Cookucina, Season 1HDClosed Captioning
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Set in the beautiful medieval town of Sarnano, Cookucina is a simple celebration of regional Italian food and the all-natural ingredients grown in the lush countryside in the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains. Lia Rocchiccioli is a professional chef who specializes in the unique Marchigiana cuisine. An adopted daughter of Le Marche, she has cooked for a living everywhere from luxury yachts to the Sahara desert. But the natural food and the healthy and relaxed lifestyle always bring her back to Le Marche. Lia is learning English from Tamsen Courtenay, American by birth, English by upbringing and now Sarnano resident. Tam works in Sarnano as a teacher of English as a foreign language. In Cookucina, Tam learns to cook alla Marchigiana, while Lia tries to improve her English. Firm friends from totally difficult backgrounds, Tam and Lia travel the beautiful countryside to collect pure and natural ingredients from the rich and fertile woods and fields, as well as meeting some of the extraordinary countryfolk of Le Marche – a people who more or less live for food. Rounding up the ingredients will take Tam and Lia beyond the ancient pink brick walls of Sarnano to travel the region in their 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda – ubiquitous minicar of the Italian contadini. Through the series each woman learns much from the other’s skills, but there are some disasters (and much laughter) along the way. Cookucina is about learning through enjoyment – love of food, love of language, and love of this exquisite corner of Italy. It’s about simple food, beautifully made.
|1||HDClosed CaptioningVideo1. Baked Trout and a Mountain Stream||Presented by two vivacious and attractive 40-something women, Cookucina is a simple celebration of regional Italian food and the all-natural ingredients grown in the lush countryside in the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains. Lia Rocchiccioli is a professional chef who specializes in the unique Marchigiana cuisine. An adopted daughter of Italy's Le Marche region, she has cooked for a living everywhere from luxury yachts to the Sahara desert. But the natural food and the healthy and relaxed lifestyle always bring her back to Le Marche. Lia is learning English from Tamsen Courtenay, American by birth, English by upbringing and now Sarnano resident. Tam works in Sarnano as a teacher of English as a foreign language. In Cookucina, Tam learns to cook alla Marchigiana, while Lia tries to improve her English. Witty, attractive, competent but sometimes chaotic, Tam and Lia travel the beautiful countryside to collect pure and natural ingredients from the rich and fertile woods and fields, as well as meeting some of the extraordinary countryfolk of Le Marche – a people who more or less live for food. Set in the beautiful medieval town of Sarnano in the little-known Italian region of Le Marche each program introduces three new dishes. Rounding up the ingredients will take Tam and Lia beyond the ancient pink brick walls of Sarnano to travel the region in their 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda – ubiquitous minicar of the Italian contadini. Through the series each woman learns much from the other’s skills, but there are some disasters (and much laughter) along the way. Cookucina is about learning through enjoyment – love of food, love of language, and love of this exquisite corner of Italy. It’s about simple food, beautifully made. In Cookucina Tam and Lia have fun as they share their expertise – fun which will leave the viewer just a little wiser and with a sense of having passed a few minutes in infectious company.||26:01||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|2||HDClosed CaptioningVideo2. Medieval Food and the Fish Pirate||Program two reprises an introduction to the two women and the relationship between them, and takes another step in revealing the rich landscape of Le Marche to the viewer. Lia’s first dish is acciughe al verde, anchovies with parsley, so Lia and Tam get to meet one of Sarnano’s most engaging characters, a man they call “the fish pirate”. Stocky, strong and always wearing a bandana, he brings fresh fish from the nearby Adriatic to Sarnano twice a week. For vellutata di zucchini, a creamy soup of courgettes, we’re down in the orto, Sergio’s allotment, where everything grows at fantastic rate in the extreme climate of the central Italian mountains where summer heatwaves give way to massive snowfall every winter. And Lia’s dessert, crema di nonna Giudi¸ (nonnas, or grandmas, figure heavily in Italian country cooking) takes Lia and Tamsen to meet the extraordinary Silvano Scalzini who specialises in the mediaeval recipes of the region while running a delightful little restaurant in a ruined castle perched on the side of a hill.||26:22||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|3||HDClosed CaptioningVideo3. Truffle Hunting and an Ugly Fish||This program gives us an opportunity to find out more about Sarnano, and to get out into the nearby woods with Tinker, the Cookucina dog, in search of a local delicacy - truffles. Today’s starter is a delicate fish mousse made with just about the ugliest fish you’ll ever see, so ugly that to call someone a “Scorfano” is a popular Italian insult. Lia’s main course is a pasta dish – tagliolini con tartufo, and it gives us the chance to discover the heavily-wooded countryside of Le Marche, with Tonino and his truffle-dog, Fiuto, in search of truffles which can, if you find the right type, be worth more than their weight in gold. Finally, Lia introduces Tamsen to a very special kind of torta di cioccolato, a chocolate tart that won’t make you fat because it uses no butter. But it’s quite possible that all that good work may be undone, because the two women make a trip to the local gelateria, where we discover the taste that gave Italian ice-cream its world-wide reputation.||26:11||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|4||HDClosed CaptioningVideo4. Soft Salami and a Roman Ruin||Lia and Tamsen open the fourth program of the series up in the high meadows of the Sibillini Mountains where they’ve come to meet the unique breed of Marchigiana cattle that graze the high pastures during the summer months. Then it’s on down to meet a family-run business using time-honoured techniques (and a secret ingredient or two) to produce one of Le Marche’s true specialities, ciabuscolo, a kind of soft salami that they say can only be properly made in the climatic conditions of the Sibillini foothills. That’s the key ingredient for today’s starter crostini con ciabuscolo e stracchino. Stracchino is a soft, fresh cheese that is mixed with ciabuscolo to make a delicious light spread for the crostini. The name stracchino comes from the Italian word "stracca", meaning "tired", and the story goes that only milk from tired cows coming down in the autumn from the mountain pastures should be used to make stracchino because it is more acidic and richer in fats. The main course today takes us to an artisan brewery in nearby Urbisaglia to find the right beer for pollo alla birra – chicken in beer. From its hilltop position Urbisaglia overlooks the old roman town of Urbs Salvia, which straddled the road from Rome to Ancona before the Visigoths sacked it in the 5th century. Much of its floor plan remains, including the ancient amphitheatre where gladiators used to fight – presumably fortified by a beer beforehand. Lia’s dessert today is a ciambellone, a simple and versatile cake that the locals eat with dessert wine, or with cappuccino for breakfast. But the program finishes on a historical theme with a medieval meal as the little town of Sarnano begins its annual festival of Castrum Sarnani, where the whole centro storico (the medieval heart of Sarnano) goes back in time and you can only buy your food at the Taverna della Luna by changing your Euros into medieval money.||26:28||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|5||HDClosed CaptioningVideo5. Mountain Ricotta and Ferragosto Fun||Ferragosto is the day Italy lets its hair down. They’ve been doing it since the emperor Augustus decreed it a holiday in 18 B.C. In the middle of the traditional August break, it coincides with the religious festival of the Feast of the Assumption. It’s when Sarnano comes alive and people take to the streets in their Sunday best. Traditionally Sunday lunch is pasta dishes and roast meat, but at the height of a sweltering summer Lia prefers something lighter. Today’s starter is sformatini di zucchini, small cakes of courgettes and egg, flavored with onion, basil and two kinds of cheese. Light, delicious and very more-ish. Lia chose a light pasta dish for a main course. It’s called pasta Sibillini after the mountains that overlook the Cookucina kitchen in Sarnano, and it makes use of ricotta cheese that’s made right before our eyes in Maria’s country kitchen. Tamsen and Lia get a double lesson - in making not just ricotta but also the pecorino cheese that’s part of the same process. And out in the farmyard they get to meet the sheep that produced the milk for both. Today’s dessert is a home-made semi-freddo alla crema di nocciole – a kind of do-it-yourself ice cream that’s as easy to make as it is delicious to eat. And this edition rounds off with a trip to a Sagra. They hold these open-air parties in just about every village in Le Marche. And throughout the summer you’re never far away from a Sagra. Like most other things in Italy they have a bit of a religious history, but really they’re about celebrating a particular kind of food – from prawns to polenta to pizza. Tonight it’s Pancetta, and another opportunity to sample the Marchigiana way of eating – simple food, beautifully cooked. All to the traditional sound of Massimo and his organetto.||25:36||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|6||HDClosed CaptioningVideo6. Cooked Wine and a Wild Boar Hunt||The final edition of this first series of Cookucina takes us high into the mountains again, to the beautiful Lake Fiastra, a shimmering carpet of blue nestling among towering peaks. We’re here because this is the natural habitat of the wild boar – a local delicacy that Lia has chosen for today’s main course. She’s making a salmi di cinghiale, a sort of wild boar stew made to a special Sarnanese recipe. This follows a very special starter – special because it was actually made by Tamsen as the culmination of part one of her cookery course with Lia. It’s an onion soup and a recipe she borrowed from Silvano Scalzini, the food history expert from program two. And to put it to the test, she invites a few friends round to dine al fresco in Lia’s orto perched on the city wall. It’s sure to get past the English, but what will the ever-demanding Lia make of it? And after Tamsen’s onion soup, and a supremely local salmi (or stew) of wild boar, Lia’s dessert takes us deep into the gastronomic history of the area. It’s a torta di mele con zabaione. That’s a deliciously soft apple cake, with a very special type of zabaione. Special because it’s made not with fortified marsala wine, but with an ancient favourite in Le Marche, vino cotto, literally “cooked wine.” And that gives Lia and Tamsen the chance to meet Tonino who takes us into his laboratorio to show how vino cotto is still made the old-fashioned way – everything by hand, everything cooked in copper and stored in barrels made of different types of wood according to the taste desired. And, of course, vino cotto gives us a fitting send off to the series as we travel to nearby Loro Piceno for the annual Sagra di Vino Cotto, where we meet a barrel of wine that’s been on the go for over a hundred years and finish the series with a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the night sky in honor of cooked wine!||26:21||$2.99||View in iTunes|