Handmade ravioli stuffed with pecorino and mint

Angela Olmi - Chef at Osteria da Gagliano - Sarteano (SI)

Angela Olmi – Chef at Osteria da Gagliano – Sarteano (SI)

Here we are with another delicious recipe from the  “Pecorino che Passione” cooking class held by Angela Olmi chef at Osteria da Gagliano in collaboration with Stella Severini of Misenplace.

The first time you try ravioli divide the ingredients and make half portions. Then when you’ve learned make more ravioli and freeze them. It is easy and very useful: boil the ravioli just for 1 minute, drain and pass under very cold water. Drain again and grease them with some olive oil. They are now ready to be frozen and used anytime you want. Just take them out of the freezer and boil them in salty water as the fresh ones.

Handmade ravioli stuffed with pecorino and mint in a sage, butter and pine-nuts sauce.

Ingredients (for 60 ravioli)

  • 400 gr of Flour “0”
  • 150 gr of Semolina flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 spoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

Mix the two flours and pour them in a heap onto the rolling board, add a pinch of salt and make a hollow on top into which you pour the oil and the eggs. Start mixing the eggs inside with a fork then slowly add the flour. When the dough starts to stick at the fork use your hands to work the dough and form a ball. Add some flour to the surface; knead until becomes smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking to the surface. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests prepare the stuffing.

For the stuffing:

  • 300 gr of chopped pecorino cheese (not seasoned) 
  • 400 gr of ricotta di pecora (cottage cheese)
  • chopped fresh mints + a teaspoon of dried mint
  • salt and pepper

Start by mixing the chopped pecorino cheese with the ricotta (cottage cheese), add a pinch of salt and mix well with a fork and then with a mixer. Add the fresh and dried mint and some pepper (according to your taste).

If the stuffing is too liquid add some grated Parmigiano or bread crumbs.

Now take the pasta dough and divided into fourths; roll one portion at time onto a lightly floured work surface to a 1mm thickness, dusting the dough with a light coating of flour if it starts to stick. Keep the dough that you’re not using covered.

Ravioli

Ravioli

With a teaspoon take the stuffing and make a row on one side of the dough. When you have finished the row, fold the empty side of the dough over the side with stuffing. Press well on the sides and around the stuffing. With a sharp knife cut the ravioli (square shape). Press each raviolo to let all the air out, using the fork to seal the sides of the raviolo by pressing well the dough into the floured work surface.

Cook the ravioli in salt water, cover the pot and let the ravioli cook usually 5 to 7 minutes but as with all the hand made pasta cooking time depends on the thickness of the dough, so try to pinch a corner of the raviolo to check if it is ready or not.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce:

  • 40 gr of butter per person
  • 1 spoon of grated Parmigiano cheese per person
  • sage (according to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pine-nuts per person

Toast the pine-nuts in a pan or in the oven. Meanwhile put the butter in a pan and let it melt, add the chopped sage, a pinch of salt and fry for 10-15 seconds, add some cooking water  and the Parmigiano cheese to form a smooth sauce.

Carefully drain the ravioli in a colander and put them in the saucepan. Add the pine-nuts before serving.

ravioli pecorino e mentaBuon Appetito!

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A day in Florence

Florence is the heart of renaissance, an open air museum that you can easily walk.

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florence -mercato centraleWe always recommend our guests and friends a tour of the Mercato Centrale, the food market where Florentine go to shop. It is a lovely experience and it’s a great place to take very nice pictures and buy great food.

prosciuttoWe have many guests that have been to Florence various time and we like to suggest them a different view of the city with  a “gastronomic tour” followed by a cooking class or private visit to Vasari Corridor or other places that are less accessible to tourists.

But we know that even if you just decide to walk around you’ll have a wonderful day full of memories as fantastic Art and great Food can be founded on each corner of this enchanting city.

Duomo

Piazza del Duomo with the imposing Duomo, is the symbol of Florence, a daring and majestic structure from the top of which you will get a wonderful panoramic view of the city, and also of the interior of the Cathedral. Beside the façade stands another giant, Giotto’s campanile (bell tower), slender and many-coloured, also affording a fine view of the city.

florence - signoriaWalking through Via dei Calzaiuoli you’ll reach the enchanting Piazza della Signoria dominated by the fourteenth century Palazzo Vecchio with its high tower, it is surrounded by other important buildings: the Loggia della Signoria and the Palazzo degli Uffizi on the south side, the sixteenth century Palazzo degli Uguccioni on the north side and the Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercanzia (about 1359) on the east side.

Pass next to the Uffizi Gallery to reach the Arno and take some nice shots of Ponte Vecchio. A walk on the bridge is a must to see the beautiful antique jewels shops.

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At this time you must be tired and hungry, our suggestion is to stop for a quick-lunch at Ristoro Dei Perditempo (our favorite for informal meal) sit by the window that overlook the Arno and Ponte Vecchio and enjoy some delicious food.

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DSCN0001_3There are various option for the afternoon, perhaps you just want to go back and do some shopping or you can climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy a beautiful view of Florence or get lost in the Boboli Garden.

View from sitting room

View from sitting room

If you wish to stay in Florence and enjoy the beauty of this city for more than one day we highly recommend our beautiful apartment Duomo to have your private room with a view…

For info an booking contact Tuscan Views. 

A special offer not to be missed!

Tuscan Views is delighted to inform you that Felceto II is now available at a special discounted price for all bookings made before end of March 2013.

Felceto II sleeps up to 10 guests from only € 2,750 per week. 

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This cozy and delightful villa is located on one side of the Monte Cetona, with amazing views over the Val di Chiana and the Trasimeno Lake. The large garden hosts a swimming pool, olive grove, cypress trees and woodland on both sides.

diningout2Felceto outside

Felceto II is an ideal base to visit Southern Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The A1 highway is only 10 minutes by car and Florence and Rome are within easy reach also by train from the local train station in Chiusi, 10 minutes away from Felceto II.

Contact Tuscan Views for info and bookings

Off the beaten path: Sarteano

White Tuscany 9

Sarteano is a lovely medieval village located in southern Tuscany near the Umbrian border, just 6 km from the exit of the A1 (the highway that goes from Milan to Naples) half way between Rome and Florence. Both cities can be reached in 1,5 hours by car and by train from the main railway station in Chiusi (10 km from Sarteano).

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Dinner in the upper square

Jazz & Blues

Jazz & Blues

Life here is quiet and peaceful but there are also various festivities and activities organized all year around: Giostra del Saracino, Tempo dell’Olio (olive oil market), Jazz and Blues Festival, Christmas with the Elf, Carnival (this year Las Vegas Carnival) and much  more.

Santa Claus in Sarteano

Santa Claus in Sarteano

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Las Vegas Carnival logo

Your ideal day in Sarteano starts with a cappuccino and cornetto at Bar Central (in the upper square) you can then walk through the narrow streets of the medieval section, exploring the Etruscan Museum, and climb up to the Castle but don’t miss a stop to the San Martino Church to view the beautiful “Annunciazione” by Domenico Beccafumi.

After all you deserve a typical Tuscan lunch and our suggestion is Osteria da Gagliano in the upper square.

CENA-08-0019The Castle dominates the medieval section and the country surrounding Sarteano. The castle was built before the 1038 but was completely destroyed and rebuilt between 1467 and 1474. There are guided tours from May to October. Various activities during the summer and a magnificent medieval dinner organised by the Giostra del Saracino around the 10th of August each year.

The Theatre was built on 1734 has been completely restored recently. The Compagnia degli Arrischianti performs from May until September. Today the theatre is also used as a venue for civil weddings.

Beccafumi_AnnunciazioneSan Martino church inside the medieval walls, contains wonderful treasures of the 1300, 1400 and 1500 such as the “Annunciazione” by Domenico Beccafumi.

San Lorenzo church: beautiful paintings by Girolomo del Pacchia, a wooden choir gift of Pope Pio II and a marvellous tabernacle by Marrina. Situated at the end of the “corso” can be reached by an old stone staircase from the main parking.

The Archaeological Museum. Located in one of the most beautiful and old building of the village hosts all the finds of the Etruscan Necropolises of Sarteano. One of the rooms hosts and exhibition of the finds of the “Pianacce” Necropolis where the most beautiful and important discovery of the Etruscan world has been made: La Tomba della Quadriga Infernale”

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Tomba della Quadriga Infernale  

Dating second half of the IV century BC situated on the Pianacce Necropolis this is an extraordinary discovery, one of the image represented on the walls is unique of its kind in all Etruria: a figure of a demon in a moving cart drawn by two lions and two griffons. To visit this exceptional findings you  must book at the Archaeological Civic Museum of Sarteano

a_maggioIf you would like to spend a wonderful holiday in Sarteano villa Il Maggio is our guests favorite villa.

Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas chose Il Maggio to prepare for the London Marathon.

Maggio_jacuzzi5Private but not isolated, Il Maggio is within walking distance from the main square.

For info and bookings contact Tuscan Views

Iwan Thomas on Villa Il Maggio

“I thought a long weekend in Tuscany would be the perfect place to prepare for the London Marathon.”

This is what Iwan Thomas wrote on the Mail on Sunday about his trip to Villa Il Maggio in Sarteano last spring.

“With good weather almost guaranteed and a short flight time from the UK, no wonder thousands of Britons head to this part of Italy every year. We flew to Florence, and from there it was a 90-minute drive to our 18th Century farmhouse, Il Maggio, near the delightful city of Siena. Another of the attractions of this stay was the chance to have a cookery lesson – I was runner-up on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef several years ago, and I’m really passionate about food.”

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“Il Maggio was very impressive, with attractive limestone floors, terracotta tiles and original beams. There was underfloor heating throughout the house too, which I particularly liked.”

“The property had its own spa area, including a Jacuzzi, while outside were lovely gardens, and – this was a nice touch – a small outhouse containing a traditional pizza oven.”

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“After a relaxing first day, we headed to the local village for our cookery lesson. We were shown how to make ravioli and other types of pasta (actually, I learned how to make pasta during my stint on MasterChef, but it was great to have a refresher course).”

pici4Pici lesson

The village Iwan is talking about is Sarteano, located south of Siena. Stella Severini chef at Misenplace hosts a cooking class to teach Iwan how to make PICI a typical Tuscan handmade pasta, and she did a great job as Iwan made a very long PICIO. To learn how to make pici see our Pici all’aglione recipe. 

“Afterwards, we went to do some food-tasting, and later that evening we went out for dinner. It’s a good job I have a big appetite.”

Iwan at Il Granaio

Iwan had the food tasting at Il Granaio di Gabriello a lovely shop in Sarteano. Andrea and Marina were great hosts and shared their knowledge of local produce with Iwan who really enjoyed the local bear Olmaia brewed in the UNESCO heritage site of Val d’Orcia. More info about this lovely shop on our post: Il Granaio. 

The dinner took place at local Osteria da Galliano where Angela and Giuliano prepared a delicious dinner including spelt with Chianti and pecorino cheese, handmade pasta with rabbit and fennel ragout, wild boar prepared according with an antique Florentine recipe with cacao and Bavarian cream with spices used for Panpepato.

“The next day I had to remind myself that I was here to get in some last-minute London Marathon training, so I headed into the hills close to our villa. The weather was gorgeous and (believe it or not) I was having such a good time that I ended up covering 15 miles – much more than I had originally intended.”

I’m happy to say I finished the London Marathon in four hours, which I was pleased with. That session in the Tuscan hills obviously did the trick.”

The road where Iwan trained while at Il Maggio is a wonderful panoramic road that goes from Sarteano to San Casciano dei Bagni. It is a 16 km road that goes along the side of Mount Cetona and overlooks the Val di Chiana. Some days when there’s fog on the valley the view is even more spectacular as Città della Pieve on the other side of the valley appears as an island crowned by Tower bells. It is the favorite road for locals to run or walk during the week-ends.

As the return flight was late afternoon, Tuscan Views together with Country Tours organized a full day tour with visit of a farm near Siena that breed Cinta Senese (an ancient race of white and black pigs) with tasting and a light lunch. After lunch they went to visit a local winery in the Chianti hills and tasted Chianti Classico and Supertuscans. The tour ended at the Florence’s airport where Iwan said goodbye to Tuscany.

To book your stay at Il Maggio contact Tuscan Views

Read the full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2272753/Iwan-Thomas-The-perfect-way-prepare-London-marathon-A-Tuscan-diet-pasta-hills.html#ixzz2K6yR2dOO

Tuscan Views introduces four new luxury villa rentals for 2013

Tuscan Views, Tuscany’s leading luxury villa holiday rental specialist has introduced four new wow-factor properties to its prestigious portfolio of handpicked villas, including:

Il Coccio – Val d’Orcia (SI)

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Representing the ultimate in luxury, this beautifully decorated rustic villa is surrounded by lush Tuscan countryside. It comprises of six bedrooms and six bathrooms and features an astonishing heated swimming pool with breathtaking views over the UNESCO heritage site of Val D’Orcia. Additionally for those who are looking for the ultimate in relaxation freshly prepared breakfast buffet daily and maid service. Welcome dinner courtesy of Tuscan Views and 6 bottles of red wine made on the Estate courtesy of the owner. Contact us for info and bookings.

Checche – Pienza (SI)

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swimming pool

Accommodating up to 16 guests, this breath-taking Tuscan mansion oozes wow-factor, offering 360 degree views, a swimming pool, BBQ area and a spa which offers wine therapy and relaxing massages.

Fresh organic vegetables are grown in the gardens, and guests can enjoy a free wine tasting in the lovely Cantina of the villa.

Welcome dinner courtesy of Tuscan Views.  Contact us for info and booking

Ripa – San Casciano dei Bagni (SI)

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Porch

The elegant and cozy atmosphere make this the perfect villa for every season. Large patio and swimming pool with amazing views over the Val d’Orcia. With its seven bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, fireplaces and large living areas, Ripa is the ideal villa for family reunion and gathering. Guests enjoy discounts at the nearby luxury Fonteverde Spa.

Welcome dinner courtesy of Tuscan Views.  Contact us for info and bookings

Casanova – San Casciano dei Bagni (SI) 

Sitting rooma_mainLoggiaLocated just outside the village of San Casciano dei Bagni, this six bedrooms, six bathrooms luxury villa is five minute’s from exclusive Fonteverde Spa.

It offers luxe contemporary accommodation and stunning patio, garden and heated swimming pool are the added bonus to relax and enjoy Tuscan countryside, food and wines. Welcome dinner courtesy of Tuscan Views.  Contact us for info and bookings

From rustic farmhouses to rural mansions nestled in the Tuscan hills, city centre apartments in down town Florence, and wow-factor summer houses set against the regions’ most dramatic backdrops, Tuscan Views offers one of the most prestigious collections of accommodations throughout Tuscany.

If guests are searching for something more than just a luxury property to holiday in, then they don’t have to look far. The Tuscan Views team are all bi-lingual Tuscany residents and are on hand to provide on the ground support throughout guests’ holidays, from itinerary planning to troubleshooting.

Additionally, Tuscan Views is highly experienced at itinerary planning and works with the region’s leading suppliers to offer a whole array of unique activities, including vintage car hire, sightseeing, wine tours, food hampers, cookery course, in-villa chef experiences and even hot air ballooning for the more adventurous.