Orecchiette Pasta and Homemade Sweet Ricotta Calzoni from Matera – European Capital of Culture 2019

Thanks to Riccardo Casarico Photo for this scenic view of Matera – Italy

With this recipe we would like to celebrate the unique and appealing city of Matera, well known as the Stone City, and located in the Basilicata region – Southern Italy. This year Matera was awarded as the European Capital of Culture 2019, thanks to its unique beauty and history. Matera is famous worldwide for its Sassi: stone houses carved out of the caves and cliffs, dating back 7000 years ago. The best way to enjoy this surprising city is to get lost in the many alleys of this ancient part of the town. You will be surprised by the amount of churches, historical buildings and houses carved into the rock.

Thanks Rosanna and her sweet Mamma for giving us this delicious recipe from Matera. Traditionally, this dish is seasoned with a succulent pork meat tomato ragout and it’s prepared to celebrate the Mardi Gras lunch. In our version we made it easier to prepare, but not less tasty, as we seasoned it with a tomato sauce.

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Matching Food and Wine: Tagliatelle Pasta and Beans and Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2014 “Sopra Sasso” Red Wine

Pasta and Beans, or “Pasta e fagioli“,  is a traditional Italian peasant dish of which there are different regional variations, but this one is from the Veneto region.  It is an easy and cheap recipe made just with two main ingredients, precisely pasta and beans. I’m very fond of this recipe as it is one of those I inherited from my mother-in-law and I prepare for my husband  when he wants to feel at home and he wants to eat something other than Apulian dishes… he is from the Veneto region, by the way! 

Last time we ate Pasta and Beans, we uncorked a bottle of Amarone della Valopolicella 2014 DOCG “Sopra Sasso”, thanks to Vinimondo.dk. This robust wine, with dark cherry notes, made our dinner even more sublime.

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Matching Food and Wine: Potato Focaccia – Red Wine Corte Fiore, Lupi Reali Appassimento

The Lupi Reali Appassimento is a Montepulciano-based red wine from the Italian region Abruzzo. The use of the appassimento process creates a wonderfully pleasing fruity wine with elements of dark cherries, spices and herbs. The aftertaste brings elements of ripe grape sweetness.

This wine is often served with potato-based dishes and pizzas but it also perfectly matches with different combinations of pasta.

We prepared a potato focaccia to better savour this wine and enhance its characteristics.  You should believe us when we say that this was a rather apt combination!

This wine is imported to Denmark from Vinimondo.dk, a wine wholesaler that works with some of the best wine suppliers in Italy, Portugal, France and Spain.

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Matching Food and Wine: Pasta with Oil, Parsley and Breadcrumbs and Noelia Ricci Bro’-Bianco Forlì IGT

With this week’s post we want you to enhance your dining experience by pairing a perfect wine to the recipe we will be presenting.

Pasta with extra virgin olive oil, parsley and breadcrumbs comes from the Mediterranean diet. This is a light but at the same time a tasteful dish which we paired with the white wine Noelia Ricci “Brò” Bianco Forlì.

Noelia Ricci is a family winery from the Emilia Romagna region, established in 2010 and located near the Sangiovese wine-growing area of Predappio. This wine, featuring a strong minerality, a salty juiciness and citrus notes, is produced from Trebbiano grapes and is vinified with the skins of Pagadebit grapes.

This wine is imported to Denmark from Vinimondodk, a wine wholesaler that works with some of the best wine suppliers in Italy, Portugal, France and Spain. 

For more details about the wine and the wholesaler: https://vinimondo.dk.

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Let’s Celebrate the Upcoming 2019 with a Free Interpretation of the Neapolitan Pastiera!

2018 is coming to an end and we are now ready to welcome the upcoming new year by celebrating  New Year’s Eve together with our friends and dear ones.

To go out with a bang we’ve prepared a free interpretation of the Neapolitan Pastiera. This is not the classical version (for that please be patient until Easter 😉 ), but a deconstructed Pastiera. It brings the flavour of the traditional cake but it’s quicker to prepare as we used ready-made butter cookies instead of making the shortcrust pastry.

We have to thank our friend Francesca from Naples whom we prepared the traditional Pastiera with and who shared all the little secrets of this delectable cake.

We wish you all 365 days full of joy and…good food!

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Delicious Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Trentino Alto Adige is a beautiful region in northern Italy, well known for the  Dolomites mountains, the Garda Lake and its apple orchards. Many recipes which come from this region are made with the huge variety of apples growing there.

This week’s recipe combines pork meat with apples. The ones we used are from my garden in Denmark, not really from Trentino, but they still are crunchy and juicy 😉

If you also decide to make our Pork Tenderloin with Apples, we suggest you to sip along a Primitivo di Manduria DOP “Collezione Bellisario” 2016 – Cantine due Palme. This red wine, made with Primitivo grapes grown in the vineyards of Apulia region has a broad and complex aroma, a full bodied and velvety taste, which is a perfect match with pork meat.

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A Fragrant Slice of Apple Strudel

I have seen and eaten many variations of apple strudel, but this recipe is the one I love most, and that I would never ever cross off my “Ricettario“.

I actually didn’t like apple strudel until the day that my mother in law served this delicious looking dessert on the dinner table. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately asked for the recipe. It was inherited from her mom who was of Hungarian origin, yet the only change I made to the recipe was to use ready-made puff pastry instead of hand making it.

I do hope that you’ll give this recipe a try and that it will also find a page in your “Ricettario”!

Francesca

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Bagna Càuda Days: Let’s Celebrate like the Italians do!

The 23rd, 24th and 25th of November are the Bagna Cauda days and to get ready for this occasion we got the original recipe and pictures from Tipici astigiani (many thanks for that!!).

The Bagna Cauda, meaning hot sauce, originally comes from Asti. It is a city located in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. In this city, in the past it was very common to find the main ingredient to prepare this tasty sauce: the anchovies in salt.

The Bagna Cauda is served in a Fojòt, a traditional glazed terra cotta bowl. It is composed of an upper bowl suited to contain the Bagna Cauda and a lower part where to put a small candle to keep the sauce warm.

This is more than a simple dish, as it is a social ritual where all the guests gather around a dinner table, dipping vegetables into the Bagna Cauda and sipping a good fruity red wine from Piemonte (like a Barbera d’Asti). At the end of the dinner, the etiquette expects to finish with an abundant cup of hot beef broth.

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Monthly Restaurant: Osteria Antichi Sapori – Murgia – Apulia -Southern Italy

Last summer my dear friends, Stefania and Francesco, invited me to a lunch in the cult Osteria Antichi Sapori, located in Montegrosso, a bucolic village in Murgia countryside of Apulia region. At the time I was spending my summer holiday in Ostuni, 200 km away from that place, but despite the distance I didn’t hesitate to reach my friends for the lunch, and it was totally worth it.
When we were approaching the restaurant, we were surrounded by the silence that characterises this peculiar countryside, where olive trees stretch for hundreds of meters, interrupted just by vineyards and bounded by long dry-stone walls. In this area the most widespread cultivations are the Coratina olive trees, of which the unique “gold of Apulia” extra-virgin olive oil is made. In addition to that, it is worth mentioning the ancient grapevine Uva di Troia that produces the distinctive Nero di Troia red wine, one of the most known and typical wine of Apulia.

As soon as we arrived at the restaurant we were immediately hooked with this cozy place. We were welcomed by our friends and the cook-owner of the restaurant, Pietro Zito, who told us the story of his Osteria. He proudly wished to mention that he is not a chef but a cook and that he grew up in that village where the restaurant is located, feeling himself part of the landscape.

His philosophy is that Antichi Sapori kitchen is managed by few simple rules: the love for the traditions, the respect for raw materials, seasonality and the excellence of the ingredients. You can watch the cooks work through a large window overlooking the hall or decide to personally visit the kitchen. Simplicity and genuineness are skills not to be hidden” (cit. Antichi Sapori).

Pietro let us enter his garden which is a biodynamic vegetable garden with Mediterranean scents of thyme and oregano, sage and marjoram and much, much more. This corner of northern Murgia is like a mosaic of biodiversity which he intends to preserve.

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Ricotta and Almond Paste Cassatina

The lunch we got to eat was simply delicious, every dish was genuine and tasty. We ended the lunch eating one of the most delicious dessert we ever had: Ricotta and Almond paste Cassatina.

At the end of the day,  Pietro gave the children a small bag of homemade caramelised almonds, and we received two of his valuable recipes.

Thanks Pietro and our dear friends, Stefania and Francesco, for inviting us to a such unforgettable day!

If you wish to continue this imaginary journey to Apulia with us, give “Antichi Sapori” recipes a try, without forgetting to pair them with two local wines: Rosè Wine CALAFURIA Tormaresca and Organic Red Wine ALMAGIA di Giancarlo Ceci.

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Warm and Comfort Lentil, Apple and Chestnut Soup

This month’s first recipe is an intriguing soup: the slightly sweet flavour of apples and chestnuts mixed with the taste of lentils will win you over.

This comforting soup is a traditional recipe from Abruzzo, a beautiful central Italian region. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine made from grapes that grow in this region, is the right wine match for this soup.

There are many types of lentils, some are red, others are yellow or orange. To prepare this soup we used the brown type called Castelluccio di Norcia (Sibillini mountains in Umbria region), whose main characteristic is a soft consistency and a thin skin. This variety of lentils doesn’t need to be soaked before cooking. This makes the lentils a lot easier and quicker to work with.

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