Spring Veggies
Travel to Italy with Us, Palio Tour 2019
Ciao a tutti!
We are embarking on the spring culinary tours this week. Follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we visit Tuscany and Piedmont. Then make your plans to join us this fall (we've added a Best of Bologna & Tuscany week) or next year's Tuscany, Piedmont or Puglia trips.    

Spring is a wonderful time of year in the Italian kitchen as artichokes, peas, asparagus, lemons and fresh herbs all come into their own!  Food is a focus of life in Italy and it has to be fresh and good. Italians eat with the seasons and right now they are enjoying a variety of spring-fresh vegetables and foods in their regional dishes. Some popular dishes to enjoy this time of year:  fava beans and young pecorino cheese, fresh baby artichoke salad with Parmigiano cheese and a favorite pasta dish of ours featuring peas and prosciutto. We've included the recipe for this one below. Enjoy the season!
Buon appetito!
Gina and Mary
Pasta con Piselli & Prosciutto (spring peas & prosciutto)
1 cup sliced prosciutto, cut into 1" strips
2 cups fresh peas or sugar snap pea pods
6 spring onions or scallions
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
4 fresh sage leaves
1 cup cream
sea salt
If using sugar snap pea pods, julienne them on a diagonal. Likewise slice the spring onions or scallions on a diagonal. A mix of peas and pea pods is nice. Gently sauté the garlic, onion and peas in olive oil, add the sage leaves and then the prosciutto and sauté a few minutes until peas are cooked through, adding salt to taste. Add cream and heat until thickened. Toss with cooked pasta, topping with a little olive oil and grated Parmigiano before serving.
This Month's Italian saying...
"Colpo d'occhio" o "Pugno d'occhio"!

In translation it means - "A punch in the eye" - which means an eye sore, something shocking that you've seen that upsets our sensibilities.   
Italians use this saying when, surrounded by beauty, something particularly ugly offends the eye (a building, trash in the countryside, an ugly piece of art).  
Which saying you use depends on the area you're from as they mean the same thing. 
Culinary Week Added this Fall!
Bologna Parmigiano
We've added a week - October 13-20, 2018! Join us this fall for our Best of Tuscany & Bologna tour.  We'll be spending the first part of the week exploring the delicacies of Bologna and Emilia-Romagna (think: Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano, tortellini in brodo!). The second part of the week we'll be at the beautiful villa in Tuscany (think: truffles, pecorino cheeses, Brunello wines!). Check out the details here

2019 Tours 
Next September we're offering a new tour in Puglia. Followed by our Tuscany adventure in October. The spring will bring Piedmont again followed by Bologna and a trip to the Palio of Siena (for more details, keep scrolling)  Check out the details on our website .

Enjoy Italy with us - worry free and relaxing! We are with you every step of the way to show you the best each region has to offer.  Give Mary a call (972) 342.8308 or mary@eccolacucina.com! 
The Palio of Siena 2019
We are offering an exciting tour of the July Palio of Siena next year! This tour is a week filled with history, events, special dinners and high emotions. Gina lived and breathed the Palio in her contrada - The Selva and we offer you the most inclusive, insider's view and experience to this great event that happens in Siena twice a year. We'll be joining the festivities leading up to and including the July 2nd Palio. The dates: June 28 - July 3, with an optional 2 day food and wine tour after the Palio events are over.
Is it the most exciting sporting event in the world? Well, it is more than just a 90 second bareback spin around the Piazza del Campo, Siena's main square. There are ongoing rivalries and competition between the contrade (the neighborhoods in Siena). The lead-up and the day of the race teem with traditions, passion and pride. We'll immerse ourselves in everything "Palio" during our tour! Check out the website for more information -  
the deadline to sign up is August 1, 2018. 
Florence Apartment
Looking for a great place outside of the touristy fray in Florence? Our good friend has a spectacular apartment in a quiet area of Florence that she is renting. This is just a 7 minutes walk to the Duomo, but yet on a quiet street away from the partying crowds. Close and convenient! It is in a former palazzo on the second floor and has amazing features - an original fresco from the 1700s along with all the modern conveniences and spacious too. Mary is handling the rentals, so contact her if you're going to Florence. Its a better alternative to AirBnB! You know what you're getting plus Gina and Mary have stayed there and can vouch that its fabulous! 972-342-8308 or mary@goitalyhomes.com

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