Sunday, March 28

What to do with Fennel? Fennel & Blood Orange Salad


Fennel - what is it? A big onion? A bulb? Is it even edible? YES and how delicious it is!
The secret is to know how to use it & what to pair it with.

Fennel can be a bit tough & fibrous with an anise flavor. It is also light, crunchy & refreshing when sliced very thin (found in many Mediterranean recipes.) We not only grow our own big bulbs of fennel but another variety of fennel grows wild along our road - the more leafy/flowery type to used as an aromatic.

Here is one of my favorite winter/early spring recipes from Jason below. Other ways to use/eat fennel: roasted (love it), braised in white wine (delicious) and the most simplistic - young fennel can be cut into chunks & dipped into olive oil & salt. (oh so Italian!)



Fennel & Blood Orange Salad

1 bulb of fennel, cut in 1/2 and remove core
2-3 blood oranges
salt & pepper
3 glugs of extra virgin olive oil

Slice fennel as this as possible (use a food slicer or mandolin if available).
Peel & supreme the oranges. Save the extra pulp & squeeze the remaining juice into the bowl.
Mix sliced fennel, juice from the pulp & oranges - season with salt & pepper.
Drizzle with olive oil & toss.
Let stand for 10 minutes then serve.


Friday, March 26

Make it Green: La Tavola Marche goes Carbon Neutral

Our blog has recently been asked to contribute to a new initiative based in Germany called ‘Make It Green!’. The aim of the company is to plant a tree for every blog, reducing our carbon footprint & raising awareness. To help lower these emissions, the team have created a program called ‘My Blog is Carbon Neutral’, where more details can be found on their website. Bloggers can demonstrate that they care about the environment and the carbon footprint of their blogs, with the general idea being to show all bloggers the possibilities to make a small contribution to protect the environment.

carbon neutral coupon with kaufDA.de

To actually neutralize your blog’s carbon footprint, the Make It Green team are planting trees in cooperation with the Arbor Day Foundation working specifically in the Plumas National Forest in Northern California. The support of bloggers all over the world is needed, so for every one participating blog, one tree is planted.

Why not?! La Tavola Marche has now gone carbon neutral - 1 blog, 1 tree!

Thursday, March 18

Porchetta Passion

If you love meat & pork in particular then you then you just might find a slice of fattie heaven in a porchetta panini or a pork sandwich. Jason can't pass them up and finds any excuse to make his way to town on Tuesday mornings when our favorite porchetta guy has his truck parked in the piazza of Piobbico.


Jason & my Uncle Shawn savor the porky goodness at one of the best stands of the Region - the weekly Saturday market in Fano.

Porchetta is a whole de-boned loin of a roasted pig. It is stuffed with salt, pepper, rosemary, wild fennel and the innards of the pig. It is then rolled, spitted, and roasted, traditionally over wood. The recipe of course varies but I bet at least one day a week the Porchetta man can be found in almost every central Italian town and Lazio as well.

So the next time you are traveling through central Italy keep your eyes peeled for a truck with a whole roasted pig & BRAKE! Maybe we'll see you there!

For more on Porchetta Passion pick up a copy of April's Italia! Magazine for my monthly column where we go in-depth about this tasty treat!

Wednesday, March 10

Sauce of the Month: Amatriciana

Amatriciana is a simple, delicious sauce you can make while the water for your pasta is boiling! For centuries it was prepared with guanciale (dried cured pigs cheek) & grated local pecornio (sheep’s milk cheese) and was known as Gricia (from the village of Grisciano in central Italy). While tomato-less Gricia is still prepared in some parts, it is the tomato-enriched Amatriciana that has become a “classic” sauce all over Italy.


Amatriciana

4 oz. cured pig's cheek (guanciale di maiale) or fresh pancetta, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic
glug of olive oil
12 oz. puree tomatoes (freshest, highest quality as possible)
grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
salt
chili flakes
bucatini or spaghetti

In a pot heat the olive oil, add the clove of garlic & onions on low heat season with salt & chili flakes as you like. Saute slowly without color for 10 minutes. As you stir try to mash up the onions.

Add guanciale or pancetta cook for an additional 5 - 6 minutes.

Remove garlic clove & add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add a little pasta water if it gets too thick.

Toss with fresh cooked pasta (bucatini is best) & Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, March 4

Eating Your Way Through Le Marche ~ April 2010

If you're like me, then you love to hit the markets & food festivals while traveling! Enjoy our continuing series - Eating Your Way Through Le Marche: markets, festivals & feasts throughout northern Le Marche.

April 2010

Saltara
Festival of Spring (Festa di Primavera) - Palm Sunday
Traditional fair displaying & selling traditional goods all day.

Mercantino Conca
Festival of Good Friday (Fiera del Venerdi Santo) - Good Friday
Traditional fair displaying & selling a variety of goods in the historic center.

Urbania

Cagli
Procession of the dead Christ (Processione del Cristo morto) - Good Friday
According to an ancient traditon more than 450 members of teh 5 Confraternities pass in procession, shoeless with their heads covered in hoods. 9PM

Urbania
Procession of the dead Christ (Processione del Cristo morto) - Good Friday
Locals gather & walk in procession through town (lite only by candle-light) with living scenes of the station of the cross.

Colbordolo (Talacchio)
Feast of the Easter bread (Sagra della crescia di Pasqua) - Monday after Easter
Local speciality.

San Lorenzo in Campo
Feast of the Local Sweets (Sagra del Castagnolo) - Monday after Easter

Fermignano
Fermignano
Race of the Frog (Palio della rana) - 9-11 April
A funny medieval race of frogs on wheelbarrows (originatingI in 1607). Medieval market & festivities - all day.


Montecalco in Foglia
Festival of Spring (Fiera di primavera) - 2nd Sunday
Traditional fair displaying & selling a variety of goods all day.

Montecopiolo
Festival of St. Mark (Fiera di San Marco) - April 25th
Traditional fair displaying & selling a variety of goods all day.

San Giorgio di Pesaro
Festival of St. Giorgio (Fiera di San Giorgio) - April 25th
Traditional market with art exhibitions, handicrafts & collectors market all day.Frontone
Frontone
Festival of the Madonna (Festa della Madonna) - April 25th
Religious festival with gastronomic stands & music.

Mondolfo
Feast of Garagoj (Sagra dei Garagoj) - Weekend around April 25th
A festival celebrating garagoj, a mollusc (gastropod with a single coiled shell) - cooked by local fisherman following traditional recipes. Afternoon

Montelabbate
Spring in the Village (Primavera al borgo) - Last Weekend
Craft market, street artists, live entertainment all day Saturday & Sunday
Traditional market

San Leo
Market at the Fortress (Mercantino della fortezza) - 5th Sunday
Antiques fair & market all day.

Carpegna
Festival of the pod (Festa del baccello) - Last Sunday
Cheese & broad bean (fava) festival all day.

*Please add below any Le Marche festivals you know about for April or May!

Wednesday, March 3

Slow Travel: Umbria & Le Marche "The Undiscovered Heart of Italy" Enogastronomic Tour


Experience “Slow Travel” living as the locals do from Rome to Le Marche: discover the regional culture, food, nature & wine. Guided by an Italian wine & food expert. Including a rustic country cooking class (at La Tavola Marche!) & VIP wine tours. We have partnered with Passionate Palates to create a wonderfully unique Italian experience for you!

Umbria and Le Marche: “The Undiscovered Heart of Italy”

July 11-18, 2010

Separated by the Apennine Mountains, Umbria and Le Marche share the treasures of picturesque country roads, ancient cities, noble wines, and strong culinary traditions.

  • “VIP tours” of top wineries in Umbria & Le Marche.
  • Visit some of the most historic and picturesque towns and cities of central Italy –Rome, Orvieto, Assisi, Urbino and more.
  • Guided by an Italian wine and food expert who will explain the wines of the region – their history, their qualities, their differences, and the food traditions and culture of the areas.
  • A half-day cooking class using traditional recipes from Le Marche and local ingredients.
  • Stay in a fantastic locations - from rustic age-old farmhouses in Le Marche to the heart of the city center in Rome steps from the famous Campo dei Fiori, one of the most ancient markets in Rome.
  • An intimate travel package – limited to 10 people, with transportation on a small bus and lots of time for exploring on your own. Be a traveler and not a tourist.
  • Included: breakfast and dinner daily (including wine), one lunch (including wine), wine tastings, classes, ground transportation (including driver tip), hotels, taxes, tolls, parking fees, translator/tour guide and lots of fun.

See www.passionatepalatetours.com for more details or call us at 1.562.354.6664.

This group is limited to 10 total. Spaces are filling quickly.

$2,599.00 per person (double occupancy)/$497.00 (single supplement)

Complete Itinerary:

Click here for the full itinerary.

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