Tuesday, May 28

{VIDEO} Visiting the Vineyards & Bottling Wine in Le Marche, Italy

Every year we visit our favorite winemakers to collect hundreds of liters of wine for guests in glass demijohns. In this short film we visit 3 vineyards and winemakers, buying 600 liters of loose wine or vino sfuso and then return to our farm to bottle, cork and label the bottles with guests! A slice of life in Le Marche for Jason and I.

The winemakers we visited include: Serenelli in Monte Conero, Antica Cantina Sant'Amico in Castelli dei Jesi and our good friend Giusti in Morro d'Alba (LE MARCHE, Italy).

A Film by La Tavola Marche (Ashley & Jason Bartner)
Music: "Tico-Tico" Giampiero Martirani Trio
"Crapa Pelada" Quartetto Cetra

Thursday, May 16

{Podcast from Italy} A Rare Late Nite Edition

Long after a hard day's work in the garden and cleaning the pool we fired up the mics to record a great podcast! This week Jason and I recanted our most recent "Feel like a Local" Friday's in Apecchio (which sent us on a grappa tangent!) Then we went over the preparations in detail for my sister's upcoming wedding & week of festivities. Jason gives a garden update and tomato planting tips!

Thanks for listening!! The photos are from our Friday's in Apecchio! For more details and to join us email: info@latavolamarche.com or visit:

Sunday, May 12

Spring Peas

Growing up on frozen peas, I had no idea what it tasted like to open a pea pod and pop fresh peas in my mouth on a sunny day. Now I savor spring days and dishes filled with spring peas; topped on crostini with ricotta, stuffed in ravioli, simply sauteed or eaten raw - oh how I count the ways... but my hands down favorite - peas and pancetta! Enjoy the simple spring recipe: 

 piselli & pancetta

serves 4
12 oz or 330 gr of fresh shelled sweet peas, rinsed
4 oz or 100 gr pancetta, bacon or guanciale, cured pig’s cheek (omit if vegetarian)
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 cherry tomatoes, halved
spoonful red wine vinegar
small handful parsley, chopped
tiny bit of mint, chopped (optional)
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Bring a medium pot up to boil. In the meantime, in a medium skillet on medium-low heat, slowly render down the pancetta for 4-5 minutes, trying not to brown it and not crispy. If it starts to brown remove the pan from the heat or lower the flame.

Next add garlic & onion, sauté for 5-6 minutes.
(Vegetarian Note: Just omit the the pancetta & sauté the onions & garlic in olive oil.)
When the onions & garlic are about 2 minutes from being ready, add the tomatoes.

At the same time toss the peas in the water and blanch for 2-3 minutes. You want them approximately half-cooked. Strain the peas and throw them directly into the pan with the pancetta adding a spoonful of the pea-water. Allow to cook until peas are cooked but still have a bite.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.
Just before you serve, toss in the herbs and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil.

Wednesday, May 8

Podcast from Italy: May Update & Wedding Details...

Urbania (Le Marche)
Another rainy spring day in Le Marche, our garden is too wet to work in so we thought we'd record a new podcast update on what's going on in our neck of the woods this week. We recapped the Primo Maggio pranzo/lunch and InRock as well as starting to discuss the details/menu ideas and plans for my sister's wedding at our farmhouse in less than a month!!!

Monday, May 6

{Video} Farm to Fork Cooking Class: Foraging for Wild Edibles & Rustic Tart Recipe

During a hands-on cooking class at La Tavola Marche (farm, inn & cooking school) in Le Marche, Italy guests forage for wild greens in the field in front of our 300 year old farmhouse (agriturismo). Jason helps guests identify the different edibles and with bags full of dandelion greens, poppy greens, grispigno & more they head into the kitchen to create a rustic tart with the fresh picked wild greens, ricotta & prosciutto.  

 I hope you enjoy my first attempt at filming one of our cooking classes - it's a little wobbly & we didn't do anything fancy with the audio...but I think you'll get the slice of life/glimpse at one of our Spring cooking classes!

Friday, May 3

A Busy Primo Maggio: A Big Italian Lunch & Music Fest in the Mountains

Labor Day in Italy is celebrated on May 1st or Primo Maggio so we thought it would only be fitting to invite a few of the neighbors that help us so much over for a lovely lunch! All the usual suspects/stars of the "A Tale of 3 Tractors" video where in attendance with their wives and grandchildren.  In typical country farmhouse style, guests started arriving at 11am for a 1pm lunch and stayed until well after 6pm - just enjoying the atmosphere & conversation.

Our wonderful expert wine-guide Marco was there with friends to enjoy the day off. Since they all live near the sea, a day in the mountains is a relaxing treat.

Lunch was amazing and as usual with Italians, pasta was welcomed to the table with a round of applause for Jason! 

Chicken Liver Crostini
Lentil Salad
Pecorino & Fresh Fava
Homemade charcuterie (salami, dried sausages, prosciutto)
Hard Eggs with Salsa Verde

Homemade Tagliatelle with Asparagus and Artichokes

Grilled Sausages
Bone-In Pork Roast

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Caffè & Homemade Digestivi

After the final guests kissed our cheeks goodbye we enjoyed a few moments of solice in the evening sun. Then I quickly beelined it to Piobbico for the InRock Music festival held every year. I was racing the empending storm that never arrived (it has rained on poor Piobbico and this music festival every year we've lived here.) I schmoozed and snapped some photos - enjoyed a beer with friends and even caught the Mayor grooving to the tunes!
Primo Maggio truly was a busy day!
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