Tuscan cuisine and cooking classes in the heart of Chianti!

Tuscan cuisine and tuscan cooking courses in Villa le Barone

The cuisine we prepare here at Villa le Barone, a boutique hotel in Greve in Chianti, is a typical Mediterranean cuisine: it is simple but tasty and healthy.

It is based on extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, fennel, artichokes, fresh fruits and fragrant herbs such as basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano…    White onions and red onions from Tropea, known for their health benefits, are also widely used, cooked or not. Fruit is abundant in all seasons. Walking through a Chianti market is a feast for all senses: sight, with all the colors of vegetables and fruits, smell, with all Mediterranean perfumes, hearing, with the beautiful Italian language of the people asking to be served, taste, as certainly merchants will want you to try their honey or oranges !

No Italian food without pasta made with durum wheat and, at Villa le Barone, we choose pasta “La Tosca” www.pastalatosca.it, labelled “Agriqualità”, made with durum wheat produced in Tuscany, the Maremma the Crete Senesi or around Pisa.  And what variety in pasta: spaghetti, fusilli, tortelli, penne, rigatoni, farfalle, maccheroni, tagliatelle, tortellini, ravioli, lasagne …..!  And there are a thousand ways to accommodate them: simply, with butter and sage of the garden, with a fresh tomato sauce, or with the ‘Genovese pesto’ sauce made from basil, Parmesan and olive oil.

But there are many other famous dishes and specialties from Tuscany and Chianti: the “bruschetta”, that you can find on Villa Barone’s  buffet  of “antipasti” (appetizers), is a slice of bread rubbed with a little garlic and covered with small pieces of tasty tomatoes ripened in the sun and of course a generous spoonful of olive oil. The “minestrone” is a soup made with season vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, green beans, dry beans, tomatoes, chard, cabbage.The “Ribollita”, which literally means “reboiled” is a special minestrone which also contains bread.

There is everything to satisfy the vegetarians in this Mediterranean cuisine, but the Tuscan cuisine also has delicious meat: Who does not know the “Bistecca alla Fiorentina”, a prime grilled rib of young beef, or  the ” tagliata alla rucola “, a piece of grilled fillet, cut into large strips, served on a bed of arugula, seasoned with lemon juice and covered with thin slices of Parmesan cheese? And then there’s meat in sauce, like “stracotto”, full of smells of fragrant herbs, or “peposo”, pieces of beef cooked in Chianti wine and seasoned with lots of pepper, a dish coming  right from the Renaissance as it was prepared for workers building Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence  in the 14th century. Finally we must not forget the poultry, chicken “al vino santo ‘or guinea fowl with olives, and also coniglio  (rabbit), stuffed with herbs or not!

You can taste all those Tuscan dishes, prepared with passion in our hotel Villa Le Barone, located in  Greve in Chianti, where our two  chefs  Fernanda e Edi were born. Vegetables are purchased locally, the extra virgin olive oil, labeled “Agriqualità”, comes in part from the olive trees of Villa Barone and from our farm in Alta Maremma. Meat, from free range cattle, also labeled “Agriqualità”, comes from our farm www.vecchienna.com. You can also take a tuscan cooking class at Villa le Barone,  learn how to prepare some of these dishes …  and  then  savor them !

No good meal without wine: at  Villa le Barone we select for our wine list  the best  “Chianti Classico,” produced in Panzano in Chianti, but also in neighboring towns like Radda and Castellina in Chianti! But we’ll talk about wine later on!