Italian Adventure for Rea Family Continues at an Agriturismo

As the Italian adventure continues, Chef Tony and family are staying at an agriturismo, Il Selvatico, in Poggi del Sasso, a hilltop town near Grosetto in the Maremma region of Tuscany. The owner of Il Selvatico, Guilin, restored and expanded his grandfather’s original farmhouse by himself over a 6-7 year period. It’s quite extensive and includes a vineyard, olive farm, garden and more. Guilin and his mother are hosts, caretakers, hunters, farmers, and chefs. The agriturismo is half-board with breakfast & dinner included with everything coming from the land. The Rea’s first meal was antipasto with polenta & ragu (From a mix of meats including fallow deer) bruschetta with portabellos, housemade pasta, wild boar, tiramisu, espresso & grappa. Yesterday they visited a sheep farm and enjoyed an assortment of cheeses.

About Il Selvatico – A Restored Farmhouse & Vineyard

The owner of Il Selvatico, Guilin, restored and expanded his grandfather’s original farmhouse by himself over a 6-7 year period. It’s quite extensive and includes a vineyard, olive farm, garden and more. Guilin and his mother are hosts, caretakers, hunters, farmers, and chefs. The agriturismo is half-board with breakfast & dinner included with everything coming from the land. The Rea’s first meal was antipasto with polenta & ragu (From a mix of meats including fallow deer) bruschetta with portabellos, housemade pasta, wild boar, tiramisu, espresso & grappa. Yesterday they visited a sheep farm and enjoyed an assortment of cheeses.

Antipasto at Il Selvatico

Antipasto at Il Selvatico

Six month old Harper enjoying pasta with her father!

Six month old Harper enjoying pasta with her father!

A refrigerator case with a selection of Italian cheeses

Selection of Italian cheeses

Enjoying the Wines of Tuscany

Chef and family are also enjoying wines that are becoming quite well known from this southern region of Tuscany, Montecucco. The wines in Montecucco are primarily made from the sangiovese grape as in many other Tuscan regions.  Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti Classico are all made from the Sangiovese grape and yet they are all unique.

Sangiovese is an impressionable grape variety that easily takes on characters from the specific soil or terroir so although most of the wines from Tuscany have this grape as a base there is a never ending flow of different styles, flavours and aromas. Sangiovese is one of Italy’s most widely grown grapes but it is in Tuscany that it is most prominent. The conditions are right to make really excellent wines unlike any others in the country of Italy.

In Montecucco you can still find excellent wines at a very reasonable prices but as the wines from the region become better known, no doubt prices will increase.

 

Casarea Italian Adventure for Chef Rea and Family

Chef Tony and his family are about to embark on an Italian adventure of pasta, pizza, and family! The adventure begins after completing two catering events today. We’re not sure when he had time to pack! Chef Tony, Susan, and their young children, Nicolas (Nicky) and Lilianna (Lily); adult son, Anthony, fiancé’ Alisha, and their 9 month old daughter, Harper, (Chef’s granddaughter) depart for Italy tomorrow. The last family trip to Italy was in 2011 to visit Chef Rea’s mother’s ancestral home. This is a long anticipated family trip to visit relatives in the Rea ancestral town of Casalnuovo di Napoli (Village of Casarea). They are looking forward to meeting and spending time with distant cousins, exploring the area, eating fresh pasta and seafood, and enjoying pizza at Pizzeria di Rosa, a pizzeria owned by Chef’s cousin.

Casalnuovo di Napoli

Casalnuovo di Napoli is a municipality in the Metropolitan City of Naples in the Italian region Campania, located about 13 kilometres northeast of Naples with a population of about 50,700. The municipality of Casalnuovo di Napoli contains the frazioni Casarea, Tavernanova, and Licignano.

Follow the Family

Experience the Rea’s vacation with us as we will keep you updated with posts along the way. We wish Chef Tony and his family a safe and fun-filled much deserved vacation. It has been a very busy year and we hope they can relax, enjoy time with family, and indulge in wonderful Italian cuisine and wine. We’re looking forward to new ideas for pasta recipes.

In the meantime, our kitchen will, of course, be rolling out our delicious fresh pasta available at the Uptown Farmers’ Market every Saturday and available by special order by calling us at 602 485-9924. Special orders can be picked up at Uptown Market or at our kitchen at 1825 West Crest Lane. We can live vicariously by eating Chef Rea’s pasta here locally!