Thursday, 8 August 2013

Umbria & Tuscany part 2

Pin It

As I mentioned in in the first post, we stayed on an Agriturismo during our time in Italy. The thing that really drew us to the farm was that it was self sufficient and that there was chance to do some hands on learning in the kitchen. On our last night Louisa let us into her kitchen and taught us to make fettuccine. I have made pasta a couple of times at home but it was much more fun learning straight from a an Italian.

 Once the pasta had a chance to dry Louisa & Francesco served us dinner under the stars where we ate our pasta with a basil & ricotta pesto washed down with their home made wine, brandy & walnut liqueur. We were even joined by some fireflies which for a moment made me think I had maybe had a glass of wine too many. The star of the show for me was their aged Pecorino, nothing like I had eaten before. They clean the casing of the cheese every day and brush it with olive oil. The red is a completely natural reaction but apparently some people cheat and brush the cheese with tomato to give it that colour. We were lucky enough to be able to into their cellar and have a look at the cheese at all the different stages.

During dinner we got talking about the sheep and before we knew it had volunteered ourselves up to get up early & help milk them the following morning.

Breakfast consisted of espresso & figs eaten straight off the tree, out of the whole holiday this is what I miss the most on a daily basis. The sheep were incredibly friendly and inquisitive and didn't seem to be bothered by the milking as were distracted by their breakfast of muesli (I will never look at my breakfast the same way again). Louisa made it look so easy, but then again she does this every morning without fail. After all the sheep had been fed and milked we followed Louisa to the kitchen. Here she showed us how she makes the pecorino using vegetarian rennet. The milk has to be brought up to a certain temperature before the rennet is added and the curds scooped out by hand into the colanders. With the remaining liquid ricotta is made. Ricotta meaning twice cooked as the milk is brought up to temperature for the second time. This is poured into a finer colander with the whey being saved to feed the animals. I thoroughly recommend going to stay with Francesco and Louisa if you fancy getting away from life's stresses and experiencing their self sufficient lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. This looks absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...