Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas....and a gift of Persimmon Panforte !

Hello everyone,
Sorry for the long absence,i have a newborn baby to take care of now :) he's just 2 months old now and he's so cute ! I'll be keep posting from the new year....!

I wish all of you a Merry Merry Christmas and a Beatiful 2012 !


Persimmon Panforte

Ingredients :

1 Cup of mashed persimmon
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Flour
2 Cups full of these mixed : walnuts,candied fruits,raisins,pinenuts,almonds,dried figs,orange skin.
2 Eggs
a pinch of salt,pepper,parmesan and nutmeg.

Mix all the ingredients together,then put the mixture in a round cake pan and cook for about 40 minutes at about 180°.

Once it's ready take it out the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar once it's chilled.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The traditional way of chestnut drying process (Metato)

The chestnut tree is a plant known and apppreciated since ancient times. Indeed, it is mentioned in the Bible and in Homer's poems, while the Greeks called its fruits "Jupiter's acorns". In Italy it has been widespread since ancient times, above all in the Appennines between 300 and 1000 metres of height. Since the Middle Ages until almost our days the chestnut has been the feeding base for mountain peoples, as it is shown by many legislative acts related to chestnut woods promulgated during the centuries. The Gavinana Statutes in 1540, for example, expected landowners to pick their chestnuts within the month of November. After that, poor people could go without restriction and pick the fruits which had been left. On this subject, ther is a popular belief that the husk holds three chestnuts: one for the landowner, one for the peasant and one for the Poor. In order to be milled, chestnuts must be previously dried.n Tuscany the drying took place in the "metato", a rural building set up in the harvest place. Somewhere, in the Appennines north of Pistoia and in the Garfagnana area for instance, this building was an integral part of the dwelling house: it substituted the kitchen and it was a meeting place where people stayed up late. 

Chestnuts were set to dry on a reed-bed, that is on a structure built up with close boards or reeds whose nearness to the kitchen-fireplace granted an even heating. Pascoli recollects it in one of his poems: "lonely metato in which the sweet wooden bread dried up on a sweet fire: over the reed-bed the chestnuts crack, and the red fire burns in the darkness." (The log, in Castelvecchio Poems) Once dried up, the chestnuts were husked by a strong beating which ground the shells in strong sacks or in a proper container called vat. Today this way of proceeding has been substituted by proper husking machines. Also the metati have almost entirely disappeared. The places once used for that purpose have been changed into dwelling rooms or tool storerooms.

                                                                   Thanks to Margherita Azzari 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today i've become a father ! Filippo is Born ! Thank you to my wife Fabiana..

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stewed Chicken with "Barbe di Prete"

For the Chicken :

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes


  • A whole chicken, cut up into pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • An 8-inch (20 cm) sprig of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • A cup of dry red wine
  • 2/4 pound (300 g) tomatoes
  • Black olives or in alternative you can add the sage with the rosemary.


To serve 4 you'll want an entire chicken, cut up into pieces. Wash well and pat it dry. Split two cloves of garlic and sauté them in 1/4 cup of olive oil with a spring of fresh rosemary; once the garlic has begun to brown add the meat; season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and brown the meat over a medium flame, turning the pieces several times. Sprinkle a cup of dry red wine into the pot, and when it has evaporated somewhat, add about 3/4 pound of blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (you can use canned if you prefer, or tomato sauce) and 1/2 pound (200 g) canned black olives. Simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes. Before serving the chicken,don't forget to discard the garlic

For "Barbe di Prete" :

In a pan with some olive oil and a mirepoix of carrot,celery and onion,add the cleaned barbe cutted in pieces and let them brown at medium flame for about 10 minutes,then add a couple spoons of tomato sauce,stir for a while then add enough water to fill the pan and cover,leaving it at low flame until all the broth has evaporated and the vegetables are tender.

Add them to the chicken and serve.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

God bless STEVE JOBS

One of the greatest ever.  Let’s honor him with a burst of innovation the world has never seen.  Our prayers go out to his family.   R.I.P,  great One.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Buccellato di Lucca

Buccellato is to Lucca what Panforte is to Siena and Panettone is to the Veneto region—a local tradition, especially for the holidays.
The first and most famous manufacturer of the "Buccellato Taddeucci" was founded way back in 1881 by Jacopo Taddeucci, who confectioned a sweet that was then to enter into the rich gastronomic culture of the province of Lucca. Even today, when talking about "buccellato" this is implicitly identified with the name Taddeucci. The Taddeucci family has since kept up this long and great tradition, continuing in the footsteps of the founder, and their commitment has brought the name of the buccellato to be known around the world.
Fashion the recipe into three smaller loaves for giving. Freezing the Buccellato works well for up to three months.
Makes 1 large loaf, serving 8 to 10
Anise and currants flavor this legendary bread of Lucca. Shaped in the form of a ring, this golden bread isn't quite like Italy's other yeasted sweet breads. Instead of being rich and cake-like, Buccellato is lightly sweetened and spiced—an appealing chewy white bread with a dense, lean crumb. I like Buccellato's simplicity. It tastes like homemade farmhouse bread spiffed up for company with currants and sugar. It's superb with any sweet wine.
In Lucca, no celebration happens without Buccellato and glasses of the sweet Vin Santo. When family comes from far away, Buccellato is served. At a christening for a new baby, Buccellato is served. Youngsters plead with parents, "Aunt Amelia is here (from across town), can't we have Buccellato?" But it's never just any Buccellato.
Serve Buccellato sliced thin with glasses of Vin Santo. Toast leftovers for breakfast, or an after-dinner treat with fruit.

Cook to Cook:
A heavy-duty electric mixer is handy here, as the dough is a dense one. Its beating bruises the currants, slightly darkening the dough but spreading their flavor through the bread. Certainly a wooden spoon will accomplish the same thing, but it takes much more elbow grease. Use an organic bread or high-protein flour if at all possible. Anticipate about 7-1/2 hours to make the bread. If more convenient, the first rise of 4 hours can be stretched to overnight in a cool place.

* 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
* 2/3 cup warm water (90 F)
* About 5 cups (25 ounces unbleached white bread flour (preferably organic)
* 1-1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
* 1 tablespoon anise seeds, bruised with the side of a knife
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
* 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) currants, soaked in hot water 15 minutes and drained


* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 large egg

1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer or another large bowl, dissolve the yeast in half the water, with a pinch of the flour. Let proof 10 minutes, or until bubbly. With the paddle attachment at low speed, or by hand, beat in the rest of the water, the milk, anise seeds, salt, sugar, and currants. Slowly beat in 4 cups of the flour until a soft dough has formed.

2. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead at medium-low speed 15 minutes, adding an additional cup of flour a tablespoon at a time, for a soft, sticky dough. Remove the dough to a floured work surface. Knead by hand 2 minutes to form a soft, very elastic dough that is barely sticky. Or, if working by hand, stir in flour until the dough is too heavy to handle. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour until the dough is soft, extremely elastic, and barely sticky. Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 4 hours, or until almost tripled in bulk.

3. Oil a large cookie sheet or pizza pan. Knead down the dough. It will be sticky. Shape the dough into a 24-inch-long log. Bring the ends together, forming a ring, pinch ends to seal, and set it on the pan. Place an oiled upside-down custard cup or ramekin (about 3 inches in diameter) in the center to maintain the shape of the ring as the dough rises. Cover and let rise at room temperature 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until barely doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, beat together the glaze ingredients. Brush generously over the dough. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bread is a deep mahogany brown and sounds hollow when its bottom is thumped. Cool on a rack. Buccellato keeps several days at room temperature, if well wrapped.

Thanks to The Baker's Chronicle

Friday, July 22, 2011

Budino di Farro (Spelt Pudding)

Ingredients for 6 persons:

250 grams of spelt,
1 hectogram of raisin,
3 eggs,
1 Litre and half of milk,
15 grams of butter,
80 grams of sugar,
20 grams of grated bread,
60 ml liquor (50% Rhum - 50 % Sassolino)


Cook the spelt in the milk. When is half cooked, add raisin previously soaked in the water with the sugar and butter
When the spelt is cooked (about 25 min.) cool all.
Add eggs and wine "Vinsanto" and mix with care and until forming a creamy compound
Meanwhile put butter and grated bread into the pudding moulds or pastry pan. Bake for 40 minutes to 150 at least
Let it going cool and serve

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Puccini's Choccolates

The restaurants in the Province of Lucca rediscover the beloved dishes of the Maestro and create new ones.
«God created several beauties and different wines. I want to taste God’s work as much as I can». Scarpia [Tosca]
“Dio creò diverse beltà e vini diversi. Io vo’ gustare quanto più posso dell’opra divina”, sang Scarpia in “Tosca” (God created several beauties and different wines. I want to taste God’s work as much as I can). In the Italian framework of librettos, food is often regarded as paradigm for measuring the social value of characters. And this happens with Puccini’s operas, too, in which the acts of eating and food do not just play a narrative role but often assume metaphoric values and express the life philosophy of protagonists. The recipes named after the composer from Lucca were a lot, maybe because he also willingly abandoned himself to the pleasures of banquets. On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the composer’s birth, the restaurants in the Province of Lucca rediscover the beloved dishes of the Maestro and create new ones, inspired by early twentieth century atmospheres, but above all, by the most typical tastes of the products of his land.

Aurelio Barattini, owner of the “Antica Locanda” of Sesto, proposes rum chocolates. But for the time being, the recipe is secret.

By Apt Lucca

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Porchetta.. The Queen of StreetFood


Porchetta is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The body of the pig is gutted, deboned, arranged carefully with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, spitted, and roasted, traditionally over wood. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel, or other herbs, often wild.Across Italy porchetta is usually sold by pitchmen with their typically white-painted vans, especially during public displays or holidays, and it can be served in a panino. It is also eaten as a meat dish in many households or as part of a picnic. (WP)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grandma's Cake (Torta della Nonna)

Hello everyone !
First of all i'm sorry for this long inactivity but in the last few months i was dedicating all of myself to my most important recipe child to come Filippo, he will join my team in november ! I want to thank you my love Fabiana for this surprise. I love you !!!!!
I cannot post the ingredients and the method for this recipe though...but i assume that most of you will know :-)

Anyway, for you to forgive me here's a cake that my grandmother usually do and i assure you that's delicious !

Ingredients for the dough :

100g Butter
100g Sugar
2 Eggs
250g 00 Flour

Ingredients for the custard :

1 Whole egg and 6 yolks
120g Sugar
250g Flour
Half a litre of milk
Skin of a lemon

Method :

Mix the egg and the softened butter until you get a cream,then add the sugar and the flour,form a sphere,wrap in film and put it to rest into the fridge for at least half an hour.
While we wait let's prepare the custard : whisk well the eggs with the sugar then add the flour and at last the lukewarm milk and the lemon skin. Put everything on the fire at low flame and as soon as you see that the custard  is starting to boil take it out of the fire and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
Prepare the baking pan (it shoud be about 30cm of diameter) by putting some oven paper on it then take the dough out of the fridge and roll it to fit into the the pan,then finish it by putting the custard on it and some pinenuts for decoration on the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 °

When you take it out let it rest and sprinkle some icing sugar on the top.

Buon Appetito !

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have you ever eat an Italian Flag?

Today it's the 150° Anniversary since the Unity of Italy.
To celebrate the occasion my mother prepared a cake for the event resembling italian flag !

Ingredients for the dough :

250g. Butter
500g. Flour
5 Egg yolks
200g. Icing Sugar
a pinch of salt

For the custard :

6 Egg yolks
500ml Milk
50g Flour
150g Sugar
1 stick of vanilla

Fruit :
about 2 kiwis
about  2 bananas
about 200g of strawberries

Preparations :

Cut the fruits in little slices and then put it to rest into a bowl full of lemon juice (so it wont get dark)
For the dough,whisk together the butter,flour and salt until it's well mixed up then add the icing sugar and the yolks,keep whisking and form a sphere,then wrap it using a plastic film and put it to rest into the fridge while we prepare the custard : put the milk and the vanilla stick (cut the stick and open it to let it spread into the milk) on the fire and as soon as it starts boiling take it away. Whisker the eggs and the sugar,then add the flour,remove the vanilla stick from the milk and then pour it into the mixture of eggs and sugar,then put the whole thing back on the fire to heat gently until it's gently boiling and take it away to cool down.

Take the dough out of the fridge,into a rectangular baking pan  put some waxed paper on it then knead the dough forming a rectangle that you will put into the pan  cook into the oven at 180° until it's golden (about 20 min).
Spread the custard on the cooked dough and then put the fruit on it starting from the left with kiwis,middle bananas and right strawberries.

Enjoy !

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Torta di Rose (The Cake of the Roses)

Ingredients :

500gr Flour
1 Sachet (about 7g) Dry Baking Powder
1 Sachet (about 7g) Vanilline
100gr Sugar
2 Eggs
1 small spoon of salt
80gr Butter
125-150 ml Milk

For the stuffing :

5 Apples
Cinnamon ( i used about 3 spoons but you can add the desired quantity)
Sugar (i used 4 spoons but again,as your taste)
lemon juice
100gr Butter
100gr Icing Sugar

Procedure :

First of all,put all the ingredients (except the ones for the stuffing of course) together in the Kitchen Aid until you get a dough,then put apart to raise until it's doubled.
Meanwhile let's do the stuffing; peel the apples and chop them,sprinkle with cinnamon,sugar and lemon juice and then cook them in a pan with some butter until they are golden - then mash them into a purea and let them chill.
With the icing sugar and the butter  make a cream.

When the dough it's ready (it must double up in size),lay it down and stuff it first with the butter cream and then with the apple purea,then roll in the dough to obtain a little log - and then cut it in thick slices (about 4cm each) .
Put the "roses" you got all into an oven dish that it's able to fit them all but at the same time not too loose - they have to stay very very close with no empty spaces. (this is to give them the rose effect when the cake is cooked)

Cook at 180° for about 30 Mins.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nonna Ida's Style Rovelline Lucchesi

Rovelline is a traditional dish of the old farmers food.
This version is a little different from the original version as this one has Mirepoix (celery,carrot and onions) and it's missing garlic instead.

Ingredients for 4 people :

4 not too thick slices of Veal
150g  Carrot
200g Onion
150g Celery
3 Tablespoon of Chopped Tomato
A handfull of Capers
1 Egg
00 Flour
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preparation :

First of all take the slices of veal and add some salt  then cover them with flour and deep them into the egg and finally coat in the breadcrums.
Fry them into the olive oil (or if you preferer in the Clarified Butter - but in tuscany we use olive oil !)
Once they are ready put them aside for now and in a frying pan put the mirepoix with some olive oil,when it's golden add the chopped tomato and capers.
Now put the veal in the sauce you prepared adding a glass of water and let it steam.
Serve with the sauce on top and...Buon Appetito !

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christian's Back !

This evening Christian De Sica came back to visit us at my restaurant and this time he did not come alone....he brought his friend Paolo Conticini , co-star with christian in many movies in their of the latest is "The Clan" which has been filmed in Las Vegas. Thank yours for coming!!