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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Ungrateful guests

Green Tagliatelle made with parsley served with a aubergine pesto



While on my morning run today I met Salvatore , a very fit 80 year old ,he was busy pruning his olive trees. Ciao -I said- would you mind if I bring my car later and  load up with some of your cut olive branches for my goat , she loves them.  SI , SI -Salvatore says-  take all you want ,you will be doing me a favor, after all this, it is very tiring  for me to have to  burn the branches . – (  even Salvatore has a limit !!)

So there I was  before lunch  loading my car to the brim with olive branches! Why you may ask ?Well, I am doing this in the hope that Hilda the cheeky goat, will stop eating the chicken feed and give her greedy attention to the olive branches! My theory is that ,if the chickens can eat in peace, they will be more inclined to lay some BLOODY EGGS!! Yes, because my dear readers, after almost one months since our new guests arrived to live here,  in luxury,  they have repaid us with only ONE single egg .So yet again I have had to buy some from a local farmer for my homemade green pasta with parsley, very embarrassing.  No, something is wrong here and needs to be sorted out, perhaps a really serious talk to these damn chickens will do the trick, or even a guided tour of the kitchen and the ovens.

However, apart from this little problem, we are having some fantastic sunny days in Allerona (Umbria), the first mint, oregano and thyme are growing back. The birds are chirping and the first daisies are blooming, it’s absolutely  fantastic. I cannot believe how the colors of the hills all around us have changed. A couple of weeks ago they were covered in snow, amazing. Anyway, this is all part of the beauty of living in the countryside….apart from the non productive chickens problem of course!

Serve 6


Ingredients serve 6

300 gr Flour (Try to get Tipo ‘00’ flour – this is a very finely sieved flour which is normally used for making egg pasta or cakes. In Italy it’s called farina di grano tenero, which means ‘tender’ or ‘soft’ flour)200gr wheat flour (Semola di grano duro)

2 eggs yolk

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of Evo oil

½ teaspoon salt

100 ml water

50 gr parsley

How it  works:

Blend parsley with water and make a cream.Mix the two flours and place on a board . Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Add olive oil and a pinch of salt and parsley cream. With a fork, first mix the ingredients in the hollow together and start to mix in the flour from the edge.

Gradually incorporate more of the flour until a viscous paste begins to form. Put the fork to one side and, using both hands, heap the remaining flour from the outside over the pasta in the middle. Work the flour in to the paste. If the paste does not absorb all the flour, and if the ingredients cannot be easily worked, add a little water.

Push out the dough with the heels of the hands, then form in into a ball again. Repeat this kneading action until the dough has a firm but slightly elastic consistency and no longer changes shape when you remove your hands.

By machine:

Put the strip of dough through the machine’s smooth rollers several times, narrowing the setting each time, until the desired thickness is achieved.

Start at 6 and finish at 2 for:  Tagliatelle. Then cut by hand.

Aubergine (or eggplants)pesto: 1 big aubergine, 50 gr hazelnuts, 30 gr grated mature goat cheese , 1 small clove of garlic, Evo oil and Oil for fry.

How it works: Peel  aubergine. Cut the skin into small strips and deep fry in oil. Remove from heat when the strips are crisp. Place it on paper towel to remove excess oil. Set aside.
Cut in to cubes the augergine pulp. Cook in a preheated oven,10 minutes at temperature 180 degrees. Allow to cool. Mix together  cooked eggplant cubes, garlic, hazelnuts, grated goat cheese and plenty of EVO oil . Set aside the aubergine pesto . Cook the Tagliatelle pasta al dente and mix with pesto , put on top of your dish the fried eggplant strips .

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