Celebrate Fall with This Delicious Italian Recipe from the Tuscan Village of Montefollonico

Celebrate Fall with This Delicious Italian Recipe from the Tuscan Village of Montefollonico

Take a delightful culinary trip to Tuscany without leaving your kitchen!

Autumn is a great time to visit Tuscany. The summer crowds are gone, and the opportunity to leisurely explore this magnificent region through the eyes of the locals gives you a more authentic glimpse of Italian life. But if you can’t travel to Tuscany this year, try the next best thing: an easy and delicious recipe straight from the medieval Tuscan village of Montefollonico as provided by Tuscan Women Cook, the premier culinary immersion vacation.

There is nothing better than authentic Italian cuisine.    Tuscan Women Cook takes home cooks on a glorious week-long culinary vacation in Tuscany.  Nonnas, or grandmas, in the village teach men as well as women how to cook time-honored family recipes in their kitchens.

For fall, tie on an apron and try a delicious and authentic recipe handed down from generations of the best family cooks in Montefollonico.

One of the favorite recipes vacation participants learn to cook is Risotto dell’Orto or Garden Vegetable Risotto, utilizing fresh vegetables of the season.

“The women of Montefollonico are all exceptional cooks.  From a Michelin-starred restaurant chef to modest, but incredible home cooks, the women of Tuscan Women Cook delight all who cook with them,” said Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo, owners and hosts of Tuscan Women Cook.

The concept of seasonal cooking is not new to the women of Tuscany.  Rather, these are methods and concepts that have been passed down and still practiced today. Most of the ingredients used in their recipes are grown in their home gardens with many picked just that morning.

Want a taste of Tuscany without renewing your passport? Try this traditional autumn comfort food recipe from Chef Dania of La Chiusa. This delicious side dish can be paired with any meat or poultry dish or served alone.

Recipe adapted by Tuscan Women Cook
Reprinted with permission of www.TuscanWomanCook.com

Risotto dell’Orto
Garden Vegetable Risotto
Makes 6 – 8 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1 small courgette (zucchini)
10 Valerian leaves (optional)
10 green asparagus tips
10 basil leaves finely chopped
4 tender spinach leaves
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
White pepper

Vegetable stock:
2 small courgettes, quartered
2 Swiss chard leaves
Asparagus spears, without tips, peeled

Vegetable stock:
Place the courgettes, Swiss chard leaves and asparagus spears in a saucepan with 4 pints of salted water and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. This vegetable stock is the cooking liquid for making the risotto and should be prepared first. Keep it simmering constantly.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add all the vegetables and sweat them over low heat. After 10 minutes, add the rice and stir until it becomes translucent.

Add the vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring continuously. After about 18 minutes, add the chopped herbs.

When the rice reaches al dente stage, take it off the heat, taste and correct for salt. Mix in the grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a few courgettes slices and serve at once.

Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo are two inventive business dynamos who decided to take a career risk that changed their lives.  In 2016, they took over Tuscan Women Cook, a unique culinary immersion vacation where participants learn to cook authentic Italian meals from legendary women in the Tuscan village of Montefollonico. This change in career has been extremely rewarding, both personally and professionally, for both women.

In spring and fall each year, Coleen and Rhonda welcome guests from around the world to live, breathe, and cook as Italians do.  Taking advantage of their years of business experience and knowledge, these master travel planners create an insider’s Tuscan itinerary filled with friendly, knowledgeable tour guides, translators, drivers and private cooking classes that only a local resident could access.

Coleen and Rhonda approach their partnership in running Tuscan Women Cook with enthusiasm, joy, and excitement, relishing the opportunity to jump openhearted into this new chapter of their lives, just as they did in their previous, high-profile careers.  Theirs is a story of an extraordinary mid-life dream come true.

When Coleen and Rhonda are not in Tuscany, they live with their husbands and family in Los Angeles, California.

For more information on Coleen and Rhonda, go to www.TuscanWomenCook.com. 



One thought on “Celebrate Fall with This Delicious Italian Recipe from the Tuscan Village of Montefollonico

  1. Looks delicious! I love risotto and swiss chard so I’ll definitely need to try this recipe! If I ever write another post about an Italian Christmas Dinner, I’ll try to include this because the color would make it a great addition as a side dish (or even a main dish if I added some seafood). Here’s a link my menu if you wanna check it out! http://survivingtilbedtime.com/2018/11/14/amazing-make-ahead-italian-christmas-dinner-menu/

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