Virna welcomes us into her home in Castellina in Chianta, a small town that dates back to the Etruscan era, high in the Chianti hills. Virna’s typical Tuscan house sits harmoniously with the local flora and fauna. This beautiful setting, home to the famous Gallo Nero vineyards, our Cesarina dedicates her life to her two greatest passions: cooking and horses.
Virna loves spending her free time making fruit conserves, preserving vegetables in olive oil, plum tomato confit, caramellised figs and brandied cherries, as well as any other delicious treats from her partner’s garden.
The secret of the Cesarina
My old-fashioned woodburning oven is my secret weapon when it comes to roasts, ragù sauce and stews – particularly in the winter.
To begin this Taste Experience in the Chianti hills, we have a starter of bruschettine, morsels of toasted bread, topped with fresh tomatoes, cannellini beans and onions. Next, we have a delicious plate of freshly handmade tagliatelle pasta with a creamy and aromatic courgette pesto.
For the second course, Virna opts for a Tuscan classic; pollo alla cacciatora, slow-cooked chicken in a tomato and red wine sauce, with garlic, onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Virna serves sautéed seasonal vegetables alongside, which she proudly harvests from her own garden.
Finally, for dessert, VIrna prepares an indulgent bavarian cream, comprised of layers of dark, milk and white chocolate, rounding off the Taste Experience with a flourish.