Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vegetarian Baked Pasta - Recipe from River Cafe in London

I made this wonderful Baked Pasta for dinner the other evening that I wanted to share. It is very easy and delicious! The recipe is by chef and cookery writer Rose Gray  who set up  a wonderful Italian restaurant on the River Thames.

300g Rigatoni (Tube shaped pasta)
60g Parmesan (Reggiano)
200g Semi-mature Pecorino Cheese
200g Peas (even frozen)
1 clove of Garlic
A handful of parsley
15 mint leaves
35g Butter
30g Flour
1/2 litre of Milk
white pepper

Boil milk in another pot boil peas, garlic and parsley. Melt butter and on a medium flame add flour to butter stir vigirously  adding a little salt, remove butter and flour from flame.  Slowly add boiling milk to butter and flour stir continually until you have obtained the perfect béchamel.
Cook the Rigatoni in boiling water once cooked (al dente) add peas, garlic, parsley, parmesan, béchamel,  7 mint leaves and white pepper. Add half the ingredient to a buttered pan add shavings of pecorino over half of the pasta then add the rest of the pasta and again pecorino. Cook for 20minutes in preheated oven on 200°C. Once read add the rest of the mint leaves and serve

Monday, October 14, 2013

Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour

This is the perfect walk for wine lovers! Enjoy a late afternoon stroll around town to discover our boutique National Wines that include Brunello, Barolo and Super Tuscan.  Experience Italian white wines from the volcanic terrain of Etna to the high hills tops of the Ligurian coast!   

Fresh Fig with Tuscan Prosciutto and Shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano 
All tastings will be paired with delicious typical Tuscan flavours that include wild boar salami, goat cheese and pecorino served with home made jams and honey. 

While you taste your expert sommelier will talk to you about the wine’s origins, how to understand Italian wine labels, along with how to pair the appropriate wines with food. 

A fun and informative walk where you will savour typical flavours in Florentine Neighbourhoods enjoying a pre-dinner drink known as an ‘aperitif’ just like the locals.

Barolo Tasting - Pitti & Gola Enoteca 

Duration of Tour: 2.5 Hours
Includes: All tastings - substantial as a light dinner! choose from a private experience or a small group tour 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Italy Customized

It has been a very busy season. Alberto and I are very pleased to introduce our new company Our Travel Agency opened its doors in June 2013! we have an office in the city centre and are happy to offer our clients the best luxury customized vacations in Italy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Touring a Bio-dynamic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Farm

Visit a biodynamic Olive Oil farm. Where you will meet owner Contessa Rosella Bencini. Enjoy a tour of the property that was originally a Medici Hunting lodge. 

The Garden 
Take a walk around the beautiful Italian gardens of fruit trees and flowers. Visit the vineyards and olive groves. Experience views of the small hamlet known as Bacceretto. 

The EVO room
See the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s grandmother in valley. Arrive in the tasting room to meet charming Farmer Alberto to taste estates extra virgin olive oil on bread toasted over a wood fire (called ‘Fettunta’ in Tuscany)

Toasting Bread to make 'Fettunta'
You will also taste delicious dessert wine ‘vino santo’ with sun dried figs made by Alberto and recognised by slow food. And of course Estates wine! 

Carol that EVO! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Siena Orientation Foodie Walk

Meet your expert guide in the city of Siena. Enjoy a guided tour of the Historical and culinary treasures the city has to offer. Wild boar is raised in the Senese hills located South between Siena and  Montalcino famous for its Brunello wine. On our way to the Gothic Cathedral we will pass by a delicatessen for a taste of wild boar salami as well as the regional pecorino cheese.

Continue to the Duomo to view a collection of works of art by Michelangelo, Dontello and Bernini. We make our way to the stunning Piazza del Campo where the great horse race ‘il Palio’ has been held every year since the dark ages.

As we walk up to view the architecture of important banks from the middle ages along the main road we stop at an important cafe owned by a well known Senese family. This is where locals pass by each day for an espresso coffee and something sweet such as the well known Panforte a sweet fruit cake that is made in different versions. Enjoy a tasting of selected panforte while your local guide tells you about its history and tradition. Other biscuits to try are the Ricciarelli.

Your guide will leave you at a well know local restaurant for a light lunch or dinner where you can taste local hand made ‘pici’ pasta with a fresh tomato or wild boar sauce. Be sure to enjoy a glass of local Chianti from the province of Siena.
Duration of Tour: 3 hours