Bella Italia! Where seasonal eating is a way of living and drinking world class local wines

The Le Marche weekend was a nice and long one. We had time to cook at our friends house as well as go out to eat.

I love to browse around even in the local supermarkets, everything looks exotic and they also follow the seasons in terms of eating and if it isn’t in season, why eat it? It is the same at the markets where they had artichokes and broad beans in abundance and asparagus is coming in to season, still a little on the pricey side but give it a couple of weeks more.
One day we went foraging for wild asparagus, it was growing everywhere and so tender you can eat it raw. It has a very fresh taste, not too strong and reminded me ever so slightly of raw broad beans.

We had some lovely meals and I also offered to cook one night. Most days we ate at the house we started with antipasti, the ham, salamis and bresaola that you buy over the counter is just irresistible! They also sell fresh mozzarella, made the same day and it just tastes more than the mozzarella that you buy here in the UK.

Antipasti carne

We also bought some stuffed, breaded olives

My friend made some meatballs flavoured with grated parmesan cheese

It set us up for some carbonara as a main course, after that there was no more room, even for the tiniest little chocolate!

It is not only the food that captivates you, our friends house is full of animals, pets indoors and sheep, wild boar, porcupines and other animals roaming around. Wherever you go there is someone keeping an eye on you inside as well as outside.

We went for a drive in the beautiful mountains and came across a winery. On the off chance we stopped to see if we could have a taste and pick some really nice wines up for the evening. We didn’t realise that we had come across Fattoria Dezi, one of the best wineries in Italy! Well officially selected the best Italian winery in 2008.

This is a family company, run with true passion for the region, the land and the grapes. This is reflected in the names for the wines bringing Le Marche to the world through the distribution. Needless to say we bought bottles, red and white and we had a great evening!

We went out for dinner one night to a local restaurant. We started with antipasti and they simply just bring an amount of dishes and you never quite know how many or what is served next.

We started with the meats

Then we had lambs liver with scramble eggs, we had this on previous visits but then with chicken livers, it is a great combination.

After that we were almost full but ordered a couple of pizzas and gnochetti. Sometimes gnocchi can be quite heavy but this was light as a feather, served with a porchini sauce and we ate every single morsel of the dish despite being quite full from all the antipasti! It wasn’t quite photogenic but so lovely it deserves a picture!

I did make an offer to cook but not too much effort went in to it I have to admit. After browsing at the butchers I bought saussages. They just looked round and bursting with flavour. I bought 2 different kinds and decided to cook them in the oven whilst potatoes were roasting.

To go with the saussages I made mustard pickle apples that worked really well bringing acidity and mustard flavour to the dish. I used:

Mustard pickle apples
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ dl sugar
½ dl vinegar
Dried chilli flakes – a generous amount
Mustard or mustard seeds to taste

Bring to boil and let simmer for 10 minutes then let cool and serve, it goes very well with both chicken and pork dishes.

The only other thing we had to go with the sausages was tomatoes. Every time I get tomatoes that actually tastes like tomatoes should taste I wonder why I ever buy the pale and tasteless ones from the supermarket.

There is no need to complicate the foods, the produce just stands out and once you find the balance it is just delightful.

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