TRADITIONAL TUSCAN RECIPES

MINESTRONE DI VERDURE – Vegetable Soup

Ingredients (serves 6 people)

  • One white onion
  • One red onion
  • 12 oz of carrots
  • 10 oz of celery
  • 7 oz of cabbage
  • 10 oz of beet greens and spinach
  • 7 oz of fresh clean white beans
  • 10 oz of potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz of tomato paste
  • One glass of red dry wine
  • Fresh Italian parsley and basil
  • Salt and fresh black pepper

Preparation
Clean and slice all the vegetables. In a large pot gently fry the chopped onions and garlic until golden brown. Add the red wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until the liquid evaporates. In a bowl, dilute the tomato paste with a little hot water and then add it to the pot. Reduce heat. Add all the sliced vegetables beginning with the hard ones first (for example the potatoes). Add more hot water and then salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 hour. The soup can be more or less dense, depending on taste.

   

POLLO ALLA CACCIATORA – Chicken hunter style

Ingredients (serves 6 people)

  • 1 chicken (free range if possible)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 oz of tomato paste
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red hot pepper
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • Fresh Italian parsley & rosemary
  • Salt

Preparation
Clean the chicken and chop in pieces. Put the chicken, onion and garlic into a middle size pan with parsley, rosemary and a leaf of laurel, stir the ingredients so that they do not stick to the pan. Once browned, add the wine and after 10 minutes Now add the soaked mushrooms and stir into rice mix. Add ½ tsp of freshly ground Black Pepper. Keep stirring and add a couple of pinches of Salt plus some more of the broth and continue to stir. Test Rice until it is al dente. Add more broth from bouillon and then a small pinch of peperoncino (red crushed pepper). Continue to add water from Bouillon until Rice is done. At the end, add 1 Tbs of butter and stir in along with the rest of the Bouillon Broth. Now add grated Parmesan Cheese, the chopped Parsley and another pinch of freshly ground Black Pepper and stir. It is now ready to serve.

   

BUCATINI ALLA AMATRICIANA – Bucatini pasta from Amatrice

Ingredients (serves 6 people)

  • 18 oz of bucatini (or spaghetti)
  • 10 oz of thick bacon
  • 18 oz peeled tomatoes
  • 10 oz of white onions
  • 1 small hot red pepper
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 oz grated pecorino cheese
  • Salt

Preparation
In a middle size pan gently fry the chopped onion with olive oil and the diced bacon, once the onion and bacon are golden brown, add the peeled tomatoes chopped in little pieces. Add salt and the red crushed pepper. Reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes (if the sauce becomes thick, add a glass of hot water). Once the sauce is cooked, add the chopped parsley. In a separate large pot add about 5 qt of water. Let it boil, add some salt, and then add the bucatini or spaghetti. Cook the pasta until “al dente”. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl with the sauce and then add the grated pecorino cheese. Simmer and then serve.

   

MUSSELS GRATE'

Ingredients (for 6 people)

  • 1 & ½ kilo (about 3.3 pounds) of mussels
  • 50 grams (about 1.76 ounces) of parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 200 grams (about 7 ounces) of dried bread
  • 6 tablespoons of Italian olive oil (Preferably Tuscan olive oil!)
  • 30 grams (about 1 ounce) of bread crumbs
  • Red hot crushed pepper
  • Salt

Preparation
Clean the mussels, boil them until they open up (about 3 minutes) and then drain them keeping one cup of the water. Chop in very small pieces the 4 cloves of garlic and the parsley. Soak the dried bread for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the water and add some olive oil to the bread. Put half of the shells of the mussels on some baking tins. Turn on the oven to broil. Fill in the shells with the bread mixture. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the mussels. Cover the baking tins with a little water of the mussels and then put them in the hot oven. Cook for about 15 minutes. Serve on platters with fresh sliced lemons.

   

FUSILLI CON ZUCCHINI

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 600 grams fusilli pasta
  • 5 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (Tuscan!)
  • 1 handful fresh basil, hopped
  • salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Preparation
In a large frying pan, gently saute the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. After a few moments, add the zucchini. Increase temp to high, add salt to taste and cook uuntil zucchini is tender. Add about half the chopped basil, mixing well. Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil water for pasta, bring to a rolling boil, add some salt and the pasta. Cook uncovered until "al dente" Drain pasta and add to the zucchini, turning heat back to medium. Stir well, coating the pasta with the zucchini sauce, add the remaining basil, some freshly ground black pepper, and a few tablespoons of the grated Parmesan. Serve while hot!

   
SALSA AL POMODORO – Fresh tomato sauce

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 8 fresh, ripe tomatoes – diced
  • One can of water
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • Half of a celery
  • White wine (one glass)
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper or Red crushed Pepper
  • Basil
  • Butter

Instructions
Place all ingredients in a large, deep cooking pot all at one time. While the sauce cooks, add butter near the end for flavor.

   
GAMBERONI AL GUAZZETTO

Ingredients (for 6 people)

  • 2 kilos (about 4. 4 pounds) of jumbo shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • White wine
  • Fresh tomatoes

Preparation
Clean the shrimp by taking off the skin and leaving the head and the tail. Stir fry with some olive oil and with chopped garlic and parsley. After one or two minutes, add a glass of white wine and cook without a lid for about 10 minutes. Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes.