ilana freddye


A Little More From Italy

While I'm back stateside, I've still got tons of pictures and stories to share from Italy. And yes, I really do wish I was still there. Being back in the Hudson Valley isn't so rough but getting back into the swing of classes and work is surely far from thrilling.

I thought I would share a few more pictures from my trip before finally sharing a new (super easy) recipe with you guys this weekend.

That first picture is from the truly incredible lunch and cooking demo we had at Vissani(my first 2 Michelin star experience).  Those would be Chef Vissani's hands plating one of many tasting plates he made for us before lunch.  My favorite was the lobster marinated in coffee with red pepper balls, Bartlett pears, and pecans. It was balanced out so nicely.

I still can't put in to words just how much wine we drank, and how many wineries we got to visit.

The table above wasn't even part of a meal. It was merely an incredible spread of meats, cheeses, and bruschetta to enjoy while we tasted four different wines and we somehow managed to head over to a multi course dinner following. Our eating habits were nothing short of impressive.

Here are a few favorites from a lovely lunch enjoyed outside among a vineyard. The potato torte was smooth and lovely. The sauces really took it to the next level though. Then there was the duck ragu with of my favorite pasta shapes, I even hand rolled my own last year.

And then there was the day we visited a Chianina cow farm and then enjoyed lunch in an ancient village positioned amongst rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards. I'm telling you, it was magical. Only thirty people lived in this tiny neighborhood and we got to eat at the farmer's small bed and breakfast.

The meal started with crostinis with chickpea puree (they grew the chickpeas), and muchroom paté (not pictured).  Then we had a massive serving of heartwarming lasagne followed by spaghetti with basil pesto and fresh ricotta. Mind you, this wasn't even dinner. Key lesson of this trip: Pacing yourself.

For the main course we had Chianina beef which was so incredibly tender you could cut it with your fork, with chickpeas and chard on the side. I loved how earthy the sides were but not everyone was a fan.  And for dessert a simple yet perfect panna cotta with fresh picked local berries. This dessert was a winner.

I promise I'll have a recipe posted very soon! In the meantime, I hope this Italy post can at least make you wish you were in Italy as much as I do.