FORAGING: green walnuts for Nocino

I posted my Nocino (green walnuts liqueur) recipe some time ago but, having started this new series about foraging, I thought that I should include the Nocino. I have just been collecting green walnuts for 2012 nocino and we’re about to try the one I made in 2011 (I leave it rest for 1 […]

FORAGING: Dandelion liqueur

Ever since I discovered that dandelion is the English name of Taraxacum officinale I thought that it was a funny name… Dandelion is originally Dent de lion (Lion tooth), the French name for it. It’s called the same in Italian (Dente di leone) and I guess that it refers to the toothed shape of the leaves.

The […]


In my opinion one of the pleasures of living in the countryside is getting in touch with nature in many different ways.

I love having the possibility of meeting the little creatures that inhabit our world without us realizing. Today, driving along a white road by the farm, I saw a blackbird in the middle […]

Photo of the day: le Marche salami

Sorry vegetarian friends!
Ciauscolo, cotechino and salame meats ready to go in their casings for three typical Le Marche salami.
Cotechino will be cured for one week and then in the freezer to be enjoyed later, boiled along with other mixed meats and served in a gorgeous bollito misto or with lentils (for the typical New […]

Photo of the day: bitesize pickled sweet peppers

Photo of the day: Visciole (with recipe)

Visciole are a wild variety of sour cherries that grow here in Northern Le Marche. They are becoming quite rare since, even in this region, where agriculture is still quite traditional, farmers tend to cut every wild plant to leave space for the cultivated varieties. Nevertheless we have quite a few visciole trees at […]

Photo of the day: homemade salami, ciauscolo, sausages

6/4/2 Herbal liqueur

Here’s another of the liqueurs that I prepare for guests at Valle Nuova.This is a good herbal liqueur, not sweet that is made with herbs that can be found at Valle Nuova (wild or in our herb-garden) and spices that are easily found in any kitchen.

6 basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum)
6 sage leaves (Salvia officinalis)
6 […]

Everything Elderflower 2: Elderflower liqueur

Winter 2011 is cold, it snowed for a couple of days and I’m snowed in, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to get out of here… otherwise there’s elderflower liqueur!
Spring and Summer colours, smells and flavours have a great appeal when everything outside is cold and silent snow, so here’s my Elderflower liqueur recipe: smells […]

Photo of the day: preparing liqueurs

Some of this summer’s liqueurs, left to right: artichokes, dandelion, elderflower (back), herbs, orange with coriander and anise. We use mostly home grown or foraged ingredients to prepare our home-made liqueurs. The recipes come from the family and friends and some are the outcome of years of experimenting with different ingredients and processes.

I will […]