Near Deruta, Umbria Rural Cuisine From the Heart
My Perugia/Deruta tour is a favorite among tour guests and not just for the many splendid treasures of Perugia but also for one near Deruta: her name is “Giuseppa.”
Just ask Linda and her friends.
After our morning guided tour in Perugia, we headed to the countryside near Deruta for lunch at the farm of Giuseppa and her husband Paolo (though he was out training some of the dogs he uses for hunting wild boar).
Our feast started with a “piccolo” antipasto: varieties of pizzette baked by Giuseppa that morning in her outdoor wood-burning oven, accompanied by the family’s wine.
Peppa’s homemade fettuccine followed…
…..topped with a buonissimo sauce made from her tomatoes and tidbits of veal, chicken, pork (from animals raised – logicamente – by Giuseppa and Paolo)
Jim was ready to help Giuseppa pass around the pasta servings:
You can see the delight of Susan, Lorelei and Gene with the arrival of il secondo: roast chicken seasoned with Giuseppa and Paolo’s olive oil, rosemary and sage….and garden tomatoes…
… which Giuseppa had seasoned with just a bit of salt, olive oil, basil and sliced purple onion:
And later in the kitchen with Giuseppa as she prepared to serve not one cake but two, I remembered what she had once told me when I’d thanked her for a buonissimo feast. With one of her radiant smiles, Giuseppa had told me, “Metto tutto il mio cuore e faccio tutto quello che posse fare. Voglio fare sempre il mio meglio” (“I put all my heart into it and always do all I can. I always wish to do my best.”)
…and once again, Giuseppa was putting her heart into it – as we could all tell:
…and this time, “doing her best” meant bringing out a special accompaniment to her cakes: the family’s treasured (limited quantity!) homemade vin santo ( literally, “holy wine” – a sweet dessert wine made from grapes dried until almost raisins, then pressed in small presses)
Afterwards, outdoors to see the gardens, including a pause to take a whiff of her prized pepper plant (grown from a cutting brought to her from Tunisia)….
…and then on to meet their animals, especially appreciated by rancher Jim:
Near the rabbit cages, Giuseppa proudly showed Jim their homemade fodder, a mix of grains they themselves grow:
……and then she showed us her rabbits, saying with evident pride, saying”….e guarda che bei conigli leviamo” (“…and look at what beautiful rabbits we raise”).
Paolo was out with most of his wild-boar dogs but Giuseppa showed us the pups left at home:
And we just couldn’t leave until Giuseppa had showed us their prosciutto:
We received hugs all around from Giuseppa as we said, “Arrivederci.” And “until we see each other again” was probably the wish of each in this wonderful group.
Linda, mille grazie for your note on the part of all your “gruppo“:
“Another wonderful (and off the beaten path) place Anne took our group was to Giuseppa’s home for lunch and a look around her farm. Lunch was amazing—farm-to-table. I found the tomatoes served with fresh herbs especially difficult to stop eating!
Giuseppa’s warmth was palpable and her cooking delicious!
After lunch, she showed us around the farm, which was particularly interesting to our group since Susan and Jim have a ranch in California.”
Read more about Giuseppa – and also other Deruta delights
Read about Deruta maiolica majesty
Read about Giuseppa, opening home and heart
Click here for news on an astounding Deruta shrine