Umbertide is a village in the highlands of the Tevere valley, a little north of Perugia. Its town centre is full of character and is completely surrounded by medieval walls, particularly in the parts near the two rivers that cross the town, the Tiver and the Reggia. If you follow the latter, you’ll reach the farming town of Battistacci di Torre Certalda, where our Cesarina Simonetta lives. She is an expert in her local cuisine and welcomes us into her come, a typical Umbrian farmhouse, where the near-forgotten flavours of home cooking and farming of yesteryear are still alive and present.
On the farm, just to give one example of this, we find organically farmed ancient grains (such as Gentil Rosso and San Pastore) which are stone milled in a watermill. Simonetta is truly passionate about her local traditions, and she prepares her bread and other delicacies using the techniques taught to her by local farmers.
Simonetta begins the Taste Experience with a true classic of Umbrian cuisine, a platter of toasted ‘crostini’ bread, topped with chicken liver paté. This is a delicious starter that is full of flavour, a perfect start to our journey through her local traditional flavours.
Next, for the first course, we have delicious handmade tagliatelle pasta, with a sauce made of pork, sausage, cotechina salami and ham, with a generous amount of tomato. This is the perfect combination to make this an unforgettable pasta dish.
For the second course, Simonetta serves one of her own specialities, pollo all’arrabiata. The meat is brasied in small pieces with tomatoes, before being cooked in white wine, resulting in an exquisite sauce. On the side, we have steamed ‘erbette’ leaves, or a fresh seasonal salad.
For dessert, she serves an inviting ‘Ciaramicola’, a donut made with red Alchermes dough, glazed with meringue and colourful candies.