cookies, great for dunking

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 500 g (4 cups) flour
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 50 g (3 ½ tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 15 g (1 ½ tablespoon) fresh yeast
  • 600 ml (2 ½ cups) milk
  • Salt
Pour the flour into a large bowl, then the sugar and a pinch of salt and mix well. Add the butter, a little at a time, then the beaten egg white and yeast, which has been blended in a little warm milk. Mix well while adding the rest of the milk. Once the ingredients are mixed, cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to rest to rise for at least 2 hours. Divide the dough into 5 parts. Form each piece of dough into 30-cm (11-inch) long cylinder and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F ) until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them making sure they do not become too dark. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 3 to 4 hours. Slice the rolls with a sharp knife at an angle into thin slices and arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake again in a preheated oven at 180°C (360°F) for 10 to 12 minutes.
Leave to cool and store in a glass airtight container. Serve with Cypriot wine or Muscat or dip them mascarpone cream.

Mascarpone Cream

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Marsala
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • Cocoa powder, for sprinkling

Instructions

This recipe for mascarpone cream requires fresh quality ingredients. Start by separating the egg whites from the yolks and place the yolks in a bowl. Add the sugar and beat the ingredients with a whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Put to the side. In a separate bowl, beat the Marsala and the mascarpone until smooth, then add to the egg yolks and mix well. In another clean bowl, whip the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage. Add the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture, folding gently in the same direction with a spatula and from the bottom of the bowl. Serve the cream in small glasses and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Venice Writer’s Studio Accommodations

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Autumn 2015

~ Recipes From Our Kitchen

Zuppa di farro e porcini ~Farro and porcini mushroom soup

Farro is a grain also known as spelt, but it is in fact emmer wheat. Most types don’t need to be pre-soaked, but read the instructions on the packet just in case.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 50 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Small stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 50 g pancetta, diced
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • Bouquet garni with rosemary, sage, bay leaf and thyme
  • 200g farro
  • 1 liter boiling vegetable stock
  • Handful finely chopped parsley

Farro is available in specialty shops and some supermarkets, but pearl barley would make a good substitute. Place the porcini in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to soak for 30 – 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large earthenware pot, and add the chopped onion, celery and pancetta. Cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the onions are transparent. Squeeze the extra liquid from the porcini mushrooms and chop roughly, reserving the liquid. Add the porcini, the chopped potato, the tomato concentrate, the herbs and the farro to the pot and toss together for a couple of minutes. Season with salt. Filter the porcini liquid into the hot vegetable broth and pour over the contents of the pot. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until the farro is just tender, adding more hot water if necessary. Check the seasoning. Garnish with the chopped parsley and a final drizzling of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Pasta

Strangozzi

      Strangozzi take their name from shoestrings due to their long shoe lace form. People from Terni in Umbria created and love strangozzi, but the whole of Umbria knows this pasta, and when you know how to cook it, the result is always the same – hearty and delicious.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the Strangozzi

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose or ‘00’ flour
  • 1 ¼ cups semolina flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Semolina flour for tossing

Combine the two flours on a large bowl or wooden working surface and make a well. Add the water to the well and incorporate the flour and water with your hands until the dough and water are well mixed.

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover the dough with a clean cotton tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Place the dough on the wooden working surface that has been sprinkled with semolina. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough in a rectangle or round shape until it is ⅛ thick. Roll up the dough into a log and cut the strangozzi ¼ to ½ inches wide (not too thin, not too thick). Gently unroll them and spread on a floured surface to prevent them sticking together.

When you are ready to boil the pasta, fill a large pasta pan with water and sea salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook pasta until it is al dente, leaving it a little hard. When the pasta is boiling, melt three tablespoons of butter (or more to taste) in a pan on low heat. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan with the butter. Mix well. Shave white truffle on top and serve.

Dolce

Umbrian Caffè

Serves 2 or 3

Ingredients

  • 250g fresh ricotta
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean
  • A couple of amaretto cookies crushed
  • A small handful of almonds, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon of almond butter
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • Cocoa for garnish

Instructions

Whip the ricotta with the seeds from the vanilla bean until well mixed and creamy. Chop the almonds finely and blend into the ricotta along with the almond butter. Crumble in the amaretto cookies and mix gently, leaving a few crumbs to one side for the garnish.

Take two or three glasses and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Evenly scoop the whipped ricotta into the glasses then pour the hot espresso on top in each glass.
Garnish with cocoa powder and a few leftover amaretto cookie crumbs. Serve with amaretto cookies.

July 2015

~Recipes from Our Kitchen

Tagliolini Al Rosmarino Con Zucchine E Fiori

~ Rosemary Tagliolini with Zucchini & Zucchini Blossoms

Courtesy of Chef Salvatore, Capri

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Tagliolini

  • 300 g ‘00’ flour
  • 100 g semola flour
  • 10 g minced rosemary
  • 5 g sea salt
  • 4 eggs

For the sauce:

  • 3 zucchini, washed and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 6 leaves of basil
  • 8 zucchini blossoms, cut into strips
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground pepper
  • 50 g extra Virgin olive oil
  • 20 g Parmigiano Reggiano

Method

  • Mix the two types of flour with the minced rosemary and salt and place in a mound on a clean work surface. Create a well at the center of the flour and add the eggs one at a time, slowly incorporating all the flour until you obtain a smooth, pliable dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
    Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the onion. Sauté for a couple of minutes then add the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook until zucchini are tender.
    Meanwhile, roll out the pasta to a thickness of 2mm and cut into thin strips; these are your tagliolini. Cook the pasta in abundant boiling salted water for around 3 minutes, drain and add to the pan with the zucchini. Add the zucchini blossom strips, basil, a little extra olive oil and the Parmigiano. Serve immediately

Scialatielli Con Crema Di Melanzane Affumicate, Provola E Pomodorini

~ Scialatielli Pasta With Smoked Eggplant, Provola Cheese And Cherry Tomato

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the scialatielli pasta:

  • 400 g 00 flour
  • 100 g milk
  • 1 handful grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the smoked eggplant cream:

  • 2 eggplants, medium size
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil Leaves
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 100 g Provola, cubed

Method

For the pasta:

  • Mix all the ingredients; knead to form a smooth dough. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle shape leaving it about ¼ inch thick. Roll the sheet up leaving it a little loose. Next cut the pasta into ½ inch strips. Put strips on a floured baking pan and sift a little flour on top. Keep pasta rolled until ready to boil. The finished pasta ribbons should be 2 to 3 inches long.

For the eggplant cream

  • Place whole eggplants on the open fire or grill and char the skin. Next put them into a parchment-paper-lined baking pan, cover with aluminum foil and finish cooking in the oven at 185°C for 10 minutes. When ready, open the aluminum foil to allow to cool. When they have cooled, peel off the skin with the help of a paring knife if needed, put them into a food processer and cream well. Salt to taste.
    Meanwhile, boil water and salt to taste, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. In a large sauté pan heat 3 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the basil leaves. Add the cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt. After few minutes add the eggplant cream with ¼ cup of pasta water and heat. Drain the pasta and add to the eggplant sauce. Toss together for a minute or two before serving.
    Garnish with provola and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Cioccolato, Mascarpone & Fragole

~ Chocolate, Mascarpone & Strawberries

Courtesy of Chef Salvatore, Capri

Serves 4

Ingredients

    For the mascarpone mousse:

  • 30 g water
  • 120 g sugar
  • 100 g egg Yolk, approximately 5 Egg yolks
  • ½ vanilla Bean, slit open
  • 15 g gelatin Powder
  • 310 g cream
  • 330 g mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon Rum

For the chocolate cream:

  • 250 g milk
  • 250 g cream
  • 125 g bitter chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 200 g milk chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 60 g sugar
  • 90 g egg yolk, approximately 4 Large egg yolks
  • 5 g gelatin Powder

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 200 g strawberries, washed, chopped
  • 50 g sugar
  • A drop of lemon juice

Method

For the Chocolate Cream:
Take all the ingredients and put them in a pan: milk, cream, bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, sugar, egg yolks and gelatin powder. Slowly heat it to 82° C and then turn the heat off. Pour in glass jar and refrigerate until stiff.

For the Mascarpone Mousse:
In a small saucepan, start by making a syrup with the water, sugar and vanilla bean. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Discard vanilla bean. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks, then, while continuing to whisk, slowly add the syrup until the mix has cooled. Next add the cream, then the mascarpone and whip. Heat the rum in the microwave and then add the gelatin powder. When dissolved add this mixture to the mousse and mix well. Place the mousse on top of the chocolate layer in the jar and put it back in the fridge.

For the Strawberry Sauce:
For the sauce, place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan. Cook for 5 minutes and allow to cool. Once it has completely cooled, blend until smooth. Pour on top of the Mascarpone Mousse. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Country Estate Umbria

   

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Sorrento 3 Star Boutique

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 5 Star Luxury Sorrento

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Parma Accommodations


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Kosher Hotel

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Naples Cooking Vacations Accommodations

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Full-Day Amalfi Coast~Private Yacht Cruise

Amalfi Coast Yacht Cruise

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March 2015

~Recipes from Our Kitchen

Ravioli Piemontesi al “plin” ~ Pinched Ravioli

Serves 10

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 Kg of Manitoba or ‘00’ flour
  • 10 eggs
  • Salt to taste

Filling:

  • 130 g each of pork, beef and veal, each left in one piece
  • 1 small escarole
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 handful grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground nutmeg & black pepper (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g butter
  • 15-20 sage leaves
  • Extra grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Method

  • In a large frying pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and add the 3 pieces of meat. Sauté the meat slowly for about 1 hour (cooking time depends on the size of the meat), turning meat every so often so it cooks evenly. Salt to taste. When the meat is cooked, place it on a cutting board and chop with a mezzaluna. (If instead you use a blender, be careful not to transform the filling into a cream). Place the meat in a bowl and stir in the Parmesan Cheese and the eggs. Salt to taste and if desired, add a pinch of nutmeg and black pepper.

    Cook the escarole in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and chop into small pieces before adding to the meat mixture. Combine well and set aside. This is the filling for your ravioli.

    Prepare the dough by pouring the flour on a work surface and making a well in the center. In the center, add the eggs and salt. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour. The dough will start to come together when half of the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough, using the palms of your hands, for about 15 minutes, adding any of the remaining flour, until you obtain a supple, slightly sticky dough. Wrap the dough in plastic film, and leave to rest at room temperature. After 30 minutes, pass the dough several times though a pasta machine until you have a thin sheet, using the smallest machine setting. Assemble ravioli by cutting long strips of pasta about 5cm wide and spooning amounts of filling along one half of each strip. Fold dough over and press around each spoon of filling to close. Using a pasta cutter or even a knife, cut between one ravioli and the next. Continue until all pasta and filling has been used.

    Cook the ravioli in abundant boiling salted water for 4 minutes; they’ll float to the top when ready, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. While your pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large sauté pan and continue cooking until golden brown in color. Add sage leaves and remove from heat. Drain the pasta and but save some cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan with the butter, add a little cooking water and return to heat. Add the cheese, toss to blend and serve immediately.

    **In times of old, when these ravioli were made for special occasions, often there were not enough plates to go around and the ravioli were served ‘al tovagliolo’ or ‘on the napkin’. In other words, once drained, they would be laid out on an immaculate linen napkin. They can be served with butter and sage, or with a roast meat sauce, meat ragù, and when in season, with butter and white truffle.

Chef Eneo’s Tajarin Pasta with Beef & Red Wine Ragù

Serves 10

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 kilo of ‘00’ flour
  • 33 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs

For the Ragù:

  • 500 g piece of Fassone beef, chopped* (Fassone is a local breed of cattle – you can substitute with your own local beef)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 piece of celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ glass Barbera wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 300 g peeled tomatoes, chopped

Method

First prepare the Tajarin pasta. On a work surface, mix the flour, egg yolks and whole eggs and knead to form a smooth, pliable dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a clean tea towel set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Pass the dough several times though a pasta machine until you have a very thin sheet and then cut in long, thin strips approximately 1cm in width.

To make the ragù, warm the butter and the extra virgin olive oil over a low heat add the carrot, the celery and the onion. Mix together and sauté until the vegetables turn golden brown. Then, using a sharp knife, chop the Fassona (or other beef) into very small pieces (but not with the meat grinder). Add the meat to the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Add the Barbera wine, allow to evaporate, then add the chopped tomatoes and slow cook over a low heat, adding a little water from time to time if meat seems dry. After three hours the Ragù will be ready for dressing your home made tajarin.

Cook the pasta in abundant salted boiling water. When the pasta floats to the top of the water it is cooked. Drain and add to ragù sauce. Toss together and serve immediately. Buon Appetito!

Chef Carla’s Vitello Nocciolato ~ Veal With Hazelnut

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

    For the Meat:

  • 1 piece of veal, about 2 kg
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil *
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Salt to taste

For the mayonnaise:

  • 500 ml hazelnut oil
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Sea salt to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 190° (375°F).

Rub the extra virgin olive oil over the entire surface of the meat and sprinkle with salt. Start cooking the meat in the oven with the carrot and onion, initially at 190° (375° F) for half an hour, to brown it. Then lower the heat to 100° (225°F). The roast should take a further one to one and a half hours to cook. The meat should be pink in the center, never overcooked.

To make the mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolks by hand or with an electric beater and very, very slowly add the hazelnut oil, whisking constantly until mayonnaise is thick and light in color.

When the veal is cooked, cut in thin slices and serve with this special mayonnaise. A slice of meat with this special hazelnut mayonnaise is one of the most typical local dishes of the Langa Piemontese around Cortemilia, the village in which Carla was born.

Positano B&B Accommodations

Secret Garden – 3 Star Deluxe with Sea View

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Sirena is a two-bedroom suite with a matrimonial bed, and bathroom with bathtub. There is also a sofa bed in the livingroom area. Suite also features a kitchenette, terrace and has linen, Wi-fi internet, Satellite TV, washing machine, microwave oven, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning, safe and there is a 2-hour cleaning service included midweek.

$4,895 per person, based on double occupancy in 2-Bedroom Sirena (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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$3,395 per person, based on 4 people in in 2-Bedroom Sirena (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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Fortezza is a one-bedroom suite with a matrimonial bed, and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. There is also a sofa bed in the livingroom area. Suite also features a kitchen area, large terrace and has linen, Wi-fi internet, Satellite TV, cupboard with washing machine, microwave oven, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning, safe and there is a 2-hour cleaning service included midweek.

$4,895 per person, based on double occupancy in 1-Bedroom Superior Fortezza (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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$4,895 per person, based on double occupancy in 1-Bedroom Superior Torre (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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Fiore is a two-bedroom suite. One bedroom with a matrimonial bed, one bedroom with two single beds (which can be joined together). There is one shared bathroom with shower (no bath tub). Suite also features a living room, kitchen area, terrace and has linen, Wi-fi internet, Satellite TV, washing machine, microwave oven, hairdryer, heating, air conditioning, safe and there is a 2-hour cleaning service included midweek.

$4,895 per person, based on double occupancy in 2-Bedroom Fiore (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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$4,295 per person, based on 3 people in 3-Bedroom La Terrazza (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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$3,695 per person, based on 4 people in 3-Bedroom La Terrazza (High Season: March 1 to October 31).
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