Pumpkin Season!

 

Halloween ist pumpkin time!! Our Coccaro chef Leo is offering pumpkin soup to whoever drops by his house that special night. Easy to prepare and just delicious to taste, especially now that winter is getting closer. Enjoy a bowl of our hot and creamy pumpkin soup and any kind of sorrow gets wiped away! At least that’s what they say about it. It’s a magical night at last….

1 onion
1 kg fresh pumpkin
2 potatoes
vegetable broth
100 g cream
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the seeds and peel the pumpkin, cut into rough chunks. Braise the onion with a little oil and add the pumpkin. Add peeled and chopped potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, basting with broth. Add salt and pepper. When the mixture starts to become liquid, mix everything and add the cream. Season to taste with croutons and cheese.

 

Delicious Kids’ Stuff – Freshly From the Oven

When we were kids, our mom used to spoil us in a very “pugliese” way“, says Donato, our head chef at Masseria Torre Coccaro. “Whenever she prepared her homemade bread, she would create a little doll out of dough for each one of us kids. These “pupazzetti” were the most popular snacks I can possibly remember, since they not only looked cute with their little chubby little arms and legs and the weirdest hairdos, but also tasted like heaven, especially when eaten freshly from the oven…

You might want to try it at home – and surprise your own family with a typically puglia present. It doesn’t take much to prepare the dough. You’ll certainly have all the ingredients at home and even if you don’t own a breadmaking machine like we do in our Coccaro kitchen, don’t worry: You can easily work the dough by hand. One of the kids might even want to give you a hand.

Our chef Luigi Giannuzzi will show you step by step how you prepare your own fresh panini at home and surprise everyone with a delicious object of art.

Here’s the recipe.
1 kg flour
30 g yeast (fresh)
30 g salt
500 g water

Work all the ingredients beside the salt by hand for about 15 minutes. Towards the end – that’s important, otherwise the dough won’t become fluffy! – add salt. Put your dough on a clean, not too warm surface and cover with plastic foil to accelerate the the rising.
Then remove the plastic and take a sharp knife to cut pieces off your dough. Look, here’s what Luigi created especially for you: Don’t you just love them? Put everything on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 160/170 degrees. And, please, don’t burn your fingers while you try to taste right away ;)

 

Eating is Energy: The Maizza-Garuda-Meal

You may have read about the GARUDA retreat, taking place at Masseria Torre Maizza from april 18th till 22th. We’re proud to have famous James D’Silva, teacher of Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, over here in Puglia to offer four intense workout days (www.thegaruda.net).

And what are we going to eat? Vito Giannuzzi asked himself. Our Maizza chef is more of a dancer than a Yogi (foto below) but since he wanted to prepare a wellness menu for the GARUDA group, with a couple of dishes that should stand out as much as the fitness part, he came up with unique ideas like this one:

Cappelletti out of Senator grain, vaporized, with a stuffing of beans and liquid chicory, with candied red onion and a paté of dried tomatoes  

Senator Pasta 100 gr
Beans puree 100 gr
Chicory 100 gr
Gelatine 10 gr
Dried tomatoes  10 gr
Red Onion 10 gr
Prepare the pasta with a stuffing of pureed beans and chicory. Cook the red onion in slightly acid water. Cook and prepare as seen on the picture.

Vito Giannuzzi, Maizza chef:For the practising GARUDA student eating is pure energy. Keeping up the energy flow – that’s the idea! Consciusness is the key: Eating without haste, enjoying every bite as a part of a big flow. Harmony and consciousness were my inspiration for the dish I created. The ingredients are supposed to reflect the poverty of our territory and the history of our ancestors. They used to work hard on the fields and in the evening they ate what the land had to offer. Simple but nutriscious food like Senator grain, flour of raw wheat, beans and wild chicory – all that sort of stuff. The dish expresses simplicity, pureness and a healthy approach to food – in respect for nature, rediscovering natural flavours, and, most of all, listening to what our body needs.

PS: This foto is for those of you who wouldn’t believe that our chef actually is a semi- professional dancer. “Bella figura!” Not only behind the kitchen pots…

There’s no Better Bread: The Giant Loafs From Altamura & Matera

You like the smell of freshly prepared bread just as much as we do? You’ll definitely have to try Matera and Altamura bread then! Rich in history and tradition the bread is made from durum wheat re-milled semolina, a mixture of wheats grown on the central-north Apulian plateau, known as the “Murgia”, and on the Matera hills. One of the most significant aspects of Altamura bread, together with its special flavour and digestibility, is its prolonged capacity of preservation. The bread keeps its taste and crunchiness for up to five days from the date of production. Altamura bread has an outside crusty and crunchy brown crust and an inside cell-like straw-coloured soft part. We’re recommending it toasted, for breakfast, or cut in thick slices as a side dish.

The Kids in the Front Row: Cooking School at Coccaro

There’s cooking schools – and there’s cooking schools: Coccaro chef Donato has done many of them – but he rarely worked with a group as curious and talented as the one this morning. Especially since he was expecting only one lady and found himself with three ladies and four kids instead, each of them thrilled to learn and practise Puglia cuisine! Experienced as he is he didn’t lose his patience though: Father of a daughter himself he knew exactly how to cope – and let them play: working pasta dough, cutting vegetables, fry peppers and tomatoes etc. Just to give you an idea how entertaining these two hours were, take a look at our pictures. And for those who want to try out at home (kids birthdays, cooking parties etc.), here’s Coccaro’s basic pasta recipe:

Fresh Orecchiette Pasta

Ingredients:
500g semolina flour (yellow in colour), plus extra for dusting
250ml water, room temperature

In a large mixing bowl add the water, a little at a time, to the flour while mixing the dough using your hands. Stop adding water once a dry dough is produced. Use an untreated wood cutting board when kneading and rolling the dough. Finished wood will cause the dough to stick.
Roll into a log shape. Flatten slightly with hands. Cut the dough like a loaf of bread into 2-3cm slices, the pasta dough is ready to be formed into a variety of shapes.

Fresh Vegetables as a Starter: Don’t Forget the Proper Puglia Salsa Though…

You certainly noticed: Puglia people love to nibble on fresh, crispy vegetables before starting a meal. Fennel, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes – anything goes to improve your appetite! At Masseria Torre Coccaro we’re offering a homemade salsa going along with the greens (usually freshly picked in our vegetable garden): It’s a dip, smooth as icecream, bittersweet like good chocolate and salty enough to go well with your favorite Aperitivo. Extraordinary stuff that makes a simple thing (like an ordinary slice of cucumber) really special…

Since we’ve been asked many times we’d like to share the recipe with you: Here you go! Just mix all the ingredients with a blender and try from time to time until it’s exactly the taste you like.

400 ml Olive Oil, Extra Vergine
100 ml Balsamic Vinegar
1 Spoonful of mustard
Add salt & pepper, as much as you like

There’s a whole lot of varieties that you might want to try or experiment with. The most popular ones are red onions (chopped into tiny pieces), garlic (tinier pieces even!) or freshly chopped kitchen herbs. Go ahead! Our chef Donato & his team are wishing you a good and healthy aperitivo hour!