Looking to accent your table?
Flatware can add a bold pop of color or compliment a neutral place setting. All Modigliani flatware collections pull inspiration directly from places all around Italy. From traditional elegance to bright and bold, Modigliani stainless flatware features styles everyone will love. Get inspired!
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- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- the zest and juice from 1 lemon
- the zest and juice from 1 orange
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
For the fourth and final entry to our fall lifestyle series, let’s end with the cocktail hour.
Having guests over on a crisp fall evening can be the perfect festive occasion. And you don’t always have to entertain by preparing a large meal. Sometimes inviting friends for a cocktail is the best way to do some stress-free entertaining during a busy holiday season.
To set the scene, a bouquet of colorful fall tulips in our Zucca pitcher and a decanter from our Selezione collection full of our famous Rosemarino cocktail are just the ambience needed for a pre-dinner happy hour. Pair them with a cheese or charcuterie appetizer served on our Legna olive wood servers, turn on some music, and you have the ideal atmosphere for entertaining your holiday guests.
- Make rosemary simple syrup by combining 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and some sprigs of rosemary in a saucepan and place on a low simmer until well combined.
- Place 2 ounces of bourbon, 2 dashes of orange bitters, and 2 teaspoons of simple syrup in a shaker and blend well.
- Pour the mixture into your Selezione decanter and serve over ice with a sprig of rosemary for decoration.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Fall Entertaining Series and that you’ve been inspired to try some of these ideas yourself. Remember, keep it simple, mix and match, and let the natural beauty of the dinnerware and delicious food be the perfect backdrop for what really matters most; precious time with family and friends.
As we continue our series, let’s turn to our attention to creating an elegant serving display.
First, we are very excited about the inclusion of our new olive wood collection called Legna. These rich and elegant pieces are durable, come in a variety of sizes, and bring more of that natural element to any table.
All of our products function quite well for prepping, but they’re also attractive enough to go straight to the table for serving appetizers or incorporating into a buffet. And the Legna collection is no exception – they are perfect for serving your guests. Below, we’ve layered them with crisp linens on our natural wood table to serve parmagiano reggiano and mozzarella cheeses, hand picked apples, and pane carasau – thin, crispy, twice baked crackers. The addition of the rosemary sprig provides just enough texture and a whimsical accent of greenery. Again, you have a neutral backdrop that’s warm and elegant contrasting with the color and texture of your food resulting in a beautiful and inviting display.
Our ceramic centerpieces also work well for many purposes, including as a serving bowl for salads as we’ve used ours below. You can also use them as a place to put a hardy mum surrounded by gourds or greenery, to hold your favorite seasonal fruits, or you can partner them with the olive wood boards to serve breads and crackers. The possibilities are endless. The beauty of the piece with its swooping handles, unique shape, and artisan hand painting requires only simple solutions for its contents.
To round out your serving needs, the dual-section of our antipasto dish is used here for additions to the salad, but we’ve also used ours for olives and pits, nuts, candies, and condiments. Its versatility makes for a wonderful gift that will be used again and again.
Bringing these pieces together and layering them with beautiful linens and textures from nature places the attention on the food while still providing a festive backdrop for your holiday entertaining.
As fall quickly approaches, I’m reminded of the incredible gifts my favorite season brings. The crisp air, the changing leaves, the smell of bonfires, and of course, the food.
Fall serves up hearty meals that awaken the senses and warm the soul – it’s a visceral experience for me.
As I sit here browsing the Lungotevere collection with its beautiful color palette and thoughtful details, my mind returns to the autumn I traveled to the Abruzzo region for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.
One of my most prominent memories is an early morning truffle hunt we experienced as we were learning about the seasonal ingredients of the region.
Joined by an eclectic mix of solo travelers who loved food, wine, and adventure as much as I do, we dragged ourselves out of warm beds and into the hotel lobby just before dawn. Skipping our morning cappuccino ritual, yet incredibly excited for the new experience, we climbed into our awaiting van and struck out into the countryside of the Majella National Park.
Led by Primiano our trufiano, or truffle guide, and his furry doggy sniffers, Ruby and Miss, we had absolutely no idea where we were going or what we were doing. We did, however, quickly learn that dogs are now the preferred truffle hunting choice, as pigs tend to eat what they find – who knew?
As we drove for miles in the dark and the sun began to peak through the mountains, we finally reached our destination. Donned with our warmest jackets, mittens, and matching wellies, we stood at immediate attention in the cold as Ruby and Miss darted off sniffing every tree, ravine, and moss covered patch. We ran after them thinking it would take a bit of time before anything actually happened, but just like that, eureka!
The more seasoned of the two dogs, Ruby, began scratching the surface and digging like mad while Primiano pulled her back so she couldn’t damage the delicate skin. Armed with a small spade and his bare hands, he dug the rest of the way himself and was rewarded for his efforts. First spot out of the gate and we found two perfect black truffles. Amazing!
It almost felt too easy, but we continued following the dogs as they scratched a few more dirt patches. This time, no luck as they just smelled previous digs where someone had already removed the black beauties. Again and again, someone had beaten us to the treasure.
Just as we were about to give up and call it a day, Ruby gifted us with one more trophy. After Primiano shoveled even deeper into the soil, we couldn’t believe our neophyte eyes – a glorious pile of the most aromatic black truffles we’d ever seen. This made the caffeine free, early morning trek all the more worth it. Needless to say, we were incredibly grateful that the last group of hunters missed them completely so we could experience a fruitful hunt our first time out.
Later that day as we made our way back to the Hotel Villa Danillo for our next cooking lesson, we too were rewarded for our hard work as we sliced and grated our glorious treasures onto homemade pizzas and handmade pastas. Pungent and pleasing, a meal infused with this Italian delicacy discovered just hours before was a most memorable gastronomical moment for my new travel companions and me.
I can still smell that aromatic fungi as we speak, hoping some day soon to return to one of my favorite fall travel adventures.
RECIPE AND WINE PAIRING
We couldn’t talk about truffles and not give a recipe and wine pairing, but this recipe is really quite simple – you just have to get your hands on a black truffle.
There are many recipes for pasta with black truffles out there, and it is rather easy to adjust to your liking should you feel creative, but keep in mind the strong flavors when you do.
In this recipe, I use spaghetti, but you can use fettuccini or you can toss it with your favorite ravioli or even gnocchi.
Spaghetti with Black Truffles
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 2 Tbs. kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 to 2 black truffles
- ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the salt, and cook the pasta per the instructions. You’ll want the pasta al dente; so reduce the cooking time by 1 minute to reach that consistency.
While your pasta is cooking, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Once it’s melted, grate one of the truffles into the melted butter and lightly sauté – 2-3 minutes should be enough.
Once the pasta is finished, and before you drain it, reserve about 2-3 ladles of the cooking water in a bowl for later, then drain the rest of the water from the pasta in a colander.
Transfer the drained pasta to a warmed serving bowl. Add the sautéed truffle, the remaining melted butter, and the optional cheese if you like. Toss it well to combine, and add some of the reserved cooking water for consistency as needed – not all at once, just add, as you need. You don’t want the dish to be too sticky or dry. The salted cooking water not only adds moisture to the dish, but also a nice flavor as well.
Using a truffle shaver if you have one, or a vegetable peeler will do, thinly shave the second truffle over the top. Give it another light toss and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: If you’re new to truffles and think the taste might be too much for your liking, you can skip sautéing the grated portion and simply slice the truffle over the top at the end.
Truffles are very earthy and aromatic so you’ll want a more mature wine to match the flavors. For Italian reds, look for something like a good Barolo, Brunello, or Nebbiolo. If you want to go French, look for a good burgundy. And with American wines, a nice pinot noir could be a good match. You want a wine that is a bit more delicate so the flavors aren’t competing with one another.
If you’re already spending good money on a beautiful black truffle, I recommend you splurge on the wine as well. You won’t regret it if you do. Here are a couple of Italian Barolos to choose from, slightly different in price.
On the lower end, but still around $36 a bottle is the 2011 Reversanti Barolo from Piedmont, Italy. It has a nice ruby red color and you’re going to get flavors of licorice, berry fruits, roses, and hints of vanilla and tobacco. That complexity makes it a nice companion to the black truffles.
If you want to spend a bit more, and maybe prefer a California wine, try the 2013 Gloria Ferrer Gravel Knob Vineyard Pinot Noir, Los Carneros for around $50. This wine can go with a variety of foods to be honest. It has a nice blackberry spice, dried strawberry, and earthy quality. If you love pinot noir as much as I do, this is a nice splurge.
Warm up with an extra special cup of Italian hot chocolate this winter. This isn’t your typical instant hot chocolate, but instead a rich and thick drinking chocolate that is everything hot chocolate should be. In Italy, drinking chocolate is commonly known as cioccolata calda or cioccolata densa for its dense pudding like texture that can be enjoyed with a spoon. Add an extra Italian flair by serving in a handmade ceramic mug from Modigliani. Available in a variety of colors, styles, and patterns, one is sure to fit your style.
DECADENTLY THICK ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Cook Time - 15 mins
Time to Make It - 15 mins
This hot chocolate isn't for the faint of heart. It is rich, thick, and full of real chocolate. This is the kind of hot chocolate you make when you want to truly indulge!
Yield: Serves 2 to 4
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Whisk in cornstarch until combined and melty. If you want the hot chocolate thicker, use the maximum amount of cornstarch.
- Add in milk and sugar. Increase the heat gradually to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Mixture will start to thicken.
- Once the mixture begins to thicken, turn the heat down to low and add in the chocolate chips. Stir constantly until well melted.
- Serve hot. Keep the leftovers because it is also amazing, if not better cold!
For this recipe, you can adjust the darkness of the chocolate by what kind of chocolate you put in. I like to do a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate, but you can go lighter with all milk chocolate, or darker with a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet.
This recipe is in courtesy of: The Stay at Home Chef
YIELD: Makes 8 main-course servings
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 3 cups), fronds chopped
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
- 1 8-ounce package sliced fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 16-ounce package dried tortellini with pesto filling or fresh tortellini with 3-cheese filling
- 1 5-ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)
**Test-kitchen tip:**To crush the fennel seeds, enclose the seeds in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, then pound them with a meat mallet or a small heavy skillet.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage, and mushrooms; sauté until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute. Stir in cream, then 1 cup broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.
- Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.
This recipe is shared from Epicurious.com. You can find it here.