Recipes

Some simple Tuscan  receipes: 

PANZANELLA (Tuscan Bread Salad) 

For those of you who love simple dishes with few ingredients,  fresh panzanella is a recipe for you Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that contains only onion, tomatoes and basil all topped off with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of white wine vinegar. Simple.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

- 400 g of stale bread without salt
- 6 (not overripe) tomatoes
- A bunch of basil
- 1 onion
- Salt to taste
- High quality extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

- Soak the bread in water, squeeze the water out and crumble the bread into a serving bowl.
- Wash and cut your tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the bread.
- Wash the basil, break it down with your hands and then add it to the mixture.
- Cut the onion into slices and add it to the mixture bowl
- Season with salt and extra virgin olive oil and mix well with your hands.
- Panzanella does not keep well cold temperatures. So, serve at room temperature to appreciate its rough and straightforward simplicity.

 Carciofi Fritti in Pastella (Batter Fried Artichokes)

  • 15 small artichokes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley or mint finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • Frying oil

Clean the artichokes by removing the harder outer leaves, trim and unpeel the stem and cut  the top part of the leaves as they may have thorns. The remaining leaves should be pale green.  

Wash and drain the artichokes well.

Cut each artichoke in half and remove the choke.  Put in a bowl with cold water and a few slices of lemon to avoid discoloration.

In a bowl, prepare the pastella (batter) by mixing: flour, eggs, a pinch of salt, garlic, parsley or mint, cheese and water.

Dip the pieces of artichoke in the pastella and fry in hot oil.
Fry them on both sides  until they turn golden.
Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.  Option to squeeze fresh lemon over each delicate bite.     

Yield: Makes 8 servings

 Pollo alla Pizzaiola

Ingredients: Serves 4:

8 slices of chicken breast (thinly sliced)
Tomato puree ("passata")
1 diced clove of garlic
flour
extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper
oregano
mozzarella (optional)

Preparation:

Place some flour in a plate and coat your thinly sliced chicken breasts with the flour. Heat up your olive oil in a large skillet. Make sure there is just enough oilve oil to cover the whole pan. When the olive oil is hot place your floured slices of chicken breasts.

 Add salt and slightly on both sides.

 When the chicken is slightly browned on both sides remove the chicken breasts and place them on a seperate  plate.

 In the same frying pan add some olive oil, if needed, and your diced garlic. Fry the garlic just for 1 or 2 minutes until they are just starting to brown.
Add your tomato puree, salt, pepper, and origano to the frying pan.

 Stir well and cover with the drying pan lid. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add your cooked slices of chicken breasts to the sauce and cook well on both sides.

Optional - place some finely sliced or shredded mozzarella on each chicken breast and keep heat low to slightly melt the cheese. You may also add olives and/or capers. 

Tiramisù alle Fragole (Tiramisu with Strawberries)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups strawberry preserves
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1/3 cup orange juice
1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
52 (about) crisp ladyfingers (boudoirs or Savoiardi)
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, divided

 Preparation:

Whisk the preserves, 1/3 cup Cointreau, and orange juice in 2-cup measuring cup. Place mascarpone cheese and 2 tablespoons Cointreau in large bowl; fold just to blend. Using electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons Cointreau in another large bowl to soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of whipped cream mixture into mascarpone mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining whipped cream.

Hull and slice half of strawberries. Spread 1/2 cup preserve mixture over bottom of 3-quart oblong serving dish or a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange enough ladyfingers over strawberry mixture to cover bottom of dish. Spoon 3/4 cup preserve mixture over ladyfingers, then spread 2 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture over. Arrange 2 cups sliced strawberries over mascarpone mixture. Repeat layering with remaining lady fingers, preserve mixture, and mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Slice remaining strawberries. Arrange over tiramasù and serve.