Saturday, September 28

Announcing our New Cooking Class: Gelato + Sorbet Class

Sign up for our newest cooking class, a little something on the sweeter side - Gelato and Sorbet!  We have paired up with our favorite gelato shop in Fano, the award winning, Gelateria Artigianale Maki for a very special class on the techniques, recipes and menu pairings for gelato and sorbet.  This isn't just chocolate and vanilla (we'll make that too) but interesting flavor combinations like craft beer, heirloom tomatoes and even stinky cheese!

  The class breaks down the science behind gelato.  Antonio from Maki explains how the ingredients interact with each other in the freezing process, allowing you to create different flavors using a simple formula.  We are making artisan gelato with all natural ingredients, no stabilizers or extra weird stuff/coloring.

The photo above is of a super cool glucose meter, this instrument is mainly used for testing the sugar content in wine. 

Here is the menu from our first Gelato and Sorbet Cooking Class:

Collesi Beer Sorbet with Peanuts & Chips
(My favorite of the night!!)

 Fig Sorbet with Prosciutto

Heirloom Tomato & Basil Sorbet with Bufala Mozzarella, Black Sea Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
(Check out the photo at the very top of the page for a great shot of this dish!)

 Gorgonzola Gelato with Pear, Walnut and Sappa
 and for Dessert...
Dark Chocolate Gelato
Vanilla Cream Gelato

Artisan Gelato and Sorbet Cooking Class = 175 Euro/person (Includes apron, instructional materials, meal and local wine.)

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook to find out when the next Gelato class will be held in October!

 La Tavola Marche

Thursday, September 26

The Evening Commute: Traffic Free in Le Marche

A night photo of our farmhouse, all the guests are asleep and we are headed to bed....
It may be late, but the commute is a breeze and traffic free! (Walk from the left side of screen/photo to the right where we live in the little house.)
Buona Notte -

Saturday, September 14

{Podcast from Italy} New Episode #58: “Organic” Food in the EU and Favorite Fig Recipes

 A sunny September morning we answer your listener questions about shopping for 'organic' food in Italy and the EU and share a few of our favorite fig recipes as well! Positive predictions for the mushroom/truffle season this fall as hunting season begins.  A short and sweet podcast in-between jarring 100kilos of tomatoes every few day...back to work! Thanks for listening-

Download free on iTunes or Stream via Stitcher: Podcast from Italy with Ashley & Jason

(Photo of the boots is from our latest trek into the woods foraging for mushrooms with guests)

Wednesday, September 11

Gorgeous Baked Spiced Figs with Creamy Vanilla Panna Cotta

Sweet dreams are made of this... Baked spiced figs with creamy vanilla panna cotta is utterly decadent and gorgeous on the plate! During an unseasonably late fig season, we are celebrating with wild green figs from our neighbors tree. I love figs with pecorino cheese and honey, but now that our neighbor Caroline taught us this recipe its a new favorite! A beautiful finish for your late summer, early-fall dinner.

Recipe for Panna Cotta with Baked Spiced Figs

Baked Spiced Figs:
12 small figs
1 vanilla stick
a pinch nutmeg
a pinch cinnamon
60-75gr. Sugar
Preheat your oven up to 200C.

Butter an oven tin.
Cut the figs in half and place them face up and close together in the buttered tin.
Open the vanilla stick and take the pods out, drizzle the pods, cinnamon and nutmeg over the figs.
Bake in the oven for 15minutes, lower the temperature to 160 C., drizzle the sugar over the figs and keep in the oven for another 15minutes. Let them caramelize.

Vanilla Panna Cotta
serves 8
Ingredients for Panna Cotta
3 sheets of gelatin
scant 1/2 cup milk or 120 ml
2  cups or 500 ml heavy cream
1/2 cup or 60 g sugar
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise

Fill a bowl with water, add the gelatin and let is soak. Pour milk into a pan & bring to just below simmering, then remove the pan from the heat. Do NOT let it boil. Drain & squeeze out the gelatin & add it to the milk. Pour the cream into another pan, add the sugar and vanilla bean and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Then remove the pan from the heat, remove the vanilla bean and stir in the milk mixture.

You can put the mixture into any kind of ramekin, mold, cup, you like. Rinse your 'glass' in ice-cold water, shaking out any excess water & fill with the milk mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours until set (at least 3-4 hours). Turn out onto a serving dish & serve with fruit sauce or chocolate sauce.

fresh picked wild figs from Le Marche, Italy

Sunday, September 8

The Quickest Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes

With over 400 tomato plants in 12 varieties, needless to say, we love pomodori! However you can't eat them all at once - so we preserve our tomatoes a few different ways to extended their season and flavor long into winter.  You don't have to grow your own tomatoes to preserve them, just buy extra at the farmers market while they are still in season. 

Of course we jar/can a few hundred kilos, which is time consuming and a mess - but well worth the work once you pop open a jar in Februrary and the kitchen smells like the garden in July. We also make passata or passed tomatoes in pulp to jar, as well as tomato marmalades (which I am addicted to!) But the easiest, quickest way - freeze'em!

Place ripe tomatoes (small varieties are best like cherry or datterini) on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer overnight.  Once frozen, place in a ziplock bag and use as needed. 

Why freeze your tomatoes? It's a quick and easy way to have the flavor of fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter at your finger tips (we freeze our peppers as well).  Since, they are frozen at the height of their season, the frozen vegetables will undoubtedly taste better than the gassed ones you find at the grocery store.  They are not to be defrosted and eaten raw, rather tossed into a sauce
with cauliflower & orecchiette, added to ribollita or favorite soup, or a handful added to the pan that  your pork is roasting in!

Friday, September 6

{Video} The Potato Harvest

We've been digging up potatoes for a month now, but it's time for the potato harvest on our farm in Le Marche. I grabbed the iPad and shot a quick video of Jason and Gaggi unearthing our potatoes for the season - over 100 kilos (more than 200lbs) in one morning!

Wednesday, September 4

La Vendemmia, The Grape Harvest has Begun...

On his way home from town, Jason was stopped by a friendly neighbor offering a gift of fall - fresh clipped grapes! When he asked what type they were, Olavio smiled his crooked smile (missing a few teeth) and said, "il nostro" ours. Well, it's as simple as that. And let me tell you - his sweet grapes may be full of tiny seeds, but it's worth the work.
...just another reason we love living in Le Marche!

Monday, September 2

Podcast from Italy: Q&A Tomato Recipes, Pumping Gas & The Italian Diet

The hens are back to producing eggs daily, and we're back with the latest podcast from Italy! It's the first Sunday of September and we've got a little time away from the guests and garden to answer your burning questions, from our favorite tomato recipes and Gas Station Etiquette (& How to pump) to insight on the typical Italian diet.

Until next time....

And a few photos from our garden and tomato picking crew:

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