Scarpaccia is a zucchini cake from the northern coast of Tuscany. There are two versions: savory from the town of Camaiore, and sweet from Viareggio. I had already prepared and blogged about the savory version, so now it’s time for … Continue reading Scarpaccia di Viareggio (Zucchini Cake)
Friends were coming over for dinner. He loves Burgundy wines, especially red. That goes well with meat dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon, but she doesn’t eat meat. What to prepare? Then I remembered the great pairing of a Chambolle-Musigny (red Burgundy) … Continue reading Tuscan Bean Soup (Minestra di Fagioli)
If you go to Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy, you should go there for the wine. The name “enoteca” is already a big hint that this is the case, because it is an Italian word that means “wine library”. And not just … Continue reading Enoteca Pinchiorri***
In Italy many recipes have a “rosso” version (with tomatoes) and a “bianco” version (without tomatoes). For instance, a “pizza bianca” means a pizza without tomatoes. This also goes for pasta sauces, amatriciana is usually rossa, but amatriciana bianca also … Continue reading Pasta with ‘White’ Wild Boar Ragù (Pappardelle al Ragù Bianco di Cinghiale)
Ragù di Cinghiale is a famous pasta sauce made with wild boar meat and tomatoes from Tuscany and Umbria, served over a sturdy type of long pasta like pappardelle or pici. I’ve already posted a classic recipe for Pappardelle al Ragù … Continue reading Wild Boar Ragù Sous-Vide (Ragù di Cinghiale)
Fish soup is prepared all along the Mediterranean coast. There are many varieties such as bouillabaisse from France and zarzuela from Spain. Cacciccuo alla Livornese is a fish soup from the Tuscan coast that has three distinguishing features: it is made with … Continue reading Cacciucco (Tuscan Seafood Soup)
Conor has invited me to join his board. He had commissioned four handmade chopping boards to be cut from the same block of walnut by his friend Terry from 2 Wooden Horses and has sent them as Christmas gifts to Richard, Nick and myself. As chairman of the board, Conor challenged us to use the board. And so all four board members are showing today what they have done with their boards.
The first thing that came to mind was a dish that is certainly fit for a board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is a T-bone steak as it is served in the Tuscan city of Florence. I have prepared the Bistecca alla Fiorentina in the traditional way that doesn’t take into account the latest ideas on how to prepare a steak but is delicious anyway. A true Bistecca alla Fiorentina should be of a special Tuscan breed of cattle called Chianina. It should be about two fingers thick (4 cm or 1.5 inches, about 750 grams/26 oz). It should be cooked over a charcoal fire and otherwise as little as possible should be done to it: only salt and freshly ground black pepper should be added, strictly after cooking. Such a simple preparation with such a lot of flavor is certainly fit for a board of which Conor is the chairman.
And so thanks to Conor, Kees was building a charcoal fire in our back yard in the middle of January. Luckily the local hardware store still had some leftover charcoal from last season.
Continue reading “Fit for a Board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina”
It is hunting season, which means that game like wild boar and venison are on the menu. A classic recipe from Tuscany is pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale, fresh wide ribbon pasta with a sauce of wild boar stewed in tomatoes. The sturdy pasta and the sturdy ragù go very well together and perfect for this time of year. Continue reading “Pappardelle al Ragù di Cinghiale (Fresh Pasta with Wild Boar Ragù)”
When you make Peking Duck, you only eat the crispy skin and just a bit of the meat right underneath. This means that you will have a lot of leftovers: the carcass as well as most of the meat. It is a shame to throw all of this away, especially since you can use this to make a classic Tuscan pasta dish: Pappardelle all’Anatra. The carcass is used to make a stock, and both meat and stock are used in the pasta sauce. The cooking time is quite long, but there is hardly any active time. Here’s how to do it. Ingredients … Continue reading What to do with leftover Peking Duck: Pappardelle all’Anatra