Umbria Blog | Pizzeria Calandrino in Castiglione del Lago

Marco comes from Rome and since this summer season he works as a waiter in pizzeria – osteria Calandrino in the centre of Castiglione del Lago. My apartment is situated just above this restaurant. When passing by the good smells stimulate your appetite  but in the four years I live here, I have never eaten in this restaurant… until today.

The cook is from Sicily and knows very well how to prepare the best fish, truffle and local meat dishes. His name is Rosario, a classic Sicilian name. Marco instead is a normal name you frequently hear in Italy. I have never had a real chat with him. He once helped me carrying the water bottles I had bought in the supermarket like a real gentlemen.

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Today I decided to have lunch in Calandrino. I took a first course “linguine allo scoglio” with a good glass of Umbrian white wine, a Grechetto. Linguine looks like thick spaghetti which is good to combine with fish. On the terrace there were more people enjoying their Italian lunch. It is also possible to have pizza for lunch, but not for me: an Italian eats pizza for dinner, never for lunch.

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Marco told me his story how he got in Castiglione del Lago. He is a “Romano”, but he lived for many years in London. He travelled around the world with his partner, but decided to return to Italy this spring. He missed his home, the sweat life in Italy “La Dolce Vita”.

I know Rosario ever since I live in Castiglione del Lago and now I finally tasted his pasta: I can recommend this restaurant to everybody. The smells coming from the restaurant are compatable with the dishes he prepares. Delicious! Calandrino is a nice and cosy osteria-pizzeria for those who love eating fish or other local dishes on an outside terrace in one of the most wonderful villages along the Trasimeno Lake, Castiglione del Lago.

Osteria Pizzeria Calandrino
Via Vittorio Emanuele 107
Tel. +39 (0) 75  9653101
Castiglione del Lago (PG)

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Umbria Blog | Massimo’s Truffle Book

Massimo Fignani is chef-cook and he owns an organic farm in Tuscany. The farm produces Italian products like truffle and Lardo di Colonnata IGP.

Massimo was present at the yearly Christmas market in Siena, Il Mercato nel Campo. On a portable electric cooktop he prepared the most delicious pasta dishes with truffle sauce.

I have made a video of Massimo in which he explains the story of the precious and delicate flavor called ” truffle”.

The truffle “fungo” epigeo grows underground. For the development of the truffle the environmental conditions are essential. The climate, the soil humidity, type of soil and trees determine whether truffles can grow. The white truffle is one of the most precious and wanted truffles in Italy. One finds them mostly in Tuscany and Piedmont. There are many different kinds of truffles, also black truffles are cultivated in Italy.

Il Mercato nel Campo Siena Tuscany

white truffle

The best period to eat the white truffle “Bianchetto” is March to Aprile, while the black truffles “Nero Estivo” and “Nero Uncinato” are mainly harvested in the summer.

Black truffles can be used raw or lightly cooked, while white truffles are carefully wiped clean and should never be cooked. White truffle is more fragrant than the black truffle.

Massimo Fignani is the author of the book “I Tartufi … secondo me – Truffles … in my opinion“. The book contains 58 truffle recipes which are easy to prepare. It is written in Italian and English. You can order the book directly via: info@massimofignani.it

“”Tuscany experience. There is only one thing that has a more exciting scent then truffles… the skin of a woman”. By Massimo Fignani.

Enjoy the truffles!

Typical food from Trentino Alto Adige

Some years ago I lived in Trentino, in Arco at Lake Garda. The local cuisine in Trentino Alto Adige is everything but boring. The food of this region is flavoured by other cultures. Many years ago Trentino used to be Austria. Many Trentini speak Italian as well as German, and the further you move to the north the more people speak German.

The local food from Trentino is based on bread, like the canederli and the strangolapreti. They prepare these dishes with melted butter, vegetables and speck. Beef is an important ingredient in the local cuisine of Trentino. A typical dish from the Garda Lake area is the “Carne Salada e Fasoi”, salted beef with beans.

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Trentino is not a typical pasta region, it is a region where they eat polenta. Polenta is cornmeal prepared with boiled water.

Goulash and Sachertorte are one of my favorite dishes in Trentino. Goulash is originally from Hungary, and Sachertorte (chocolate cake) from Vienna, Austria. Trentino is lovely and the Trentini are very proud of their region. They aren’t huge travellers, they like to stay at home with their families and friends. Their home are the mountains surrounding them where they hunt, ski, climb and hike. They like to go up to the malga where the cows graze in summer and from their milk they make lovely cheeses.

Sometimes I miss the traditional plates of Trentino, but I can’t have everything isn’t it? Even if I love polenta, Trentino does not have the typical Tuscan and Umbrian ‘pici’ which I also like very much.

A friend of mine who lives in the Castiglione del Lago area is not 100% Trentino, but his mother is. Last Monday he invited us for a special Trentino dinner at his home with his mother and brother. For a moment I felt like being in Trentino. I enjoyed the food. I brought with me a good bottle of Marzimeno wine, one of my favorite wines from this region.

The menu:

Starter:
Trentino apple with salad, speck, polenta and cheese

Pasta:
Canederli soup and spatzle with spinach and cheese sauce

Main course: 
Sauerkraut with potatoes, speck and cheese

Dessert:
Apfelstrudel

Buon appetito!

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