Poggio Pots and Pans live cook-in

Hello Poggio Friends!

We hope you are all doing great, even in this difficult time. 

We had a glorious time last Friday during our first ever Poggio Pots and Pans live cook-in! Many of you made it possible: first of all Antonella Pavanello, who so kindly agreed to show us her scrumptious menu featuring salmon, citrus pesto and a delicious strawberry dessert, which was universally loved. Martha and Judith, thank you too for helping us to invite all the friends who joined us on zoom: Jeanette, Carol, Mefran, Cathy, Mary, DeAun, Margaret, Martha, Patti, Sharm, Lubna, Becky and Mary! You are those who made the lesson great: seeing so many friendly faces brought us joy and we hope it did the same for you.

We received some great reviews from our friends in Tennessee: “like a fine New York Italian restaurant” and Kansas, “That was so much fun, I loved seeing everyone!”  The Poggio Family wants this positivity and good energy to continue! We have another lesson in the works, hoping that even more Poggio friends will wish to be together and cook with us. 

To be updated on new Poggio Pots and Pans live cook-in events, write us an email or follow us on social media!

For other Poggio Pots and Pans recipe, check our previous episodes!

Poggio Pots and Pans – Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage

As every Friday, Poggio Pots and Pans is back with another yummy recipe we made together. We hope you are enjoying these virtual trips that take a little bit of Italy into your kitchen, all the way across the  Atlantic ocean to the US. We also want to thank you for all the comments and support you are giving us!

This week it’s one of northern Italy’s most famous specialties. This dish is widely known (and constantly mispronounced) but few people know that gnocchi are actually easy to make. This is a homey dish for those without access to many fancy ingredients other than the humble potato. We learned how to make Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage from chef Marzia di Luzio during a cooking lesson with Trissy and her marvellous group of friends from Alabama!

Marzia di Luzio with our friends from Alabama


Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 ¾ pounds potatoes
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • 4 T / 2 oz. butter
  • 5 to 8 sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

First of all, wash the unpeeled potatoes and boil in unsalted water until cooked through. Peel and mash them while still hot, add the flour a little at a time, then the salt, nutmeg and finally the egg yolk. 

Working the ingredients gently until you have a soft dough, form cylinders with a thickness of your finger and then cut into 1-inch lengths. Put them in flour to keep them from sticking to each other.

Now, bring salted water to a boil.  Melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the fresh sage leaves and garlic cloves;  allow the butter to turn until golden. Gently place gnocchi into the boiling water, a few at a time. As soon as they rise to the surface, remove them from the water using a slotted spoon or strainer and dress them with the sage garlic butter.  Lastly, place them in a chafing dish and sprinkle them with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.  

Optional: Just before serving slide under the broiler for a few minutes. And then, enjoy!

See you next week!

More recipes from “Poggio Pots and Pans”

Poggio Pots and Pans – Creamy Peach Almond Cups

Poggio Pots and Pans:  Cheer up, it’s almost peach season! According to certain people we are what we eat, and maybe that is why Italians are so focused on enjoying delicious food, like Antonella Pavanello’s Creamy Peach Almond Cups.  And let’s face it: we frankly need some cheering up.  From personal experience during lockdown in Milan, we know that mood improvement CAN and DOES pass through the taste buds! Here is Antonella’s easy but delicious creamy but crunchy peach dessert.  Plus, these cups are beautiful to behold, and give whoever makes them the satisfaction of creating something attractive using your hands.  

Wow your family or just yourself with these colorful cups to end your meal; this is a dessert worth the small effort required to make them.  

Starring in this recipe, again Sheryl and her friends from Alabama and Georgia.

Sheryl and her friends tasting the amaretti cookies

Tasting the amaretti before adding them to the cups


Creamy Peach Almond Cups


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 9 oz.  vanilla yoghurt
  • 5 oz. fresh cream
  • 2 large yellow peaches
  • 2 T confectioners sugar
  • 1 carton raspberries
  • 12 amaretti cookies
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • Cocoa powder to dust

 

Preparing the cups

Preparing the cups with chef Antonella

First of all, peel the peaches and food-process the pulp with 1 tablespoon of confectioners sugar and 4 raspberries to obtain a pinkish coulis. In a bowl, whip the cream with the remaining confectioners sugar and gently incorporate it into the yogurt.

Next, toast the almonds in a non-stick pan for a couple of minutes without seasoning, until they begin to color.

Place an amaretto on the bottom of a small glass or small clear bowl; pour over a spoonful of peach coulis then layer a yoghurt cream and crumble over a little amaretto and some almonds. Add more peach coulis and another layer of cream; garnish each dessert with some raspberries, another crumbled amaretto, and the remaining almonds.

Sprinkle lightly with cocoa and serve immediately or keep it in the fridge until serving. 

Be careful not to refrigerate them too long, otherwise the amaretti cookies become soggy and lose their crunch.

And here they are! Enjoy!

Voilà! Creamy Peach Almond Cups

Creamy Peach Almond Cups ready to enjoy

Check other Poggio Pots and Pans recipes for Linguine with fava beans and polenta rounds!

Poggio Pots and Pans – Linguine with Fava Bean Pesto

Welcome back to “Poggio Pots and Pans”, here, take a seat! We were just about to get started with a new recipe from Poggio. But first of all we would like to really thank you all for the comments, the kind words of support and the messages! Hearing from you brings us joy and a feeling of connection with our Poggio friends. 

While looking for a recipe to share, we came across some pictures from a cooking lesson with the talented chef Antonella Pavanello and Sheryl Lott’s fun group of friends from Alabama and Georgia.  

Chef Pavanello cleaning the Basil

Antonella taught us how to make Linguine with pesto made from fava beans, basil, dried tomatoes, mint and Pecorino cheese, a satisfying spring recipe to bring some color into your meal! In addition to being beautiful, this dish is packed with useful nutrients: favas and cheese are protein, pasta is a great source of carbs while fresh mint, basil and tomatoes are fibers and vegetables.

Favas are available in American food stores such as Publix and on-line.


Linguine with fava beans, dried tomatoes,  mint and pecorino pesto


Ingredients for 6 to 8 people:

  • 500 gr linguine or spaghetti

For fava bean pesto:

  • 16 ounces fresh or frozen fava beans (canned can be used in a pinch but they are not as green)
  • 2 ounces or 3 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese (you can substitute parmigiano)
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons dried tomatoes in oil (substitute halved cherry tomatoes sprinkled with salt and sugar and baked for 45 minutes at 360°F)
  • 1 bunch basil leaves (about 30 leaves)
  • A few mint leaves (about 15)
  • 1 clove garlic (if desired)
  • 1 cup or more Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Let’s get started!

  • Cook the beans in lightly salted boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes. Drain and cool them under running water and remove the outer coat (if not already peeled).
  • Clean, wash and dry the mint and basil leaves. Combine the fava beans and the other ingredients in a food processor and slowly add the oil until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Add salt and pepper and mix again until you obtain the consistency of a liquid pesto.
  • Pour the pesto into a bowl. Cook the linguine in rapidly boiling salted water for the time indicated on the package; dilute the pesto with a spoon of cooking water. Place the colander on top of the serving dish in the sink, then drain the linguine in the colander so that your serving dish gets nice and hot. Empty the hot cooking water from the dish, add the linguini and pesto. Mix well and serve.

Let us see your Linguine with Fava beans pesto if you try making them!

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Welcome to “Poggio Pots and Pans”

 

Trissy, Ann and Lindsey are learning her techniques while enjoying an aperitif.

Trissy, Ann and Lindsey are learn Marzia’s techniques while enjoying an aperitif.

We’re stuck at home here in Italy, so cheerful pictures like this one of chef Marzia showing us how to make polenta rounds really bring joy!  Food is a staple in Italian culture and we love cooking together with family and visitors.  Here we’ll share some delicious and easy recipes that you can try making at home, bringing a little bit of Italy into your kitchen.

Marzia Di Luzio, dressed here in her bright red chef jacket, gave us a memorable lesson on how to make Gorgonzola Polenta Rounds. Satisfying and cheesy, these rounds are easy and tasty: enjoyed with a mixed salad it makes a wholesome Italian meal.

Here we’ve adapted the recipe using some southern grits, a gift from Poggio Verde guest Peggy Lee, easily available in American food stores.

Trissy and Friends hit their stride in the Poggio Verde kitchen. Hooray!

Welcome to Poggio Pots and Pans!

Upcoming recipes:  Pasta Carbonara, Riza’s delicious meatballs and more!


Gorgonzola Polenta (or Grits) Rounds


Ingredients (4 servings or 14 rounds):

  • 1 cup grits or polenta (follow the recipe on the package; usually calls for water, salt and a touch of butter)
  • 6 oz. gorgonzola, blue or flavourful cheese
  • Flour for the work surface
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 
  • A whole garlic clove to flavour the nuts
  • salt
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven on the grill setting to 420°

  • Follow the grits (or polenta) recipe on the box (or use leftover grits or polenta).  Turn the hot polenta out on a wax-lined baking sheet, spread it out somewhat and let it cool completely.  
  • Use your hands or the back of a spoon to press out the polenta ½ inch thick on floured wax paper or a floured marble surface.  Use a cookie cutter or upside down glass to cut out the rounds.
  • Arrange the rounds on an oiled baking sheet, brush tops with olive oil and bake until browned (about 25 minutes)
  • While the rounds are browning, saute the chopped walnuts or pecans in a small frying pan with a drip of oil, whole garlic clove and salt, for about 10 mins.
  • Remove rounds from the oven when brown.  Place about a spoonful of cheese on each and place a few toasted walnut pieces on top.
IMG_5794

These scrumptious rounds can be made with either grits or polenta

Other recipes by “Poggio Pots and Pans”:
Linguine with fava beans pesto
Creamy peach almond cups

Chattanooga in Poggio Verde

IMG_1478In a country villa up a hillside from little Barzanò, Italy, less than an hour north of Milan, final preparations are underway to receive visitors for a week of exploring the beauty of northern Italy. Rooms are being given a final cleaning, the refrigerator is being stocked, the grounds are being tended to and windows are being shined so nothing obstructs the gorgeous views.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, eight women are finishing up their packing, taking care of last minute details and saying their good-byes before heading to the airport to catch their flight for Milan, arriving Saturday morning.

Things may change due to weather, but their itinerary is as follows:

DAY 1: Saturday, 3 October 2015. Arrival, Organic Luncheon and Montevecchia. Exiting Malpensa airport’s baggage area, look for our driver who will be holding a large POGGIO VERDE sign. He will accompany you to the Villa where you will have time to unpack, make yourself comfortable and take a relaxed walk in the park. We will have lunch at the organic farm,”Galbusera Bianca” followed by a short walk in scenic Montevecchia Alto with its quaint church and stations of the cross. The day ends with a delicious meal at the Villa with home-made tagliolini pasta and fresh vegetables and herbs, followed by Italian cheeses and a dolce.

turismo-enogastronomico-strada-vino-franciacorta-wineDAY 2: Sunday, 4 October. Bergamo Alto and Franciacorta. After breakfast, our driver will take us the lovely hill town of Bergamo. We’ll take the funicular to Bergamo “Alta”, one of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy. After wandering around the medieval town we will take the funicular back to the lower city and our driver will take us to lunch at a nearby vineyard to taste the delicious sparkling wine of the region and then back to Poggio Verde. We’ll have dinner at the Villa prepared by Cicchi (pronounced Cheeky), a great chef and friend.

mendrisioDAY 3: Monday, 5 October. Switzerland, Outlet shopping, Wine Tasting. After breakfast, put your passport in your purse because we’re heading up to Switzerland! Our driver will take us for a short visit to the house museum Vincenzo Vela in Ligornetto and we will have lunch at the nearby family restaurant “Grotto Balduna” featuring Ticinese local cuisine. After lunch we will visit Foxtown for outlet shopping. Return to Poggio Verde and relax until our wine tasting session with the sommelier Penati of Oggiono and delicious home-cooked meal of Northern Italian specialties.

IMG_3452DAY 4: Tuesday, 6 October. Como, Silk outlet, painting exhibit, Tea at Villa d’Este. After breakfast, our driver will take us to Como, where we will enjoy a bit of the Old Town and visit Mantero, a luscious Italian silk outlet. We will have lunch at a sweet Osteria featuring local specialties, then visit a painting exhibit at Villa Olmo in Como followed by tea at the Villa d’Este, one of the most beautiful romantic and neoclassical villas in Italy. Our driver will return us to Poggio Verde in time for dinner prepared for us at the Villa.

isola bellaDAY 5: Wednesday, 7 October. Lago Maggiore, Stresa, Isola Bella, Linens outlet. After breakfast our driver will take us to the charming town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore. We will take a walk along the lakefront and then take a boat from Stresa to the magnificent Isola Bella, the most lavish of the three Borromean Islands. Here we’ll have lunch in a charming restaurant and we will visit the princely Borromeo Palace and its grandiose baroque Italian Gardens built on ten terraces. We return to Stresa by boat where our driver awaits us to accompany us to the linens outlet Bellora and then back to the Villa for a delicious meal at Poggio Verde. (Rain alternative: Go to Milan and visit EXPO! The world exhibition has been receiving excellent reviews and exhibits from 70 countries are said to be amazing.)

Duomo PicDAY 6: Thursday, 8 October. Milano: The Last Supper, Duomo, La Scala, Via Montenapoleone. After breakfast, our driver will take us to Milan where we will begin with a guided tour that includes Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Lunch will be in a restaurant overlooking the roof of the Duomo. From the restaurant we will walk through the Galleria to the La Scala opera house for a behind-the-scenes visit, followed by shopping and strolling down Via Montenapoleone and Via Spiga. Our driver returns us to the Villa for a short rest and then we will dine at the nearby “Giovanna Passeri” Agriturismo with its refined and fresh Brianzola specialties.

DAY 7: Friday, 912174253054_ca094e3b17_n October. Royal Monza After breakfast our driver will accompany us to the royal city of Monza we will visit one of the most beautiful Romanesque cathedrals in Northern Italy, the Duomo of Monza, for a look at the famed “Iron crown” – said to have been made with the melted-down nails of the Cross and the crown which Napoleon crowned himself in 1805. After a stroll around the old center of this pretty town, we’ll have lunch at a delightful Osteria featuring local specialties. Then we’ll visit the newly renovated Royal   Villa of Monza, a truly spectacular visit. That evening we will celebrate a scrumptious good-bye dinner prepared by Cicchi at what has become by now your new Italian “home.”

DAY 8: Saturday 10 October Departure. After breakfast at the Villa our driver will take you (and your packages and your great memories!) to the airport.