Cooking School: Cacao Pasta with a Salsa of Scampis, Cacao Beans and Fresh Peas

Ever tried chocolate brown pasta that doesn’t only look like chocolate but actually contains 250 g of (bitter) cacao? Pietro Sgaramella, 28, pasta & primi expert at Masseria Torre Maizza/Puglia and therefore part of Vito Giannuzzis team of chefs, shows how to prepare this special kind of noodles and combines his “bitter-sweet” invention with a brilliant salsa out of scampis, cacao beans and fresh peas.

Gardening Tip: How to Plant Your Own Spice Garden

Remember Todi, our gardener? He spends all day between the two masserias and the beachclub to look after the gardens and plants. After the winter there was a lot to cut down, to replant and to adjust. Now that spring has arrived Todi concentrates on planting and sowing all over the place… The spice garden at Massera Torre Coccaro itself is worth a stroll, so beautiful is it, with all the different herbs like mint, rosemary or basil to smell, taste and try!

We asked Todi to show us how to prepare a professional little herb garden for the balcony or an outdoor terrace, for we like the idea of having all the useful herbs for mediterranean cuisine handy. What’s easier than jumping outside to pick a few basil leves or a fresh Pasta alla Crudaiola? Or to pick a bunch of mints for a homemade Mojito? See, that’s why…

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Beauty Tip: Aloe Vera as a Simple & Easy Natural Moisturizer

You’ve sure seen the pile of ALOE products available all over the place. Beside creams and masks and gels you’ll find aloe yoghurt, aloe Muesli, aloe juices – aloe just about everywhere! Hardly anyone knows however that it’s easy to grow pure ALOE in your own natural beauty garden, with plants that are not only beautiful to look at but will – used as pure gel – last for a lifetime! The original plant, also known as desert lilly or Curacoa aloe, comes from Arabia and was already used by Cleopatra to keep her skin fresh and toned…

Coccaro Spa therapist Manuela Donnaloia explains how to harvest, cut and use the famous Aloe Vera plant that is growning all around the masseria. Pure pleasure for the skin that doesn’t cost anything – could it be easier?
Simply cut one of the leaves in slices and press the liquid out. It might seem to be sticky at first but it will dissolve in no time. Keep the aloe vera leaf in the fridge and use it (it doesn’t take more than a new cut to “melk” it again) whenever your skin feels dry or after a day on the beach; relieves even on sore bits.

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Cocktail Course: Caffè Shakerato @ Coccaro Beach Club

Do you like the Italian Classics the way we do?
Then you might have heard about a beautifully tasty cocktail, that gives you just the right push without giving you a big head: It’s called Shakerato and you can order it in any Italian bar: It’ll look quite the same from Bolzano down to Bari, you’ll find the difference in the details…

There’s only few places where they the barmen still know how to do it the classic way, without using the blender machine, since it takes exerience and passion to add the right amount of all the ingredients and then shake until you can no more. Coccaro Beach Club is such a place. Our barmen certainly do have a professional blender (and in busy times they need to use it, otherwise they won’t make it); but ususally it’s a matter of honor to prepare the Shakerato the way it’s meant to be: in an old fashioned shaker.

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Bike Tour: Savelletri – Porto Ghiacciolo – San Vito/Polignano

Puglia is a great destination for bikers, professionals as well as pure fun cyclists. There are interesting and highly challenging up- and downhill tracks all around the masseria, heading towards the Itria valley for example; or stunning coastal roads with hardly any traffic passing.
Enzo, one of our head waiters who has been crossing the entire country on two wheels, will be happy to help you work out a suitable tour for your needs and fitness levels. If you’re really lucky he’ll invite you along on one of his own private tours… Attention though, Enzo is not so much of a fun rider, he’ll be taking it seriously!

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Cooking School: Altamura Bread Icecream & White Chocolate Cream Meet Vegetable Garden

No kidding, he’s an artist: Coccaro pastry chef Martino Neglia, 26 (stations & stages: Bulgari Milan; Sadler Milan; Locanda Solarola Bologna), sure knows how to surprise! He loves simplicity and detests a big show around nothing.For creating a heavenly dessert like our sweet signature dish (Coccaro Summer Menu 2012), it doesn’t take him much more a brief walk through the vegetable garden and a look in the fridge, where he will always find favorite ingredients like cream or milk. “There’s no use knowing how to manipulate if you don’t know the principles“, he wrote in his thesis (“An interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper“), where he claims a return to pure nature in the kitchen, for what concers the preparation of a dish as well as the ingredients.

Here’s what he came up with for the summer season 2012: A dessert like a fresh vegetable garden, fresh and light as well as creamy, crunshy and sweet, with a couple of pure natural ingredients and a few interesting taste twists. Impressing, isn’t it? And not hard to imitate. “See, it’s as simple as that: All it takes are pure and fresh ingredients and dedication during the preparation. This way you won’t miss your Wow Effect!

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