Perfect Autumn recipe and Fun Travel this fall
Ciao a tutti!
Eccocci ! Here we are! It has been a couple of months since you've heard from us, il tempo vola ! (Time flies!). We've returned from our Fall Italy trips, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our guests, making new friends and seeing some of our old friends! We had mostly returning guests for our Puglia trips and it's always wonderful to see them again! Puglia was amazing - the delicious seafood, wines, historical towns and spectacular sunsets.
Tuscany was gorgeous, as usual - our home away from home. We enjoyed beautiful fall days there with its wine regions, white truffles, the medieval hill towns and delicious foods. Below are some of the pictures from our travels. It's not too early to get your plans in place for your Italy travel next year. We'd love it if you joined us!

We fell in love with a delicious braised beef while in Tuscany. Gina is featuring it at her restaurant this month. The recipe is below since most of you aren't in Louisville! This recipe is perfect for the chilly fall weather. Pair it with a nice Chianti Classico or enjoy it with your favorite full bodied red!

Buon appetito!
Gina and Mary

Chianti Classico and Carmignano DOCG
We just returned home from Tuscany a couple of weeks ago where, as usual, we spent time in the gorgeous wine regions of Chianti Classico, Montalcino and Montepulciano . Since our featured recipe this week is peposo , a peppery beef dish from Florence ( Firenze ), let's focus on the sangiovese-based wines made around the city.

Florence lies on the northern end of the Chianti Classico region, and there are several wine regions that are historic and well-known around Firenze , including Chianti Ruffino DOCG and Carmignano DOCG . While Ruffino is mainly 80% sangiovese with 20% indigenous Tuscan grapes blended in, Carmignano DOCG can be 50% sangiovese with 50% cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc added . In practice, the wines are a higher percentage of sangiovese, 70-90%, but the addition of cabernet is unusual for a historic DOCG Tuscan wine. You can find both these wines in local wine shops with a good Italian selection.
Peposo (beef braised w/ red wine & black pepper)
This dish originated in the middle ages when the terracotta brick and tile makers from Impruneta worked in Florence making the Duomo and its amazing dome . At the end of the day, before departing for the night, they would place beef, onions, peppercorns and red wine in a terracotta baking dish with a lid and place it in the ovens, hot from the day’s brick making. As the ovens cooled down, the dish slowly cooked overnight; when the workers arrived back in the morning, they removed the peposo and set it aside for their lunch.

Pepe is the word for pepper and peposo refers to the large amount of black pepper in the dish. Excellent to serve on a cold autumn night alongside mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
Chuck roast, 2-3 lbs
2-3 cups dry red wine
1 large onion, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp black pepper corns
1 teas black pepper ground
2 teas sea salt
           Salt the chuck roast, heat a large oven proof pot or Dutch oven and add a generous amount of olive oil. Brown the roast on all sides and then remove from the pot. Add the sliced onions and black pepper and sauté until lightly softened, add back the meat and the red wine and pepper corns. Put the lid on and put the pot in the oven at 350. Cook for 2 hours, remove the lid and cook uncovered for another hour. Check for salt and add some if necessary. 
 This Month's Italian saying... 

A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio.

"Give them a finger and they'll take an arm."
The familiar expression in English is used for a person who has been given something and then they try to get a whole lot more. Our expression is: "Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile". In Italy, this kind of thing is viewed more personally!
We remember our Italian grandmother saying this expression!
Travel with Us in 2020!
Join us on one of our food and wine adventures in Italy next year! We'll take care of all the details and you can enjoy a relaxing vacation immersed in all the delights of Italy.

Next spring - we have available spots for our Piedmont tour May 24-31 and just 2 spots left for our Tuscany tour June 6-13 th .
For a limited time - until January 1st we're offering an early bird discount for Piedmont !
Contact Mary for the details! or call her 972-342-8308

Our fall schedule will include a return to Puglia in early October followed by the Tuscany weeks in time for the olive harvest. Contact Mary to get more information and get registered! Click here for the dates on our website.
Scenes from our Puglia tours in September:
..........tons of fun, seafood, wine & cheese!
Scenes from our Tuscany tours in October:
.....lots of wine, pasta making, truffles & pecorino !
What they're saying...
This was my second tour with Gina and Mary and every bit as much fun as the first. These trips are well planned, accommodations are top notch, food and wine is sublime, and meeting people with similar tastes in travel experiences is so much fun. I really enjoy learning about the region we are in and the foods/wine grown there. This trip we learned about olive oil since olive trees were everywhere. We even stayed at a Masseria where there was a 3,000 year old olive tree still producing. You learn so much on these tours with Gina and Mary plus the cooking experience is always a delight. Everything is already thought of before you go so unless something unforeseen occurs you’ll have a delightful time. Can’t wait to go again! JK

Gina Stipo and Mary Stipo Potter | Ecco La Cucina | 1-972-342-8308| Email | Website