Thursday, July 2

3 Night Summer Special - Wood Fired Pizza, Porchetta, Cooking Class & Market Tour with Craft Beer Tasting

This is the ultimate 3 night stay in Le Marche - a true taste of the area!!

3 Night Summer Special -
Arrive any Thursday departing on Sunday
 starting at 715 Euro/COUPLE

Arrive to our legendary Thursday Pizza Party, dine al'fresco and enjoy the best pizza of the area made before your eyes!  The next day join the Chef & feel like a local on a tour of the hidden artisan meat & cheese market of Apecchio (with a little porchetta along the way), a craft beer tasting at the award winning brewery Collesi, followed by lunch at the ‘hunter’s hideaway’ for a full Italian lunch!  Saturday enjoy a half day cooking class including wine, meal & our custom hand-made apron learning the local seasonal recipes of the area - with produce picked straight from our garden-farm! Includes accommodations. July - September!

BOOK NOW! or email for more details!

And here's a little something to whet your appetite "heaven on Earth" as Jason calls it!  One of my favorite stops on our Feel Like a Local Friday gastro-tour of Apecchio: PORCHETTA!!! 

Thursday, June 25

Wednesday, June 24

Quick Pine Nut Pasta Sauce

This is no alfredo sauce!! This quick and creamy (yet light enough for a hot summer day) pine nut sauce pairs perfectly with homemade pasta. After all the hard work of rolling your dough and making ravioli or cavatelli (or orecchieti, etc.) why drown your delicate pasta in a rich heavy sauce?!

Quick Pine Nut Pasta Sauce
Serves 6

handful of pine nuts (about 100 g or 4 oz) - you don’t have to use pine nuts, any nut of your choice
4 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
150 ml or ⅔ cup of cream
small handful (about 30 g or ¼ cup) of grated parmesan
salt & pepper
pinch of nutmeg

In a blender or with an immersion blender puree the cream, salt & pepper, nuts, nutmeg & cheese until its thick and mostly smooth.

In a pan on low flame, heat oil. Place in garlic glove browning on all sides. Once the pasta is cooked, strain the cooked pasta into the pan. Remove the pan from heat and pour cream mixture over. Toss and adjust the consistency with pasta water and taste.  Place into serving dish and top with a few extra pine nuts.

Sunday, June 14

Cherry Picking Photos, Recipes & Video

 It's that time of year - spring has seamlessly sprung into summer and our cherry trees are ripe for pickin'!!  We have 3 varieties of cherries surrounding our farmhouse - big fat cherries (no idea the name), the sweet little ones (amarasche) and viscole (wild & tart). We've got the bases covered: some for baking & jams, some for homemade liquors & others for just eating!

So what to do with all these ruby beauties?! Here are a few of our favorite cherry recipes from our farmhouse:

Cherries Macerated in Limoncello
Wild Cherry Liquor - Visciolino
Rustic Tart - Crostata with Cherry Jam

 We're not the only ones that devour the fruit - we try to pick the trees before the birds get to them - but I think it just may be the chickens that love the cherries the most! The chickens linger under the trees for the fallen fruit - here's a short instagram video of a glimpse of afternoons in our front yard:

A video posted by Life At LaTavolaMarche (@ashleybartner) on

**Be sure to follow us on Instagram and now on Periscope App (@ashleybartner) - broadcasting LIVE! feeds from our cooking classes, farm & mornings in the garden!

Sunday, May 24

Learn to Make Sausages from Scratch in Italy

 A unique way to spend your holiday in Italy is making sausages in a 300+ year old stone farmhouse using a local recipe that's older than the house!

One of our favorite cooking classes is making sausages from scratch, it doesn't get much more hands-on than this. Starting with a whole pork shoulder (or in this case two) we break it down, grind, season, stuff, twist and eat! The simple classic recipe is a crowd pleaser: pork shoulder, salt, ground pepper, white wine (with garlic) and...that's it.

Years ago we suggested adding fennel or peperoncini to the sausages to switch it up for fun. We were quickly shot down, "Ragazzi (kids) are the sausages not the best you have ever had?! Then why change it." - When you're right, you're right. End of conversation.

And in full blown color - the final product on the grill:
Class Details:
 Sausages from Scratch
Start with a pork shoulder and knife in hand, finish with a lunch of grilled sausages and a fork! Spend the day elbow deep in meat, learn the local recipe for fresh sausages using only pork shoulder, white wine, salt & pepper. Grind, fill and twist almost 10 kilos of sausages. Includes meal, wine, apron and extra sausages to take with you! 200 Euro/person (special group rate).

Sunday, May 3

5 Nights in June: Basics of the Italian Kitchen Cooking Classes

Basics of the Italian Kitchen: Country, Sea & Garden Cooking Classes 
9-14 June 2015 (5 Nights) = 775 Euro/person

Learn to cook a whole fish in salt crust, pasta with vongole, rich meat heavy main courses from the woods & vegetarian delights from the garden in three diverse hands-on cooking classes, plus a full day guided wine tour. 

Includes: Welcome five course dinner with local wine, 1 full day cooking class, 1 half day cooking class with 3 meals and wine, custom hand-made apron, wine tour & tasting with lunch (includes transportation) & breakfast daily. Price based on double occupancy. Price based on double occupancy.  (Optional Market Tour, Beer Tasting & Lunch additional 75 Euro/person)

Book Now! or Contact for more details:

Monday, April 20

Not Your Typical Monday: Refilling the Cantina

Monday morning, bright and early we were on the road before 7am, heading South East to the coast towards Morra d'Alba, a land rich with ancient vines. After 8 years we know exactly where we are headed. With empty glass demijohns bouncing around the back of our car we weave our way through the glorious Marche countryside. On a mission: refill our cantina! Buying hundreds of liters of loose or sfuso reds (Larcima & Rosso Piceno), whites (Verdicchio) and rosato (Larcima) to bottle with our guests!

A few photos from a few of the stops along the way...(My favorite part is the obligatory wine that is offered at each stop...even at 8am!)
Giusti: Lacrima sfuso, Rosato sfuso and bottles of Bolla Rossa, Lacrima Superiore & Verdicchio Superiore

Antica Cantina Sant'Amico: Verdicchio sfuso & Rosso Piceno sfuso
Here we weigh the wine!
Aging wine in cement.

 Fermenting and aging concrete vats was a very common practice for decades before the advent of stainless steel changed everything.

Read more about this old school wine making process:

  It's pretty hard to get a 'case of the Monday's' around here!

I'll post more photo of us bottling, corking & labeling with the guests this week!

Monday, April 13

Rome in a Whirlwind, Photo Guide to 6 Hours in the Eternal City

 It is entirely possible to see almost everything in under 6 hours in Rome. Ok, not everything but enough to fill your photo album and Facebook your friends!

For those of you that are art enthusiasts, church lovers, architecture buffs & Da Vinci  code-breakers this is not the grand tour for you. However there are many of you out there with only a night or two booked in Rome and your wondering if you'll have enough time or see it all....Well you won't see it all but you can get a picture of yourself in front almost every major site in a few hours. We recently jumped in the car at 7am for a day trip to Rome from our farmhouse in Le Marche with a friend in tow that had never seen the Eternal city he wanted a photo in front of all the major landmarks.

This is the exact "tour" we did in under 6 hours:

Arrive at the Spanish Steps to start the tour, even with a car it is no problem to find affordable parking centrally located.  (Parcheggio Ludovisi: Via Ludovisi 60,  2.20 Euro/hour to 18 Euro/day) Walk down the Spanish Steps, notice all the couples kissing & photos being snapped.

(Possible detour for high-end shopping & overpriced tourist trap restaurants along via dei Condotti)

Now back on track, follow the signs to Trevi Fountain:
Toss in your coin to ensure your return. (Maybe next time you'll have more time in Rome!) If you are able to plan it right, visit Trevi Fountain at dusk or late at night for whole different feel, less crowds more romantic.

Slip away from the tours & head straight for the Pantheon only a few blocks away.
Spring for the audio tour, it's only a few minutes and a few bucks - well worth the time and euro.

Once your neck is sore from gazing up at the whole in the ceiling while wondering how did they do that?! make your way across town towards Piazza Navona, this would be a perfect time for gelato. Luckily you are not far from the famed Giolitti Gelateria (via Uffici del Vicario 40) definitly worth the stop (though a bit touristy) they still make a fantatic gelato - after all that walking, splurge for a medium (3 scoops)! It's Soup Nazi style ordering there- when it's your turn, be ready to order, no fumbling about, they are busy!

Happy & thinking you could eat another, start making your way to Piazza Navona, as you make your way around the corner the lively street musicians will welcome you. Marvel at the fountains competing for photos in long rectangular Piazza Navona, packed with cafe's, tourists, artists & architecture. A perfect spot for a glass of wine to people watch if you like this crowd.

If you are looking for different scene, then weave through the streets to Camp de'Fiori for its fabulous market & hip vibe - pick up lunch from the fresh veggies or try fried fish. It's a bit hard to find, but just down the street is a phenomenal fried fish joint that we visited years ago. Fried salt cod, wrapped in paper. That's it & it's sooo good! Filettaro a Santa Barbara, at Largo dei Librari 88, is set in a little piazza just off the Campo de'Fiori square itself. Rest your feet, drink some vino and eat. OR for those more meat-centric, visit Salumeria Roscioli - for it's massive selection of cured meats, cheese & wines from across Italy - perfect for a light lunch!

Another way to find lunch, follow your nose and away from the crowds, you may get lucky:

Now back on track!

Now find via Nazionale and head straight for the massive monument for Italy's first President Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza Venezia.

From here you will see the Colosseum ahead. Make your way in its direction stopping along at the Roman forum for more photos & let the ruins blow your mind! Steer clear of the aggressive Roman soldiers in costume (if you must take a photo of them from afar use a zoom lens) otherwise they try to strong arm you into paying for their photo.  And for the grand finale - snap that slightly out of focus photo of you in front of the Colosseum!

Now jump in a cab back to your hotel or car, you must be exhausted! 
View photos of our buddy the 'wandering gnome" doing this quick 6 hour tour of Rome.
(Always recommended, market trips: Market Days in Rome)

 For a proper, personally customized tour of Rome I highly recommend contacting our friend Denise at Rome Luxury Concierge.  One night or one month, Denise and her team will help you plan the perfect Roman Holiday from a child-friendly guided tour of the Vatican to a helicopter ride over the city anything is possible!
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