Anne's Blog

Near Assisi, a Pino Feast as a Coronavirus Antidote

Date: March 9, 2020 - categories: , , , , , , , - 9 Comments

The mimosa bunches on our table remain, a memento of our March 8th Festa delle Donne lunch cooked by Pino for “le mie donne“: our Giulia and myself.

Another memorable day here in Umbria with no place at all for a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack).

At lunchtime, Guglielmo helped Pino serve up his pasta creation:

Buonissimo, this savory pasta dish starring diced sun-dried tomatoes, almonds and pine nuts. You can see here how Pino made this dish and you may wish to try it.

A recipe? There isn’t one. Pino’s eye – and palate – decide the quantities. (Use the same method).

Pino diced the tomatoes…

…and then also a bit of barbozza (pork cheek):

He finely sliced a couple of small onions….

… well as a couple garlic cloves….

…..crushing the cloves with both hands before dicing:

Our visitor, Daniela, captured that moment on video:

Pino briefly simmered the diced onions, garlic, and pork cheek tidbits in our olive oil, then added the tomatoes and pine nuts:

As the mixture simmered, Pino ground about a cup of almonds ….

….which he then stirred into the sun-dried tomato goodness.

As the spaghetti cooked in salted boiling water, Pino lightly toasted bread crumbs…..

…..and he stirred those crispy breadcrumbs into the pasta before serving:

Pino added a small splash of the boiling pasta water – which is always saved when draining pasta – to moisten the goodness:

Mille grazie, Pino for this delicious primo……

….which I enjoyed so much that I could barely taste your secondo!

And for our second course, Pino had created a tasty goat meat/artichoke stew.

He’d marinated the meat cuts overnight in a mixture of white wine, olive oil, diced garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram.

That morning, Pino had finely sliced a potato….

…and joined the sliced potato pieces to the onion and garlic simmering in olive oil “per fare una salsa cremosa” (to make a creamy sauce,” he’d explained):

The artichokes were added after the stew had simmered about an hour and a half; “se messi prima, si disfanno tutti” (“if added sooner, they’ll come apart”), Pino warned.

…and logicamente, Pino added that ubiquitous sprinkle of peperoncino:

Nothing like having an “in-house” chef for the Festa della Donna…..

….and for warding off a CPA.

Read here about March 8th, Interntional Women’s Day (in Italy, la Festa della Donna)

Read more about warding off coronovirus worries on March 8th, International Women’s Day

Read about pasta as a coronavirus antidote

Read about avoiding CPA near Orvieto

No coronavirus in glorious Assisi


  • Daniella says:

    This meal was exquisite! Pino is so talented and poured much love for his wife and daughter into this meal!

  • Judy says:

    This looks so delicious!

  • Dolores says:

    Yum,yum,yum!!! What a great feast for you all to enjoy as you ignore the CPA. Such wonders from the kitchen.

  • Janet Eidem says:

    A feast of love. Thank you for sharing your joy.

  • Mary Garland says:

    Wow! Gorgeous food and story! That pasta looks divine!
    Who’s the hairy guy?
    Hugs and such appreciation for your gifts to all of us. We loved being with you and hope to again soon.
    Mary and Gary

  • Sandi Spector says:

    Sounds utterly fabulous (except for the pork cheeks-ha!)
    Do you rent Pino out?
    So Annie, why do you do the cooking classes??? You could be Pino’s translator as he cooks!!!

  • Diane Eagleson says:

    ?? Annie, you and Pino look great! ??

  • Diane Eagleson says:

    Those question marks were supposed to be hearts! Something got lost in the translation….

  • Cindy Conley says:

    I lived in Basigilio for 4 1/2 years. Once I got used to the change and learned a little Italian. My one wish was to have been able to sit and watch a italian family cook. Pino thank you for photos I just daydream of the smells the fresh brisk day. Mama the presentation of fresh flowers and the beautiful dishes, I am grateful I have some beautiful bowls that I picked up in Nove, or Rho festival in Milano.
    I would of love to make it to Assisi my girlfriend came to visit and we wanted to take the trip but so many beautiful things to see in Italy was not enough time on her vacation. Again you guys brought me there thru these photos. Your stories are lovely
    God bless you during CPA
    Thank you

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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)