AT THE TABLE UNDER THE TUSCAN STARS
THE FATTORIA DEL COLLE RESTAURANT PRESENTS ITS SUMMER MENU WITH LOTS OF TUSCANY AND A LITTLE IMAGINATION. THE NEW DISH BY CHEF DORIANA MARCHI
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini #winedestination
Doriana Marchi, chef of the Fattoria del Colle restaurant is like a Tuscan DOCG for being born and raised in the area and has also been an AIS Sommelier since 2013. She shares my passion for local gastronomic traditions but adds great creativity and an aesthetic sense to these which makes her dishes colourful.
Her 2023 novelty is the “Ricotta and spinach ravioli on a new potato cream with Val d’Orcia saffron and Topinambur (sunchoke) concassè from our vegetable garden”
RAVIOLO WITH SAFFRON POTATO CREAM AND SUNCHOKES
It has a “post-modern” look also thanks to the colour of the saffron and , enhances a superfood such as sunchoke which has an important expansion in the Fattoria del Colle vegetable garden. In fact, Helianthus tuberosus arrived in Europe from North America in the 1600s and is often called the “Canada artichoke” in reference to its origin and flavour. Today it is widespread in France, Belgium and Tuscany.
Its health virtues concern the gastrointestinal system, the richness of mineral salts, the ability to contrast cholesterol and diabetes. For this reason it is considered a super food particularly useful for well-being and suitable for children, the elderly, sportsmen and
Saffron is a spice cultivated in Val d’Orcia since the Middle Ages. It is a perennial plant with a bulb from which lilac flowers with red pistils are born, which, once picked and dried, give rise to a precious golden powder. Since ancient times saffron has been used for cooking, cosmetics and as a colour also for the production of fabrics. The saffron of the Val d’Orcia can be produced exclusively in the wonderful territory registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004.
The dish created by Doriana Marchi starts from the hand-made ravioli “di magro” with egg pasta filled with freshly made sheep’s milk ricotta and spinach, as the Maremma tradition dictates. The novelty comes from the puree bed on which the tortelli are placed and the unusual combination with sunchokes. The final effect is exquisite and fresh with a sensation of complexity rare in a vegetarian dish.
SUMMER MENU AT THE FATTORIA DEL COLLE RESTAURANT
The Fattoria del Colle summer menu proposal is specifically designed for dinners under the stars, on the terrace in front of the restaurant. An enchanting place, overlooking the vineyards and the medieval village of Trequanda. The dishes of the local tradition are so numerous that they transform the meal into a cultural experience of Tuscany.
In addition to the usual cold cuts and cheeses, some cheeses selected by one of the best Italian affineurs Andrea Magi DeMagi who came third at the World Cheese Award in London 2023.
The menu lists five appetizers among which it is right to mention a poor dish from the Tuscan countryside: panzanella, which becomes a real delicacy thanks to the “farm to table “vegetables from the farm’s garden which is BIO – organic , like the whole farm and watered with water from the our well. Many of the salads are made with types of lettuce typical of the spontaneous Tuscan herbarium.
AT THE FATTORIA DEL COLLE EATING IS A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
Among the first courses, traditional pici and maltagliati from the Sienese territory stand out, but I would also like to point out the pappa col pomodoro (more Florentine) embellished by the use of the Aglione garlic from the Valdichiana – Valdorcia. It is “kiss-proof” garlic because it does not contain Aethusa cynapium and therefore has no negative effects on breath. Among the meats, a prominent place is for the Chianina breed beef, the white giant that has lived on the hills of our territory for over two thousand years. It is the largest meat- and -working animal in the world. Together with the stewed chicken, which the peasants traditionally called ” dead roasted” because it was cooked in a closed pan, there is another dish dear to the country traditions: the boiled meat salad commonly called “lesso rifatto”. Together with something more intriguing “the tuna of Chianti” which is not a fish but meat in oil. Among the side dishes I point out the vegetables from the garden typical of summer peasant breakfasts.
I close with desserts and also in this case, among the five proposals on the menu, I focus on the most traditional one: pears cooked in red wine with black pepper. The use of pepper in desserts has been characteristic of the Sienese area since time immemorial. Panforte panpepato, the most famous and celebrated dessert from Siena, as well as Pan coi santi, typical of autumn, have this delicious sweet-spicy mix. Tasting them is a cultural experience rather than a gastronomic one!