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Maria

Maria S.

Corato (BA) - Puglia

Maria invites us into her elegant villa in Corato, Puglia, a town in the province of Bari near the Murge plateau. It’s full of historic buildings and beautiful churches and is just ten miles from the coast, within easy reach of Castel del Monte, a famous UNESCO heritage site.

Maria has had a lifelong career as a chef in a famous local osteria. Now that she’s retired, she has time to dedicate herself to perfecting her favourite dishes, shaping her passion for cooking through a range of culinary activities. She loves organising buffets, banquets, and - of course - being a Cesarina!

Enjoy authentic Puglian cuisine in the town of Corato

Fabulous garden produce near the Murge plateau

To get this Taste Experience started, Maria serves an incredible variety of antipasti: fresh salad made with orange, fennel, puntarelle and origano croutons, a classic summer dish that was traditionally enjoyed by country folk. Next, we have bite-sized wholegrain focaccia breads served with homemade ricotta, olives in fennel brine and Puglian Canestrato cheese, a sheeps’ milk cheese with a touch of spice.

To bring the starter to a close, she serves battered garden vegetables, which depend strictly upon the season. We also have fried ‘rose di lampascioni’, a delicious local delicacy made with red onion. Our Cesarina then serves a delicate broad bean cream with chicory on a bed of local Altamura bread.

For the first course, we have ‘ferricelli’, a long pasta that is rolled back on itself, made with a special tool called ‘verricello’. Maria serves this with cardoons, mushrooms and Canestrato cheese with sliced tomatoes.

The second course is a slow-cooked rack of lamb, cooked in a wood-fired oven and accompanied with stewed cima di rapa leaves with garlic, bay leaves and locally-sourced olive oil.

Finally, for dessert, Maria serves delicate ricotta mouse either ‘al vin cotto’, or with a sprinkle of coffee and sugar.
  • Orange, fennel and puntarelle salad, origano crostini breads 
  • Bite-sized wholegrain focaccia breads with canestrato cheese, fennel-infused olives and homemade ricotta
  • Battered garden produce and fried lampascioni bulbs
  • Chicory and cream of broad beans on a bed of finely sliced Altamura bread
  • Toasted wheatflour Ferricelli pasta with cardoons, cardoncelli mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and Puglian canestrato cheese
  • Slow-cooked lamb chops, cooked in a wood-fired oven
  • Boiled cime di rape leaves 
  • Ricotta mouse with 'vin cotto' or with a coffee and sugar dusting