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Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Let’s take it Slow.

Mazzafegato and Lentils soup



Encouraged by the enthusiasm ,curiosity and the desire to test and learn everything ,shown by the new group of students from the Culinary Institute of America ,I decided to introduce them to some of the typical produce of areas protected by THE SLOW FOOD ASSOCIATION.  Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

I then started  my lesson with the history of ingredients used by the Etruscans to the Romans to present days in recipes still used by local farmers in Orvieto … in short, a kind of FUSION FOOD !eh eh eh .




One of the ingredients I presented to them was a sausage called  Mazzafegato, it is made by butchers and local farmers from all that is left in their chopping trays after they have taken what they use from the pig for pork joints, ham, chops, pancetta etc .etc .so at the end of the day  nothing is thrown away, the liver, tongue, lips etc. etc .are all  used to make the  Mazzafegato.  The flavor is very strong so farmers blend in natural flavors such as orange, garlic, rosemary, etc. … Mazzafegato, black celery, spelt, these are just some products protected by the Slow Food here in Umbria. You know ,I`ve just realized I`m giving you a lecture too, sorry.


Anyway, after explaining  the ingredients I then gave the group a couple of tasks ,  let the action begin. Chopping, assembling and cooking …. fantastic!






When the soup was cooking it was time for  them to  taste the wine typical of these areas. Graziella  explained to  them how to perceive the wine through an sensory examination and evaluation.






Wine was drunk and food eaten, just perfect! I felt very happy at the end of the day, the young chefs left for a new Italian destination  ready to learn more about Italian food and wine.

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll  find ,on a menu in a NY  restaurant, this soup made from Lentils from Castelluccio  and Mazzafegato from Orvieto and maybe it will be accompanied by an Orvieto Classico DOC wine!! If so please let me know and tell me what you think. In the meantime you could just give it a go using everyday lentils and a good sausage!!!

Ciao for now.

Lentil  and mazzafegato soup
serves 4:
350g lentils from Castelluccio
2 mazzafegato from Orvieto
EVO oil
garlic, 1/2 red onion from Cannara

1/2 carrot
celery from Trevi
fresh rosemary
0.5 liters vegetable stock
pecorino cheese

How it works: finely chop all the vegetables and cook for a few minutes with extra virgin olive oil (EVO oil). Add the sausage mince by hand. Cook for a few minutes. Combine lentils and vegetable stock. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Serve with grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of EVO oil.



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