Leek and sausage pasta and a book review: A Family Farm in Tuscany

I met Sarah a few years ago, when Emiko introduced me to her agriturismo, Poggio Alloro, a few kilometres past San Gimignano. I fell in love instantly, I could not find words to describe how peaceful and soulful that corner of Tuscany was. Yet today here we are again: a book, a recipe and my love for a generous dish.

If I think at the perfect idea of the classic farm with animals, fruits and vegetables, olive trees and vines, a few cats and a dog, people working together from sunrise to sunset as if they were a family, the first thing that comes to my mind is Poggio Alloro, an organic farm and agriturismo overlooking San Gimignano. They do not work as a family, they are a family. In 1955 three brothers left the Marche to move to Tuscany to work on a farm. In 1973 they bought the property, which was totally different from how it looks now: a lot of empty fields and only a few vines. From then on they began a process of respect and love, they planted more trees and other vineyards, introduced the saffron cultivation and farm animals.

Photo Courtesy of Oriano Stefan

At Poggio Alloro they offer their guests a genuine spontaneity and the warmth of a family in every moment: the grape harvest, the crop, the olive picking or a simple meeting among relatives and friends are perfect chances to experience their hospitality.

The most representative character is Amico (who’s name means friend in Italian), Sarah’s father, one of the three brothers who moved there from the Marche in 1955. He is a generous man, he loves showing his vegetable garden, with spruce rows of ripe tomatoes of so many different varieties: San Marzano, Canestrino, Costoluto fiorentino, pulpy and delicate.

Photo Courtesy of Emiko Davies

Everything is produced organically: DOCG wines and the famous Vernaccia wine, extra virgin olive oil, green and fragrant, vegetables and cereals, honey and pure DOP saffron of San Gimignano, a precious spice since the Middle Ages. They breed rabbits, guinea fowls, Cinta Senese and the huge and majestic cattle of the Chianina breed, one of the most ancient breed of the rural world. The farm is a closed cycle, that is the breeding involves reproduction exclusively in the cowshed without buying in animals from outside.

At Poggio Alloro they produce their own cold cuts in the farm: ham, capocollo, salami and sausages. The cured meats open the dinners at the farm along with crusty bread, figs if in season, milky cheese with jam and honey. The dinners are just the perfect moment to understand the relationships and the passion behind all the daily work at Poggio Alloro: we chat together, just like a real family, you pass along the good olive oil and the bread, the symbols of the Tuscan food culture, they talk lively about fun shared memories, in a succession of do you remember that time when…

Fattoria Poggio Alloro
Via S. Andrea, 23 – San Gimignano (Siena)
Tel. 0577 950153

Cookbook Cover photo courtesy of Oriano Stefan

All these passion, culture, landscapes and love, the smiles, the stories, the recipes, the true life of a family farm in Tuscany, all this is perfectly described in Sarah’s book, A Family Farm in Tuscany.

I decided to do a recipe I wouldn’t have done otherwise: pasta, sausage and leeks. You usually think twice when it comes to sausage and pasta, nowadays you try to keep it simple, light. Though, I wanted something special, and this recipe was calling me from the book pages, hearty and rustic, the kind of pasta you deserve when you work the whole day outside in the fields or, seeing the period of the year, picking olives in the biting wind. I was right, we loved the pasta till the last sausage crumb and my grandma appreciated it leaving a clean plate, it was one of those dishes that can bring you back to the real flavour of past times.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Leek and sausage pasta
Recipe type: Pasta, first course
Cuisine: Tuscan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
You'll need
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups (265 g) leeks, sliced ¼ inch (6 mm thick)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt (1g), plus additional for the cooking water
  • 1 pound (454 g) sausage, casing removed
  • 1 pound (454 g) dried fusilli
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
How to make it
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and cook stirring occasionally until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and cook 5 more minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of water to the leeks and add the sausage into small chunks. Stir and cook for about 7 minutes.
  3. While the dressing is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the salt and cook the pasta al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the leeks and sausage. Add the milk and cheese and toss over medium heat for one minute. Serve immediately.

If you love Tuscany and want to have an insight into the real family life in a Tuscan farm, if you are searching for a good recipe for ribollita o donzelle, if you already love my dear friend Emiko’s photography, well, this book is for you: simple and unpretentious recipes, interesting in-depth descriptions of Tuscan products such as pork, Chianina, saffron and olive oil and a good laugh. Christmas is close, Sarah’s book could be a really nice idea for your dear ones. If you are interested, you can buy it online on Amazon.

Share Button


  1. says

    That book sounds really interesting. I have to add it to my wishlist…

    A delightfully comforting pasta dish! This combination is terrific. Leeks and susages are made to be paired together.




  2. Tracey says

    Thank you for this. It will make the perfect Christmas gift for a co-worker that longs to move to Tuscany – if it weren’t for her grandchildren.


  3. says

    I love this recipe! We had it so many times while staying at Poggio Alloro either while I was working on photos for the book or just visiting, with everyone – the whole extended family and friends – sitting around a huge long wooden table together. It’s a nice, comforting wintry dish. Nice memories :)


  4. Laura says

    You call for ” one pound of sausage” in this recipe and I’m wondering what kind – there are so many kinds!


    Giulia Risposta:

    Hi Laura, it is fresh Tuscan sausage, but you can substitute it with ground pork meet seasoned with salt and black pepper!


  5. says

    What a great story of a family that obviously loves what they do – and loves to share it with others. Thanks for the insight into a special place. And the book is a keeper for sure.


  6. says

    Not matter how many times I see them, in person or in photos, these scenes of the Tuscan countryside take my breath away! One can never become blasé in the face of such beauty.

    And yes, the condimento combination of sausage and leeks sounds divine!


  7. says

    Sounds like a wonderful place and the photos confirm. I make a similar pasta dish. I call it my … there is nothing in the cupboards pasta. Love the simplicity of this recipe.


  8. Sharon says

    I wonder if there is an error in the recipe and if step 2 of the directions shouldn’t say
    add the “milk” instead of add the water ?


    Giulia Risposta:

    Hi Sharon, it is water, I just forgot to add a few tablespoons, it helps the leeks to cook!


    Sharon Risposta:

    Thank you that helps about the water. When is the milk to be added ?


    Giulia Risposta:

    you add it at the very end, as you can see from step 4! Enjoy the pasta!

  9. Sarah Fioroni says

    Grazie Giulia per evr partecipato al blog tour! aspettavo con impazienza il tuo post :)
    Spero che avremo tempo questo inverno di mangiarci un bel piatto di pasta come questo!!!
    un abbraccio grande!


  10. says

    I love pasta and sausage so for me not a strange combo and this looks gorgeous and what a lovely place too! Will keep that in mind for future Italian visits…



Lascia una risposta

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

Rate this recipe: