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Flavored Pasta Recipes

This recipe post is a two for one deal! Flavored pastas are increasingly popular as they a great way to add flavor and color to your plate! Chef Liam has created these two unique and delicious recipes that will surely add some flare  to your kitchen!Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 5.42.28 PM

This recipe post is a two for one deal! Flavored pastas are increasingly popular as they a great way to add flavor ...

Mushroom Salad Recipe

This mushroom salad is the perfect way to make sure you are eating a balanced and nutritious meal in the winter. With the base being mushrooms, you will make sure that you are feeling full at the end of the meal! Enjoy this delicious and health conscious  winter salad compliments of Chef Liam!

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This mushroom salad is the perfect way to make sure you are eating a balanced and nutritious meal in the winter. With ...

Torta al Testo Recipe

This classic Umbrian style flatbread get’s it name from the round griddle that it is traditionally cooked in, called a testo, although now most people just use a griddle on the stove.  This flatbread is perfect for making sandwiches or even wiping up the leftover sauce from a pasta or stew. Everyone has their own special recipe for this simple, yet delicious bread, and Chef Jennifer McIlvaine has been kind enough to share hers!Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 3.47.19 PM

This classic Umbrian style flatbread get's it name from the round griddle that it is traditionally cooked in, called a testo, although ...

Chef Simone Reflections

Chef Simone Proietti-Pesci is a beloved and respected ambassador of Umbrian cuisine and lifestyle.  He is the Chef and Owner of the acclaimed Le Delizie del Borgo restaurant in Bevagna, Italy. Le Delizie del Borgo is nestled in a quaint corner of the medieval Bevagna’s main piazza, and serves as a magnet for gastronomes, attracting diners from afar with his menu of traditional and modern dishes and a wine list that draws from multiple Italian regions, including Umbria, Tuscany, and Piedmont. On top of this, Simone and his restaurant are a featured host and attraction of our Umbrian Food & Wine Tours.

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We are sad to see Simone leave but we know he will be back! Before he departed, we were able to sit down and hear his reflections about his time at Via Umbria:

What does it mean for you to be able to come to Via Umbria and cook?

It is an honor to be able to cook true “la vera cucina italiana” in the United States, and especially here at Via Umbria.

What are your thoughts on Italian food culture in the US?

I have found that there some restaurants that are gems like Via Umbria that create what I believe to be true Italian food, and they teach the American people how the should should really be and taste.  This is in comparison to traditional Italian-American cuisine which is a different thing and includes classics like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Alfredo.

What is your favorite aspect of Via Umbria?

My favorite aspects of Via Umbria are the true authenticity that is apparent throughout the store, restaurant and cafe. Also the people!

What is your favorite part of Washington DC?

Definitely 14th Street and Georgetown. I think those two are my favorites!

What do you miss most about Italy when you are in the US?

I miss the simplicity of getting around and of daily life, everything in Bevagna is 5 minutes away.  I also miss the overall quality of life in Umbria, it is just different there.

Do you miss anything about the US when you return to Italy?

When I am in Italy, I miss the city itself, Washington DC and also my American family, the Menards!

Chef Simone Proietti-Pesci is a beloved and respected ambassador of Umbrian cuisine and lifestyle.  He is the Chef and Owner of the ...

An Umbrian Valentine

Banner-San-ValentinoValentine’s Day is taken very seriously here at Via Umbria, not only because of what it represents, but also because of the history behind the holiday. Not many people know that the true San Valentino hails from our beautiful Umbria. While not a lot is known about the historical figure in relation to his life, we know that he was born in Terni, Umbria which is about an hour away from our Fattoria Del Geso in Cannara. He was a pioneer of the Christian community in Terni and is considered the first Bishop of the area but was persecuted for his religious beleifs and was eventually executed by the Emperor in Rome. The relic of his skull rests in Rome at the church of Santa Maria (pictured below) while the rest of his body was taken back to be buried in Terni.
 

As the official ambassadors of Umbria here in Washington D.C., we have taken it upon ourselves to carry on San Valentino’s name and traditions.  We have been celebrating all month long and if you are still searching for something to pick up for that special someone in your life, come by the store and we will get you squared away. If it is the traditional chocolate gift that interests you, we have you covered with many creative and delicious chocolates. If you want to give a gift that is outside the (heart shaped) box, consider coming in for some of our cured meats, specialty cheeses, imported wines or even some of our amazing coffee.
 

If you can’t make it in to the store, check out our online shop for all your Via Umbria needs!
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Via Umbria!
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Valentine's Day is taken very seriously here at Via Umbria, not only because of what it represents, but also because of the ...

Beef Shortrib Ragù Recipe

Ragù might be the most well known type of Italian pasta sauce, as it is really just a meat and tomato based sauce. In Italy one finds that there are many different varieties, depending on the location, one might find a ragù made with a mixture of beef and pork, or wild boar and even in some areas a ragù of horse.  Chef Liam has opted instead for the flavorful Beef Shortrib as the meat base of his ragù, and his selection does not disappoint!

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Ragù might be the most well known type of Italian pasta sauce, as it is really just a meat and tomato based ...

Stringozzi Recipe

Stringozzi is possibly the most famous pasta to come out of Umbria! Chef Jennifer McIlvaine has shared her recipe for this delicate pasta that originates in the Spoleto region of Umbria. Often served with a meat ragù or truffles, it gets it’s name from  it’s “stringy” appearance, in Italian, stringhe. Enjoy this  Umbrian staple with Chef Jennifer’s delicious recipe!

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Stringozzi is possibly the most famous pasta to come out of Umbria! Chef Jennifer McIlvaine has shared her recipe for this delicate ...

Tortelli Recipe

Tortelli are the older brother, to the more famous Tortellini but are equal in deliciousness. The fillings of this stuffed and folded pasta often depend on geography in Italy, but  Chef Simone has created this recipe to leave some creativeness in your hands, by allowing you to add whatever filling you desire!!Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 10.32.55 AM

Tortelli are the older brother, to the more famous Tortellini but are equal in deliciousness. The fillings of this stuffed and folded ...

Sagrantino Cookies Recipe

Wine and cookies may seem like a strange combination, but just wait until you try them, they are actually a match made in heavan! Chef Simone has taken a traditional Italian cookie recipe and put his own Umbrian touch on them, by adding the Sagrantino grape in the form of wine.  This is another recipe by Chef Simone that will not disappoint!

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Wine and cookies may seem like a strange combination, but just wait until you try them, they are actually a match made ...

Carbonara Recipe

This famous Roman dish has many stories about its birth and name, ranging from being named after the charcoal burners called “carbonaro” to being born from the bacon and eggs left over by the American troops of WWII.   While origins of this famous and simple dish are very blurred, one thing is for sure: it is delicious, especially when it has the twist of Chef Simone Proietti Pesci!  Chef Simone enjoys his carbonara with pasta alla chitarra, a staple pasta of central Italy.

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This famous Roman dish has many stories about its birth and name, ranging from being named after the charcoal burners called "carbonaro" to being born ...

Erin’s Thoughts: Right is Wrong?

A question in the restaurant industry that has been up for debate for years: which is the correct way to serve and clear each guest’s place settings? Is it better to serve and clear the guest’s dishes from the left or from the right?

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Some go by “service on the left, clearing on the right”, which originated from when butlers would present food to their guests on the left side. The guest would then either take food from what the butler had showcased or the butler would serve them but both would be served on the right side. This is also thought to be less intrusive to guests as more people are right handed than left handed; therefore, you won’t be reaching over your guest to deliver their meal.

Others seem to believe that “service and clearing from the right” is the correct way to serve. This is because wine is always served on the right as the wine glasses are set on the right side above the plate. The only food that should be presented on the left is bread because each guest’s bread plate is on the left.

I personally have seen servers do a little bit of both but I think it all comes down to whatever the guest is comfortable with. Every server’s goal is to make the diner happy and to make the overall experience pleasant.

And although there are many ways to serve, we here at Via Umbria think that it is most important to enjoy your meal, your company, and your dining experience. If you haven’t already been to an event or dinner at Via Umbria, I highly recommend that you do so you can see what we’re all about! We have so many different options to offer; whether it be a delectable meal at one of our Chef’s Table dinners, eating a quick lunch or dinner in our Cafe, or attending one of our many cooking or cocktail classes. Come hungry and we’ll do the rest from there!

A question in the restaurant industry that has been up for debate for years: which is the correct way to serve and ...

White Bean Soup Recipe

Soup may seem like such a simple food, but sometimes the greatest pleasures come from the simplest things!  Soups, similar to this recipe, have been a very important food in Italy for centuries. When most of the country was too poor to source meat, beans were an easy, cheap and delicious ingredient to use.  But what happened was, is it is so delicious, that it has survived the test of time! We must thank Chef Simone Proietti Pesci for his special recipe!

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Soup may seem like such a simple food, but sometimes the greatest pleasures come from the simplest things!  Soups, similar to this ...