Sunday, July 29

Savory Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Filet of Anchovy

It's tomato season,  so keep it simple while cooking.  No need to make heavy sauces with all those gorgeous tomatoes that are bursting with flavor - try a simple 5 ingredient recipe with slow roasted tomatoes, herbs, loads of olive oil and topped with a filet of anchovy! This recipe is straight from the seaside of Le Marche, where we first devoured this delicious antipasto in Numana.

On a hot summer's day, we keep the kitchen oven off & make these in our outdoor wood burning oven!

Roasted Tomatoes with Anchovies
Pomodori al forno con le acciughe

serves 4
4 round tomatoes (we grow & use grappolo for this dish)
small handful of any fresh herbs you like, chopped - we use oregano but you can also use basil, thyme, etc.
salt & pepper
good quality extra virgin olive oil
8 high quality anchovy filets, (we use anchovies from Sardegna packed in salt)

Preheat oven to 150 C or 280 F

Cut the top 3rd off the tomatoes & discard top.

Place tomatoes on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper & herbs. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.  Place in the oven for 4-6 hours depending on the size of your tomatoes. Every once in a while as you pass the kitchen, baste the tomatoes in the juices & olive oil in the pan.

Once the tomatoes shrivel up a bit & start to look sun-dried, they are ready. They should still hold their shape & not become mush.

Remove from oven, top each tomato with a whole anchovy filet. Serve warm or room temperature with olive oil from the baking pan drizzled over the top.

Monday, July 23

Dinner in 5 Minutes: Veal Scallopini with Lemon & Parsley

There are endless recipes for scallopini but my favorite is a classic 5-minute lemon & parsley pan sauce.  Scallopini  refers to meat that has been pounded thin & coated with flour. You can use veal, chicken, turkey or pork loin and in about 5 minutes make scallopini with capers or porcini mushrooms or marsala or olives & tomatoes or green pepper corns, the list goes on!

Adjust it with the seasons - light & fresh in the summer with lemon & parsley or porcini mushrooms in the fall for a heartier dish. Thinly sliced veal can be bought at any market, let your butcher know what your making so they can make the proper cut.

Two to three slices of melt in your mouth veal in the pan with a little salad or roasted potatoes with rosemary can be a fabulous quick dinner any night of the week!

Veal in the Pan with Lemon
Scallopini di Vitello al Limone

Serves 4

4 slices of veal, pounded thin
knob or 2 of butter
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
olive oil
chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons of water
salt & pepper

On medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter & a bit of oil to the pan. 

Dredge veal in flour, shaking off the excess & add to the pan. After a minute or so, as the blood comes to the surface of the meat, it’s time to turn it over. Then let it cook a minute or so on the other side & it’s done. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Set aside on a warm platter.

Turn the heat down to low. Add juice of one lemon & the water.  Reduce by half.  Remove pan from heat.  Add in parsley & dot the pan with the remaining butter.  Swirl until butter is melted.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 18

Summer Soup: Cold Cucumber Soup with Scampi

When the temperatures soar, try a this creamy & refreshing...soup! Crazy huh?! In fact, cold cucumber soup is delicious & light, like a green gazpacho and paired with steamed scampi (or grilled shrimp or crab meat) is a gorgeous combination.  This oven-free, cook-free, heat-free dish will help you keep your cool in a hot summer kitchen!

For the gardeners: a cucumber soup is also a brilliant way to use all that cucumber our garden produces. After all, you can only eat so many cucumber tomato onion salads before you're ready to try something new.

Cold Cucumber Soup
Serves 8-10 (when serving in a shot glass size)
Serves 4 (when serving in a bowl)

4-5 cucumbers, peeled & seeded
1/2 red onion
1 clove garlic
squeeze of lemon
small handful of parsley, chopped
pinch of mint, chopped
1 small chili (optional)
1/3 - 1/3 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 glass of water
extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor throw in the garlic, cucumber, onion, lemon juice, salt, herbs and water - turn on High for 2-3 minutes until everything is chopped nice & fine. Add the yogurt and give it pulse.

Taste & adjust your seasonings. If it's too thick add a bit more water. If the flavor is flat add a bit more salt & lemon juice.

Allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour or more. At the same time place your serving dishes (cups or bowls) in freezer. Note: The flavors will change and come together as it sits.

Before you serve, give it a good stir, taste again and adjust seasonings if needed.

To serve: use the glasses that were in the freezer & top with extra virgin olive oil. Pairs perfectly with steamed scampi, grilled shrimp or crab meat.

Sunday, July 15

The Beautiful Borlotti: Speckled Cranberry Beans {5 Recipes}

 Borlotti, Speckled, Cranberry, Saluggia or even French Horticultural - the name matters not, it's the tell-tale color & creamy savory flavor.

The cranberry speckled barlotti bean is my favorite legume. It's gorgeous color is almost whimsical as you break open the pods retrieving the plump beans inside, while the soft nutty consistency rounds out soups & salads perfectly any time of the year. Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, so pick up a few handful of fresh beans at the next farmer's market (or better yet plant a row next spring!) Apparently even Oprah is a fan, our Cranberry Bean, Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Salad was featured on!!

Beans are a farmer's best friend, they are wonderfully resourceful in the garden,  repairing the soil by replacing nitrogen that plants like tomatoes & peppers take out. Borlotti beans grow big & beautiful in our garden and preserve wonderfully dried or frozen (uncooked). We plant the borlotti the same time as the other beans in the spring: green beans, solfino, etc.  They are very easy to grow.

Fresh beans should be boiled in plenty of water with a few vegetable scraps (celery tops, carrot peels, ends of onions, etc.) thrown in until tender. Dried beans should be soaked overnight in fresh cold water and then cooked the same way as above.  When cooked the beans loose their pretty purple speckles. The nutty-almost-meaty flavor of these beans perfectly compliments hardier herbs like sage and oregano.

A few fabulous cranberry/borlotti bean recipes to in any season:

Cranberry Bean, Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Salad + Wedge of Pecorino Cheese = Picnic Perfect
Simply Beans & Olive Oil on Toast
In the fall try adding a few handfuls to a hearty bean & bread soup like Ribollita
Barlotti with Braised Onions, Tomatoes & Broccoli Rabe' (Cime di Rapa)
A heavy winter dish like Borlotti & Sausages is just what you crave as the temperatures drop below freezing.

Friday, July 13

Simple Summer Pasta Sauce: Raw Tomato with Lemon Infused Olive Oil

  In the height of tomato season try this light and refreshing summer pasta sauce of raw uncooked tomatoes with lemon infused olive oil tossed over fresh pasta. The lemon compliments the tomatoes creating a bright & flavorful dish that's quick & easy.  On a hot summer day all it takes is to boil the pasta & you're done!

We first tried this pasta at our friend Daniela's house for lunch in Cassero, (Le Marche) and have been making it with our bounty of tomatoes ever since!

Tomato Lemon Pasta Sauce
Pasta di Daniela
serves 8
1 cup (250 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
zest of 3-5 unwaxed lemons, depending on the size
1 kilo or 32 oz, passed tomatoes, the best fresh tomatoes you can find or canned
salt and chili flakes to taste
handful of aged pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) or parmesan freshly grated

A day or so before you would like to use the sauce combine lemon zest and oil in a bowl, cover and allow to sit out.

The next day, strain out zest from oil and drizzle slowly into passed tomatoes as you constantly stir.  When all the oil is incorporated, season with salt and pepper.  Allow the sauce to sit once more for a bit to allow the flavors to come together.

To serve: Give the sauce a good stir as it will have surely separated and toss with hot thin pasta and a sprinkle of grated aged pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) or parmesan.

Monday, July 9

Recipes from the Sea: Mussels & Clams in White Wine {Cozze e Vongole}

A great "Meatless Monday" meal is a heaping bowl of mussels & clams in white wine with crusty bread & a bottle of crisp Verdicchio D.O.C.  This dish literally is done in 5 minutes - it takes longer to clean the mussels and cut the tomatoes than the actual cooking time! You can add pasta to it if you like (spaghetti or linguini) but the fresh little clams are so sweet & delicious, this is one time there is no need for pasta!

Mussels and Clams in White Wine
Cozze e Vongole in Vino Bianco

Serves 4

1 lb or 500 grams of mussels, rinsed, cleaned & beards removed
1 lb or 500 grams of clams, cleaned
1-2 cloves of garlic
glass of white wine
couple of cherry tomatoes, halved
handful parsley, chopped
pepper or chili flakes
olive oil
butter (optional)
arugula (optional)

In a large frying pan on low heat add 3-4 glugs of olive oil and slowly cook the garlic until brown all over. Remove & discard the garlic (if you like it, leave it in.)

Turn the heat up, add in chili flakes & clams - cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add in the mussels. Turn up the heat and toss in the cherry tomatoes, sauteing for a moment or two. 

Next add a half glass of white wine and cover. Allow to sit covered 1-2 minutes at most until the shells open.  Then shut off the heat, add in your parsley. Finish with a bit of butter or good glug of olive oil.  Top with arugula if you like.

Serve immediately with plenty of good crunchy bread to dip & white wine wine.

Tuesday, July 3

Eating Your Way Through Le Marche: Starting with Porchetta

If you are eating your way through Le Marche, Italy there is no better place to start than a porchetta truck! Follow any traveling market & you will find a truck that sells whole de-boned pig stuffed with herbs and wild fennel, slow roasted, thickly sliced & jammed into a panino for lunch. (Ask for it "con crosta" - the crackling bits, you'll thank me later.)

porchetta made in Le Marche
Here is the next installment of my personal favorite way to travel - "Eating Your Way Through Le Marche", a compilation of feasts, festivals, markets & more happening this July in Le Marche, Italy. I have added as asterisk * next to particularly interesting or tasty events! If you are interested in learning to cook on your holiday and returning home with a few recipes from the Region visit La Tavola Marche ( to book a cooking class this summer in Le Marche!

For more festivals check out: Marche in Feste or on Pinterest: Le Marche Events by the wonderful Giulia di Urbino.

JULY 2012
Festa del porto (the week before the 1st weekend)
Harbor festival, traditions, games, sports, gastronomy, exhibitions, music & more - great excuse to spend the day at the beach

Mercatello Sul Metauro
A traditional fair displaying and selling a variety of goods from 6:00am
*Castrum bibendum (1st weekend)
History in a dish, culture in a glass with live entertainment, food & drinks starting at 6:00pm

Monte Cerignone
*Mons Cerignonis (1st weekend)
Historical re-enactments with procession and the Palio of Uguccione (horse race), with fire-eaters & trampolinists, duellers & falconers, comedians and fortune-tellers, theater, live entertainment, medieval markets plus arts & crafts starting at 5pm

Montemaggiore al Metauro
Festa al parco (1st weekend)
Gastronomy, music & live entertainment in the evening

Concerts and food tastings starting at 9:30pm

Feast of the patron saint of Bingo! Seriously - I know it's not food related, but bingo's a blast & they are doing it outside it the main square!
Belforte All'Isauro
*Festa della birra (2nd Friday)
Beer festival!
*Fiera del diciassette (weekend near July 17th)
Historical re-enactment of the ancient livestock fair with gastronomy and market
Fiera grossa (21st)
Traditional fair selling & displaying a variety of goods and livestock fair all day.

Harvest festival, grain harvesting with historic equipment, gastronomic stands

Sagre della Boccabona (3rd weekend)
Festival of the Boccabona, folklore & gastronomy from 7:00pm
Sagra del cinghiale (3rd weekend)
Wild boar festival -sooo good!

Festival of typical dishes starting at 6pm
*Sagra delle pesche (3rd weekend)
Peach festival & exhibition, traditional auction sale with evening entertainment. How can you get any more summer than a peach festival?!
Mercatello sul Metauro
Donkey race and home made tagliatelle need I say more?! Donkey race through the local contoni (city wards), gastronomic stands with tagliatelle and local products all day in the old center. (Other activities for the palio start the week before)

*Festa del prosciutto (penultimate weekend)
Ham festival, promoting the PDO (protected designation of origin) ham from Carpegna with the participation of local producers all day
Monte Grimano Terme
*Sagra del tartufo nero (penultimate weekend)
Festival of the black truffle, promotion of local products with tastings, expositions, musical entertainment - truffles in the summer!

*Il mare e la montagna (last Saturday)
The sea and the mountain, the fishermen of the Adriatic coast offer their specialties beginning in the afternoon

Oricano di Pesaro
Estate in mercato (last Sunday)
Traditional fair displaying & selling a variety of good all day in the old center.

Harvest festival
*Festa del vino (last weekend)
Wine festival, showcase & market of typical local wines & wine products, wine cellars & tasting of specialties accompanied by vernaccia from Pergola starting at 2pm

*Palio dei Conti Oliva (last weekend)
Historic medieval revival with costume procession & archery competition, medieval market, historical parade & more
San Costanzo
Sagra polentara (last weekend)
Polenta festival where the master polenta chefs cook polenta in antique copper cauldrons starting at 6pm - we will be there for sure!

pizza night at La Tavola Marche


Piobbico/Sant'Angelo in Vado
Pizza Night at La Tavola Marche (Every Thursday June-September)
Family-style pizza night is epic with the outdoor wood burning oven, eating under the stars & meeting guests from around the world. Dinner includes pizza, salad from the garden, red wine, tiramisu & coffee for 18 Euro/person.
Reservations are a must! Call or email at least 2 days before to reserve a spot at the table. 331.525.2753 or

Mercatino del feudatario (July - August, Tuesday)
Feudal market, evening markets of antiques, curiositites, collector's items & of course- gastronomy. Renissance costumes & processsions, musical attractions & artistic exhibitions. The name of the event comes from Count Fabio Landriani della Rovere whose castle feuded with the Duke of Urbino in the second half of the 16th century.

Gabicce Mare
Escursioni guidate in barca a vela (July - August, Tuesday & Thursday)
Sail boat excursions with a guide in the San Bartolo park at 9:00am (prior booking recommended 0541.831.700)

Mercato e shopping serale (July - August, Wednesday - Friday)
Shopping & evening market in the old centre

Sant'Angelo in Vado
Estate vadese (July - August)
Summer in Sant'Angelo in Vado, exhibitions, music, theater, street performers, games, live entertainment, tastings of typical local products 9:00pm

Shopping di sera (July - August, Wednesday)
Evening shopping, a traditional summertime event with music, gastronomy & much more around 9pm!

E...sate in salute (July - August, Thursday)
Summer Health, summer evening market with events, shows, exhibitions & market of healthy products & well being, food & drinks * Guided wine tastings starting at 7:00pm. (Start in the middle of July)

Pasta fresca (June - August)
The quintessential Italian cooking holiday - pizza & pasta making! Learn to throw the dough, roll sheets of pasta by hand & fire up the outdoor wood burning oven!

Gabicce Mare
Mercantino di prodotti naturali (June - September, Tuesday & Friday)
Natural products market in Piazza Valbruna at 8:30pm

Pesaro dulcis in centro (July-August, Wednesday to Friday)
Evening shopping, concerts, exhibitions, entertainment for kids, creative workshops, food tastings, guided tours, cultural walks & lectures.

Mercatino serale (June - September, Tuesday & Friday)
Evening market along Via Fiume
The pleasures of the table in the Middle Ages, medieval dinners in the restaurants of the old center

Giovedi al castello (June - August, Thrusday)
Thursdays at the castle, re-enactment of the closure of the gate to the village at vespers, procession in period costume, fire-eaters & more at 9:00pm

Eventi estivi (June - August)
Musical events, theatre, sports, gastronomy, exhibitions, evening markets and much more along the seaside of Marotta & in the old centre of Mondolfo

All events are under an hour drive from La Tavola Marche!

Sunday, July 1

Italian BBQ: Grilled Rosemary Skewers of Steak Wrapped in Pancetta & Sausages

  Nothing says summer like a barbecue on a hot summer night! Fragrant rosemary skewers packed with filets of steak wrapped in thinly sliced pancetta and fresh sausages grilled over an open oh my! This is a barbecue Italian-style with spiedini or skewers with anything from fish to meat and/or vegetables. Tonight at the farmhouse it's grilled meat spiedini all the way, with grilled polenta & a garden salad. 

On those balmy nights when barbecuing is best, I love it because you're outside standing by the grill and not instead sweating over a hot stove!

Grilled Rosemary Skewers of Steak Wrapped-In Pancetta and Sausage

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