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Filtering by Tag: La Tavernetta

Zuppetta di porcini e patate (porcini and potato soup)

Rosetta

Lots of things have kept me busy since I came back from my culinary tour in Calabria: my book launch happened last week and there is a book signing event every week from now until January. But I did promise everyone in the tour group that I would remake the dishes we cooked in Calabria and give them the recipes. So today, our first rainy day in the Bay Area, seems like a good time to start. Luckily most of the recipes that we cooked are in my book, but a few were new to me. The first cooking class of the tour was held at La Tavernetta restaurant in Camigliatello Silano, in the heart of the Sila mountains. This restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Calabria and its menu focuses on dishes based on local ingredients. We spent our first day foraging for wild mushrooms and for dinner, the chef and owner Pietro Lecce demonstrated two wonderful dishes using them. This week I will give you the recipe for the soup we had. Next week I will try the appetizer we made, roasted mushroom caps filled with ricotta and herbs.

This soup really showcases the simplicity of Calabrian cooking. We used the local potatoes that grow in the Sila mountains--our closest are the Yukon gold--and porcini mushrooms.

The two star ingredients of this soup, porcini and potatoes.

Cut the potatoes in small cubes, about 3/8 -inch by 1/2 -inch

Cut the porcini, cap and stem, into small cubes

Cook the potatoes in the broth until soft

Sautee the porcini mushrooms with a sprig of fresh thyme

When the potatoes are soft add the sauteed mushrooms and finish the soup following the recipe below. Yummy!

For a printable recipe, click here.

Zuppetta di porcini e patate (Porcini mushrooms and potato soup)

1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut in small cubes, about 3/8 inch by 1/2 inch

Extra virgin olive oil

3/4 pound fresh porcini mushrooms

Sprig of fresh thyme

3 cups or more Vegetable broth or chicken broth

Salt and black pepper

In a small pot, warm up three tablespoons of olive oil. Add the cubed potatoes. Stir to coat and then add two cups of hot vegetable broth. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked and soft, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the porcini mushrooms into small cubes including the stems. In a 10 inch skillet place 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Set over high heat add the mushrooms and a sprig of thyme . Add more olive oil if dry. Saute quickly until the mushrooms are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Once the potatoes are soft stir and press against the side of the pot to smash some of them. Add the mushrooms to the potatoes and another ladle of broth. Let them cook together until the potatoes are soft enough that some start breaking apart, about 5 minutes. Stir and smash enough potatoes against the side of the potto make a thick creamy soup. Add more broth if the soup is too thick.

To serve, place a couple of ladles of the soup in a bowl and add a swirl of extra virgin olive oil. Add a few croutons on top of the soup, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

2010! The year of Calabria

Rosetta

Buon anno 2010! This is the year that you can learn even more about Calabria from me. First of all, my cookbook My Calabria will be published in November. But just as important, I will be leading a culinary tour of Calabria at the end of September. This trip is for all you foodies! Discover new foods that you can’t find in this country such as the famous ‘nduja di Spilinga,  prized salumi and cheeses, the famous tartufo di Pizzo,  the sweet red onions of Tropea,  bottarga di Pizzo, local handmade pasta, traditional pastries, famous Calabrian liquorice, spicy peperoncino,  foods made from local cedro and bergamot, and many more. 'nduja di Spilinga

Calabrian cheeses

bottarga di Pizzo

authentic assorted pastries

tartufo di Pizzo

Our trip will start up in the Sila mountains where we will hunt in the woods for wild porcini mushrooms and prepare a dinner with the chef of one of my favorite restaurants, La Tavernetta.  We will travel across Calabria to the Ionian coast and spend the next two nights at a beautifully restored farmhouse, Fattoria il Borghetto, and learn how to prepare some of the local fare.  Next, a visit to the wine country of Ciro to spend the afternoon on the Dattilo estate to taste the owner's wines and organic extra virgin olive oil.   The evening will conclude with a dinner at the estate restaurant, one of the best in Calabria. Along the coast we will stop in Rossano and visit the Amarelli’s factory, world-famous for its liquorice.

We then move to the Tyrrhenian coast and have another cooking class while staying at the Grand Hotel San Michele near Cetraro. We will visit one of my favorite towns, Diamante, also known for its murals. Here we will taste various foods made with Calabria's famous peperoncino and cedro and feast on a dinner based on local seafood. We will then head south and eat the famous tartufo di Pizzo ice cream.  We will have a home-cooked dinner prepared by Signora Callipo herself at Casa Janca and spend the last two nights at a famous five-star hotel, the Hotel Porto Pirgos near Tropea. Our adventure concludes  with a cooking class in this area where we will enjoy the famous red onions of Tropea, ‘nduja di Spilinga, and pecorino di Monte Poro.

Join me on this culinary odyssey to my native region of Calabria.  To find out more details and reserve a spot, click on the Culinary Tour link.