Cooking · Gluten Free · Life at Castello di Montegiove · Virgin Olive Oil

Sugo di Melanzane

Pasta with aubergine and tomato sauce is a simple, tasty and light first course, typical of the summer season, when aubergines are at their best.

Serves 6 people

1 medium size Aubergine/ eggplants cut in 1×1 cm cubes

Salt & Pepper

1 onion chopped

1 minced garlic

Olive olie

300g can chopped tomatoes

10-12 basil leaves

A hint of chili

4-500 g pasta

Place abergines cubes in a colander sprinkle salt generously over all sides and let sit for around 20 minutes, rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove the excess salt.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large deep skillet, when hot saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, add the aubergine and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped caned tomatoes to the skillet along with the basil leaves, leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Season with chili, salt and pepper

Serve with your favourite pasta

Bon Appetito !

History · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Dante Alighieri

Through the centuries Castello di Montegiove has changed ownership many times, once it was the property of the family Monaldeschi della Vipera. The Monaldeschi family was known for the bloody conflicts with their arch-enemies the Filippeschi family over power in Orvieto, a fight that went on for more than a century and also inspired Shakespeare when he wrote Romeo and Juliet many years later. The fight was also quoted by Dante Alighieri in “The Divine Comedy”:

«Vieni a veder Montecchi e Cappelletti,

Monaldi e Filippeschi, uom sanza cura,

color già tristi, e questi con sospetti!»

(Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Purg. VI)

This year it is 700 years ago Dante Alighieri died in 1321. 

Almost all Italians have an opinion about Dante, they either admire him or find him annoying. But who was this poet with such an impact on the Italian language, culture, church/religion and so much more?

Dante was born in Florence into a nobel family. He became part of the council of Florence and was among those who convicted the participants in a fight between the white and black Guelphs. Among those sentenced was Corso Donati. With the help of the pope, Donati won power in Florence the following year, taking revenge on his judges and sentenced Dante to death or exile. Dantes property was seized for nineteen years and the rest of his life he was poor and exiled.

Dante Alighieri is considered the father of the Italian language, he wrote in Italian volgare and not in latin as was the normal for his time. His fame is due to the paternity of the Comedìa, which became famous as the Divine Comedy and universally considered the greatest work written in Italian and one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature.

La Devina Comedia describes the imaginary and symbolic journey of Dante – through the three worlds of the afterlife: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. The comedy has a tragic beginning and a positive conclusion: from Dante’s loss in the dark forest (sin) to salvation, towards the journey that leads to Paradise. 

The text is organised in three canticles or songs: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise and each canticle is divided into thirty-three cantos plus one that serves as a general introduction at the beginning of Hell: in this way the total songs are one hundred. So not just a short novel.

He also wrote De Monarchia that was aimed at the Catholic Church’s ambitions for power, it remained on the church’s index of banned books until 1897 and it was not until 1921, on the 600th anniversary of his death, that the ban was repealed.

Dante was famous already in his lifetime. By the end of the 14th century, it was common to hold public readings with commentary on the Comedy. In 1481 Botticelli created the magnificent illustrations for the work. Also Michelangelo was inspired when decorating the Sistine Chapel. After the Middle Ages, however, literary interest was long so absent that Queen Kristina complained that Dante in her homeland Sweden was neither read nor understood. Voltaire said bluntly, “Dante is a fool, and his work a monster.” But in 1730, Giambattista Vico wrote ”The Discovery of the True Dante” a parallel to his work on “The true Homer”. From then on, Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare were considered the “Big Three” of literature.

It’s interesting that Dante wrote and had an opinion about people that lived here at Castello di Montegiove more than 700 years ago, the castle walls are full of history and you can feel the buzz of time walking through the halls and going through the books in the library.

Garden and Nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Greppolischieto

On the hill top next to Montegiove you will find the old medieval hamlet of Greppolischieto. The village was renovated some 40 years ago by the Fendi family and is currently used as private holiday homes, with only one family living there permanently.

It has an unreality above it, almost completely out of time. As our friend and blogger Ishita from Italophilia writes after we visited Greppolischieto together:

“Greppolischieto has a tiny piazza, picturesque lanes and stunning countryside views. There are no bars or trattorias here, only uninhabited homes and lost stories. The little village is an absolute stunner yet slightly haunting too. Everything is eerily quiet and empty. It is undoubtedly a special corner of Umbria!”

One of our favourite walks is the trip back and forth to Greppolischieto to enjoy the stunning view over the Trasimeno lake and the fairy tale like nature on the way up there.

Christmas · Cooking · Gluten Free · Life at Castello di Montegiove · Wine

Mulled Rosato wine

A very nice and not so heavy mulled wine made from Castello di Montegiove RoSaTo wine.

Mulled wine for 4 People:

1 bottle Castello di Montegiove RoSaTo

2 sticks of cinnamon

5 dried cloves

peal and juice from a large organic lemon

Sugar as you please

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on low temperature, adjust sugar and lemon. Serve in heatproof glasses and enjoy.

Bon Appetito!

Black Truffles · Cooking · Gluten Free

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms

CastelloMontegiove Portobello

The large Italian portobello mushrooms are delicious and very easy to prepare. You can use them instead of meat for a vegetarian dinner, as a side dish or for a simple lunch together with a green salad and a piece of bread. You can even sneak in a grated black truffle for a more extravagant version.

As side dish that serves 4:

4 large Portobello mushrooms

Filling:

1-2 large garlic cloves minced

Parsley

Bread crumbs

Butter

Salt and pepper

For topping Parmesan cheese, grated.

 

Heat up the oven to 200 degrees.

Cut the stalk out and clean the mushrooms (save the stalk) and leave them upside down on baking paper on a baking tray.

Chop the stalk, and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Put the mix back in the mushrooms and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.

Place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the parmesan cheese on top is golden.

 

Buon Appetito!

 

Cooking · Gluten Free · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Cherrie Clafouti

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This recipe is the perfect dish to make during the Cherrie season. We use it for dessert, for afternoon tea or for brunch it is always delicious.

 

Ingredients:

125 g Flour (if gluten free use the flour for bread)

200 g Sugar

4 Eggs

2 dl milk

750 g Cherries

Butter for greasing the baking dish

Powdered sugar for decoration

 

Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter an ovenproof baking dish wide enough to hold the cherries in one layer.

Wash the cherries and remove the stones and stalks. Add the cherries to the baking dish.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk until you have a smooth batter.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for about half an hour, until just set. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar and serve warm.

 

Buon Appetito!

 

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Cooking · Gluten Free · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Pistacchio meringues

Lifeatcastellomontegiove meringue

Meringues or kisses as they are called in Denmark are so easy to make and they are absolutely fat free, just egg whites, sugar and in this recipe I have added some chopped pistachio. Whats not to like!

 

3 Egg whites (room temperature)

120 g sugar

25 g finely chopped pistacchio nuts

Preheat the oven to 100 degrees celcius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until completely stiff, then while beating the eggs add sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Mix until the meringue mixture forms stiff peaks.

Carefully mix/fold in the chopped pistachio nuts.

Using a piping bag pipe a dollop of the meringue mixture onto your baking sheet.

Bake for around 60-90 minutes, remove from the oven and allow the meringues to cool before serving.

Buon appetito!

garden and nature · Life at Castello di Montegiove

Top level recycling

 

Castellomontegiove planters

Today the weather has been absolutely stunning with March sun and spring in the air, and we started replanting and planning the patio outside the “La Casetta” apartment. We have reused the old wine barrels from the wine cellar as planters so absolutely top level recycling. The castle carpenter cut them in two and fixed all the hoops to the barrels so nothing will fall apart over time. Now the new plants just need some time and more of the nice Italian sun to grow into nice big bushy plants.

Cooking · Gluten Free · Life at Castello di Montegiove · Virgin Olive Oil

Mushroom Pâté

Castellodimontegiove mushroom

This mushroom pâté recipe is an updated version of the classic retro vegetarian buffet dish from my childhood in the 70-ies.

 

Mushroom Pâté (serves 4-6)

500 g fresh mushroom (cleaned and chopped into small pieces)

3 small onions, chopped

1 Garlic clove, minced

50 g Hazel nuts, chopped

100 g cooked rice

1 tblsp. Fresh or dried Thyme

30 g Gorgonzola

2 ½ dl cream

Olive oil

2 Eggs

Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Heat up the oven till 175 degrees.

 

  1. Cook the onion, garlic, nuts, mushrooms and thyme in olive oil. Mix with the cooked rice and all the rest of the ingredients.

 

  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a greased nice crock and bake the pâté in the oven for around 60 minutes.

 

Can be served warm or cold together with freshly baked bread and a salad.

Buon Appetito!

 

 

Life at Castello di Montegiove

Traveling artist

This summer we had the honor to have Australian artist Beatrix Rowe and her fantastic sister Ruby staying with us for a month. Two super sweet girls full of energy and creativity.

Beatrix decorated the walls in the laundry room and in the pool house and made a fabulous coat of arms in the wine cellar with an updated Misciattelli Mocenigo Soranzo family crest. No wonder she has such great success with her own fashion brand “Prawn Cocktail”, check her out on https://prawncocktail.net

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