GASTRONOMICA TOUR OF ITALY: TUSCANY

In Tuscan cuisine, meat-based dishes wins.

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Let’s start with the “bistecca alla Fiorentina”, made from Chianina bred meat, produced in the Val di Chiana, to continue with guinea fowl, capon, rabbit, pheasant, pork loin and tripe. Fish makes its appearance with the Livorno-style caciucco recipe. There are many products of this land famous all over the world, such as oil and pecorino, the tender and tasty Cinta Senese lard, ham, salami, finocchiona, guanciale and the delicious fresh Tuscan sausage.

And culinary traditions continue with cereals, legumes and vegetables for soup and pancotto, ribollita and “pappa al Pomodoro”. But Tuscan cuisine has also some very fantastic dessert, with a tasty alternation of dry and soft flavours such as cantucci and zuccotto or castagnaccio and panforte, all big staples of the Italian culinary traditions.


CROSTINI ALLA TOSCANA

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

-Rye bread slices

-200 g of anchovies

-50 g of capers

-garlic to taste

-1 small onion

-parsley

-breadcrumbs, soaked in water and squeezed

-chilli pepper

extra virgin olive oil, 60 ml

-vinegar, 20 ml

HOW TO PREPARE IT

Chop together parsley, half an onion, a clove of garlic, capers, chilli and the soaked and squeezed breadcrumbs.

Mix all with the oil and vinegar. Place a layer of anchovies alternating with a layer of sauce in a salad bowl and let it rest for a day.

Just before serving, toast the slices of bread, spread them with a thin layer of butter and place the anchovy mixture on top. Decorate with chopped fresh tomato cubes.

PASTA E CECI


INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

-200 g of chickpeas

-150 g of tagliatelle

-250 g of peeled tomatoes

-1 clove of garlic

-rosemary

-grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino to taste)

extra virgin olive oil

salt

-black pepper

HOW TO PREPARE IT

Start preparing the pasta and chickpeas the day before. Soak the chickpeas in a large bowl with plenty of warm water and leave them to soak for a whole night. The next morning drain them, put them in a pot with about two litres of lightly salted water, bring to a boil and cook covered, over low heat for about 3 hours, or in any case until tender.

Halfway through cooking remove three ladles of chickpeas with very little water, blend them and then pour back into the pot.

Put a little extra virgin olive oil with the crushed garlic clove and rosemary in a pan, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for about ten minutes, remove the garlic and pour this sauce into the pot of chickpeas. Stir, adjust with salt, if necessary, and continue cooking until the end.

Cook the tagliatelle in the chickpeas soup until cooked.

When both pasta and chickpeas are cooked, transfer everything to a serving dish, season with a tablespoon of olive oil, grated cheese, a sprinkle of pepper and serve the pasta and chickpeas piping hot.

CANTUCCI

INGREDIENTS FOR 30 CANTUCCI

-2 eggs

-170 g of granulated sugar

-280 g of 00 flour

-½ teaspoon of baking soda

-40 g of soft butter

-70 g of shelled and unpeeled almonds

-1 orange, bio

-1 tablespoon of honey

-1 yolk for brushing

HOW TO PREPARE IT

To make cantucci, start collecting the two whole eggs with the granulated sugar in a bowl and work them briefly with an electric mixer. Add the flour and baking soda and mix until you get a grainy dough.

Then add the butter, whole almonds, orange peel and honey. Work the dough quickly and form a loaf.

Divide the dough into two parts and with lightly floured hands form each half into a long, thin ‘log’. Arrange them both on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and brush them with the egg yolk.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190 ° for 20 minutes. Remove them, let them rest for a few minutes and cut each strand into diagonal slices, approximately one centimetre thick, thus obtaining the cantucci. Then brown the biscuits for another 5 minutes in the oven at 200 °.

Remove the cantucci from the oven and let them cool completely before serving.

BUON APPETITO!

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