Recipes


As promised here is the second installment of my Askinosie post, all about how we use this excellent chocolate in our pastry kitchen. At the end of each Petraia tasting we send out a parting gift, an assortment of house-made chocolates we call “ Petraia Rocks”. The name is a play on words of course. La Petraia…

  Here it’s called levistico or sedano di montagna.  This alpine herb loves Petraia and I love it. We throw the leaves into salads to add some mystery and we make lovage sorbet and gelato. I whiz the tender leaves into grape seed oil and strain it to use as a condiment for our fresh lovage…

It’s the middle of May and Chianti is covered in white blossoms and smells like heaven. Aromatic acacia and elder flowers have taken over the landscape and our roses are in full bloom. Here these blossoms are  fried in pastella, a simple flour and water slurry and the resultant nectar-filled elder and acacia flower fritters are served either lightly…

At Petraia we work with Maria Thun’s biodynamic planting calendar and our sewing, harvesting, pruning and trimming is governed by the different lunar and planetary cycles that affect plant growth. Each month there are different days, and in some cases different hours of the day propicious for planting or harvesting fruit, flowers, leaves or roots. In the orto…

Perhaps I have custard to blame for my vocation. In the era I grew up it was one of the first solid foods given to babies. My mother’s egg custard is one of my earliest sense memories and it made a big impression. Slightly sweet the taste was probably reminiscent of mother’s milk but the…

  Semolina Bread from Sicily (Adapted from Piano, Piano, Pieno: Authentic Food From a Tuscan Farm)   As one ventures into the mezzogiorno or southern Italy, bread takes on a golden aspect as if it has spent more time in the sun than its northern cousins. This is especially true in Sicily where much of…

With a couple of days left on the island our plan was to drive around Etna, cross the Nebrodi Mountains and head north up the coast to Termini Inglese where we had a reservation for the ferry back to Civitavecchia. Approaching Etna we realized she was acting up. The volcano was spewing black lava dust…

Christmas at Petraia comes at the end of our busiest season when I am already exhausted and seriously in need of some dietary reform. This year I decided to limit my holiday baking to sugar and gluten free items. My plan was to use nut flour and honey to make traditional cookies and cakes like Torta…

  Matefaim, are what happen when you cross an Italian frittata with a French crêpe. These are delicious eggy pancakes made in various parts of southeastern France as well as some alpine regions of Italy and Switzerland. Seldom found in restaurants, matefaim use a variety of local ingredients including cheese, potatoes, spinach, apples, ham and sausage. The…

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