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Traditional tuscan breakfast at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda – recipe for the Ciambellone

Patrizia Cenni, the pastry chef for the Fattoria dell Colle shares with us the recipe for one of her delicious cakes, a traditional dessert to which she has made some small important personal changes. It is Patrizia’s cakes and desserts –  fresh fruit tartlets,  traditional jam tarts and the vegetables from our own vegetable patch that transform breakfast every morning into a gourmet occasion and a true moment of joy

Advise for gluttons

Breakfast buffet  at Fattoria del Colle

Breakfast buffet at Fattoria del Colle

The breakfast buffet is only one example of the delicious meals which await those staying at the Fattoria del Colle.   A whole table full of local salami, pecorino cheese, vegetable dips, and local fried specialities, together with home made  biscuits and cakes made by Patrizia herself. It is almost as if you have gone back in time and arrived as a child in your grandparent’s house, because in Patrizia’s kitchen every cake is homemade, made with loving  care and attention to detail to ensure the enjoyment of the newly welcomed guest. Of course, the buffet also includes cornflakes, yoghurt and fruit juices but the real stars of the breakfast are always the pastries.
Patrizia was born in Sinalunga, she is very happily married and has always lived in her home town apart from a 5 year period  when she was a small child  and she lived in Turin. She learned her art as a Pastry chef  in 1985,  when she was taught personally by an experienced  pastry chef and has been a pastry chef herself for about twenty years.
She loves intense flavours and her favourite tarts are those made with rice and ricotta cheese. They are the sort of desserts which once you have tasted  them you cannot stop eating them!!  Even Patrizia cannot resist them!!

Sfoglia ripiena di mele con cioccolato al rosmarino

Sfoglia ripiena di mele con cioccolato al rosmarino

Her latest invention is a small turnover made of puff pastry with  Santoia , apples stewed in brandy served with a white chocolate cream, flavoured with rosemary.  This dessert is going to be served at the Awards Dinner for the Casato Prime Donne  2011  which is being held on 17th September.
Here is her secret recipe for the most delicious cake which she serves as part of our country breakfast: the Ciambellone. For those who would like to serve this cake as a dessert at the end of a meal we recommend that it is enjoyed together with a good  Vin Santo wine.

Ciambellone for 8 people

250 gr sugar, 200 gr 00 flour, 50gr of flour starch, a fruit yogurt or plain yogurt, 3 eggs, ,
3  tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil suitable to be used for cooking, a knob of butter, 1 sachet of baking powder, a drop of grappa.


Beat  the sugar and eggs with a whisk to mix up the mixture. Add the yogurt, the Oil, the liqueur and then the flour (sifted together with the baking powder). Blend until the mixture is smooth. Grease and flour a doughnut shaped mould, then add the mixture and put it in the oven which needs to be pre-heated to180c. Cook for 15 minutes. The Ciambellone is done when a toothpick comes out dry. Cool the Ciambellone and remove it from the mould. The cake should be stored in a cake container, or wrapped in cling film but not put in the refrigerator.

Sunday traditional lunch with country folk songs and dancing at Fattoria del Colle

After two months of preparations for our Celebration at Fattoria del Colle , finally the day arrived – Sunday, July 31st July.   Starlings swooping across the skies,  delicious soup and macaroni pasta, grilled meats, Chianti, Leone Rosso Doc Orcia and then afterwards,  learning local Trescone dancing and having fun together.

Advise for gluttons

Bow at Bonella before starting the dancing

Bow at Bonella before starting the dancing

Sunday, July 31 was Bonella’s birthday,  Bonella Ciacci is an experienced dancer and dance teacher who has been working in a dance school for the last 14  years,  who instructed and motivated everyone in her lively dance moves. Bonella made sure she included everyone in her enthusiastic dance instruction, she showed us everything from the most basic dance steps to the more complex dance routines, personally demonstrating them by leaping around as nimbly as a squirrel! By the end of the celebration we were all very sweaty but also all very happy, having participated in the “Travolgente” country dance experience.   Great fun and totally unforgettable.

Every last detail for the Celebration had been prepared perfectly in advance, from  the tents festooned with wonderful decorations, which had been erected in the grounds of the Colle, to the wonderful long communal tables where our diners could sit down together, re-knew old friendships and make new ones.  On  Friday,  Paola Rossolini , our accountant with the ‘Golden Touch’ had organised the stunning flower arrangements and on Saturday our chef Antonio Corsano and  pastry chef Patrizia had prepared the food. Cecilia Sacchi had even managed to persuade the local baker to produce a giant hand-made traditional farmer’s loaf of bread..

Buffet with traditional Tuscan food at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda, Tuscany

Buffet with traditional Tuscan food at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda, Tuscany

Sunday morning arrived and by noon everything was ready.  The starlings in the sky started the celebrations with their elegant flying display above the tranquil atmosphere of the Fattoria. Firstly the salami and pecorino cheeses were served. Then the local housewives  appeared carrying their cooking pots filled with ciancifricola, the  traditional local Trequanda soup and stew made with home-grown  potatoes. Meanwhile, the sausages, pork cutlets and tasty devilled chicken were cooking on the grill. The delicious sweet tarts for dessert were being served when  Bonella  arrived and the music started. Time for Trescone dancing!!!  Jumps, Turns and Bow –excellent fun – everyone joined in young and old!!!

What a wonderful, fantastic, fun day, nobody expected such a success the first time that we organised such an event. We are confident that this simple and old-fashioned way to celebrate  on a Sunday will become a popular fixture at the Fattoria del Colle. We are committed to making this celebration  a regular event.  Come party with us, we look forward to seeing you at our next event on Sunday 21 August.

Enjoying food now as it would have been served in the Middle Ages


Advise for Gluttons

The Cinta Senese, is a wild pig which lives in the woods and exists by eating acorns.  It has been living here since the times of the Etruscans and the Romans, both of which enjoyed savouring its delicious flavours.  The Cinta Senese is now used as a symbol of  traditional Tuscan cuisine. To sample this typical local dish is a very tasty way to enjoy a historical cultural experience

Visitors to the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena can visit the ‘Hall of Peace’ – ‘Sala della Pace’ (The name comes from a painting of a woman in white which has been chosen by UNESCO as a worldwide symbol of peace) painted  by Ambrogio Lorenzetti between 1337 and 1339.  On the right of the painting  you can see ‘ The effects of a well governed city’. Here the painting  illustrates  a  prosperous city and a well-organized country, we can see a farmer who is taking his pig to market in  Siena. There is a tethered pig which is almost totally black with a white band over its back.

Up until  twenty years ago, this type of animal was not particularly popular or appreciated  as a delicious food outside of the local area,  the meat was perceived as being too fatty and too expensive.  This salty pork  from Siena was distinguished from other hams because it was “Dry” and was judged to be a too strong a taste for palates which were accustomed to  Parma ham and the San Daniele ham. But thanks to the desire to retain old local food traditions and the interest in more unique and individual tastes of food rather than globalised standardised food we now have the opportunity to enjoy the miracle of Cinta Senese cured meats. The trend for enjoying local delicacies has saved this particular breed of animals from being extinct. In addition to enjoying the taste of Medieval Sienese pork it is considered almost essential for the visitors of this area to understand the  history of the civilization behind  the local cuisine, which includes the history of Duccio di Buoninsegna, the Siena Cathedral and the Siena Palio horse race.

Prosciutto di cinta senese

Prosciutto di cinta senese

Amongst all the Italian cured hams perhaps the most delicious is the Prosciutto (cured ham). Some people discard the fat  from the slice of Prosciutto, this is totally the  wrong way to enjoy the meat as although it does have a little fat, this part of the slice is rich with flavour and serves to balance the salty flavour of the lean part. If you are concerned with calories better to eat one  less slice of prosciutto and to eat all of the slice of ham as it should be served and enjoyed rather than to discard the fat.

We at the Osteria di Donatella, the restaurant inside  Fattoria del Colle serve hand sliced pork and ham served with  Leone Rosso Doc Orcia red wine.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini

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