This article first appeared in the October 2012 issue of the award-winning subscription travel newsletter Dream of Italy
By Walter Sanders
While staying at Villa Pipistrelli just south of Siena, our group visited nearby Stigliano. We were on a mission: to learn how make fresh pasta from scratch. Our teachers were two older women from the village. They were beautiful, gracious and patient. Pasta-making rookies began combining ingredients, and our enthusiasm was evident despite beaten eggs leaking from collapsed flour walls.
With the help of our lovely mentors, everyone finished their dough and formed it into a ball. All the balls were kneaded together, then rolled flat, cut, stuffed, trimmed and transformed into ravioli.
The site was La Bottega di Stigliano, a combination retail shop—specializing in locally produced agricultural products—and a restaurant. The building was a former casa del popolo, a people’s house where in olden times farm workers would meet to sell products. The casa also served as a social center. It was, in a sense, a one-stop shop where people could fill their baskets with food and make social connections. [Read more…]