At a European spa guests come to for health and healing as much as for relaxation and pampering, Executive Chef Pier Luigi Marani has developed a menu that serves both purposes – light, flavorful cuisine in generous portions complemented by a variety of Tuscan specialties, such as hearty bread soup.
Marani heads up the kitchen at Terme di Saturnia, a thermal spa in the rolling hills of Tuscany about two hours from Rome. A graduate of Istituto Alberghiero di Stato Pellegrino Artusi hotel school in
Chianciano Terme (Siena), Marani worked at Hotel Pellicano in Porto Ercole, a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group, and at Hotel Panpeago in Cavalese prior to joining Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort in 1983. A published cookbook author, Marani has been the executive chef at Terme di Saturnia since 2000.
Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and mint Serves 3
For the stuffed zucchini flowers:
7 ounces zucchini flowers
9 ounces ricotta
Mint leaves to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
For the tomato sauce:
4 ounces ripe tomatoes
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Basil to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste
Place the ricotta in a bowl and season with the finely chopped mint, olive oil, salt and pepper. Wash the zucchini flowers, remove their pistils and stuff them with the ricotta.
Steam stuffed flowers for about 3 minutes. Remove the seeds and skins from the tomatoes, cut into cubes then mix vigorously with the basil, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and white pepper.
PRESENTATION: On one side of each serving dish, place lettuce seasoned with olive oil, salt and white pepper. Lay stuffed zucchini flowers next to the lettuce. Garnish with the tomato sauce.
Prawns with zucchini Serves 4
14 ounces prawns
7 ounces zucchini
4 ounces shelled mussels
3 ounces ripe tomatoes
8 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1.5 ounces wild fennel
4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil zucchini, let cool and slice lengthwise.
Shell the prawns. Wrap prawns in cooled zucchini strips and refrigerate. Beat the egg. Dip shelled mussels into egg, then sesame seeds. Place in preheated 320 degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook the prawns in a nonstick frying pan, until crunchy, and arrange them on a serving dish in the shape of a fan. In the center of the dish, carefully place the mussels and season everything with a dressing of
lemon, oil, salt and white pepper. Garnish with sprigs of wild fennel and serve lukewarm.
Three-flavor farfalle Serves 2
5 ounces farfalle (butterfly-shaped pasta)
3.5 ounces green asparagus
3.5 ounces giant tiger prawns, shelled
1 red pepper
6 teaspoons olive oil
Parsley to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste
Fresh basil for garnish
Cut the giant tiger prawns into small pieces and sauté in olive oil. Chop the asparagus and pepper into cubes and sauté in a separate pan with olive oil, garlic, salt, white pepper and parsley, adding hot water or vegetable stock, if necessary. Cook pasta al dente, then toss with prawns and
vegetables. Garnish with fresh basil.
Strawberries with yogurt Serves 5
1 pound large strawberries, washed
1 egg white
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup whipped cream
Mint leaves for garnish
Beat the egg white. Dissolve sugar in a bit of water and heat to boiling. Trickle sugar solution into egg white and continue beating until cold. Mix egg white mixture with yogurt and whipped cream. Slice each strawberry into four pieces. Mix strawberries with yogurt sauce. Spoon into dessert bowls. Garnish with mint leaves.
TERME DI SATURNIA
58050 Saturnia, Italy
tel 39 0564 600 111, fax 39 0564 601 266
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
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Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.