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an authentic summer italian recipe to try in your villa

When travelling
to Italy, there is nothing quite like experiencing traditional Italian food,
whether it is at a restaurant or a homemade feast in your own villa. With
Italian cuisine being so incredibly enticing it comes as no surprise that it is
one of the most popular in the world.

It has influenced
food culture around the world and is even thought of as a form of art by many.
Cheese, wine and pasta are an important part of an Italian meal, and for
Italians, food isn’t just nourishment, it is life. Each region has its own spin
on Italian food, with the north enjoying fish, potatoes, rice, sausages, pork
and a variety of cheese. In the south, dishes are dominated by tomatoes, whether
served fresh or cooked into a sauce, including capers, peppers, olives and
olive oil, garlic and ricotta cheese.

So, if you want
to cook up a storm when staying in one of our luxury villas in Italy this
, we have the perfect
three-course meal with you can try to create.

Starter: Caprese Salad –
Serves 4


2 to 4 large
tomatoes, sliced

1 handful of
fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons of
extra virgin olive oil

500g of fresh
mozzarella cheese, sliced

Salt and pepper
to taste


It is as simple as arranging
the tomato sliced, basil leaves ad mozzarella on a serving plate and drizzling
with olive oil; just sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.    

Main: Ricotta Gnocchi –
Serves 4


450g of
whole-milk ricotta

1 large egg

170g of finely
grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

255g of flour


1.     Set a strainer line with paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta
and let the cheese drain for around an hour.

In a large bowl. Mix the ricotta, an egg, parmesan cheese, salt and
flour until the ingredients have been mixed well. Then cover and refrigerate
for around 15 minutes.

To check the dough, roll a bit in your hand, and when it is ready,
it should feel tacky. If it clings to your fingers, add a little more flour
until you reach the correct consistency.

Before shaping the gnocchi, put a large pot of water on to boil,
Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour and place it next to you.

Sprinkle your hands and the work surface with flour and break off a
tennis ball sized piece of dough and roll it into a log shape about ¾ inches

Use a sharp knife, cut the log into ¾ inch pieces. You can leave
them in a ‘pillow’ shape or shape them into the traditional grooved gnocchi
shape by rolling them off the back of a fork with your thumb.

Transfer this batch to the baking sheet and toss with flour to
prevent them from sticking. Keep repeating the above process with the remaining

Add one tablespoon of salt to the water and half of the gnocchi.
Gently stir to make sure it doesn’t stick, and once they bob to the surface,
let them cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove the gnocchi with a spoon and
transfer to a colander and set over a bowl to drain.

Serve with a simple tomato sauce.

Dessert: Tiramisu


For the sponge:

5 eggs

200g sugar

1 tablespoon
baking powder

300gs of flour

For the filling:

340ml of strong
coffee (espresso)

250g of

250g of whole

1 egg

1 1/2 tablespoons
of sugar


Pre-heat over 180°C, grease a 9-inch cake pan.

For the sponge:

Beat the eggs and sugar until well mixed and add flour, baking
powder and continue to beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased tray
and bake for around 30-minutes. Once cool, cut into three layers.

While the sponge is cooling, make the coffee and let that also cool.

For the filling:

Beat together sugar and egg until frothy, and then add the
mascarpone and cream and beat until thick.

Place one layer of the sponge on a large space and spoon the coffee
on top and then cover with the cream mixture. Repeat this with the other layers
then sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder on top. Once completed, leave to
refrigerate for at least five hours and enjoy! 

Image credits: Juehua Yin and Paolo Valdemarin under Creative Commons


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