Unlimited wine on tap?

search-1Have you ever wished you could stay at an amazing location with a stunning swimming pool, make pizza in a wood fired oven, participate in a cooking class, eat delicious home cooked dinners with some serious wine pairing for each course, also have unlimited wine on tap?  Your wish has just come true! Join us on our 4 day food and wine extravaganza  (dates below) ,  enjoy luxury accommodation, a fabulous salt water swimming pool, delicious breakfast served al fresco, wine tastings, wine pairings, make your own limoncello or mandarinetto, learn how mozzarella is made and so much more!  We’ll provide unlimited ‘Primitivo’ red wine from Manduria  all 4 days!

Dates: June 7th to 11th or September 8th to 12th 2016 info@villamagnoliaitaly.com
Book soon as places are now limited!
Price pp 580 euro.  Suitable for couples. Accommodation, all food and plenty of wine as listed below included!

1) Arrival, light lunch, aperitivo. ( a few hours free time to sunbathe, tour the area) . Hands on cooking class in the chef’s kitchen, 4 course dinner with wine pairing.

2) Breakfast, a visit to a wine cantina, wine tasting and lunch with wine pairing. Afternoon: Limoncello making class ( free evening to discover the area, choose a local restaurant)

3)Breakfast, Tour to a local cheesemaker to learn how to make mozzarella, burrata etc. ( a few hours free in the afternoon) Fun packed Pizza making evening 3 course dinner (unlimited wines included).

4)Breakfast,  ( free morning to explore or chill out by the pool),  afternoon Bruschetta served al fresco with Prosecco ,  watch a show by the pool at Villa Magnolia of traditional Pizzica dancers!  Followed by an amazing organic dinner at a Masseria, 8 courses with wine pairings.

info@villamagnoliaitaly.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The importance of probiotics.

When sourcing food to serve our guests,  we pay particular attention to the quality of yoghurt offered at breakfast time. All yoghurts served here at Villa Magnolia have natural beneficial probiotics.

Yoghurt is a cultured or fermented milk product that is soured and thickened by adding specific lactic acid-producing cultures to milk. The basic cultures orprobiotics used to make yoghurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Additional probiotics are often added. There’s a difference between the plain yoghurts and the fruit flavours you see on shelves, though. Many of these are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.  We look for options without artificial sweeteners like aspartame or added sugars like high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar. We also make sure there is less than 12 grams of sugar per container.

To combat allergens, dust mites and disinfect the bedrooms and soft furnishings at Villa Magnolia we use Probiotics. We purchase our probiotic products from *Bi-Safe.net (Chrisal) the founder of the company  is from Holland, we had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago when he stayed here at Villa Magnolia for a week.  Bi-Safe is a range of cleaning and care products for the body and household use which are based on probiotics (good bacteria)and contain no bactericidal chemicals. Disinfectants attack microbes makes them defend themselves and become aggressive and resistant. when this happens the disinfectant to not work anymore.

By using Bi-Safe the microbes (human unfriendly bacteria) are overwhelmed with population of good bacteria which causes them to stop multiplying. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs when a smaller population of bacteria and even animals, face an unequal struggle for resources, causing them to stop multiplying. There is not enough food for their offspring, and the population of microbes is reduced to a number which is no longer harmful to humans. The microbes are not directly attacked, because that is not necessary, since they spontaneously cease multiply. The probiotic bacteria control the environment and microbes become less aggressive.

*The University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy has decided after thorough testing to use only the industrial variant of Bi-Safe (also developed by Chrisal) for the entire hygiene of the hospital!

 

Pizza making in Puglia

Once a week here at Villa Magnolia we fire up our pizza oven, guests have the opportunity to make their own pizzas, its a fun packed event! I have been making pizza dough for many years, the following recipe is the fastest and easiest, however personally I prefer the slow rise pizza dough ( I will post the recipe soon), let’s start with this  easy recipe.

My easy Pizza Dough Recipe, makes 4 personal sized pizzas.

Prep Time: 3 hrs

Ingredients:

4  Cups of plain flour
1 ½ Cups Water (approximate)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast + a teaspoon of sugar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

Mix some of the water  (half a glass) with the yeast, sugar, leave to react for a minute or so, when bubbles have formed then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
Let rest for 10 minutes, then knead  (I always prefer  by hand)  for 7 to 8 minutes until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover  and allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature  until the dough doubles in size.
Punch the dough  and divide it into 4 equal sized balls.
Cover the balls of dough and let rest 60 minutes then shape.
To shape your pizza take a ball of dough and press into a disc shape.
Lightly flour top and bottom  with Farina di Semola (durum wheat flour)/cornmeal and gently press and pull the dough with your finger tips, turning it often to create a 10 inch circle, if you feel confident  throw your pizza dough in the air, be careful not to catch with your fingertips…use the back of your hand instead. Finally  top with your choice of ingredients.

The best pizzas are baked in a wood fired Pizza oven, if you would like to experience making your own pizza  then contact us info@villamagnoliaitaly.com

Turning point for wines of Puglia!

Puglia’s indigenous varieties (led by the reds), to name a few are  Negroamaro, Primitivo, Susumaniello  these grapes are well adapted to the area and produce signature wines in talented hands. Sunny days ripen the grapes, while the largely clay based soil retain enough moisture for the sun soaked vines, wind promotes dry healthy conditions.

Puglia has enormous potential, tradition is a dynamic concept, a priceless asset! Another reason to visit Puglia, come and discover the food and wines of this region. info@villamagnoliaitaly.com

 

Ciceri e Tria (pasta and chickpeas)

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Ciceri e Tria, is a traditional dish in Puglia, although the origins are Arabian. The finishing touches of flavour and texture come from frying some of the pasta and adding to the mixture of pasta with chick peas.

Ingredients for 4: – 200 gr Farina di Semola (durum wheat flour) 300 gr chickpeas, 1 carrot, 1 stick of celery, 1 garlic clove, 1 onion, 3 tomatoes or some tomato sauce, a little rosemary, EV olive oil, salt.

      Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl of water  and leave to soak overnight. The next day drain and rinse the chickpeas, place in a saucepan with the vegetables and enough water to make a watery soup. Cook on low heat, until chick peas are soft. Towards the end of cooking time remove the garlic and celery  ( or mince them with a fork and leave in),  add some salt.

      Meanwhile make the fresh pasta with the flour, water and a pinch of salt. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes then roll out the dough until its thin, cut into tagliatelle shape.  Fry one third of the tagliatelle in oil, when they are golden, drain and add a pinch of salt. The remaining pasta should be cooked with the chickpeas, serve the pasta and chickpeas with a handful of the fried pasta on top and add a drizzle of olive oil.  Some like to add grated cheese.

Wine pairing with ‘ciceri e tria’.  A Vino Rosato Pugliese eg;  IGT Susumaniello Rosato ‘Tre Tomoli Rosa’ 2013’ dell’azienda Vigna Flora di Castellana Grotte (Bari), has won the gold medal for the  excellent producion of organic wines here in Puglia.

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The importance of probiotics.

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When sourcing food to serve our guests,  we pay particular attention to the quality of yoghurt offered at breakfast time. All yoghurts served here at Villa Magnolia have natural beneficial probiotics.

Yoghurt is a cultured or fermented milk product that is soured and thickened by adding specific lactic acid-producing cultures to milk. The basic cultures or probiotics used to make yoghurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Additional probiotics are often added. There’s a difference between the plain yoghurts and the fruit flavours you see on shelves, though. Many of these are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.  We look for options without artificial sweeteners like aspartame or added sugars like high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar. We also make sure there is less than 12 grams of sugar per container.

To combat allergens, dust mites and disinfect the bedrooms and soft furnishings at Villa Magnolia we use Probiotics. We purchase our probiotic products from *Bi-Safe.net (Chrisal) the founder of the company  is from Holland, we had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago when he stayed here at Villa Magnolia for a week.  Bi-Safe is a range of cleaning and care products for the body and household use which are based on probiotics (good bacteria)and contain no bactericidal chemicals. Disinfectants attack microbes makes them defend themselves and become aggressive and resistant. when this happens the disinfectant to not work anymore.

By using Bi-Safe the microbes (human unfriendly bacteria) are overwhelmed with population of good bacteria which causes them to stop multiplying. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs when a smaller population of bacteria and even animals, face an unequal struggle for resources, causing them to stop multiplying. There is not enough food for their offspring, and the population of microbes is reduced to a number which is no longer harmful to humans. The microbes are not directly attacked, because that is not necessary, since they spontaneously cease multiply. The probiotic bacteria control the environment and microbes become less aggressive.

*The University Hospital of Ferrara, Italy has decided after thorough testing to use only the industrial variant of Bi-Safe (also developed by Chrisal) for the entire hygiene of the hospital!

 

Pizza making in Puglia

Once a week here at Villa Magnolia we fire up our pizza oven, guests have the opportunity to make their own pizzas, its a fun packed event! I have been making pizza dough for many years, the following recipe is the fastest and easiest, however personally I prefer the slow rise pizza dough ( I will post the recipe soon), let’s start with this  easy recipe.

My easy Pizza Dough Recipe, makes 4 personal sized pizzas.

Prep Time: 3 hrs

Ingredients:

4  Cups of plain flour
1 ½ Cups Water (approximate)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast + a teaspoon of sugar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

Mix some of the water  (half a glass) with the yeast, sugar, leave to react for a minute or so, when bubbles have formed then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
Let rest for 10 minutes, then knead  (I always prefer  by hand)  for 7 to 8 minutes until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover  and allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature  until the dough doubles in size.
Punch the dough  and divide it into 4 equal sized balls.
Cover the balls of dough and let rest 60 minutes then shape.
To shape your pizza take a ball of dough and press into a disc shape.
Lightly flour top and bottom  with Farina di Semola (durum wheat flour)/cornmeal and gently press and pull the dough with your finger tips, turning it often to create a 10 inch circle, if you feel confident  throw your pizza dough in the air, be careful not to catch with your fingertips…use the back of your hand instead. Finally  top with your choice of ingredients.

The best pizzas are baked in a wood fired Pizza oven, if you would like to experience making your own pizza  then contact us info@villamagnoliaitaly.com

PASTA made with Primitivo wine.

Italians love pasta, they eat pasta almost every day!  There are  hundreds of  different pasta shapes on the market. Italians feel strongly about certain pasta shapes being paired with certain sauces, for example Italians do NOT eat spaghetti bolognese, the bolognese meat sauce is served with tagliatelle not spaghetti. It will take a while to understand which shapes of pasta go with each sauce.  In Puglia the homemade orecchiette pasta is made with farina di semola (durum wheat flour) and water, in northern Italy pasta made with eggs or filled pasta is very popular. Pasta can be quick, simple, healthy, nutritious and versatile.  An example of some fresh pasta I make here at Villa Magnolia, made with Farina di Semola and Primitivo wine, served with a creamy walnut and gorgonzola sauce, perfect  comfort food on a  winter day. Viva la Pasta!
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Scamorza cheese

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Scamorza is an Italian, spun paste cow’s milk cheese belonging to the pasta filata family. Shaped similar to a provolone in pear shape, it is available in many other forms as well. A semi-soft white cheese with a texture comparable to that of a firm, dry Mozzarella, Scamorza is made throughout Apulia and in some parts of Campania and Molise.

The cheese is made from pasteurised cow’s milk or from a mixture of cow and sheep milk. At the end of the cheese making process, which is akin to Mozzarella, the cheeses are hanged together in strings to ripen for about two weeks. The process of ripening the cheese has given Scamorza its name, which in southern Italy means ‘beheaded’.

After two weeks of ripening, the cheese is sold as it is or smoked. The smoked variant, called ‘Scamorzi Affumicate’ is made by smoking the cheese over flaming straw for around 10 to 15 minutes. A fresh version of Scamorza is also sold within a few days of production.

The texture of Scamorza is elastic, stringy and has less moisture than Mozzarella. In addition, the flavour is more piquant, milky and creamy. Smoked Scamorza has a subtle, smoky flavour with a sweet, light caramel note.

Scamorza is used as a substitute for Mozzarella as it imparts more interest in the recipe. Since Scamorza has excellent melting qualities, it is best known to flavour baking dishes, for griddling or topped with prosciutto for extra zest.

Sunday Lunch/Pranzo della Domenica

DSC02818.JPG       Sunday lunch is HUGE here in Puglia. A gathering of family and close 
friends for a feast!

My ex mother in law  would start preparing this feast  early in the morning, I would watch and learn from her. For a very special occasion we would make Lasagna,   however most Sundays  we would make Orecchiette pasta and lay it out to dry, then getting out her largest pots and pans, a tomato sauce would be started. Next on the agenda, braciola would be prepared. Braciola is a thin piece of meat that is stuffed, rolled, tied, browned and then simmered in the sauce. It can be stuffed with a variety of grated cheeses, prosciutto,  breadcrumbs and herbs. No two cooks make them the same. She also added  meatballs to her sauce. Believe it or not we also had time to walk to the local church for Sunday mass, returning home by 12.45pm, family would arrive for Sunday lunch at 1.15pm…bringing a tray of pasticcini (pastries) for dessert!

The family and often friends would gather around the table to enjoy the feast. First antipasto of cheeses and cold cuts, then  pasta would be served with the sauce, and of course a generous helping of the local freshly grated cacioricotta cheese. Next would come the meat that had been simmered in the sauce. This would be accompanied with a large loaf of crusty bread to wipe up the sauce and juices on the plate.  The meat  would be served with a small lettuce and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar along side. Last but not least, coffee and wonderful Italian pastries would be placed on the table. Sunday was a day of laughter and good food that I remember fondly.


Food and Wine 4 Day Extravaganza!

2016 Dates: June 7th to 11th or September 8th to 12th 2016, suitable for couples!

Day 1: Arrive at your luxury accommodation http://www.villamagnoliaitaly.com,  settle in unpack,  when you are ready, enjoy an aperitivo or a glass or two of Prosecco with a few light snacks. Relax amongst the ancient olive trees or by the beautiful romanesque swimming pool. Later in the day the food and wine extravaganza commences! You’ll enter the chef’s large rustic kitchen and gather around a cosy island where you’ll participate in a fun packed hands on cooking lesson. A few of the culinary treats you’ll learn, are making the local  orecchiette pasta,  the tomato sauce,  and more!   The cooking class will culminate in sampling your efforts in  a four course dinner, with wine pairing for each course.  At the end of the meal… no need to drive anywhere as you’re just a few steps away from your comfortable bedroom.

Day 2: Breakfast al fresco, so relaxing that time can escape without notice.  A new adventure begins  at 11 am as you make your way  to a fabulous and informative a wine tour,  with wine tastings and lunch at the local winery. Of course you are welcome to bring back wine from your tour to enjoy here at the Villa. Then late afternoon back in the chef’s kitchen for a lesson on how to make Limoncello and our famous Mandarin’cello’  (tastings included)  In the evening   free time to explore the area and enjoy an evening meal at recommended restaurants.

Day 3: Start the day of sunshine and brilliant blue sky with breakfast under the pergola.  At 11 am  you will make your way to the local cheesemaker where you can watch  Mozzarella and Burrata being made. Later you may want to stop at the local panificio (bakery) for a loaf of oven fresh bread or a few “rosetta” rolls. The aroma of the freshly baked bread is so enticing it’s difficult not to sample some on  your return to the Villa. Tables  will be ready back at the Villa  for you to set out your fresh local  bread, wines and cheeses, take a walk through the garden and pick some of our organic vine ripened tomatoes and  rocket (rucola),  help yourself to our EV olive oil and balsamic vinegar,  perfetto!  After lunch a walk down the jasmine covered colonnade takes you to  the roman style salt water pool area where you can relax, read a book, sunbathe or enjoy a relaxing  Ayurveda massage in the temple area.  Late afternoon,  you’ll notice smoke coming from the olive wood, burning in the restored  stone pizza oven. This is the sign something special  is going to happen! Time to enjoy a few drinks before the fun begins. You will participate in a fun filled pizza making evening, plenty of food and wine whilst dining al fresco.  

Day 4: After your leisurely breakfast,  free time to explore many of the interesting sites in the area (Alberobello, Ostuni, Lecce etc). Late afternoon return to the Villa , enjoy some homemade bruschetta (made with our own organic tomatoes and olive oil) a glass of wine then sit back and enjoy the show of  the traditional Pizzica dancers by the swimming pool!  Then get ready to tour a magnificent antique Masseria (Farm House) where you will enjoy an  incredible eight course organic dinner with wine pairings for an evening that will leave  you a lasting memory.

For more information and availability contact info@villamagnoliaitaly.com