The Magic of Abruzzo Blog
"We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us." Anonymous
"We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us." Anonymous
Easter is just around the corner. Spring is in the air!
It is time to start thinking about baking that special Easter bread.
There are many different types of Italian Easter Bread but most are made with the following ingredients:
flour, oil, sugar, eggs, yeast and milk. Modern recipes are adding Pecorino, Parmigiano or another types of hard cheese.
Watch the videos below and see how our neighbor Rosa makes this traditional Italian Easter treat.
According to religious tradition, the Pizza di Pasqua should be prepared on Monday, Thursday or Good Friday to be eaten at breakfast on Easter Sunday.
Once ready, it was customary to bring the Pizza di Pasqua to the church, so that it would be blessed together with the other foods to be consumed on Easter day, but this doesn’t happen much today.
Though traditionally served at breakfast on Easter morning, it is also served as an appetizer during Easter lunch, it is accompanied by blessed boiled eggs, ciauscolo (a type of soft salami typically found in the region of Le Marche) and red wine.
Pizza Di Pasqua di Abruzzo
1 kg flour
6 eggs plus one yolk
250 g milk
250 g sugar
250 g vegetable oil
2 cubes fresh yeast
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Dissolve the yeast in tepid milk.
2. Add all the other ingredients.
3. Mix with a fork.
4. Work with the dough with your hands for 15-20 minutes on a floured surface.
5. Divide into two parts.
6. Using parchment paper in a shallow pan, place your dough onto the pan.
7. Brush on the egg yolk and add sprinkles and/or colored eggs.
8. Let rise for 3-4 hours.
9. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 180C.
ENJOY!! BUONA PASQUA
To watch a video of Rosa making this bread go to:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2_ouZtVPdg
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0A2p5uN06o
Part 3: https://youtu.be/oiefkrZ3V4I
Visit us during the Easter season and we’ll invite Rosa over to teach you to bake this lovely Easter Bread.
DON’T MISS OUT ON OUR EASTER EXPERIENCES: Just click on our Facebook cover photo “Experience Easter with Us” for all the details. Go to our FACEBOOK page here.
When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie, That's amore.
Dean Martin made this song famous along with the line,
When the stars make you drool Joost-a like pasta fazool, That's amore.
And since I’ve been in Italy I’ve been looking for this Pasta Fazool.
But what kind of pasta is Pasta Fazool?
Well, I’ve come to find out that it’s not a pasta dish at all. It’s a soup!
Pasta e fagioli, meaning "pasta and beans", is a traditional Italian soup. It is often called pasta fazool in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule. Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients.
I’ve decided since its winter and its getting cold outside that I’d try a few pasta e fagioli recipes until I find the one we like best. I tried a few from the internet but the best one, of course, comes from Domenico's mother using only the freshest ingredients.
Abruzzo’s version of ‘pasta e fagioli’ is called ‘sagne e fagioli’ and is a rustic dish sometimes made with chickpeas instead of beans. But usually, it’s made by cooking ‘borlotti’ (pinto) beans in sauce, while strips of homemade pasta are added to the pot near the end of cooking. The homemade pasta noodles are made with flour and water, while the sauce is usually made with tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, chili peppers, and olive oil.
Here’s my favorite Pasta e Fagioli Recipe:
20 g of cut pasta (cut pasta means homemade pasta cut as you like) otherwise use tiny dried pasta, such as stelline, acini di pepe, orzo, and tubettini. These tiny pastas continue to soak up liquid as the pot sits on the stove, so it's important to serve the soup as soon as the pasta is cooked
1 stalk of celery
½ medium onion
¼ cup of tomato sauce
1 fresh sage leaf
400 g of fagioli
2 cups of vegetable broth (homemade is best)
Salt and pepper
Chop celery, carrot, and onion finely. Put a bit of olive oil in your soup pot and saute the vegetables on medium heat. When onion mixture becomes soft, add the drained beans to the pot. Chop a fresh sage leaf and add that too. (Dom's mother will sometimes drop in a parmesan rind if she has one, but its for flavor - not to eat). Add two cups of vegetable broth and cover. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes or so, scoop out about a cup of the soup and blend with a hand-blender then return it to the pot. Next, add the pasta and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve in a ceramic bowl with salt/pepper and shredded parmesan cheese. Then drizzle your best olive oil on top!
If you are interested in visiting Abruzzo and experiencing authentic abruzzo cooking, or maybe even taking part in the wine or olive harvest - simply contact us at email@example.com today.
DOMENICO'S FAMOUS PASTA CARBONARA RECIPE
If you've been to La Rocca Mia House B&B, then you most likely have tried Domenico's Pasta Carbonara!.
It's so simple to make with little time and effort.
La Rocca Mia House B&B is more than a simple bed and breakfast.
Come Experience the Heart of Authentic, Unspoiled Italy with us!
Have you ever heard of the Slow Food Movement?
Slow Food began in Italy with the founding of - Arcigola in 1986 as a consequence of the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Hence the name Slow Food instead of fast food. In 1989, the founding manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries. The Arcigola has now expanded to include over 100,000 members with branches in over 150 countries.
Slow Food is an international organization with local chapters all over the world. Check out slowfood.com to see if there is a chapter in your area! The aim of this non-profit organization is to promote local foods, traditional cooking and especially food production. This means an opposition to fast food, industrial food production and the sharing of agricultural and production practices across borders.
You also may know the term ‘Farm to Table’. Farm to Table is a phrase that can mean different things to different people depending on the area. At its heart, Farm to Table means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm, most likely is organic, without going through a store, market, or distributor along the way.
In Abruzzo there are numerous Farm to Table restaurants. Our favorite of all time is Sapori Di Campagna (Country Flavors) in the hillside of Ofena.
There is also a tourist railway journey that connects a local village here in Abruzzo, Sulmona to Isernia, which is located in the adjacent region of Molise. This journey is named the Transiberiana d’ Italia. It crosses the Appenines, exposing the vivid and remote scenery of the region. There are various themed journeys one of which is the Slow Food train.
The Slow Food trip begins at 9am departing from the Sulmona Station. There are five station stops along the way. At each stop, there is a tasting of various artisan products such as cheese from cow, goat or sheep milk, flavored honey, traditional homemade salami, peperoni dolci - sweet peppers, truffles, artisanal beer, porchetta - slow roasted pork freshly seasoned, wines of the Peligna Valley, genziana - a locally made bitter liqueur from the gentiana root (Domenico’s favorite) and various local sweet treats.
If you are planning a trip to visit us here in the beautiful Abruzzo region, check with us and we will schedule an amazing journey for you. Each train ride is different, and station stops vary according to the theme. A sampling of the various themed train journeys include: artisan beer, local wine, or Christmas to name just a few.
We all like to drink it, but how many of us know the specifics behind winemaking? In Italy, and especially Abruzzo, winemaking is a family affair. Today we are speaking with Francesca Margiotta, the current oenologist at the Margiotta Winery in Pratola Peligna, Italy.
1. How did you get started in the wine business?
The wine business in Italy usually runs in the family. I am the 5th generation to take charge of The Margiotta Winery. The vineyards were originally planted by my great, great, great, great-grandfather, Gabriele, in 1910.
2. What is your winemaking style?
We have several winemaking styles at the winery. We have a full-bodied red called Montepulciano D' Abruzzo, Cerasuola - a medium rose, Pecorino - a medium white, and a sparkling.brut. The best way to explore the different styles of wine is to attend a wine tasting for yourself. Get to know your preferences. An experienced wine expert or sommelier can help you.
3. How do you KNOW when you have a particularly good vintage?
Good weather during vintage without fungus, allowing full maturity of all grapes, would make a good vintage. But it's hard to say until October because anything can happen with the weather! We've seen hail and ice in May, or a particularly dry spring (this spring/summer, for example, it has only rained twice so we needed to manually water the vines), the vines could mature too soon or too late. You can only tell at the end when the grapes are fungus free and have clarity.
4. Why do we sometimes see roses at the front of the line of grapes?
The roses are there as an early warning system to signal that fungus is present and will soon attack the grapes. The fungus will attack the roses first so we see that the roses are full of fungus we must work quickly to protect the vines. This is usually done by spraying with sulfur. It's the only way. I don't use the rose bush method now (its an old tradition). I use a modern method of controlling the soil and monitoring the health of the vines.
5. In the world of wine, who do you most admire and why? Who influenced you?
I have followed the Donnafugata Winery in Sicily. They are modern and forward-thinking. I especially love their marketing through their labels. Each label represents a woman\s head with windblown hair which was inspired by a novel.
The name Donnafugata refers to the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa entitled Il Gattopardo (The Leopard). It means “donna in fuga” (woman in flight) and refers to the story of a princess who found refuge in the part of Sicily where the company’s vineyards are located today.
6. Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Bologna Alma Matar Studiorum for 3 years to study Enology and Viticulture, that was followed by a year in Florence specializing in the Marketing and Operations of Wineries.
8. Do you have a favorite wine or vintage that you have made?
Of course: the first wine I produced after university was The Vellus-a sparkling brut and I won the BEST SPARKING WINE in Italy at the VinItaly Competition. I was so proud of winning with my first wine ever!
9. What is one of the hardest things about winemaking year in and year out?
The hardest part is trying to control all the aspects of the winery, for example, the technology, nature, physical and chemical components of vinification plus the selling, marketing and general operations.
10. What is rewarding about your job?
I work in the vineyard because it is my passion. To have someone on the other side of the world who appreciates your wine is the most rewarding part of my job.
If you are interested in visiting Abruzzo and experiencing the wonderful wines and wineries, or maybe even taking part in the wine harvest in October, click on the photo to see see specific itineraries or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
About the author
This blog is curated by Margaret Gigliotti, B&B owner, teacher, explorer, wine drinker and creative writer.
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