Anne's Blog

  • pinoli

Pinoli in Petroio with Pino

Date: September 16, 2013 - categories: , - Leave your thoughts

Pine nuts are the leitmotif of this dinner, “architect Nicola affirmed as he served us his tasty first course: tagliolini (small tagliatelle) seasoned delicately with a tidbit of garlic, a fistful of wild fennel (“picked just a few hours ago”) and a handful of pine nuts.

Chimney of terracotta works factory in Petroio


After a private visit to the Etruscan collection of tiny Petroio with Nicola (he’d designed the museum interior), we had followed him and engineer, Claudio, through the windy backstreets of this tiny southern Tuscany town to Nicola’s home, passing the towering chimney of the town kiln enroute. Known for its terra-cotta craftsmanship, terra-cotta works adorned the Petroio fountain, many a home – and Nicola’s garden.

Here, wife Franca, welcomed us with glasses of spumante, sipped as we gazed out at daytime giving up to night over the Tuscan landscape (Pienza off in the distance).   Franca showed us a curious collection of terra-cotta objects long in the family  as Nicola headed to the kitchen.  “Nicola’s the chef,” Franca smiled, “after all, architects often make great cooks.”  

My husband Pino’s crew had been restoring the medieval walls of nearby Trequanda and Nicola and Claudio were in technical charge of the project.  

Nicola had deliberately celebrated Sicily (in honor of Pino) in the pasta dish: a bit reminiscent of the pasta con le sarde pasta Pino’s mother used to make – with pine nuts, currants, wild fennel.  

Nicola had never tried, though, another Sicilian specialty: a pasta sauce of cauliflower, pine nuts and currants.

Nicola adds finishing touches to his pinenut pasta


But at this dinner, the “pine nut leit motif” highlighted his main course, too: a tonno (tuna) carpaccio topped with juniper berries and a delicate wild arugula/lemon/pine nut sauce.   No pine nuts in the summer vegetables which followed but capers off the vines in their garden enhanced the roasted peppers while wild fennel highlighted the stuffed cherry tomatoes.

In the fruit macedonia of peaches, pears,and banana, pine nuts took the stage once again.  Savory cheeses followed and Nicola gave us careful instructions on the tasting order.  

La fine? Not quite. Nicola’s chocolate cake was gran finale – with almonds, not pine nuts,

As we drove home, the Mediterranean pine trees – umbrella pines –  serpentined along many a country road, their stately elegance such an Italian landmark.  

Their pine cones shelter the pinoli, one of Italy’s treasured “culinary landmarks,”  and a memorable ingredient in  everything from ice-creams to seafood sauces to cheeses.

And Nicola, we’ll long remember the pine nut goodness in your “leif motif-pinoli” dinner.

Che buono!

Pinenuts star in the macedonia


Read about neighboring Trequanda

Read about nearby Montisi, too

Read about another favorite Tuscan spot

Read about more good eating in Tuscany

Read about Tuscan gem, Anghiari and its artisan market













Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

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