Squash or Pumpkin, in Tuscany are tastier !

It’s fall again, and colorful squash are available anywhere in Tuscany. They are celebrated in many food festivals around the region, where they are served as main ingredient for several types of recipes that range from starters to main dishes, soups and desserts.

zucche

Here is a nutritious tuscan soup that can be a fulfilling main dish.

Ingredients for 4 people:

250 gr slices of tuscan toasted saltless bread

½ kilo of winter squash

2 carrots

1 small onion

2 celery stalks

400 gr of boiled cannellini beans

300 gr of black kale

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Prepare a sautee with finely chopped carrots, onion and celery in 3 spoons of olive oil.

Puree the boiled beans and add them to the pan together with their water.

Now add to the pot the kale and pumpkin cut into small pieces with some salt and pepper.   Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with toasted bread and seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil (for extra flavor you can instead use a little olive oil and sautee briefly in a small pan with a finely chopped garlic clove and a few rosemary leafs… to pour on top of the dish).

Buon Appetito!

Recipe by Arianna & Friends, for your hands on cooking classes in Tuscany, try the difference!

 

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Tuscan chestnut cake

Fall in Tuscany, in many households traditional recipes reflect what the fruits of the season offer, and one of these are chestnuts. Its trees are widespread throughout the region, from Valdichiana to the Maremma, from north of Siena to the Mugello and Garfagnana, chestnuts have always been a food resource for the tuscan population.

castagnaccio

What we describe here is the recipe for Castagnaccio, a simple chestnut flour cake (from “castagna” which means chestnut). The word cake here can be a little improper since this dish isn’t exactly “sweet”, the light sugariness tasted comes from the raisins and chestnuts, there is no sugar in it, there is also no baking powder or yeast.

Here the recipe as we know it from our family.

Ingredients:

  • 350 g of chestnut flour
  • 500 ml of water (flexible quantity according to flour quality)
  • 85 g of raisins
  • 100 g of pine nuts
  • 4 walnuts coarsely ground
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • about 40 needles of rosemary
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven at 200 °C

Oil (use 1 tbsp of the above) a large tart pan

Put the raisins to soften in a cup with some little warm water.

In a bowl sieve the flour and, slowly while strirring, pour first the water and then the olive oil and salt, you need to obtain a thick but fluid batter, not too liquid. Still mixing, add then pine nuts, walnuts, well drained raisins.

Pour the batter in the pan, the thickness should be more or less about 1 cm high. Spread the rosemary needles on top of the batter without stirring.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until some cracks appear on its surface. Remove from the oven and let it cool. It can be served in slices just plain or with some fresh ricotta cheese.

This is Arianna & Friends’ recipe and it can be directly learned hands on, in one of its tuscan cooking classes in Tuscany, Italy.

 

My TuscanKitchen.com…Authentic cooking classes in Tuscany

..Hear, Hear..!!!

….My Tuscankitchen.com, the first cooking school in the Valdera area with weekly programs for small groups, is announcing the first cooking day:

Wednesday 17th April 2013

During the first cooking class a typical Tuscan menu will be prepared together with our best local chef an an helpful English speaking assistant.

The cooking venue is at a very authentic farm house 5 km far from Peccioli where you can enjoy wonderful surrounding views on the hills all around.

Adults and children,foodies and Tuscan fans in general are welcome to participate. The local chef  will teach how to prepare the most traditional recipes of Tuscany and Italy, using just fresh and genuine ingredients.

The assistant will tell about the country life style of Tuscany and its history.

At the end of the amazing hands-on and educational experience, everyone will sit at the table,toast with some good local wine and enjoy the dishes prepared and the company.

This is not only cooking,it’s an authentic Tuscan experience.

Let’s cook together!

For more information and reservation :

www.ariannandfriends.com