Saturday, April 9, 2011

italy... the ultimate foodie adventure

one of my favorite kinds of books is the travel adventure....true stories of what people have encountered on the road.  peter mayle's "a year in provence" and "toujours provence" are delightful (the audio version is fabulous)...then came frances mayes "under the tuscan sun".....they got got me hook, line and sinker...i had to go.  first to provence ....dragged the kids when they were in their teens and we flew into marseilles and drove all over provence....loved it.....the people, the landscape, the food....take your breath away. 

in 2004 kelsey signed up to go on a people to people youth ambassador trip to several european was 21 days....a long time to be away.  we decided to meet her half way for a quick visit plus we would get to see some of italy.  i assembled my favorite travel guides....rick steves (indispensable) and the michelin green guide to italy.....karen signed on to join us....lars agreed to spend 10 days with two women and a teenager (britany) and we were on our way.  we did a lot of searching to find an apartment in a village but not too far from the highways so we could get to all of the hill towns of tuscany and of course the "prada" outlet......(yes outlet at the factory in montevarchi) we shopped, we cooked, we ate, we all fell in love.  and crazy or not every summer or fall since 2004 we go to tuscany.  we stay in the same place and add new adventures every year. 

as you might guess i have so many stories of my visits to italy i could write for days. .......last year i decided to keep a diary of what we ate at the restaurants in tuscany and what i cooked at our place which we lovingly call the "willage".  here is the inventory from our 2010 trip:
margherita pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, onions, olives

pici pasta with ragu
linguine con vongole(za za, firenze)
more after the jump...

fresh veggie salad with sliced fennel
taglialini with tomato meat sauce (za za, firenze)
lasagna, gnocchi, pork with rosemary and olive oil (cheri beri, san gimignano)
panna cotta con fruiti de bosco (cheri beri)
mac dario burgers, with fire roasted potato (fries) and salad
olive oil cake, mac dario, panzano
gelato flavors: marscapone, biscotini, fruitti de bosco, fragole, limoni, panna, chocolate with hazelnut ahhhh

food we cooked at the willage:
taglialine with fresh tomato sauce (they sell wonderful fresh pasta at the COOP, grocery store)
pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage
tortellini with pesto sauce
ricotta walnut spread crustini
caprese salad (the cheese choices are wonderful)

britany in the kitchen at the willage

that's me with the big spread at the willage
......thank you britany, kelsey, karen and lars for all of the wonderful times.........can't wait to go back......buon viaggio!!!!!!

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