That led to his idea to convert his family's farm into a different kind of agriturismo — not a resort or an inn that emphasizes gourmet meals, but a working farm where travelers can take a break from the cities and spend a few days hiking, learning to make pasta or just getting a taste of rural life.
The family makes or grows everything it serves — asparagus, beans, figs, honey; even the grapes Antonello's father, Giuseppe, uses to make his wine.
The ItalyFarmStay project was started in March 2005, by the energetic Antonello Siragusa, 28. After earning a degree in English and Spanish literature, and working as a waiter in San Francisco's Castro District, he returned home to southern Italy wondering what he could do to make a living there.
Antonello's mother, Maria, doesn't speak much English, but she's learning, and these are the three words she considers key to making homemade pasta.
"Stretch and roll. Stretch and roll."
Giuseppe Siragusa started his farm as a hobby so his family could enjoy healthy food. Antonello's mission is to teach guests a little about where that food comes from and how it's produced.
Maria showed us how to fold the dough in layers, slice it and unravel it into long, flat strips. The noodle, enough for eight, and the ragu sauce cooking on her stovetop, became that night's dinner.
My sister-in-law, Nancy, and I signed up for one of her cooking classes, and we spent a couple of hours in her kitchen one afternoon, cracking eggs laid by the chickens that morning, kneading dough and stretching and rolling it until it resembled a thin pizza crust.
From the article "roll up your sleeves and get earthy" by Carol Pucci Seattletimes