The Meal We’d Been Waiting For

Dinner on our first night at the Borgo Argenina was absolute magic. Elena (the owner) gathered us all (8 other guests) in the kitchen to cook dinner together. She poured us all some of her house wine from a gigantic cask, and I swear it was the best wine I have ever tasted.

Elena and a bottle of her Chianti Classico from her "special reserve."

Everything you can conjure up in your imagination about a rustic, Tuscan farmhouse kitchen, complete with good-natured dogs and cats underfoot — take all that, and triple it.

Pasqualina patiently waiting for her chance to taste the pork tenderloin.

Jars of Mischief waiting to be played with.

Peppers and Garlic

Brooke & Mike helping Elena prepare dinner.

The fireplace in the kitchen

The view outside of her kitchen-sink window, a freakin’ vineyard!

Squirrel using Elena's antique food processor.

I would write myself in circles trying to help you plug in to that night. Maybe the pictures will help capture it. It was as ideal as you can possibly imagine. That evening was one of those beautiful nights we are given on this earth, where things don’t even seem to be real.

Our first course — pasta — was a homemade lasagna with béchamel and Bolognese.

Lasagna

Elena regaled us with stories of her newest project — a smaller bed & breakfast — while she built layer after layer of lasagna goodness. We watched, drooling. And drinking. 😉

Elena's next restoration project!

For our second course, she braised pork shoulder in cream, vin santo, olive oil, herbs, and a soffrito, all in a pressure cooker.

Prork Tenderloin

Both dishes were so blissfully delicious — the lasagna so rich and yet so light, the pork so tender and infused with the flavors of her garden. It was the food we had been dreaming of and searching for since coming to Tuscany. It was a perfect meal, in a truly perfect and magical place.

The whole gang at dinner.

Before sending us off to bed, Elena gave us a map, and pointed out a month’s worth of must-see villages, churches and wineries. It was so wonderful to have someone like her to point us in the right direction. Our eternal thanks, Elena. 😉

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