Typical Tuscan Recipe for Summer: Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al pomodoro (Tomato and bread soup) is a traditional Tuscan recipe that is best prepared during summer, when tomatoes are ripe, juicy and delicious. Here is our family recipe. Ingredients: 2 lb ripe tomatoes 10.5 oz Tuscan (non salted) stale bread – this is about 5 -6 slices Large handful Basil 1 garlic clove 1 tablespoon of minced white onion Boiling water Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt and Pepper   Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Wash the tomatoes, cut a cross on their bottom and plunge them in boiling water for few seconds. Drain them, remove skin and seeds and thinly slice them with a knife. In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and add the white onion: add a little bit of hot water and simmer it until it becomes tender. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat. Cook for 5 minutes and add salt and pepper as needed. Add tiny slices of stale bread and coarsely chopped or torn basil: reduce the heat and stir frequently, so it does not stick to the pan. Keep cooking slowly adding additional hot water for 30 minutes. The soup doesn’t have to be too liquid, and should be thicker than a normal soup. Put the soup in soup bowls, garnish with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some basil leaves and let it rest for few minutes.    Serving your Pappa al Pomodoro with a nice glass of Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino.... Read more >

RECIPE: Tagliatelle Pasta with Asparagus and Pork Sausage

Spring means it’s time for asparagus! Here in Montalcino, it’s quite easy to find wild ones in the countryside. However, supermarkets are also full of these delicious vegetables. One of the recipes we like to make in our family is Tagliatelle: homemade pasta with asparagus and sausage. Tagliatelle Pasta with Asparagus and Pork Sausage Ingredients: 2 cups of flour 3 eggs 2 dashes of salt 10 oz. of asparagus 2 pork sausages (without spices), crumbled White onion, thinly sliced Extra-virgin olive oil   Method: First, prepare the dough (or sfoglia in Italian). Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle of the flour.  Crack the eggs into the well and add a dash of salt. Beat the eggs with a fork and slowly fold in the flour from the sides of the bowl. Once the dough has become more compact, use your hands until you have a smooth and elastic ball. Roll it up and let it rest inside the bowl for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, it’s time to roll out the dough. You can use a pasta machine, but in our family we do it by hand using a rolling pin. To do so, put the dough on a dry, floured surface or cutting board and put some additional flour on top of the dough. Start rolling it out with a rolling pin until you obtain a thin surface (see photo below). You can divide the dough into two smaller parts so that rolling will be easier. As you roll, shape the dough into a long, rectangular shape. Once... Read more >

Il Poggione at Opera Wine

On Saturday, May 9, Il Poggione will take part in Opera Wine in Verona for the fifth year. Held in the beautiful Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Verona, Opera Wine is an invitation-only event, organized by Wine Specator and Vinitaly. The magazine has selected 100 top Italian wineries to pour a wine which has received 90+ points in Wine Spectator. We will be there pouring our Brunello di Montalcino 2007. After the event, we will attend a gala dinner to celebrate Vinitaly’s 50 year anniversary, which will take place in the famous Arena di... Read more >

Recipe for SCHIACCIATA DI PASQUA – Tuscan Easter Cake

Tuscany, like all the other regions in Italy, has traditional local dishes prepared especially for the holidays. Now that Easter (la Pasqua) is upon us we would like to share our family recipe for a traditional Easter cake which, for the simplicity of its ingredients, was widely prepared by farmers generations ago.  The cake is prepared with orange extract and a splash of our dessert wine.  The Schiacciata di Pasqua can be enjoyed by itself or since it is not very sweet, with chocolate and a glass of Il Poggione Vin Santo.  We hope you the “Schiacciata di Pasqua”  – Salute e Buona Pasqua (Happy Easter)! SCHIACCIATA DI PASQUA – a Traditional Tuscan Easter Cake Ingredients: 2 TBSP active dry yeast (not instant) 2 cups plus 4 TBSP all-purpose flour 8 TBSP butter, softened 4 eggs (one will be used to brush the top of the bread before baking) 1 cup white sugar 4 tsp anise seeds 2 tsp orange extract 3 TBSP of Il Poggione Vin Santo A pinch of salt Method: First prepare the dough. Dissolve 1 TBSP of the yeast in 4 ounces of lukewarm water.  Then mix the yeast solution with 1/2 cup of flour. Cover with a rag and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Next combine the anise seeds with the orange extract and the Vin Santo in a small bowl and allow the seeds to soak up the liquid and soften. After 30 minutes, add to the risen dough to the rest of the flour, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tablepsoons of softened butter and the... Read more >

The 50th Annual Benvenuto Brunello

Recently the town of Montalcino hosted the 50th Annual Benvenuto Brunello, unveiling the new vintages of Brunello di Montalcino (2011 Brunello and 2010 Riserva) to the journalists and the trade.  The four-day event held in the Museum of Montalcino featured over 150 wineries showing their wines for nearly 6,000 excited visitors looking to try these acclaimed vintages. During the event, the Consortium unveiled the number of stars assigned to the 2015 vintage, which has been rated 5 stars. Also, as is the tradition at Benvenuto Brunello, wine shops and restaurants that have been high supporters of Montalcino wines are awarded with the Leccio d’Oro award. This year’s recipients are the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Canada, Enoteca Molesini in Cortona, Ristorante Del Posto in New York City and Convivio Troiani in Rome. Also, every year a tile celebrating the vintage and its rating is painted by artists or personalities. To commemorate the historic 50th anniversary of the Brunello appellation, 5 contemporary painters have been chosen: Sandro Chia, Pino Deodato, Bertozzi & Casoni, Gian Marco Montesano and Mimmo Paladino.  These artisan tiles will be prominently displayed on the wall of the town hall in Montalcino.  In the photo above, Fabrizio is sitting in front of the wall of previously commissioned Benvenuto Brunello... Read more >

Festival of Music in Montalcino

  Yesterday in Sant’ Angelo in Colle we celebrated Santa Cecilia, patron of music and musicians, with a concert inside the church of San Michele played by the citizens band of Sant’Angelo and Cinigiano, a village in the province of Grosseto. Everyone really enjoyed the concert, and pieces from some very famous films were played; among these one from The Last of the Mohicans (see above video) and one from Life is Beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni (see below video).     This event was a great initiative, bringing together a large group of people. And, according to tradition, the concert was followed by a great lunch prepared by some women of S. Angelo for all the people taking part to the... Read more >