Pizza night in the Italian countryside

Today is Thursday. I wish I were at La Tavola Marche, a wonderful agriturismo and cooking school in Le Marche, one of Italy’s least known regions – and, as it happens, a wonderful place to have pizza in Italy.

pizza in Italy

You see, every Thursday, Ashley and Jason Bartner organizes pizza night at their agriturismo. And it doesn’t hurt to have a chef in charge, a chef with years of experience working at top notch restaurants in New York and San Francisco.

Jason believes in the slow food movement, in cooking with the seasons and keeping it simple. You won’t find pizzas with everything here. Instead, each pizza has just a few ingredients, all fresh from the local meat and cheese market and from the garden.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche, chef: Jason Bartner

While Jason cooks the pizzas in a wood-fired oven outdoors, we sit at a large table with other guests, friends and neighbours. On a lovely June evening, we counted five nationalities around the table: Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and the USA were all represented, a miniature UN we were.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

But enough about us. This is about pizza. Pizza in Italy! And wine. And dessert. Then it’s about more wine and yummy liqueurs, just to digest it all, you understand.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

Sadly, I don’t have any photos of cooked pizzas. Each vanishes almost as soon as it is brought to the table: roasted pepperoni, salami, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto.

You’re vegetarian, you say? Fear not. My favourite of the evening: potato pizza! Also known as pizza biancha, white pizza. It’s incredibly delicious. And very simple: thinly sliced potatoes, ricotta cheese, arugula lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Another favourite is onion pizza, almost as simple.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

Then there’s wine: yummy house wines!

antipasti and house Montepulciano Lentil salad and house Verdicchio

For dolce, sweet, there’s tiramisu. Normally, I don’t like tiramisu. Yet this one I ate so quickly I forgot to take a photo. Instead, dear reader, I’ll share the recipe with you. Straight from the horse’s mouth – or rather, from Jason’s magical kitchen, here’s the world’s best tiramisu.

Ashley serves home made digestivo made from nuts and berries growing around the house. My fave is nocino, walnut liqueur. Others prefer brugnolino, plum. Of course, you can never go wrong with limoncello.

La Tavola Marche, home made limoncello

The 95 % alcohol used for soaking fruits and nuts can be bought at the hardware store. Same place you can buy chickens.

La Tavola Marche
Early morning at La Tavola Marche

Disclosure: I was a guest of La Tavola Marche. However any opinion expressed is of course entirely, yummily, delectably my own.Today is Thursday. I wish I were at La Tavola Marche, a wonderful agriturismo and cooking school in Le Marche, one of Italy’s least known regions.

La Tavola Marche

You see, every Thursday, Ashley and Jason Bartner organizes pizza night at their agriturismo. And it doesn’t hurt to have a chef in charge, a chef with years of experience working at top notch restaurants in New York and San Francisco.

Jason believes in the slow food movement, in cooking with the seasons and keeping it simple. You won’t find pizzas with everything here. Instead, each pizza has just a few ingredients, all fresh from the local meat and cheese market and from the garden.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche, chef: Jason Bartner

While Jason cooks the pizzas in a wood-fired oven outdoors, we sit at a large table with other guests, friends and neighbours. On a lovely June evening, we counted five nationalities around the table: Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and the USA were all represented, a miniature UN we were.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

But enough about us. This is about pizza. And wine. And dessert. Then it’s about more wine and yummy liqueurs, just to digest it all, you understand.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

Sadly, I don’t have any photos of cooked pizzas. Each vanishes almost as soon as it is brought to the table: roasted pepperoni, salami, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto.

You’re vegetarian, you say? Fear not. My favourite of the evening: potato pizza! Also known as pizza biancha, white pizza. It’s incredibly delicious. And very simple: thinly sliced potatoes, ricotta cheese, arugula lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Another favourite is onion pizza, almost as simple.

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche

Then there’s wine: yummy house wines!

antipasti and house Montepulciano Lentil salad and house Verdicchio

For dolce, sweet, there’s tiramisu. Normally, I don’t like tiramisu. Yet this one I ate so quickly I forgot to take a photo. Instead, dear reader, I’ll share the recipe with you. Straight from the horse’s mouth – or rather, from Jason’s magical kitchen, here’s the world’s best tiramisu.

Ashley serves home made digestivo made from nuts and berries growing around the house. My fave is nocino, walnut liqueur. Others prefer brugnolino, plum. Of course, you can never go wrong with limoncello.

La Tavola Marche, home made limoncello

The 95 % alcohol used for soaking fruits and nuts can be bought at the hardware store. Same place you can buy chickens.

La Tavola Marche
Early morning at La Tavola Marche

Disclosure: I was a guest of La Tavola Marche. However any opinion expressed is of course entirely, yummily, delectably my own.

50 Responses to “Pizza night in the Italian countryside”

  1. inka 4 August 2011 1444 #

    Serenity, good food and international company??? How, did you say, can I get there? BTW, the only good thing which happened to me in Naples was the onion pizza. I love it.
    inka recently posted..Amber in the Caribbean

  2. Marie R. 4 August 2011 1457 #

    Oh my god, this sounds too divine for words!

  3. neha 4 August 2011 1530 #

    This looks so inviting!
    neha recently posted..An Afternoon in Volosko

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 August 2011 1545 #

      Thanks guys. It was a wonderful evening!

  4. Barbara 4 August 2011 1600 #

    You know, when I went to Italy, THIS is what I was expecting. I didn’t get it. Got rude waiters, overpriced food and very very small hotel rooms.
    Tell me, Sophie, how do you get this experience? It sounds like the most fabulous day.
    Barbara recently posted..Funding A Dropout

  5. Italian Notes 4 August 2011 1600 #

    Sounds and looks really tempting.
    Italian Notes recently posted..How I learned to love beaches

  6. Ana 4 August 2011 1701 #

    I’m green with envy!
    Ana recently posted..Travel like a history nerd

  7. The Travel Chica 4 August 2011 1707 #

    That is just the style of pizza I love. Looks delicious! I would love to attend this pizza night.
    The Travel Chica recently posted..My Delicious Splurge in Buenos Aires

  8. Jeremy Branham 4 August 2011 2021 #

    Believe it or not, the only pizza I eat is homemade. I don’t like pizza from the stores because they are too greasy. Pizza made by hand tastes to much better. These look delicious!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Part II A day in the lives of Scottish Games professional athletes

  9. Cathy Sweeney 4 August 2011 2037 #

    Pizza night at La Tavola Marche looks wonderful. Love the idea of the mini U.N. — how fun and interesting. Delicious photos.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Sam Spade Was Here

  10. Louise 4 August 2011 2311 #

    What a wonderful discovery – theat house and land looks so inviting. I’m going to attempt a pizza biancha right now.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 August 2011 2337 #

      @Louise – Do make one! It’s surprisingly easy – even for someone like me who is seriuosly challengeed in the kitchen :)

  11. Now this looks perfect! The last picture is so inviting. I used to prefer pizzas piled high but recently have become more a fan of the minimalist pizzas. You can really taste everything more clearly.
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Bridging Europe

  12. Michael Hodson 5 August 2011 0942 #

    You had me at pizza. Damn it. Now I am hungry again.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Palmyra, Syria: Fabulous Roman Ruins

  13. Becca@R We There Yet Mom? 5 August 2011 1616 #

    Those pizzas look AMAZING! YUM!!

    ~Becca
    Becca@R We There Yet Mom? recently posted..Friday Daydreamin’ 8.5.11

  14. Tim B. 5 August 2011 1620 #

    Love this article and the atmosphere it conveys! Love the pizza (potato pizza sounds too yummy), love that beautiful house, and not least, I adore the fact that you can buy spirits and chickens at the hardware store… so quirky, so very Italian…

  15. Christina 5 August 2011 1728 #

    I’d love to do this. And I really like the pizzas with only a few ingredients, so you can really savour their taste. Yummy pictures!
    Christina recently posted..Hokitika Wildfoods Festival on the wild West Coast

  16. Kelly 5 August 2011 1847 #

    This is like something out of a movie! Amazing!
    Kelly recently posted..Stick It to Me: A Guide to Travel Vaccinations

  17. walkingontravels 5 August 2011 1859 #

    You are killing me! This looks so amazing. I’m already full from lunch and yet I want to eat again. I’m trying very hard not to look up the next flight to Italy. Never mind that the baby is sleeping and my hubby was on a red eye to meet us out east this week and is passed out. They can stay here. I’m going to get that pizza!!!
    walkingontravels recently posted..Iconic Covered Bridges

  18. Just gorgeous! I love the agriturismos of Italy. It brings the local food movement to life!
    Angela (Travel with a Purpose) recently posted..Guerilla Street Artists – May the Force Be With You!

  19. Christy @ Technosyncratic 5 August 2011 2127 #

    Can’t. stop. salivating!

    The best meal I’ve ever had was a margarita pizza in some hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Naples, Italy. The next day I tried to go back and couldn’t find it… and the next day as well. Before I die I HAVE to find that place again. The grim reaper is just going to have to wait.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Housesitting in London: Check out our Crib

  20. Sonja 6 August 2011 0031 #

    This is too good to be true. This is getting bookmarked for sure and put at the top of the travel list. Yum.
    Sonja recently posted..Photo Friday: I Love Alpine Cows

  21. robin 6 August 2011 1121 #

    I love the slow food movement :)

    This place looks perfect – can I get the onion pizza home delivered?
    robin recently posted..Rutina

  22. Emilia 6 August 2011 1731 #

    That’s a wonderful post. Just watching at the photos, I feel hungry and wish I could be there right now. I’ve been just once to the Italian countryside, in Tuscany. That was 2 years ago. We rented a small farmhouse through http://www.holidayrentalweb.com but sadly we had no chance to participate in making pizzas. Instead there was plenty of wine to enjoy.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 August 2011 1800 #

      @Emilia – wine’s just as good :)

  23. Vivienne @ The V Spot 6 August 2011 1843 #

    I love Italy, and my next trip needs to be something slow and easy like that. Yum!
    Here from R We There Yet Mom? Thanks for sharing those fab pix.
    Vivienne @ The V Spot recently posted..Friday Day Dreaming. But on Saturday.

  24. Sailor 6 August 2011 2224 #

    That looks like a wonderful set up for a nice pizza dinner.
    Sailor recently posted..Cruising Makes Passengers Feel Extreme…Something

  25. jade 8 August 2011 1137 #

    This sounds like the best night ever! ah, now I want pizza!
    jade recently posted..Travel the World Everyday

  26. Laurel 9 August 2011 0659 #

    This sounds like my idea of a perfect evening and I’m very curious about the potato pizza.
    Laurel recently posted..Hiking in Sunshine Meadows

  27. Balu 9 August 2011 1116 #

    always love italian pizzas with pastas….
    mouth watering pics………

    visit india… visit my blog to see more…
    Balu recently posted..Munnar, M for Masons?

  28. Andrea 9 August 2011 1128 #

    I love pizza – these look so fresh! Ingredients really make it…

  29. Anna 9 August 2011 1202 #

    These pizzas look just sooo yummie! What a great discovery you have made, I absolutely love it all!
    Anna recently posted..Dental crowns – mostly pros

  30. Sherry 10 August 2011 2359 #

    I am soooo jealous! The food, the drinks, the location, the atmosphere blends so well. It almost appears you’ve stepped into Italian heaven. If I could have pizza any way, it would be cooked in a wood burning oven, eaten outdoors, with some good wine. You got it all in one place. Lucky, Sophie.
    Sherry recently posted..“Sleepless in Shanghai”

  31. James Cook 14 August 2011 0001 #

    That sounds amazing. I miss Italian food so much. I spent 2 months in florence and really crave a pizza!!
    James Cook recently posted..Do’s and Don’ts in Canada

  32. wandering educators 14 August 2011 0250 #

    i can’t WAIT to go visit ashley and jason. what an incredible place (and food!)
    wandering educators recently posted..Worldschool Adventures

  33. Anne-Sophie Redisch
    Anne-Sophie Redisch 14 August 2011 2116 #

    Thanks for your comments, everyone :)

  34. I had the best potato and rosemary pizza when I was in Italy. A unique combination that tastes fantastic!
    Annette | Bucket List Journey recently posted..Farinata & Focaccia at La Cambusa | Cinque Terre, Italy

  35. Nomadic Samuel 22 September 2011 0802 #

    What a delicious looking pizza! I love the shots of it being made. Unfortunately in Korea the pizza here tastes like cardboard pie :P
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..‘Merely Change’ | Quirky Encounter in Bolivia

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 September 2011 1948 #

      @Nomadic Samuel – probably best to stick to kimchi in Korea, eh? :)

  36. 50+ and on the Run 5 November 2011 0426 #

    Maybe everyone already knows this–but my favorite pizza shop will sell you a ball of dough for about $3. I can make really delicious and cheap! pizza at home. My favorite is topped with fresh sliced tomatoes, arugula and fresh mozzarella. Couldn’t be easier.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 November 2012 1628 #

      Sounds yummy :)

  37. agriturismi marche 24 May 2012 1751 #

    very very wonderfull pizza for my eyes :) , compliments for great photo

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2012 1628 #

      Thanks :)

  38. Terry Denton 6 July 2012 1839 #

    I am viewing your pictures just a little before lunch time. Exceedingly cruel! ;o)

    Congrats on making the “100 Reasons To Travel” list by Trip Logic – http://goo.gl/7yH6Q. As a fairly new blogger, I was pleased to make the list as well (# 16).

    If you have a moment, check out my admittedly quirky travel blog at http://www.travelbyterry.com. It’s a fun read, or meant to be at least. ;0)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 November 2012 1626 #

      Sorry for the late reply – and discovery of that great list. Thanks for stopping by :)

  39. 30Traveler 12 November 2012 1602 #

    Even as a vegan, those look delicious!
    30Traveler recently posted..5 Reasons I Love Americans

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 12 November 2012 1627 #

      Really gorgeous pizzas they were. As a vegan, could you eat the potato pizza, I wonder? Perhaps one without the ricotta cheese?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Best tips: Italy in a week | Charming Italy - Hotels, places, what to see and what to do when visiting Italy - 5 August 2011

    [...] Sophie’s World – Pizza night in the Italian Countryside [...]

  2. Agriturismo and cooking school La Tavola Marche, Le Marche, Itlay - 6 August 2011

    [...] feast for dinner. Or perhaps you might like to join other guests and neighbors for the weekly pizza night around a long table in the stone courtyard, nibbling and chatting long into the warm Italian [...]

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