Cooked Water ? Not really, a tuscan simple recipe

From the old tradition of tuscan farmers of using everything available around the house and garden, comes the recipe of Acqua Cotta (means cooked water) from southern Tuscany, where stale bread was recycled making with it a tasty soup.

Ingredients (serving 4 people):

2 celery stalks chopped
4 medium-sized white onions finely chopped
2 eggs
400 gr of tomato pulp
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt
chili pepper (powder)
100 gr pecorino cheese
400 gr of tuscan bread (stale or toasted)
1,5 liters of water or broth

Directions
In a large pan put onions and celery, add the oil and let it sautee, when the onions are golden (not brown), add the tomato pulp and water, salt and chili to taste, and cook slowly, until the celery is tender.
After about 25-30 mins it should be cooked, at this stage add two eggs that were earlier beaten with the pecorino cheese, wait 3 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally then remove from the heat.
Cut the bread into thin slices and place in a bowl, pour over the broth mixture and serve hot with some extra grated cheese on top, in each plate.

Buon Appetito!

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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!

 

Tuscan summer vegetable soup

We have in the past proposed the classic recipe of Ribollita, the tuscan vegetable soup popular throughout Tuscany.
This is the summer version, where all ingredients are fresh with the full flavors of the seasonal herbs, plus the delicate aroma of the tuscan sheep cheese. Try and make it, the round full taste of tuscan summer will come alive with every spoon you have.

Ingredients for 4 people:

300 gr fresh borlotti beans
150 gr potatoes
200 gr zucchini
200 gr carrots
400 gr black kale
1 large onion
1 garlic clove
2 celery stalks
250 gr fresh tomatoes
250 gr. tuscan bread slices
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ liter of vetable broth
aged tuscan pecorino cheese
thyme
parsley
basil
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, saute onion, celery and carrot in olive oil.

Add diced potatoes, garlic, coarsely chopped black kale, parsley, basil, fresh beans, salt and pepper, and saute gently a little more.

Add then the chopped tomatoes previously peeled, and vegetable broth.

Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour and until most of the liquid is reduced.

Toast the tuscan bread slices..

Put them in a large baking pan, sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and grated pecorino cheese.

Cover them completely with the vegetable stew, sprinkle on top a generous amount of grated pecorino cheese and cook in the oven under broiler until a good crust is formed.

Let it sit out of the oven for at least half hour. Best served lukewarm.

Garmugia tuscan soup, all the nutrients you need in one plate

If you are looking for a dish that is nutritious, healthy and balanced the Garmugia is for you.

This soup is made mainly with spring vegetables, and we are not here to tell you all the good properties beneficial for your health that come from artichokes, broad beans, sweet peas and asparagus, but the combination is surely very tasty.

This is an ancient recipe that in Tuscany was once very popular in the farmer’s households of Lucca area, now you can taste it in many restaurants in the northern part of the region.

Here the recipe as we know it by our grandparents:

Ingredients (for 4 people):

200 gr of fresh sweet peas

200 gr of fresh broad beans

4 (good size) artichokes

200 gr of asparagus

3 spring onions

200 gr of minced meat

80 gr of pancetta (not smoked bacon)

1 Lt of vegetable or beef stock

4 slices of tuscan bread

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Directions:

Wash and rinse all the vegetables. Slice finely the spring onions, discard the outer harder leaves of artichokes and slice them, cut broad beans in half, chop asparagus discarding the bottom harder part.

In a saucepan sautee spring onions with olive oil and pancetta on high for a couple of mins, then add the minced meat stirring for one more minute.

Now add all the vegetables, stir for 2 more mins and add the stock, salt to taste, let it simmer for about 45 mins checking density, if too thick add some boiling water. Toast the bread slices.

Let it rest for at least an hour (best if prepared half a day in advance).

Serve warm with the bread slice in the dish bottom, a good glass of tuscan red wine, and …Buon Appetito.