For years it has been our philosophy to present old Italian recipes, originating from as far back as the 14-15th centuries, with a modern twist.
Through our work, we are frequently confronted with the history of the old Italian osterie. That is why my team and I would like to introduce you to a variety of dishes in their original form.
The Town of Norcia in Umbria
With our range, "Le Osterie italiane", we will take you on a culinary journey through time, back as far as the 19th century.
The history of the osterie in Italy, also known as the Cucina Povera, can be traced all the way from North to South. On this journey, we will present you with exceptional dishes and wines from different regions of Italy.
Ristorante Dei Priori - Norcia
We hope you enjoy your journey of discovery
through the old Italian traditions
Bon Appetit !!!
Tegamaccio con Bruschetta all'Origano
Our next stop is located in the heart of Italy. Umbria is the only region that has no sea coast. Being mostly mountainous and rich in woodlands, it was once inhabited by Etruscans and Romans. These cultures influenced its agriculture and the Umbrian cuisine.
Cultivated were, for instance, various legumes and cereals, among them the ancient emmer wheat. Noted are also the small Castelluccio lentils that are used as ingredient for numerous dishes. Even Umbria’s rich variety in flat breads - so-called focacce and schiacciate - dates back all the way to the Roman era. And the Etruscan art of cheese making produced the ewe’s cheese varieties Caciotta and Pecorino that still exist today.
The fall of the Roman Empire (476 n. Chr.) was followed by the reign of the Franks and the Lombards who left their marks in crafts. The tradition of the norcini, who were specialized in salting and aging pork offal, dates back to these days. Also the making of minced-meat sausage (Salume) is based on this handicraft.
Therefore, Norcia, a small town in the mountains, is considered Umbria’s covert gourmet center. It is well-known for its ham made from the meat of small black pigs that are being fed chestnuts and acorns, and for its black truffles.
Another traditional specialty from Perugia is porchetta perugina, the region’s hot-seasoned suckling pig-dish.
However, you will also find snipes, partridges, pheasants, quails, hares, and pigeons, hunted in the wild and roast on a spit, on the menu. The same applies to Tegamaccio, a soup made from local freshwater fish.
Menu - Umbria
Maialino arrostito con erbe in Porchetta
su insalata di lenticchie di Castelluccio e Patate
Roast suckling pig in herbs
served with a salad of Castelluccio lentils and potatoes
Zuppa di Pesce piccante con Bruschetta all‘Origano
Savory fish soup served with oregano-bruschetta
Ragú di Cinghiale al vino rosso
e gnocchetti di ceci
Wild boar ragout stewed in red wine
served with chickpea gnocchetti
Torta della Nonna con Pinoli
Grandma’s cake with pine nuts
Menu price: € 45.-
Osteria A Priori Perugia
Osteria Pallotta Assisi
La Trattoria Campello sul Clitunno
Back to the last stage of our journey through time...
Ossobuco milanese con Patate allo Zafferano
Back in the north we go on our trip.
Lombardy’s cuisine is marked by typical dishes from the mountain and lake areas, linked to the region’s geography, its history and the traditions of neighbouring countries.
Lombardy’s cuisine is famous for the great variety of its local products and it also reflects the economic wellbeing which its population has long enjoyed.
A signature dish of the region’s cuisine is of course ‘risotto’ in dozens of versions, with vegetables, sausage, freshwater fish such as tench or river perch or even with frogs. Pavia is famous for its ‘risotto alla certosina’ based on a recipe originated by the monks, which includes ingredients such as shrimp, mushrooms and peas. One of the most widespread recipes in the region is ‘risotto al salto’, that is a version in which risotto Milan-style is divided into a series of small rice cakes and then fried in butter, served hot and crispy.
‘Cassoeula’ is a typical winter dish, highly nourishing and inexpensive, ideal for those who in the daytime don’t have much time for eating and thus prefer dishes providing abundant energy. The same goes for ‘zuppa lombarda’ which is found in all menus.
We must also mention the typical dairy products of the area between the Alps and the Ticino River. There are many famous cheeses which merit separate mention.
Two typical desserts served on feast days also form part of this varied cuisine: the wintertime ‘panettone’, which is the traditional Christmas cake and a symbol of Milan, and the Easter Dove.
Menu - Lombardia
Foglioline di Vitello su crema di Tonno e Vinaigrette di Capperi
Veal slices on tuna sauce and capers vinaigrette
Risotto Aquarello al Radicchio e Bitto Storico con Petto di Pernice
Risotto of Acquerello rice with radicchio and the historic Bitto cheese
Ossobuco alla milanese con Patate allo Zafferano e Gremolada
Veal shank alla Milanese with saffron potatoes and gremolada
Zabaglione all’Amaretto di Saronno e Gelato alla Grappa
Zabaglione dessert with Amaretto di Saronno
and Grappa-flavoured ice-cream
Don Lisander Milano Teatro alla Scala
Il Vecchio Aratro Milano Turro
El Brellin Milano ai Navigli
Don Lisander Milano Teatro alla Scala
Filetto di Orata al Forno alla Tarantina
The next stage of our culinary time travel is in the very South. The simple cuisine of Apulia is working with varied and high-quality ingredients – and the philosophy of enjoyment was coined from the Greeks over 2500 years ago, when Apulia was part of Magna Graecia.
Concerning food Apulians remain connected to the simplicity and authenticity of rustic cuisine. The many focaccia and pizza variants also come from the shepherds.
The Apulian cuisine is perceived as the epitome of the famous Cucina mediterranea. This scenically and culinarily varied region with its local products has everything needed for a healthy and original diet.
The Italian granary is located in Apulia and the imaginative pasta variations of semolina are also produced here. Traditionally the pasta is also prepared with vegetables and herbs from which the sauce is then cooked.
Freshly caught fish and seafood are offered for every meal. Garlic, fennel and caraway give many dishes their special flavours.
Taranto, the centre of fish cuisine, benefits thanks to its location in a bay (mar Grande) and a lagoon bed (mar Piccolo) from two waters very rich in fish. Due to this wealth in fish Taranto is famous for its fish soups of seafood, dusky perch, scorpion fish, red mullet, crabs and small calamari.
The region around Brindisi is well known for its Figghjazza di ntròmise, a delicious vegetable soup and for Ghjumirieddi, tasty rolls with lamb guts from Ceglie Massapico. Also fried pork blood, Sangunazzu, is an Apulian speciality and a very special way of preparing meat is R'zzaute, where the meat is baked in a closed clay pot.
Menu - Apulia
Spiedino di Muscoli su Crema di Fave e bruschettina all’aglio
Mussel skewer on field beans sauce and small garlic bruschetta
Pasta Casereccia con ragú Antico di maiale nero Pugliese
Con Pecorino invecchiato
Casereccia pasta with ragout of black Apulian pork
and ripe pecorino
Filetto di Orata al Forno alla Tarantina
con Finocchietto e origano selvatico
Filet of gilthead from the oven in Taranto style
with fennel and wild oregano
Crostatina di Fichi e Ricotta di Bufala
con Gelato alle Mandorle
Short crust tartlets with fig mousse and buffalo ricotta
with almond ice cream
Osteria Perbacco Bari
Falsopepe Massafrá Taranto
Osteria Perbacco Bari
Canederli with bacon an butter
Trentino - Alto Adige
Just in time for the sweet chestnut season, we reach our next destination, the Trentino province. For centuries there was an abyss between the quality of food eaten by the poor masses and that consumed by the rich in this region. In the countryside, pellagra was widespread as the result of a diet poor in vitamins.
Farmers lived solely on polenta made from maize, potato or buckwheat, accompanied by potatoes. In the summer, this polenta was eaten together with stewed wild pears, with melted bacon fat, with swede, or simply on its own. During the winter months – and if times were good– day in, day out polenta was eaten with sauerkraut made from cavolo cappuccio (cabbage), which has become popular today. Cabbage was preserved over the winter months by being cut into thin strips and being put in a wooden barrel, arranged in alternating layers of coarse-grained salt, cumin and juniper berries, then left to macerate for a minimum of two months. Polenta, cabbage, bacon, minestrone and a little homemade cheese or butter were the staple dishes that – if available – fed the people of this country, without any modifications, enhancements or variations, since any other products such as cheese, eggs or mushrooms were sold for a few lira that were indispensable for survival.
In contrast, the reality at the courts of the rich prelates, the prince-bishops and the powerful men of this country, was a different story; these people primarily ate meat from the animals of the Alps.
Trentino cuisine experienced its greatest brilliance during the long years of the Council of Trent. During this period, there was a large influx of various gastronomic influences from all over the world. Even today, the ‘Pasticcio di Maccheroni’ (a type of ‘macaroni pie’) is a dish for grand occasions, probably originally from the court of the city of Ferrara. Game was certainly the most luxurious trophy for the food for the rich banquets. For centuries, both fowl and game were hunted in the highlands of the Trentino, where there was an abundance of them. Woodland animals such as fallow deer, chamois and roe deer were often grilled on coals or prepared in savoury pies mixed with butter, milk and cheese, as indicated by an old recipe for ‘cosciotto di caccia’ (leg of game).
Menu - Trentino - Alto Adige
Crema di Porcini con Ragout di Capriolo
Porcino cream soup with venison ragout
Gnocchetti Tirolesi al "Graukäse" con fonduta di Speck
Tyrolean gnocchi with “Graukäse” and melted bacon
Sella di Maiale montano con Crauti al Gewürztraminer
Polenta arrostita e salsa alla Birra scura
Mountain pork loin on sauerkraut in Gewürztraminer
Roasted polenta and dark beer sauce
Canederli dolci alle albicocche con Gelato al Brandy
Sweet apricot gnocchi with brandy ice cream
Antica Osteria il Vò, Trento
Osteria 2 Camini, Baselga di Piné
Ostaria del Filò, Smarano
La Stube del Cervo, Lavarone
pesto alla genovese
The 2nd leg of our journey takesus to the Ligurian coast.
Authentic Ligurian cuisine began to develop after the 18th century. Relatively free of the considerable French influence, it manages to retain its own unique Mediterranean character.
Liguria is the smallest region in Italy and has an extremely high population density. For this reason too, Ligurian cuisine is very frugal and simple, using only edible ingredients provided by the earth, the sea and the labour of local people. The use of wild plants is widespread, which grow in abundance due to the plentiful rain: Even today, borage (herb native to the Mediterranean) replaces spinach in many regions when preparing the filling for tortelli and in the famous torta pasqualina. The latter is a savoury pie made from puff pastry with a herb filling (chard, spinach, borage) and is a traditional Easter dish (hence the name torta pasqualina, meaning “Easter cake”), probably because in the spring, the fields and vegetable gardens offer a huge variety of vegetables.
Fillings have always characterised this type of cuisine. They consist of relatively meagre, but intensely flavoursome ingredients: The vegetables are mixed with aromatic herbs, cheese, eggs, pine nut kernels, pistachios etc. The aromatic herbs mainly comprise basil. Ligurian basil has small leaves, is as abundant as it is fragrant, and has a range of uses. Amongst these, a worldwide favourite today is still pesto alla genovese. The name originates from the process of crushing the basil, pine nut kernels, garlic and mature cheese together in stone mortars (pestare is the Italian word for “to crush”).
Menu - Ligurian coast
Muscoli ripieni e gratinati su insalata mista
Filled mussels au gratin with salad
Trofiette con Rucola, Pomodori semisecchi,
Olive Taggiasche, Pinoli e giovane Pecorino
Trofiette noodles with rocket salad, pine nuts, semi-dried tomatoes,
Taggiasca olives and young Pecorino cheese
Coscia di Coniglio al Forno su cassoletta die Carciofi e Patate
Rabbit joint from the oven on artichoke-potato cassoulet
Pesche ripiene con gelato all'amaretto
Vineyard peach au gratin with amaretto ice cream
Osteria del Porto Antico, Castel Vittorio
Antica Osteria del Gaia, Genova
Osteria del Cannon d'Oro, Badalucco
Osteria dell'Acquasanta, Mele
Pappa al Pomodoro
Etruscan Coast - Tuscany
We will begin with the osterie of the Etruscan coast in Tuscany, through which we hope to show you the big picture of tradition and diverse flavours. Get ready for a completely unconventional Cucina Italiana.
The true ancestors of the Tuscan cuisine were the Etruscans, who together with the Romans enjoyed a reputation for great drinkers and lovers of culinary delights. Some Roman writers counted these habits amongst the reasons for their downfall.
The country of Etruria was highly fruitful and profitable: Judging from reports both from archaeological discoveries and from Roman texts, fruit orchards, legumes and cereals were cultivated so that later the country would be in the position to provide Rome with wheat in the difficult years of famine.
The Etruscan cuisine is based primarily on emmer and its soup was widespread throughout the social classes. Just as fundamental was the use of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and broad beans. However, the faunistic remains that we see today also testify to the consumption of beef, lamb and pork as well as game, primarily from deer and wild boar. The meat was roasted on a triangular iron construction or cooked in large bronze boilers. It was naturally reserved for the wealthy classes and usually served at banquets, which were regular ceremonies performed to affirm one’s status. In view of the discoveries of fishhooks and nets, we can presume that fish were also included at these banquets. However, this type of food was less widespread in comparison to meat, as its availability was considerably more limited.
Menu - Etruscan Coast - Tuscany
Calamari in Zimino
Calamaretti on savoury spinach
Pappa al Pomodoro con Nepitella
Tuscan bread soup with mint
Papardelle al Ragú di Cinghiale
Papardelle noodles with boar ragout
Coscia di Faraona al Forno con Cipolle in agrodolce
Guinea fowl joint from the oven with sweet and sour onions