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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

What a diplomatic fan I have!

Homemade squid ink Tagliatelle served with sea food


Il Palazzo del Gusto, situated in the former convent of San Giovanni in Orvieto, is an organization which promotes the very best of typical Umbrian products. The very name Palazzo del Gusto means “ Palace of Taste”.  Several fantastic associations such as the Slow Food Association, Italian Sommelier Association and The Regional Enoteca of Umbria are all housed in this beautiful building. For example in the intricate maze of ancient tunnels, the Enoteca, or Wine Library, collects and displays the wines of the most important producers of the region, and hosts its functions in the cellars which are excavated in the volcanic rock and dating back to Etruscan times.

Itinera is the name of the Cooperative that organizes and takes care of these amazing gatherings, and the two founding members ,Lucia and Graziella are two women who love to organize all manner of events connected with good wine and good food. In the recent years it has been my good fortune and pleasure to have the opportunity to work with these two active, professional ladies.

So last Friday it was all planned, the idea was to organize, at the Palazzo del Gusto, a cooking class followed by a wine tasting in the cellars. I was very excited to be asked to be part in this event, plus we thought it would be nice for Nick to take some pictures for the blog.

But unfortunately things don`t always go as you wish, and the day before the event ,Nick had a call to go to Genova and photograph Bebbe Grillo ( the Italian M5S Leader, that had such a great result in this last political Italian election). So ,the official Sagra in casa photographer and of course my big supporter, husband and fan was gone! Not only that but later that evening when speaking with him on the phone after the usual questions like: did you close the chicken gate ?  or did you feed Lui the dog?..etc etc, all he could talk about was this amazing meal he had just had in Genova : tagliatelle made with squid ink and sea food…..totally oblivious that there, on the other end of the telephone line, was poor me in a hysterical panic about my big booking the next day!

My role, was in fact, to hold a class which would prepare and produce four types of finger food that would combine with and complement the chosen wine. 35 people were booked in for the cooking class alone, and a total of 50 people altogether were happy to enjoy this great Aperitivo. Mamma mia ,how did he think I had time to care about his bloody tagliatelle!!!!!

Anyway, at the end of the day it was  all a huge success, my class went really really well and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food that we  had prepared for the aperitif . Luckily for me lots of them also took photographs and for that I must say a big thank you. What you will see is in fact a mix of photos that were kindly given to me by the Itinera and some of the students. Thanks again to all and Nick……….. watch out, because these guys did a very good job!






Caterina and Erika


My last big thanks goes to my two sweet and very professional helpers Caterina and Erika, great girls that I love to work with.

Regarding my big fan Nick , at home on Saturday morning after coffee, I was curious about his opinion on the  M5S Leader, but once again the only thing he was very impressed with and wanted to talk about was……………………………….. that dam meal he had in Genova.

So on Saturday evening to shut him up I decided to make it. We had a very relaxing dinner, we talked about my Friday job and I showed  him the pictures. At last when I asked about the Tagliatelle I had made…he said slowly and carefully “ yes it was pretty good,  pretty pretty good!”

What a diplomatic fan I have.



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