Monday, November 30, 2009

Pork Ribs With Bitter Olives "Rosticciana in Umido con Olive"

Ingredients for 4
One rack pork ribs cut into single pieces, black bitter
olives, one can tomato sauce or equal amount fresh tomatoes,
1 tbsp tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, sage, salt
Lightly fry the herbs and garlic in olive oil. Add and
brown pork on a high flame and salt. Add tomatoes and
paste. Add a full glass of water and cook for 45 minutes
over medium-low heat. Add olives and cook another
15 minutes

Substitute black bitter olives with Kalamata olives

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cardoons "Gobbi"

Cardoni Italian Artichokes are available fall to early spring with a peak season during December.

Current Facts
Thistle family plants produce the familiar globe artichoke and also the celery-like cardoni. There is some confusion between cardoni (cardi) and hunchbacks (gobbi). It is claimed the difference is in the blanching phase, according to The Reader's Digest Grand Illustrated Italian Gastronomic Encyclopedia. Dirt is mounded around the base of cardonies, whereas hunchbacks are bent and buried under the earth in holes. Both types are often found in markets during winter.

Cardoons Flan "Sformato di Cardoni"

Ingredients :

1 very white cardoon
half a litre of milk
50gr of flour
50gr of parmesan cheese
50gr of butter
2 eggs
2 Pinch of nutmeg

Cooking time : 1 hour

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving in Tuscany: How would a Tuscan Cook prepare A Whole Turkey?

Roast Turkey with chestnut

Serving 8-10 persons
Ingredients: 1.2kg chestnuts - 1 turkey of about 2kg - 400gr sausages - 2 bay leaves - 1 spoon of olive oil - 1 apple - 1 sage leave - 1 glass of cognac - 1 bunch of parsley - 2 eggs - 60gr butter - stock - salt - ground pepper.
Preparation: get the turkey ready to be cooked and keep the giblets. Boil the chestnuts for 40 minutes, in salted water, with oil and bay. Peel them, sieve two thirds of them and stir the purée in a bowl, adding the chopped livers and the sausage meat (without skin).
Work this mixture very well, adding the grated apple, chopped parsley and sage, cognac, eggs (previously beaten), salt and ground pepper; spread salt and pepper inside the turkey abdominal cavity, filling it with the prepared mixture, closing again the opening very well, eventually sewing it with a thick cotton thread.
Place the prepared turkey in an oven-proof dish after being greased with some butter and bake it in a 200°C pre-heated oven for about 2 hours and a half, turning it now and again and damping it with some spoons of stock. When it is well baked, lay the turkey on the serving dish and season the chestnuts with the cooking sauce and serve them together with the turkey.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Sacher Torte

Well...i know this is not a proper Tuscan Farm recipe but....a client asked me to prepare this delicious cake for a birthday and i really couldn't say no !

Ingredients :

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spaghetti alla Trabaccolara @ Fabiana Home

My girlfriend Fabiana prepare for Sunday lunch a typical dish of Viareggio.
Viareggio is a city in northern Tuscany in Italy on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With over 63,000 people it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city in the Province of Lucca.
Viareggio is famous for the "Passeggiata",a promenade,and for the oldest Carnival in Europe,the "Carnevale di Viareggio". (Wikipedia)

"Trabaccolara" it is a dish of the tradition viareggina.
It owes his/her name to the lugger, a boat used by the fishermen of St. Benedict of the Tronto, some of which were transferred to Viareggio among the beginning of the years '20 and the end of the years'30.
It is born as poor dish, because realized by the fishermen sanbenedettesi with fishes of backdrop that, to the market of the I bring, they stayed unsold (the gallinella, the scorfano, the tracines, etc.). To these qualities of ingredients of base, someone loves to also add shellfishes and molluscs, that make the richest dish, but they estranges him/it from the native recipe.

Recipe of the Trabaccolara (Ingredients for 4 people):

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Original Fiorentina Steak and Tagliata

- One beef steak  (1 kilo or more)
- Salt

The true steak (with bone which is like a T with sirloin and fillet I a side) comes from tender beef preferably chianina breed.
Prepare in time the barbecue so that you can have a good ember with no fire, Place the grill over the ember (about 10 cm.)
When the grill is red-hot place the steak ( at room temperature, not washed and take it with your hands- no fork!)Grill the steak 10 minutes o’ clock without touching it.
Turn it with a spatula (not with a fork)
Grill fore 5 more minutes, salt the grilled part.
Eat in the next minute, a cold Bistecca is damaged!
You can add some pepper, but NOT NOT NOT NOT  lemon.

Tagliata = Big steak cut in slices
This is like a grilled steak, it is bigger and, when ready it is cut in vertical slices, without separating
them, on these slices you can put:
-rucola salad dressed with salt and olive oil and parmesan cheese
-olive oil with aromatic herbs
-fresh artichokes cut slices dressed with olive oil, salt and 1 spoon of juice of lemon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuscan Greens Soup (Zuppa di Cavolo Nero)

Tuscans often drizzle fresh olive oil in the shape of a C onto each bowl of soup before serving it. The heat of the soup releases the fragrance and flavor of the oil. Some Italians refer to it as “battesimo dell’olio”, baptizing with oil, so perhaps it symbolizes the casting off of bad taste or evil kitchen spirits. All the more reason to do it.
The traditional Italian green for this soup is Tuscan kale, known as “cavolo nero” (black cabbage). It is a somewhat tangy green that develops a subtle sweetness during cooking. Many American grocery stores, and seed catalogues, market it as “Lacinato” or “dinosaur kale”. Regular kale may be substituted if your greengrocer has not yet caught up with the Tuscan variety.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

“Extra Virgin” Olive Oil Beneficial Effects On Our Health

Extra virgin olive oil is a natural, healthy foodstuff which, apart from bringing fragrance and flavour to foods, is rich in many factors which help us to live well and which forestall and cure different pathologies.Today it is enjoying a great resurgence and is being turned to again for its healthy virtues.
The science of nutrition recognizes in extra virgin olive oil the most balanced combination of fatty acids, saturates and mono- and poly-unsaturates, the most suitable of the vegetable oils for nutritional and dietetic ends.Indeed olive oil stimulates intestinal absorption of calcium, assisting growth of the major bones and the mielinization of nerve fibres in children, it stimulates the endocrine and exocrine secretion of the pancreas, it is cholagogic and choleretic, and it is the most digestible of all vegetable oils.It is also the component which characterises the Mediterranean diet.The term “Mediterranean diet” was coined by an American scientist called Ancel Keys.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Olive Harvest @ my Farm "Maolina"

The Olive Harvest is,like the Grape Harvest,more than work;
it's about Celebration.
The Harvest can be done with tools and machinery,but to obtain a great
Extravirgin Olive Oil it must be done strictly by hand (Brucatura is the
italian word for this process)

"Olio di Lucca"

Olive-growing has characterised, since ancient times, the province of Lucca: around the mid-15th century olive oil was defined as "necessary for man's well-being" and a 19th century treatise about oil production considers that "the most famous oils for their finesse are those of Lucca which are very well-known abroad.Alongside these are almost all the oils found in the region of Tuscany".
This deep-rooted tradition shows how valuable and typical olive-growing is, now more than ever, in the continuing quest to preserve an irreplaceable heritage.The outstanding characteristics of Lucca's olive oil have raised it to the level of a top food element, not only for its organoleptic qualities but also for the nutritional properties which contribute to a complete and healthy diet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My friend Lido Vannucchi

Lido is ,first of all, a Friend!
He is a kind,amazing,altruist and brilliant person.He's like an erupting volcano,because of his innovatives ideas.It was him who helped me with the graphic style of the new menus,and thanks to his enologic background he suggested me amazing wines for my wine cellar,and it was him again who shot the pictures for my new website.
Lido is all of this.....a Friend,a good photographer and last but not least an expert in wine and food,and he keeps doing all of that with professionalism and modesty.
Go visit him in his wine and food temple “Vini e Formaggi” and after that,you will be able to tell me the sensation that you'll feel after crossing the threshold of his shop.A mosaic of products coming from all of Italy,only the best from every region : cheeses,cold,cuts,pastas and desserts...and don't forget about the wines,champagnes and spirits !
Lido will take you under his arms and like an expertised innkeeper will lead you into a journey full of taste and knowledge.
Thank you Lido, for feeding my humble knowledge with your rich culture.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Lido's Blog

"Formentone" Otto File VS Traditional Polenta

The 8-row maize (Zea Mays) of Garfagnana, locally also known as "Formentone", was once widely cultivated throughout the valley, exclusively for use as food. Later it almost completely disappeared as a result of the depopulation of the mountain areas and the abandoning of crop farming. In recent times, the rediscovery and renewed popularity of typical and ancient products has convinced certain farmers of the region, who had continued to grow it, to devote special care to its cultivation, avoiding "contamination" with other varieties offering greater yield but inferior quality. It is a herbaceous plant, growing to a height of about two metres, bearing one or two ears per stem. The ears are long and covered by many coats of leaves. The mature kernels are an orangey yellow colour, with slight, more or less intense shading, round and fairly large. This crop does not have a high yield, but boasts nutritional features which now distinguish it as an excellent maize for polenta.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Castagnaccio" Chestnut Cake Recipe

- 150 grams of chestnut flour
- Leaves of a rosemary branch
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 50 grams wall-nuts
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of water (250 ml)

Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana Dop

Chestnut (or 'neccio', an ancient local word) flour was, for many centuries, a staple ingredient in the daily diet of the rural people of Garfagnana. Today, 'neccio' flour is used almost exclusively for making sweets. The important role played in the past by chestnuts in the rural economy of this district of the Province of Lucca is documented by several historical sources, including a set of regulations concerning the harvesting and exporting of the fruits of the chestnut tree dating back to 1360. Laws protecting chestnut woods were enacted as early as 1489. Throughout Garfagnana, many ancient structures that house chestnut processing and milling equipment still stand. These buildings (mills and 'metati', traditional chestnut-drying facilities) have such unique architectural and structural features that local building codes ensure their protection and preservation as an expression of the local culture and as evidence of its close links with the environment.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Garfagnana Spelt

We distinguish the small spelt (Triticum monococcum L.), the medium spelt (Triticum dicoccum Schrank) and the big spelt (Triticum spelta L.). The interest of the farmer is just for the medium and the big spelt, for which populations, selectioned production lines and cultivated varieties exist. The small spelt nowadays is useful in the work of the genetic betterment. It is different from the cultivated one because it maintains the "dressed cariossidi" (covered by glumes and glumellas) at the end of the treshing.
The elimination of the exterior wrappers needs a further "undressement", that together with the low yields, has caused the almost total abandon of this cultivation.The spelt is one of the most ancient cereal used by the mankind. His cultivation goes back at least to 7000 b.C. It has been the basic food of Assyrians, Egyptians and of all the Middle-East and North Africa populations.Attending to recent studies the birthplace should be Palestina, where also nowadays is shed a spontaneus kind of spelt (triticum dicoccoides); it seems that this cultivation have been taken from this region to all the others by the nomadic sheppherds. It's a graminaceous plant with an erect and resistant stalk and with a linear leaf, that grows in the mountain areas. The name "spelt" means fobber in Latin and it's a particular type of wheat, which was widely cultivated in the Roman age. After that it has been almost abandoned and only recently rediscovered for many purposes. Without this precious and nutritious cereal (it's known that 100 grains can give a lot of energy), Roman legions, who commonly received it (also as wages), wouldn't have conquered the world. Two dishes were really appreciated at that time: the "mola salsa" prepared with the tosted spelt flour and salt, and the "libum", a kind of spelt pie, also offered to divinities during the propitiatory cerimonies.Salt and spelt grains were offered to all the rural divinities, but particularly to Demetra, the earth goddess, to propitiate a good harvest during the "Idi of March".Also in the bible (Ezekiel 44-30) the spelt is mentioned with the hebraic name of "Arisab". Nowadays this c ereal is used to cook national dishes in Liban, Libia, and in almost all the Middle-East countries, even if called with different names (Taboulé, Kibbé, Salf). Generally these dishes result being more or less the same course, that is kind of a very thick soup of soaked spelt (raw or cooked), chikpeas, mint, olive oil and pepper, with which they stuff just bloomed tender fig leaves. The Lebanon's Kibbé is made of soaked and boiled spelt in the tomato sauce with sheep meat. The Libic Kibbé, known as well in Tunisia and Morocco, is made of soaked and boiled spelt, fillets of fish, chopped pumpkin and walnut slices.The spelt has been widely used also with a medicinal aim, and there are many ancient scriptures that quote cures with this precious food. In the Padania plane (Italy) it was cultivated even in the earl neolitic age. The most ancient testimony of the cultivation of the wheat comes from Vhò (Piadena, near Cremona), where in the 4300 b.C. a primitive wheat, the most slender of all the cultivated wheat species, the small spelt (Triticum monococcum) was sowed . The small spelt shows erect green-yellow spikelets, flatted on the sides. The single spikelets, with two flowers, are ordered on two lines. Normally just the lowest flower of each spike matures, from which the denomination "monococcum". The small spelt is "dressed", that is the grains, the matured ones too, remain tenaciously wrapped up, differently than the "naked" grain; in the treshing only the spikelets are removed and so it's necessary to roast them in a drying oven to set the graions free.In the neolitic age the most important cereal wa s the small spelt (Triticum monococcum), next the big spelt (triticum dicoccum) and the barley (Hordeum vulgare). In the north of Italy the inventory of the plants that were cultivated at that time coincides with the ones of the near Orient, where was occured the farm revolution. In the middle and in the late neolitic age, the cultivation spread out also in the interior alpine area; the farmer came from south in the valleys, as results by the eral presence of cereal in the provinces of Brescia, Trento and Bolzano. In addition to the two quoted cereals were cultivated at that time also the big spelt and another "dressed" wheat, very similar to the small spelt. The spikes of the big spelt are heavier and more hanging down if they are matured; the spikelets have three flowers and usually just two mature so the harvest is more profitable. In the Roman age there have been a radical changement in the cultivation of cereals: in the middle-alps the barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the big spelt (Triticum dicoccum) got big importance, followed by spelz (Triticum spelta) and the dwarf grain (Triticum aestivum compactum); along the time, the small spelt lost importance and it was just marginally cultivated; the millet (Panicum miliaceum) took over the foxtail (Setaria Italica). In the high Middle-age, or age of the barbarian migration, the most important products remained the big spelt (Triticum dicoccum) and the barley (Hordeum vulgare), followed by dwarf grain (Truiticum aestivum compactum) and spelz (Triticum spelta); the small spelt (Triticum monococcum) was cultivated just in the areas with a rigid climate, where it couldn't grow neither grain, nor spelz.The spelt is nowadays cultivated in Garfagnana (Tuscany) in modest quantity but with an excellent quality to obtain the protected origin denomination (Dop) in the countries of the European Community. In some areas of Umbria, and in Monteleone of Spoleto in particular, the cultivation of spelt has never disappeared. For the San Nicola festival in Bari, on the sixth of December, a tipical spelt minestrone is prepared.It's not a coincidence that the spelt minestrone were always suggested to old and young people, more
influenced from the risques of underfeeding. In Umbria and in Marche, the antique spelt varieties are still cultivated, and they are partcularly appreciated for the flavour and the richness of fibres.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Welcome "White Truffles from San Miniato"

The countryside around San Miniato, found in the Pisa Province of Tuscany, is spectacular, especially as the sun sets.
This territory produces 25% of Italy's celebrated white truffle production so it's logical that each November on the second, third and fourth weekends--in the heart of the regulated truffle gathering season--a truffle fair is held in the high town. San Miniato comes alive, with displays, theater performances, fine dining in homes, palazzi, and restaurants, and even marching bands. It's a great time to visit the medieval gem of a town, San Miniato.

So, come along with us as we explore the Tuscan village of San Miniato during its annual truffle fair.
The truffle is the underground fruit of a mushroom. There are many kinds, even not edible ones. Among the traded ones, the most precious is Tuber Magnatum Pico (Tartufo Bianco Pregiato = White Truffle), also of interest is Tuber Melanosporum Vitt (Tartufo Nero Pregiato = Black Truffle). It’s curious that where the White T. grows the Black T. doesn’t.
The truffle grows thanks to three factors that must be together: the type of ground, the climate conditions and the symbiotic plants. If one of these factors is missing, the truffle doesn’t grow.
Some of the plants that live in symbiosis with truffles are: poplars, oaks, hazels.
The geological range of the White Truffle is represented by marly-calcareus and marly-clayey grounds of the Tertiary period.
The truffle is an ingredient, an aroma, therefore can accompany any food. It’s often sliced over first course dishes such as noodles, gnocchi, polenta, better if lightly dressed not to cover the delicate taste of the truffle. Also can dress second course dishes like omelets, veal filet and chicken breast. Also in the salad with celery and artichoke. Or as antipasto, over toasted bread with butter or pate.
Take care! The truffle must not be cooked and not high heated. At the most you can grate it into melted butter to dress plain spaghetti.
The White Truffle loses perfume and consistency after several days, so it’s better to use within a short time. For few days, you can keep it wrapped in soft paper and closed in a glass jar or immersed in rice, which you may use for a fragrant risotto. For long conservation it should be frozen at -20° C. 

In the district of San Miniato, from a village called Balconevisi, the largest specimen of white truffle in the world was found in 1954. It weighed 2520 grams and traveled across the Atlantic to be donated to the President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower.
The truffles of San Miniato (which happen to originate from Alba) take the name "San Miniato" from the place they has been historically distributed and sold, but they were originally from the vast area that hugs the province spreading from Pisa to boundaries of Chianti Classico, including the southern part of the Arno valley, Lari, Casciana Terme, Crespina, Val di Cecina, Volterra, Montaione. From the mycological point of view, the truffles of San Miniato are the same fungi known as the truffles of Alba or of Acqualagna, which are also known as Tuber Magnatum Pico. Now the question that everyone asks is, which are better? The truffles of San Miniato or Alba? Or of Acqualagna? The Tuber Magnatum Pico is an underground fungi found exclusively in Italy. We may find people being "screamishly" pretentious about the type of terrain, the environment where it grows: in healthy soil untainted by pollution, the size must be just so and so and so on. But after all this, if there are truffle growing it means that the conditions must be ideal otherwise they wouldn't grow there! So, a difference between the taste or perfume of the truffles grown in different areas is uncertain. Nevertheless, the basic difference may occur between the years according to the climate of a particular year. For example, if there is a drought the truffles suffer from the dryness, they release a strong aroma when harvested but it quickly fades. Whereas, if it's too wet and damp they have little perfume. Practically, the best truffles are when they are in abundance because of favorable climate and the price of the truffles is lower. There are other factors which affect the increase of the price. The larger and more regular formed truffles (rounded, without cavities and growths) cost more because, when they are cleaned, small particles don't fall off and they are easier to be sliced when used for dressing dishes. Otherwise, unfortunately, malformed truffles are difficult to brush and often hold bits of clay in their cavities. The buyer ends up paying truffle prices for bits of clay.
The principle quality of a matured truffle is determined not by its colour but by the network of veins that can be seem when cut open. The colour, in fact, is caused by it's symbiotic relationship with the tree it is growing with: more whitish if it's a poplar tree, reddish if it's a linden tree, nutty coloured if it's an oak tree.

Truffles should be kept in storage for the minimum time possible as every day they lose their weight and perfume, so it's in the interest of the seller (for weight) and buyer (for perfume) to obtain the truffles as soon as they've been found. The San Miniato market ensures that only produce of good quality is sold, controlled by the vigilant eye of the Truffle Association. In general it's best to buy from the local gatherers or wholesales. Truffles that are conserved, usually in glass, have little more taste than a potato and are not worth their price, even if they are real truffles. Sometimes, however, other underground fungi, found in China or North Africa for less than 1 Euro lira a kilo, are artificially infused with truffle aroma and sold in containers for a 1.000 Euro per kilo! The gastronomic preparations of ruffles (oil, salami, pasta, sauce...) often contain the synthetic aroma obtained from petrol, a hydrocarbon stink that causes headaches. In fact, the aromatic substance contained in the truffles is changeable and not able to be conserved. Therefore, it must be stressed, the intensity of the truffles is experienced when they are consumed as fresh as possible and the season has just begun.
The National White Truffle Market is held in the hills of San Miniato and can be visited every year during the last 3 weeks of November. It is an internationally recognized fair of importance that hosts many gastronomic and cultural events. This year will be the 31st annual festival. Apart from selling fresh truffles in various parts of the historical center of San Miniato, other events will be included, town will host stalls and markets where people can eat, drink and find all types of products from Toscana. San Miniato market isn't the only place to find white truffles. Balconevisi, another fraction of San Miniato district, organize a lesser known market where you can buy from the actual truffle gatherers. It is usually held on the 3rd Sunday of October together with the Truffle and Mushroom Fair (Sagra del Tartufo e del Fungo). It is an occasion to meet with the appetizing offerings from the people of Valdegola: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, wine, walnuts, chestnuts, grapes, "porcini" mushrooms

A mushroom that has decided to be born and live underground: the truffle shares life with the roots of the trees he has chosen as venture partners. They are oaks, poplars, linden, willow, cistul, hazel and others called "ecto-mycorrhizal". The tree lends its roots to the truffle for growing. When the small tubers are many and the ground is poor (the truffle grows in poor grounds) roots of other plants ("endo-mycorrhizal"): rose tress, olive trees, vines, which act like wet nurses, help the little truffles to reach maturation.
From Greek: "ecto" = outside, "endo" = inside, "micos" = fungus, "riza" = root.
The truffle grows on the roots of the symbiont plants as a wide spider-net called mycelium that in fact is the fungus, while the truffle is the fruit of the fungus. 

The symbiosis is a relationship of mutual exchange. The plant gives sugars to the truffle which cannot make them by itself for it doesn’t have chlorophyll. Truffle gives to the plant dissociated mineral salts that the plant is not able to assimilate itself. As you see, the truffle is not a disease or a parasite but an interested collaborator.
The truffle doesn’t have only vegetable companions but many other living beings: animals, insects and enzymes. The enzymes prepare the humus of the ground necessary to the truffle. Centipedes, slugs, maggots, rats, foxes, porcupines, boars eat and digest the truffles, causing the propagation and germination of the reproduction spores.
The ant has the capability to transfer the mycelium of some mushrooms that are then cultivated in the anthill. Maybe the ant, like the snail, can help us growing truffle. 

My Garfagnana Mushrooms

Garfagnana is an historical region of Italy, today part of the province of Lucca in the Apennines, in northwest Tuscany, but before the unification of Italy it belonged to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, ruled by the Este family. For a short time, in the 16th century, it was governed by the poet Ludovico Ariosto. It is one of the most rainy regions of Italy, so is in a large part covered by forest vegetation (mainly Chestnut, Oak and Pine).
Located between the Apuan Alps (famous for the production of marble) the main part of the Apennines, Garfagnana is a mountainous region of Tuscany. It considered a particularly striking and beautiful part of Tuscany owning to its mountains, the rest of Tuscany being generally more flat.
The native trees are mostly deciduous, the most common being Chestnut, which provided an important food for the region until World War II. However, after the war, disease infected most of the chestnut trees and caused widespread devastation to the chestnut population. A program of tree planting was introduced to limit erosion, using pine trees. As a result it is common to see pine in the region. Chestnut has started to recover, however.
The region is also known for its production of farro (emmer wheat), and for its porcini mushrooms.
The capital of the region is Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

Apple Pinenut Tart

Ingredients for 8
2 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 ½ sticks softened unsalted
butter, a
heavy 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 2 egg yolks, 5 crisp sweet
apples, 1 heavy cup pine nuts, cinnamon,
Soften butter and combine with eggs, sugar and flour. Work
the dough until the consistency is soft and delicate. Prepare
a mold on a shallow-edged baking sheet with parchment
paper. Smooth dough onto the full surface of the mold.
Spread with apricot preserves. Peel, core and slice apples.
Layer the apples on top of the preserves. Sprinkle the apples
lightly with sugar and cinnamon. Scatter the pine nuts.
Bake 30 minutes at 350F. Dust with confectioner's sugar,
cut into squares and serve.

Tagliatelle With Broccoli & Leeks

Ingredients for 6
1 lb fresh tagliatelle, 4 heads broccoli, 2 garlic cloves
chopped, 4 large leeks thinly sliced using only the white
part, 8 basil leaves, salt and pepper, grated parmesan, 5
tbsp extra virgin olive oil, baking soda
Cook broccoli for 15 minutes in about 3 liters water with
salt and a pinch of baking soda. Remove the broccoli immediately,
drain and finely chop. Don’t throw out the broccoli
water!! Sauté’ leeks and garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes
while adding a little of the broccoli water. Cut basil
leaves into thin strips. Add basil and broccoli and cook another
10 minutes. Cook the tagliatelle in the broccoli water.
Drain the pasta while al dente and add to the sauce. Toss
and serve with Parmiggiano Reggiano and a fresh grind of
black pepper.

Tuscan Tomato Soup "Pappa al Pomodoro"

Ingredients for 6
8 cups peeled tomatoes (if flavorful use fresh, otherwise
canned), 6 slices dry bread (preferably unsalted), vegetable
stock, black pepper, 1 hot chili pepper, 1 onion, parsley, basil,
salt, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 2 garlic cloves, extra virgin olive
To prepare the bread, cut off the crust and soak in water for
a few minutes then, squeeze out most of the moisture and
set aside. Finely chop and sauté’ onion, carrot and celery in a
good amount of olive oil. Add peeled tomatoes and some
vegetable stock and cook for 20 minutes. Add chili pepper,
garlic and salt to taste.
Zuppa in Italian comes from the verb “zuppare”, to soak. La
Zuppa in Italian cooking is a soup with bread soaking in the
liquid, an old world method for adding substance to a light
weight dish

Friday, November 6, 2009

Puccini Birthday - Opera Santa Barbara (CA)

Review "Living Tuscany" Decembre 2010

Spelt & Honey Biscuits

Ingredients for 4
1 ¼ cups butter at ambient temperature, 1 cup honey, 1 egg, 2
cups spelt flour, 1 cup baking flour, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch
of cinnamon, pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Whip butter. Sift baking powder,
cinnamon and salt. Slowly add honey, eggs, spelt flour, baking
flour and baking powder mixture to the whipped butter.
Work the dough into a firm ball and refrigerate for a few
minutes. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with
cookie cutter into shapes. Bake for 20 minutes.

Yougurt & Apple Cake

Ingredients for 6
3 eggs, 1 ¼ cup nonfat yogurt, 2 ¾ cup sugar, 2 ½ tbsp
baking powder, 2 cups flour, 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil, 3 apples
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 22x6.6 pie pan with butter
and flour lightly. Combine sugar and eggs in a bowl and
beat for about 3 minutes. Mix baking powder and flour. Add
the yogurt, oil, and flour mixture. Thinly slice apples and add
to the mixture. Mix well and pour the mixture into the pie
pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool and serve.