Umbria has always been dedicated to agriculture, animal husbandry and food, outshining at the national level in the quality and typicality of earth products. Agriumbria is the main trade fair exhibition of this productive sector and gathers exhibitors from all over Italy.
The traditionally cattle market is impressive with all the enormously big bulls and clean and combed sheep and goats and other exhibition spaces with technological solutions to suit every type of farm.
We always return from the fair with catalogs for way too big but very cool tractors, funny plants, seeds for unusual vegetables and exotic herbs, sometimes chickens or ducklings and some years ago even a peacock couple (I will write about that adventure in another blog post). This year we managed to leave Agriumbria without new livestock in the car but with only a blueberry bush and some very small succulent plants.
Nice winter soup to heat you up on a cold winter day
1 kg tomatoes chopped into pieces
6 big red bell peppers cleaned and chopped into pieces
4 red onions chopped into pieces
4 cloves of garlic sliced into halves
Dried chili pepper, powder or fresh (according to taste)
Salt and pepper
A handful of fresh basil leaves
1-2 dl milk
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place the chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic and chili in the baking tray season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, stir occasionally.
Remove baking tray from the oven and let cool down a bit. Puree the soup in batches in a blender together with basil leaves until smooth add milk until you get the right consistence.
Transfer the soup to a pot and heat up again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with a piece of homemade bread.
For the last many weeks my husband has meet this charming little friend every afternoon at the same spot and he finally managed to take a fantastic photo of the animal. Normally porcupines are very shy and not easy to get close to, but this one is actually not afraid at all and it almost looks like he enjoyed posing for the camera.
The porcupine quills that cover the back can get up to 35 cm long. In case of danger, the porcupine threatens the adversary by shaking the tail where the quills are particular hollow to make a rattling sound.
Just one of the many wild animals to meet on the estate of Castello di Montegiove.
Castello di Montegiove sits on the top of a hill and oversees the weather changing from sun to rain from cloud to storm and from winter to summer. Now we are in February and the shadows and light are filling the afternoon sky over the castle with an almost heavenly atmosphere. We have rainy days and sunny days where you can almost feel spring is in the air, but best of all the evocative shafts of light which spotlight the glories of this medioeval place.
A nice and fresh alternative to the traditional coleslaw. Goes very well with wild boar burger or any other kind of pork dishes.
4 Large Carrots roughly grated
400 g Red cabbage sliced very thin
1 1/2 dl good quality Mayonnaise
2 tbsp strong mustard
Cumin seeds grated
Salt and Pepper
Mix mayonnaise, mustard, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper season to taste and set aside.
In a large serving bowl combine grated carrots and the sliced red cabbage.
Pour the mayonnaise mix over the vegetables and fold everything together, set aside for 30 minutes.
“It is one of the highest achievements of Italian Gothic art and architecture. Few buildings in the world are that ornate, and at the same time – few have such a well balanced and harmonious architecture.” (W.mondo)
The Cathedral is built in the highest spot of Orvieto cliff and view towards this beautiful building opens from many streets in the city. Lorenzo Maitani, who also designed the Siena Cathedral, became chief-engineer in 1309 and it is easy to see the similarity between the two Cathedrals.
The façade of the Duomo is decorated with golden mosaics and it is seen as one of the masterpieces of European architecture and art in the Late Medieval Ages.
Especially interesting are the frescoes by Luca Signorelli (1499 – 1503). Working feverishly night and day, he frescoed every inch of the chapel with scenes depicting “The last Judgement”, end of the world, the resurrection of the dead, Paradise and Hell. He was very influenced by the dire warnings in fellow Florentine Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. These frescoes are some of the most beautiful and interesting ones in Italy.
Il Duomo di Orvieto is definitely worth a visit and it is only 30 minutes from Castello di Montegiove.
This is another of Jack and Deans delicious recipes. The sauce is made from HP sauce and Worcester sauce but I don’t know if they exit gluten free, that’s why we use gluten free barbeque sauce in our burgers.
4 Blue Boar Burgers:
500 g minced wild boar meet
Barbeque sauce or (1 tbsp HP sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, Worcestershire Sauce)
1 shallot, finely diced
50 g Blue Cheese
1 Crisp apple sliced
Watercress or Valeriana salad
Butter or oil to fry
4 Burger Buns
Hand work the mince to encourage binding.
Divide and flatten to 2 cm thickness and leave on the fridge for 30 minutes
Mix HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce together add the diced shallot or use the barbeque sauce.
Season and fry burgers (medium/high heat 4 minutes on each side)
Half and warm burger buns
Spread sauce onto warm bun, add sliced apple, burger and top with blue cheese and water cress.
Serve with a glass of Castello di Montegiove red wine.