Thanks to Agostini Le Marche is among of the World’s Best Olive Oils Express Elation

It is the first time that we participated in the NYIOOC and we are so glad about this award and prestige that it give us at the international level, since in the last two years we are on the US market,” said Alfredo Agostini who won a Gold Award with Sublimis, that comes from an olive grove at 350 meters above sea level in the Marche region. “During the 2014 harvest, we had a 50 percent drop in quantity. This year we performed natural preventive treatments with copper for the conventional production since we prefer to avoid chemical products. But the olives were so healthy that no additional treatments were needed and this has given great results.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.oliveoiltimes.com

How fantastic to hear that one of our local olive presses has won The New York International Olive Oil Competition, proving our Marche oil is the best!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

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Never Mind 50 Shades of Grey. Here is 50 Shades of Le Marche!

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Want to know why Le Marche is so special? Despite being little know outside of Italy, there is so much to see and do. Certainly something for everyone in this wonderful region. Unspoilt, full of history, the most friendly people and dazzling views around every corner, you will want to come back time and time again.

Here are just the top 50 of our personal favourites at The Hideaway.

1. Take a hike in the stunning Sibillini National Park 

2. Spend a lazy Sunday lunch at the wonderful Il Tiglio with chef Enrico.

3. Relax on the beaches of the Adriatic

4. Take a wine tour at the fascinating Murola Winery.

5. Go on an adventure in the forest with Marco and his beautiful donkeys of Smerillo.

6. Take a pasta making course at La Conca with the fantastic Mirela and dine there too.

7. Visit the local cheese farm and meet the lovely goats at Fontegranne, Belmonte Piceno

8. Have a look at some of the many tiny painted theatres in the area Amandola & Penna San Giovanni

9. Find out all about copper production & maybe buy a pan to last a lifetime at Tanucci’s Comunanza.

10. Take a ride on horseback round the beautiful San Ruffino Lake.

11. Visit the stunning Frasassi Caves – perfect for a rainy day!

12. Have a look at Bozzi pottery being made and maybe take a piece home for yourself.

13. Stroll round ancient Ascoli Piceno & look out for the inscriptions over the doors – there are over 200!

14. Whilst in Ascoli Piceno, enjoy a gelato at Yoghi Gelateria & visit the famous Piazza del Popolo

15. Go truffle hunting in the woods near The Hideaway or in November visit the Amandola Truffle Festa.

16. Visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Rocca in Offida.

17. Take a guided tour of our nearby town of Amandola.

18. Go exploring  San Ruffino Lake by kayak!

19. Go on a pilgrimage to Loretto & the Santuario Della Santa Casa where you will find the house of Mary

20. Visit Fermo and the Cisterne Romane, underground cisterns dating back to Roman times.

21. Take a trip to the Conero National Park and be amazed at the beaches.

22. Whilst at the Conero, eat the freshest muscles ever on Portonova beach.

23. Visit the stunning Basilica di San Nicola in Tolentino.

24. Explore the fascinating Grotti di Osimo caves.

25. Eat pizza in our local favourite Bella Napoli in Amandola. You won’t find better!

26. Visit Le Senate, a new winery in the area and discover a small but perfectly formed vineyard.

27. Take in an opera at the Sferisterio in Macerata, perfect on a summers evening.

28. Sniff the aromas of award winning Perfero Caffe near Altidonna & see the beans being roasted.

29. Watch pasta being made & buy some at Campofilone where it has been made now for over 100 years.

30. Experience buying ‘sfuso’ wine like a local at Centanni near Pedaso,

31. Go to Mazzumaja (dialect for kids making a mess) a huge music event in Comunanza in July.

32. Visit Castello Pallotta in Caldarola. The most perfectly formed castle full of interesting articles.

33. Go factory outlet shopping to some of the biggest names in fashion including Prada, Tods & Armani.

34. Take a stroll & picnic amongst some of Marche’s oldest landscapes at the peaceful Abbadia di Fiastra

35. Laze by the side of the deep blue waters of Lago di Fiastra or take a dip in the cooling waters.

36. Ski at Sassotetto or Madelena – perfect for beginners and the more experienced alike.

37. Travel north and visit the wonderful town of Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

38. Visit the Casa Leopardi – the home of Giacomo Leopardi in Recanati.

39. Take a tour round the ancient site of Urbisaglia and the archeological park and castle.

40. Don’t miss Fabriano, famous for its paper making.

41. Visit the International Museum of Hats in Montappone and grab yourself a bargain.

42. Treat yourself to a Spa in the famous spa town of Sarnano

43. Wonder round the Museum in Amandola and find out about ancient traditions of the countryside.

44. Visit the ancient town of Gradara and its beautiful castle.

45. Stroll around one of the many town markets which are held nearly every day and pick up a bargain.

46. Hike up the Golla dell’Infernaccio or Hells Gorge and be amazed at the beauty and peace.

47. Whilst at Golla dell’Infernaccio, take a detour & visit Padre Pietro at the L’Eremo di San Leonardo.

48. Not strictly Marche, but in neighbouring Umbria – don’t miss the Fioritura in Castelluccio.

49. Get along to one of the many festivals and events held year-round and join in the fun.

50. Winning the award for best pizza maker 2012, visit Mamma Rosa, Ortezzano for a real treat.

Oh and there are just so many more to discover! So come on over to Le Marche and see for yourself.

Shopping in Italy by Amanda Brake, our Italian correspondent living in Le Marche

When I’m asked what it’s like shopping in Italy I realized that it’s quite a tricky question  to answer because shopping in Italy isn’t always an easy task. But before you yawn, there is information about this fantastic area that I have to share with you. Once a month we drive 20 minutes to our…

Source: www.frostmagazine.com

We love living by the seasons and look forward to each and every one. The best way to live! Looking forward now to the asparagus season which will  be arriving soon and scouring the banks along our peaceful lanes for the delicious morsels!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

For The Most Magical Marche Experience!

For The Most Magical Marche Experience!

Coming to stay with us at The Hideaway? Whilst in Le Marche, whatever you do, do not miss the La Conca experience. Mirela welcomes you to her wonderful agriturismo where you will sample dish after dish of her delicious home cooking.

With fresh herbs and vegetables from her beautiful orto, every dish is a taste explosion. A perfect setting, with an amazing host and fabulous food. You really will have a great time!

From the ever-changing talking menu, on our visit this time, for antipasti we sampled tasty speck, borlotti bean and garlic pate, a cured meat platter, fried sage leaves in the lightest of batters, fried courgette flowers, homemade cheeses with strawberry and rose petal jam and hot, delicious deep-fried breads so crispy and light.

There was still more to come – tasty pasta shells cooked in red wine filled with cottage cheese and chives garnished with borage flowers and pink peppercorns.

This was followed by amazing green nettle pasta with sausage cream sauce which was just fabulous, then homemade cannelloni filled with meat and herbs, grilled lamb served with roasted vegetables. Dessert was a delicious type of alcoholic trifle and the whole meal accompanied with as much wine and water as you want. Our experience ended with a wonderful homemade thyme liqueur and coffee.

We will certainly be back, as will many of our guests who have sampled the wonders of Mirela and La Conca.

La Conca is open every day in the Summer for lunch and dinner, but you need to book in advance as everything is prepared specially for you.

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Tortellini with Vino Cotto (or use Sapa instead)

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This recipe is unique and uses Vino Cotto. This meat filled Tortellini, is extremely tasty and delicious and delicate.
Ingredients:

1 x batch of fresh pasta mix (as per video on our cooking channel)250grams x beef mince50grams x slithered radicchio80grams x fresh ricotta cheese50grams x grated parmigiano30grams x olive oil60grams x milk soaked almonds1/2 x lemon freshly squeezed2 x tablespoons of Vino Cottosalt to taste

Directions

-have a batch of freshly made pasta dough ready to be rolled
-mix all ingredients together in a bowl and place to side
-roll out pasta and cut into shapes (100mm diameter circles)
-make up an egg wash and coat pasta shapes
-make up balls with prepared mixture using teaspoon measure (approx)
-place in middle of cut pasta shape
-allow egg wash to dry then seal and shape accordingly
-add tortellini to salted boiling water and allow tortellini to rise to the surface and cook for further three minutes
– drain and serve to taste

See on www.youtube.com

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Making Mozzarella in Le Marche for the Very First Time

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Sarah Topps‘s insight:

We had always wanted to try cheese-making for ourselves so when we found a useful little book recently we decided to give it whirl! In our local town of Amandola, we have a wooden milk shed where we can buy fresh milk from the local farms, so thought this would be the perfect start.

So here goes. You will need:

2 litres of full fat milk

100 ml lemon juice

1/2 tsp rennet mixed with 2 tbsp boiled cooled water

salt to taste

And that’s it!

Other than your equipment:

a stainless steel pan

digital thermometer

stainless steel colander

muslin square

small heatproof bowl

large jug of cold water

Place milk in the pan over a medium heat and use thermometer to heat to 32oC. Remove from heat straight away

Have lemon juice and rennet ready to go and whilst stirring the milk, first pour in the lemon juice and then the rennet. Stop stirring straight away and leave to let the curds set. Fascinating to watch.

After 30 minutes, the curds can be cut using a thin sharp knife. Cut 2 cm strips and then lengthways 2 cms too.

Carefully transfer the curd squares into the colander lined with muslin, set over a bowl and leave the whey to drain for 20 minutes. Turn gently to help the whey release.

Sprinkle with salt to taste.

You are now ready to form the mozzarella so get a jug full of very cold water and a small heatproof bowl.

Cut the curd into 4 equal pieces. Place 1 piece into the bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. The curds will melt but the protein will begin to turn to mozzarella.

Using a fork, scoop up the curds and tip off any whey. Press the curds together to form a loose lump and then with your fingers, roll to form your cheese.

Squeeze out a bit more whey. The quicker you form your cheese the softer it will be but if you knead it more, the mozzarellla will be dryer and firmer. If the cheese appears to be chalky, it needs heating a bit more (to around 60oC). It should be glossy!

Finally drop your formed ball into the cold water and leave to set. Repeat with the other 3 balls.

Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

If you don’t have a microwave or prefer not to use it, heat a large shallow pan of water to 80oC and place your bowl with each cheese portion in the hot water. The curds will begin to go shiny and bind. Follow as above.

Have fun!

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Pasta With Homemade Ricotta & Oven Roasted Tomatoes

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[…] Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of tomatoes through caramelization which once roasted, are wonderful used in many recipes. Although the cooking time is a long one since you roast them at a low temperature, it takes only minutes to prepare the tomatoes for the oven, so while they are roasting you can be busy doing other things. Homemade ricotta cheese can in fact be made in mere minutes, and is so much better than many of the commercial brands you buy in the grocery stores. The steps in this recipe may look long, but you can roast the tomatoes and make your ricotta cheese on one day, then cook and assemble your pasta dish the next.[…]

Pasta With Homemade Ricotta & Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 3hrs 30 mins

Ingredients:

Roasted Tomatoes:
10 To 15 Ripe Plum Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Teaspoon Sugar
Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Thyme (Or Herb Of Choice)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Ricotta Cheese:
2 Quarts Whole Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Chopped Pitted Kalamata Olives
2 Tablespoons Capers, Drained
Chunky Pesto Sauce:
2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves, Packed
1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts
2 Large Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound Pasta of Choice
Garnish:
Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts

Directions

Sarah Topps‘s insight:

We love making our own cheese – so far have tried ricotta and mozzarella, both of which were very tasty!

 

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See on www.italianfoodforever.com