I was invited by Jo at Bookings For You to spend a day in her home to meet the Giovannini family, they had flown all the way from Tuscany to show myself and some other bloggers how to cook some traditional Italian dishes.
The Giovannini family live in the beautiful region of Tuscany and own the oldest pastry shop in Volterra – Dolceria del Corso. They also have an amazing 9 bed villa to rent called Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne.
The husband and wife team, Giancarlo and Fabiola, along with their son Dario and his wife Vera spent the afternoon teaching us how to make Italian food, focusing on specialties in Tuscany.
First up was one of my favourite classic Italian starters Bruschetta, we got to try out two different versions. Bruschetta Toscana which was topped with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Bruschetta al Pomodoro had the same toppings but with fresh tomatoes and basil. We also had Crostini con Fegatini, which was bread topped with chicken liver pate. These looked very easy to make and were very tasty, I’m sure I’ll be making the Bruschetta al Pomodoro at home soon.
The Wild Boar dish was then prepped as this needed to be in the oven for a few hours. The boar was stuffed with fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, salt and garlic. Olives where then added to the oven near the end, I’d never tried wild boar before and was so surprised at how tasty it was. The seasonings and herbs made this dish taste fantastic!
For the vegetarians the Giovannini’s made Melanzane all Parmigiana, aubergine and cheese in a tomato sauce.
We then moved onto making homemade pasta, something I’ve never tried before and the Giovannini family made it look very easy. We made Pici all Estrusca homemade pasta topped with a lovely herby sauce filled with mint, basil, parsley, pecorino cheese and olive oil. We also made ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese.
No Italian meal is complete without some wine, throughout the day we got to sample some delicious red and white wines. White wine was also added to the chicken liver pate which helped bring out the flavours of the chicken and herbs.
My favourite dish of the day was the traditional pastry cake with cream and berries called Millefoglie Creama Chantilly e Frutti di Bosco. It’s one of the bestsellers at their shop in Italy and it’s easy to see why, it was absolutely delicious! Light, creamy and flaky and topped with fresh fruit.
As if one pudding wasn’t enough we also got to try a Tiramisu which was delicious, normally I don’t really the taste as I don’t like coffee but this one wasn’t too strong. They also recommended dipping the lady fingers in milk instead of coffee for anyone who doesn’t like coffee or for kids.
I had the best day learning about Italian cooking and sampling all the amazing dishes with the Giovannini family. After experiencing their hospitality and food first hand, I can only imagine how amazing it is for guests who have the pleasure of staying at their Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne villa in beautiful Tuscany.
To finish off an amazing day we were all given hampers with delicious Italian treats! Stay tuned as in the next week or so I’ll be running a giveaway, so one of you lucky lot can win your own hamper!