mercoledì 26 dicembre 2012

Many greetings of a very happy holiday season with a special home made “Panettone”!

Look what a wonderful chocolate "Panettone" cake in the shape of crib gave me my friend Roberta! Thanks my dear, you really are an exceptional pastry chef maitre! You are all invited to a...virtual taste! Happy holidays and best wishes!!

sabato 25 agosto 2012

Relaxing holiday, our philosophy.

First, you must be on the mood. It is a rustic romantic place. Everything is very simple, but, as one once said, simplicity is the last degree of elegance. By the price you pay, you must think you are paying to see how paradise looks like, not for a mini bar full of sugar and alcohol.....
Today I want to say thank you to one of our kind customers who posted this comment on the most popular travel community on Internet. These words perfectly interpret the philosophy and the nature of our offer: a place where the silence, the history, the sense of peace are everywhere in a spacious environment for a few guests, where time is suspended to allow them to regenerate.

martedì 19 giugno 2012

Today Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup (Pappa col Pomodoro)!

Here’s for you a typical classic Tuscan dish “tomato bread soup”. Please never propose it in the wintertime, the freshness of ripe tomatoes and scented basil are essential for the successful outcome of this recipe ideal for hot summer days. Ingredients for 4 people: 250 g Tuscan -style white stale bread 600 g ripe tomatoes 4 cloves of garlic a stalk of fresh sage a nice bunch of basil extra virgin olive oil salt pepper 1 onion 1 carrot celery q.b. parsley q.b. water q.b. First of all prepare the tomato sauce. In a large pan sauté the 2 cloves of garlic gently in 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Join onion, carrot, celery and parsley previously cut. As soon as the lot turns golden, toss the peeled tomatoes and a nice bunch of basil, all roughly chopped. Bring to the boil for a moment then sieve the lot, add the water and boil in again with salt and pepper. Cut the bread with the 2 other cloves of garlic, put it in a clay pan on the flame with abundant extra virgin olive oil, the sage, a little pepper, salt and water. Try to chop the bread a little more meanwhile the water is boiling. Add water as soon as it dries up and go up until the bread is completely moistened and chopped. Join now 4 ½ cups or more of tomato sauce (the soup should be brightly red-coloured and the sauce abundant). Leave to simmer slowly for 1 hour or more until the bread is mashed in the sauce. The soup should prove fairly thick so add more water only if necessary.

giovedì 24 maggio 2012


Surely all of you know and love strawberries jam. It's delightful on toast, bread, and the ideal ingredient for special tarts. From May till October I prepare it with strawberries and lemons collected in my organic garden. All my family appreciate it and also my guests like it for breakfast.

Here’s the recipe:

1kg fresh strawberries hulled and washed
the juice and peel of a fresh organic lemon
1kg granulated sugar

Cut strawberries into big pieces and put them in a large bowl along with the lemon juice and peel - cut in the small pieces - and the sugar. Cover and put in the fridge for 12 hours.
Put the mixture into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, skimming from time to time. Increase heat to high and bring it to a full roiling boil while stirring constantly for quite 10 minutes. Reduce heat and continue to boil it for 10 minutes. To control if the jam has the right consistency
test it by pouring a couple of drops of it into one plate, if done the jam should thicken almost immediately.
Finally, pour the hot jam into sterilized jars and close and place them upside down until fully cool down.

lunedì 7 maggio 2012

Pasta and peas, a simple and tasty Italian dish.

Here for you a photo of my organic garden's peas, they are finally ready to be collected. I want to share with you my personal simple recipe. It’s a quick and easy dish for all the family.

Penne and fresh peas

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cups fresh shelled peas
2 slices of prosciutto, dinced
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
4oo gr penne pasta

In a large saucepan, sauté the dinced prosciutto and onion in the olive oil over low heat, until the onions are translucent, it takes about 10 minutes.
Then, join peas and just 1 minute later the vegetable broth with salt. Continue cooking over medium heat till peas are tender.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain and add the peas mixture. stir in and….enjoy a simple tasty Mediterranean diet dish.

sabato 28 aprile 2012

San Galgano Abbey, a secret treasure in Tuscany

Far only 1 1/2 hour by car from Fortezza de’ Cortesi, situated on the main road between Massa Marittima and Siena, the Cistercan abbey of San Galgano leave to visitors an indelible picture in the memory. It was built between 1224 and 1288 and contained the earliest Gothic churc in Tuscany. It provided the inspiration of Siena Cathedral. A magical, special, suggestive place. Absolutely to visit!

lunedì 23 aprile 2012


What about Cleopatra the curious Fortezza de’ Cortesi dachsund? So brave, amusing and affectinate with all humans, she’s terrible with our cats. The hunter insticts guide her short legs chasing the poor felines who take refuge on the property’s wood trees. She waits adamant barking for hours till exhausted she comes home with his tongue hanging out.

sabato 21 aprile 2012

Gli amici a 4 zampe di Fortezza de' Cortesi

Cosa dire di Cleopatra, la curiosa bassottina a pelo duro di Fortezza de’ Cortesi? Così amabile, divertente e affezionata al genere umano, è terribile con i nostri poveri gatti.
L’ istinto di cacciatrice guida le sue corte zampe all’inseguimento dei poveri felini che cercano rifugio sugli alberi del bosco della proprietà. Lei imperterrita attende abbaiando per ore e alla fine torna a casa esausta con la lingua penzoloni.

giovedì 12 aprile 2012

Mint, an extremely versatile herb

Mint is an important ingredient in health products and beauty, especially for hair and oily skin. It also complements dishes both sweet and savoury.
It has the ability to bring freshness to any dish you may prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Mint tea is said to aid digestion. Use it fresh to make this delicious mint tea recipe. It’s incredibly easy to make.
You will need 1 oz (15-30 g) of fresh mint.
Put the leaves in a tea infuser. Heat 3 cups of water to boiling. Then pour the boiling water over the leaves and into the pot. Let fresh leaves steep for about 3-4 minutes.
Now, drink and enjoy the taste of a relaxing summer sunshine in a cup.

venerdì 30 marzo 2012

Sage, beautiful in the garden, good on the plate

Walking in my garden I admire the borders of sage and I pick a few leaves. Immediately an intense aroma is released into the air. Well, they will be perfect for seasoning ricotta and spinach Tuscan ravioli (gnudi) that I made this morning.

4 ½ pounds spinach
16 oz ricotta
3 eggs
a little flour
4 oz butter
10 sage leaves
6 spoons of parmesancheese

Wash and boil the spinach with a little water salting lightly. Drain, leave to cool and chop finely.
Put the trhee whole eggs into a bowl and mix them with the ricotta, a pinch of nutmeg and salt.
Add the parmesan cheese and the chopped spinach and blend well. With this mixture make little ovalshaped rissoles and flour them. Boil some lightly salted water and drop in a few the “gnudi” at a time. As soon as theyrise to the surface, take them out of the pan with a perforated spoon and put them on a wide serving dish. Season them with melted butter that had been previously heated to which were added the sage leaves and plenty of parmesan.

Salvia, bella in giardino, buona nel piatto

Passeggiando nel mio giardino ammiro le bordure di salvia e ne raccolgo qualche foglia. Subito un profumo intenso si sprigiona nell'aria. Bene, saranno perfette per condire i ravioli di ricotta e spinaci alla toscana (gnudi) che ho preparato stamattina.

2 kg di spinaci,
400 gr di ricotta ,
tre uova,
farina qb
100 gr di burro
10 foglie di salvia
6 cucchiai di formaggio parmigiano
noce moscata
sale q.b.

Lavare gli spinaci e lessarli in poca acqua salata. Scolarli, lasciarli raffreddare e tritarli finemente.
In una terrina lavorare la ricotta con le uova intere, un pizzico di noce moscata e sale qb. Aggiungere poi il parmigiano e gli spinaci e amalgamare il tutto.
Con il composto formare delle polpette non molto grandi di forma ovale. Infarinatele.
Far bollire dell’acqua salata e gettare gli gnudi in piccole quantità. Scolarli con un mestolo forato quando tornano a galla e metterli in un vassoio largo.
Condire con burro fuso precedentemente scaldato a cui erano state aggiunte le foglie di salvia e abbondante parmigiano.

domenica 25 marzo 2012

Poetry , our soul food….

Today is a tender spring sunny day. I’m in the mood for poetry. Here is one of my favorites.

The morns are meeker than they were-
The nuts are getting brown-
The berry's cheek is plumper-
The Rose is out of town.
The Maple wears a gayer scarf-
The field a scarlet gown-
Lest I should be old fashioned
I'll put a trinket on.

Emily Dickinson

Yes, me too I’ll put a little trinket on.

Poesia, cibo per la nostra anima…

Oggi è un tenero soleggiato giorno di primavera. Sono in vena di poesia. Questa è una delle mie preferite.

Le mattine sono più miti di prima-
le noci imbruniscono già-
la guancia della bacca è più tonda-
la rosa è fuori città.
L'acero indossa uno scialle più allegro-
il campo una gonna scarlatta-
per non parere antiquata
mi metterò un ninnolo.

Emily Dickinson

Si, metterò anch'io un piccolo ninnolo.

lunedì 19 marzo 2012

Rosmarino, il sapore mediterraneo in cucina.

Con la sua forte fragranza il rosmarino in cucina la fa da padrone.
E’ l’ideale abbinato a verdure, pesce, carni arrosto e per preparare una deliziosa focaccia.
Aggiunto alle patate arrosto le rende speciali.
Ecco la mia ricetta personale.

Patate arrosto al rosmarino
1 kg di patate
3 rametti di rosmarino
4 spicchi di aglio
5 cucchiai da tavola di olio extra vergine d’oliva
sale e pepe

Preriscaldare il forno a 180°. Dopo aver pelato le patate tagliarle a pezzi e metterle in acqua fredda per 1 ora. Scolarle e metterle in una casseruola da forno rettangolare, aggiungere gli spicchi d’aglio non sbucciati e schiacciati, sale, pepe e il rosmarino. Condire con l’olio extra vergine d’oliva e cuocere in forno per circa 2 ore fino a che non avranno raggiunto un bel colore scuro dorato.
Ecco un contorno semplice ma estremamente saporito.

Rosemary, the Mediterranean taste in the kitchen.

With its extremely fragrance Rosemary in the kitchen is what it is all about. It makes a wonderful addition to vegetables, fish, roasted meats and to prepare a delicious focaccia. Roasted potatoes also benefit from its use. Here below my personal recipe.

Rosemary roasted potatoes

1 kg potatoes
3 rosemary springs
4 cloves garlic
5 tablespoonfuls extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C. After peeling the potatoes cut them into chunks and put them in cold water for 1 hour. Put the potatoes pieces into a wide rectangular baking tin, together with the roughly chopped garlic cloves, salt, pepper and the fresh rosemary leaves. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and bake for nearly 2 hours until they are deep golden brown.
Here it is a simple but extremely tasty side dish.

venerdì 16 marzo 2012

Aromatic herbs, what a valuable help in our cooking!

A lot of recipes include Basil. Its spicy smell is the main ingredient in traditional pesto sauce. Also add it fresh in your mozzarella and tomato salad, a little salt and extra virgin olive oil and…you will enjoy the taste of a simple delicious Italian dish.

Erbe aromatiche, che aiuto prezioso in cucina!

Molte ricette della nostra cucina includono il basilico e il suo profumo pungente è l’ingrediente principale del tradizionale pesto. Aggiungetelo fresco alla vostra insalata di pomodori e mozzarella, un po’ di sale e olio extra vergine d’oliva e… godetevi il gusto semplice e delizioso di un tipico piatto Italiano.