Years ago while renting a house in Todi (yes we have been at this for years), we had the good fortune to have a cooking class at the home we had rented. I was under the impression that trying to duplicate this experience of having someone actually come to us was possibly too expensive and therefore prohibitive. But when I found, Velia DeAngelis, the possibility became a reality.
We began to ‘chat’ via email which seems to be the way of the world. We promptly began to establish a rapport and it was quickly apparent what a warm, wonderful character Velia was. Each time I would say, “Velia, that is too much food, we really do not need that much pasta”, she would respond with “NO WAY You are going to have it all.” Clearly protesting that the amount of food was too much did not translate in Velia’s world. Velia delivered on the day by doing the shopping and driving her small car and all the ingredients up the hill accompanied by her fellow Chef, Barbara. We began the preparations. Nothing was wasted. When she taught us how to make bread the left over dough was transformed into a pastry that held a piece of cheese and salami. The warm oven melted the cheese into a creamy ooze in your mouth. And when there was still dough left that too morphed into an Italian style tortilla. The same was true with the pasta that was reimagined into various ravioli and gnocchi.
My love for cooking dates back to my great great great grand father Giuseppe” Peppe” Chiasso, born in 1849. All the children called him Peppetto for his small height. My aunts and uncles who lived with us were famous in our village for the wonderful dishes they would prepare.
In the Italian tradition families live together until children get married. So I grew up with my parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and their sisters and brothers that had not married. We were a large family living under the same roof so cooking for everyone was very important. I was always reminded of Peppetto and his love for cooking. One of my fondest memories is receiving a gift from the brothers and sisters of my grandfather Luigi, (my aunts Nena, Olga and my uncles Efrito and Augusto) when I was five years old. They gave me a beautiful Barbie doll but after ten minutes I was asking for my pan and ingredients for cooking tomato sauce.
Tradition and simplicity are two connotations that create the identity of my Cooking School and reflects a farming culture that has been handed down for generations. Love, need and even passion for everything regarding food and wine drove Le Peppette to research the best, the authentic raw materials and to create their unforgettable flavours.
Le Peppette’s world helps me to create and trace the real italian taste where food and wine are strictly related. Their body of knowlegde gave me the possibility to combine delicious contrast in my dishes always respecting the ingredients used during cooking.
So if you are staying at Casa Le Crete or anywhere in the Orvieto area and you love to cook, you may just want to get in touch with Velia.
Drunk Sausages Salsicce Ubriache
Ingredients for 4/6 people
1 medium Onion
1 stalk of white celery ( not the green part)
1 medium carrot
7 tbs of E.V.O
8 italian pork sausage ( mild or medium spicy)
1 bottle of Red Wine
2 large bunches of red grapes (seedless)
Chop very finely onion, celery, carrot, apple and put into a pan with olive oil. Let this cook for 5 minutes till become brown and then add the sausages with the skin on.
Cook the sausage just 5 minutes side by side then add the grape and the red wine and boil for 2 hours.
Take the sausage out from the pan and with an immersion blender pureè the sauce on the bottom of your pan.
At the end add (if you need) a pinch of salt (depending on the sausage), black pepper and then add the sausages back to the sauce…
Roasted turkey/chicken legs filled with porcini mushrooms and bacon
Ingredients for 4 pax
700 gr (1 ½ lbs) of turkey legs without bones
6/7 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
10 leaves of sage
1 fresh parsley
200 gr (7 oz.)of bacon thinly sliced
250 gr (9 oz.) of porcini mushrooms
On a chopping board work garlic, sage, rosemary, salt and black pepper creating a special coat for you turkey
Clean the turkey from hair and fat and put on the work surface: after you chopped all the herbs coat the external skin and the internal meat of the turkey
In the same time you can cook a little bit your porcini mushrooms with oil, chopped garlic and fresh parsley and keep them into a cup.
You have to fill the internal turkey’s leg with porcini mushrooms and two or three sliced of bacon (if you like you can add bit of provola cheese) salt if required.
When the turkey legs have been filled try to close it with a string and put it into a baking tray/coat again with herbs the skin of turkey’s legs and bake in the oven at 180 /200° C (350° to 400° F) for one hour.