Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gocce d'oro (Golden tears)

 This one of my favourite dish for's a grandmother's recipe that always reminds me my childhood.
Merry merry xmas to all my readers !!! Have a happy new year as well and remember...Love,Peace and....Food ! :-9

Ingredients :

150g Lasagne
70g Ham
30g Grated parmesan cheese
1/2 lt. Besciamelle Sauce
10g of dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 of a Onion
3/4 leaves of calamint

Procedure :

Before starting out put the dried mushrooms into a bowl with lukewarm water for about half an hour.
Saute the onion into a pan and when it's golden add the mushrooms and the calamint with a pinch of salt.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes,then when it's ready prepare a ovendish with some besciamelle sauce inside and do a first layer by putting the pasta on the sauce,then cover with ham and mushrooms and then start again with besciamelle sauce and the previous ingredients until the ovendish is filled up,the last layer should be ended with besciamelle sauce and then a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Put in the oven at 180° for about 30 minutes.

Buon Appetito !

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nonna Ida's Stewed Artichockes

Since when i was a child,when i was roaming around the restaurant kitchen,this is one of my favourite recipes.
This is a very tasty plate and for me it's also full of good memories so i'm really glad to post it here for you all.

Ingredients for 6 people :

6 Artichockes
80gr. of Tuscan Rolled Pancetta
8 Leaves of Calamint
4 Sloves of Garlic
4 Spoons of Fresh Chopped Tomatoes
1 Onion
4 Spoons of Extravirgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preparation :

Clean the artichockes first,take one artichoke at a time and cut the stem off leaving up about 10cm from the flower head then remove any of the hard leaves around the stem that are not edible and then remove the pointed tops using a sharp knife.
Once you've cleaned them it's time for the stuffing....use the pancetta,the garlic,the leave of --- ,salt and pepper and ground them all finely.
Help yourself with a proper tool (i use a wooden spoon) and open the hearth of the artichockes to be able to fill them with the stuffing you did before.
Take the stuffed artichockes and cut their stems then put them all (with the cutted stems) into a pan and add tomato,olive oil and then put water in the pan until it's fully covered with it.
Let all cook on low fire until all the water it's gone,then serve it !

Enjoy !

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I was a guest star in a cooking show "Aspettando il Tg"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Ballocciori" Boiled Chestnuts

Chestnuts were called "tree bread" and used to be the main product of our irreplaceable resource for our farmers because they could use chestnuts for their daily meals,so they would be more tasty and nourishing.
With the chestnuts flour,our ancestors used to feed themselves every day by cooking it in the form of "necci" or polenta or chestnuts cake or simply as "ballocciori" (boiled chestnuts).

"Ballocciori" are a very simple recipe :
Take the chestnuts in the desired quantity and put them in plenty cold water. Add salt,some laurel leaves and some wild fennel. Let gently boil and then let it simmer until the chestnuts will be well cooked.
You can eat them both hot or cold. It's advised to use "Carpinesi" chestnuts as the skin will be easier to remove.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Authentic" Cinta Senese Steak

Today the weather is really bad,and so i've decided to prepare this "Authentic Cinta Senese" steak !
I'm using the word "Authentic" because many people often sell or try to sell regular pork as Cinta and i get really angry when this happens....the one and only Cinta Senese is usually half fat half meat (as show in the picture below) that you know you won't get fooled !
I usually buy Cinta Senese from a farmer that feed the pigs with a 50% of chestnuts and acorns

This special kind of pork it's delicious,especially it's fat,which is what gives the particolar taste.
unlike the beef fat,this one is tender,soft and's even better than the meat itself !
Some healty people might dislike but once in a while it's a fantastic "sin" :-)
Remember!!  That diets hurts your soul ! ;-)

You can have some more details on Cinta Senese by visiting THIS LINK

Monday, October 4, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #3: Traditional Tuscany Dinner Party in Grand Historic 1700's Villa In Lucca

Thank you,thank you,thank you everyone for your votes,even if i was not able to advance to challenge
 #3 i still wanted to show you the post that i've prepared for it...enjoy !
Thanks to Foodbuzz to let me partecipate to this,and let the best blog win !

"This new challenge "Luxury Dinner Party" will require us partecipants to prepare a dinner gala for you readers...and so I've used my tuscan knowledge to prepare you this traditional tuscan dinner menu,located in a Villa in the hills of Lucca,where i've cooked for my friends and for the people who were staying there."
The starters : tuscan cold cuts (salame,pancetta,lardo) and various cheese dish.

For the wine,i've chosen this "Pergole Torte 2006" from Fattoria Montevertine,it's a very good tuscan wine and they liked it so much that they've decided to go on with this one for all the dinner.

I've prepared two pasta dishes:

Thin tagliatelle with mushrooms and truffles,made with fresh porcini from the Garfagnana area and white truffles from San Miniato.

We went back to tradition with the second serving : Home made Ravioli called "Tordelli" here in Lucca,stuffed with Chianina beef and Pork from Garfagnana and served with meat sauce and thyme.

The main course,a Chianina Beef Filet cooked on the grill and seasoned with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil,rosemary and black pepper.

Let's talk about the dessert now  !
A Wild Strawberries parfait,made with wild strawberries,cream and wildberries's coulis....they really appreciated this one !

And to finish....instead of the same old "Limoncello" i've decided to go for a more luxury ending :
Home made cantuccini biscuits and chocolates served with "Passito di Pantelleria Donnafugata" a dessert wine that's just perfect for the ending of this evening.

My guest were very impressed about this,i hope you can feel a bit of what we've went through in this party by reading this lines...!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #2: " Flan de Vanilla"

First of all,thanks for everyone for voting me so that i've been admitted to the second round of this challenge.
Here i am again,and this time it's getting tougher...because a tuscan farmer like me doing classical ethnic recipes..?! are you really sure you want to see that ? :-)))
When i was in Honeymoon in French Polynesia on July I bought some vanilla  sticks from the island of Taha'a ,a place full of Vanilla Trees where you could really feel the smell everywhere !
Then...i was wondering what could i do with this wonderful vanilla ? and then i remembered that i ate a Mexican Dessert in Tijuana made with vanilla, so i've been collecting some datas on it and now i'm presenting it to all of you,
From Polynesia to Mexico,we could really say that this recipe have travelled a lot :-)
Enjoy !

Flan de Vanilla

As i've said before this is a typical mexican dessert,we could say that for the countries of central america this is the equivalent of the italian "budino",this one is really aromatic with vanilla,cinnamon,lemon and orange.

Ingredients :

Skin of half a orange
Skin of half a lemon
1 Stick of Vanilla
1 Stick of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Cornstarch
150g. of Sugar
500ml of fresh milk
2 Eggs Yolks
Topping Ingrendient : Caramel Sauce

Preparation :

1) Beat the eggs with sugar,cornstarch and a bit of milk.

 2) Put the rest of the milk on the fire and add the cinnamon and the stick of vanilla (cut it in the lenght and open it as in the picture) add the skins of lemon and orange as well and let everything gently boil.

 3) When it's boling strain the milk to remove the skins and the sticks then add the previously beated eggs in the milk and stir using a whisk.

4) Put the mixture back on the fire and,stirring continuously,until it starts simmering then take it away from the fire and,using a strain,pour the mixture into six molds
Let the flan chill to room temperature and then put the molds into the fridge for at least 2 hours.

At the moment you want to serve it,cover it with some caramel sauce.
If,after reading all of this,you still think i deserve your vote...:-)

Voting Open: 6AM Pacific Time September 27th through 6PM Pacific Time September 30th

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prosciutto "Bazzone"

Prosciutto Bazzone's origins are around the late nineteenth century, when families of farmers living around Serchio river slaughtered pigs weighing 200 kg,thus about 18 kg thighs. The production process at the time, maintained even today, provided that these hams, heavy and elongated, were placed together with other parts of pork (bacon, lard, cheek) in a stone basin (pond) for seasoning,adding salt, garlic, spices and wine. The Prosciutto Bazzone currently weighs an average of 13-15 kg depending on the season, shows a typical elongated shape and with a step of about 4-5 cm along the edge (Bazza,in italian), hence the name. The meat is usually deep red and may have small infiltration of fat that give a taste quite recognizable but delicate. The Prosciutto Bazzone  of Garfagnana and Serchio Valley  is, since 2004 a  Slow Food product,and it is still made using  the old tradition recipe. After trimming, the hams are placed in groups of 5-6 into a stone basin of Cardoso Stone by adding salt, pepper, spices, bay leaves, garlic and rosemary. After 90 days, the hams are removed from the tanks, washed and left to dry in cold adapted, temperature and humidity controlled. Once dried, covered with a shirt are composed primarily of pepper, garlic and spices, then hung from the ceiling of rooms adequately ventilated or in dark cellars. After a minimum of 20-36 months of slow maturation, Prosciutto Bazzone is ready for use. Thanks to Antica Norcineria

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Project Food Blog Post #1 "Reasons behind my choice to start a Food Blog"

We interrupt our regular scheduled programming for my Challenge One submission to the Project Food Blog competition. The find the next food blog star!
You already know my story,but here's the reasons that maked me decide to partecipate at this contest :
Apart from the food passion,i've also been a huge follower of internet since the early 90's.
After spending some years surfing on the net,i've decided to become an "active" user,so i started writing about my job and my passion,which is the same thing : Tuscan Cooking.
While i was travelling around the world,i've started to notice something which was often done abroad :
Recipes that are modified and adapted to the taste of the country they're prepared in.
In my opinion that's not the right thing to do,as the original taste and ingredients would be modified,making it just another recipe,which is not the original thing anymore, example : a simple plate of "Fettuccine al Pomodoro" re-invented and adapted to a french nouvelle cousine making it more rich and colorful at the eye,ignoring that the secret behind the original Italian recipe was not that,but the simplicity and the quality of the ingredients like tomatoes,home made pasta and freshly harvested olive oil,so if i would want to give something more to this plate i would instead,for example,add fresh home-made pasta prepared with eggs from the farmer.....that would really makes the difference !
To make it short....yes im here to win,like everyone else,but my first objective is to "broadcast" my message to every family,to teach them how to make a real Italian dish,so that for a Sunday Meal they could really let their families taste the true taste of Italian Cooking,in my case,the Tuscan Cooking !

If,after reading all of this,you still think i deserve your vote...:-)
Voting Open: 6AM Pacific Time September 20th through 6PM Pacific Time September 23rd

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stringhe in Umido (Stewed String Beans)

Stringhe are a Tuscan heirloom string bean; the word Stringhe means strings and the reason for the name is obvious -- when they're harvested fagioli stringhe are 40-50 cm long, or about 18 inches.
Stringhe are also called S.Anna beans, fagioli serpente "snake" beans. Again, references to their length. Production of stringa is limited to the Lucca,Valdarno (between Arezzo), Florence, and Prato, and you'll find them in local vegetable markets (production is limited enough that they're more difficult to find in supermarkets) throughout the summer.


gr 600 string beans (washed, topped and tailed)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
A slice of tuscan prosciutto
2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper


In a saucepan put some minced onion and garlic,tuscan prosciutto, chopped tomatoes, Stringhe beans (string beans), basil, olive oil, salt and a little water. Cook slowly until everything is well cooked and juicy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Filetto di Manzo all'Alpina "Beef fillet with porcini mushroom cap"

Ingredients for 4

4 beef fillets

4 porcini mushrooms caps
extra virgin olive oil


Clean the porcini mushrooms caps. Put them in a baking pan and season with olive oil, salt, red pepper, sliced garlic, calamint and a splash of wine. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees. Cook the tenderloin on the grill. Then place the fillet on a plate and above the cap of porcini mushrooms. Dress with extra virgin olive oilAccompany with a red Sangiovese wine

*Look my post about Garfagnana Porcini Mushrooms

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Black Figs Tart

Hello everyone !
After my 2 months break (i spent my Honeymoon in French Polinesia and California) i'm back again in the "old world".
Sorry about this long absence,but now i'm all freshened up and ready to bring you new recipes...
This morning  my father came back from his farm (Maolina) with a basket full of figs and so i got the inspiration to make this...

Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree.
Wrapped in a thin, deep-purple to black skin, the juicy, red-pink pulp of this fig is packed with small, edible seeds. The flavor is sweet and floral, reminiscent of honey. A slight shriveling or cracking near the stem end is caused by the sun and is a common characteristic.
High in fiber, figs are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamine, potassium and protein. Figs are considered to be an antibacterial and anti-ulcer food, as well as a natural laxative.

Ingredients for 8
2 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 ½ sticks softened unsalted
butter, a
heavy 1/2 cup figs preserves, 2 egg yolks, 5 crisp sweet
apples, 1 heavy cup wallnuts.
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 figs preserves. Slice figs and layer on top
of the preserves. Sprinkle the figs lightly with sugar and
scatter the wallnuts.
Bake 30 minutes at 350F. Dust with confectioner's sugar,
cut into squares and serve.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thank you Kevin

Kevin Lynch is a certified sommelier through the Court of the Master Sommelier. He is also the co-founder of Native Food and Wine. He is a regular contributor to national and international wine, food and lifestyle publications and is writing a book about the wines of Tuscany. Kevin has been traveling the globe for over a year in search of great wine.
Kevin tell my story and recipe in this site
Thank you Kevin for your friendly!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My wedding day in Rome - July 10, 2010 -

Finally i'm married with Fabiana in the beautiful church of Santa Francesca Romana and the dinner held in magnificent cloister of the monastery of St. Bonifacio e Alessio on 'Aventino in Rome.Fabiana has organized everything to perfection with style and elegance. Looking for a perfect wedding in Rome? Fabiana is the right person. Look the site 


Open bar  Pre-dinner Cocktails:

  • Prosecco di Valdobbiadene - Bellini
  • Non-alcoholic fruit cocktails
  • Soda Gin - Martini - Campari - Tonic - Soda
  • Assorted juices
  • Pyramids of glass compositions raised fruit
  • Fruit cocktail drinks at maracuja
  • Fresh tropical fruit cocktails and seasonal run on demand
  • Crash campari con margot di fragola e pesca Campari mix with pineapple mousse on top - Crash campari with Margot strawberry and peach


  • Finger food served to arm
  • Trays of oysters
  • Cloves goat cheese salad with peak hip and salad
  • Tuna tartare, apple jelly and salmon roe (bowls)
  • Kataifi shrimp paste with curry sauce served in martini glassesBrochette of chicken with herbs and lime served in bamboo boats'
  • Roulade of grilled eggplant purple flower with cheese and basil
  • Salmon and rocket rolls
  • Corner of fried vegetable
  • Stuffed zucchini flowers
  • Sage, basil and mint in batter
  • Mozzarella in a carriage, assorted croquettes
  • Milanesine eggplant, sundried tomatoes
  • Panzerottini with tomato and mozzarella with ricotta and sage

Buffet Cottage:

  • Ham cut with Figs and melon pearls
  • Wild boar sausages - salami toscano  - cacciatorino
  • Spianata romana - Mortadelline di Campotosto - Coppa aromatizzata
  • Sirloin of  Chianina
  • Turkey-flavored honey


  • Burrata d'Andria Braids and ovoli giant buffalo - buffalo Cherry - butter Andria
  • Raschera and bra with pear chutney
  • Gorgonzola with lavender honey
  • Castlemagno with grapes
  • Pecorino di Pienza and pit with honey and lime
  • Fresh buffalo ricotta cheese - baked ricotta
  • Boules with slices of pears and tomatoes
Variety pinzimoni:

Celery, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, fennel, chioggia, avocado,indivia belga turnips, white turnips, radishes, cherry tomatoes, endive
sauces: guacamole, gorgonzola cheese, with mustard vinaigrette
flavored with white truffle oil, mascarpone and balsamic vinegar

Bread basket of special muffins with olives and rosemary
Variety of Bread - Bread with raisins, sesame, walnut
Small buttons croissants and milk.
Pizza Roman and Genoese

Buffet Siciliano Sicilian Buffet

  • Cous cous Trapani Style
  • Sarde a beccafico
  • Swordfish rolls to Messina
  • Eggplant ratatouille
  • Chicken kebabs with orange and fennel
  • Cherry tomatoes with tuna roe and bread crumbs
  • Primu salts to fresh chopped chilliPecorino Ragusa

Meals served to table:

  • Sea bass ravioli with a sauce of clams and scallop
  • Pici with wilted tomatoes, chopped basil, buffalo, pine nuts and fresh oregano
  • Sea bass baked with green olives and tarragon
  • Pudding Potato and Eggplant
  • Bundles of beans

Buffet of sweets:

  • Plates of sliced fruit
  • Mousse peaches with peach sauce
  • Bavarian passion fruit
  • Iced coffee with cream
  • Pistachio ice cream with blueberry sauceBaba with caramel sabayon
  • Val de Loire Raspberry
  • Mint parfait with chocolate sauce
  • Small skillet with steamed cream and rosewater strawberries
  • Lace cups with small truffles and S. Marzano
  • Glasses with dark chocolate mousse
  • Wedding cake  stuffed with cream and hazelnut cream

  • Bottega Vinai Pinot Nero
  • Bottega Vinai Pinot Grigio Rulander
  • Bottega Vinai Muller Thurgau
  • San Vigilio Dolce
  • Tardij di Verduzzo Vendemmia Tardiva

Open bar  after-dinner Cocktails

CaipiriƱa - Caipiroska - Mojito
Corner Coffee espressso
Friandises  fruit jelly

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Filled Zucchini Flowers "Fiori di Zucca Ripieni"

 Ingredients for 4 people:

* 300 grams of minced meat
* 300 g tomatoes
* 16 zucchini flowers
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
* 1 egg
* 1 slice of bread
* 1 clove garlic
* 20 g parsley
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* Salt and pepper

Place the slice of bread to soak in water, then squeeze and crumble. Peel the garlic, peeled and washed parsley together and chop finely. Put in a bowl, bread, chopped garlic and parsley, Parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, minced meat and mix them. Gently wash the zucchini flowers, and green wires Privatel pistil without tearing it, fill with the mixture you have prepared, taking care not to break them.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the zucchini flowers and fry over low heat, leaving brown, washed and sieved tomatoes and add them to flowers with a pinch of salt.
Cook in the oven  for 15 minutes at 180°, then serve