The Tasca home supports a traditional Sicilian cuisine, which Anna, while respecting the local culture, has combined with the more international one she found in the Lanza Di Mazzarino family. In this productive small universe, amidst the vineyards and the hum of tractors, the family shares its passion for the land and for time-honored Italian cooking and recipes with those who want to learn and appreciate the secrets of old traditions.
Anna Tasca Lanza In the News:
In Sicily, a Winery Tour With Lunch Included
By MARIAN BURROS, New York Times
Published: March 13, 2005
About halfway between Palermo, on the north coast of Sicily, and Agrigento, on the south, lies one of the island’s premier wineries and cooking schools – Regaleali, which has been in the family of Count Lucio Tasca since 1830.
Regaleali, near the tiny village of Vallelunga, is not a palazzo but a grand country estate of 1,200 acres. It is also a working farm that provides all the wine and almost all the food it serves its guests. A couple of years ago the count’s son, Giuseppe Tasca, realized that those who were coming for the wine tasting were interested not only in the vineyards but also in the wonderfully peppery green olive oil from the 4,000 olive trees, the extensive vegetable garden and fruit trees, the chickens and sheep and the cheese made on the estate from the sheep’s milk.
Soon a simple wine tasting was turned into a typical Sicilian five-course lunch paired with the estate’s wines.
Regaleali, which is derived from an Arabic word meaning home of Ali, offers a serenely romantic view of Sicily. The cultivated hillsides stretch as far as the eye can see from the buildings that house the winery and the count’s residence. The wine tastings and lunch are served in the handsomely remodeled barn, its ochre stucco walls trimmed in blue, the barnyard now a brick-and-cobblestone courtyard.
The wine lunch changes with the season. A typical meal would start with panelle, deep-fried wedges made from chickpea flour, or with vegetables from the garden. The antipasto is always served with Almerita Spumante, a delicious sparkling wine.
The primi, or pasta, course might be served with fava beans or with a tomato sauce and the farm’s fresh sheep’s-milk ricotta. The secondi course is often the estate’s tender lamb, cooked with one of the winery’s finest reds, Rosso del Conte, or the fat and succulent chickens. Homemade cheeses follow. For dessert the ricotta is sweetened and used to stuff freshly fried cannoli. Fruit in season is another choice.
Mr. Tasca’s aunt, Anna Tasca Lanza, the cooking teacher and cookbook author, conducts cooking classes, as she has for more than 15 years, at Casa Vecchie, in the middle of the vineyards. Her charming demonstration kitchen has white tile walls, brightened with a border of blue and white tiles. Like the lunch with wine pairings, she bases her classes on the seasonal offerings of the farm. A five-day stay includes cooking classes each day with side trips. Up to 10 students can be accommodated.
The five-day course (including accommodations in rooms with private baths at her home or that of her sister, Costanza di Camporeale) is $3,026 a person; a three-night course, including accommodations, $1,681 a person; an overnight stay with lesson and lunch is $1,076 a couple; one day lesson and lunch is $175 a person.
Regaleali is one and a half hours by car or train from Palermo.
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Anna Tasca Lanza To Appear in New York
Anna Tasca Lanza, from the World of Regaleali, will be hosting a dinner at a new restaurant in New York. She will be at Bellavitae on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. There is a reception from 6:30-7:30 pm where you can meet this fabulous chef, and a dinner following at 7:30 pm. The dinner will be a special five-course menu featuring Sicilian dishes preapred from Anna’s cookbooks and will include a tasting of Regaleali Tasca d’Almerita wines and olive oil. A Night in Sicily will be a rare opportunity to meet and talk to a noted culinary authority and taste the flavors of Sicily here in the United States. Reservations are limited, so please contact Bellavitae as soon as possible.