Cacciucco di ceci (Tuscan Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups, Toscana33 Comments

Cacciucco di ceci

Those of you who know a bit about Italian cooking may recognize the name cacciucco. A speciality of Livorno in the region of Tuscany, cacciucco is one of the many fish soups that you’ll find up and down the Italian peninsula, and one of the most famous. I’ve been meaning … Read More

Fagioli e tonno (White Bean and Tuna Salad)

Frankantipasti, Toscana41 Comments

Fagioli e tonno (White Bean and Tuna Salad)

Fagioli e tonno, or White Bean and Tuna Salad, is just about as quick and simple a dish as you can make. If you can open a can, you can make this salad. And it’s easy to double or treble the recipe if you’re expecting more dinner guests, or you … Read More

Polpette di sedano (Tuscan Celery Balls)

Frankantipasti, Toscana34 Comments

Polpette di sedano (Celery Balls)

One of my favorite pastimes in the kitchen is finding ways to make underappreciated and undervalued ingredients shine. I love an underdog. Take celery for example. It shows up in any number of recipes, but almost always in a minor supporting role, either as part of the classic soffritto that … Read More

Pollo in fricassea (Chicken Fricassée)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana45 Comments

Pollo in fricassea (Chicken Fricassee)

The Italian cooking term fricassea is a bit of a false friend for English or French speakers. Like a fricassée, it usually involves a two-step cooking process of a sauté followed by a braise. But for Italians the thing that makes a fricassea a fricassea—and not, say, a spezzatino—is the … Read More

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

FrankLazio, Marche, primi piatti, Puglia, Soups, Toscana, Umbria43 Comments

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

Yes, autumn is well and truly here. There’s a definitely chill in the air, the leaves are turning color, pumpkins have been placed on doorsteps, and logs are piled high on back porches, ready for the fire. I don’t know about you, but when the temperatures drop, I start to … Read More

Pollo al mattone (Chicken under a Brick)

Franksecondi piatti, summer, Toscana39 Comments

Pollo al mattone (Chicken under a Brick)

Pollo al mattone, which I would translate roughly as “chicken under a brick”, is an ingenuous way of grilling chicken. The bird is butterflied, flattened and weighed down so it cooks quickly and evenly over hot embers. It sounds astonishingly simple—and it is—but by some sort of sorcery I can’t … Read More

Sugo finto (“Fake” Sauce)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, sauces, Toscana46 Comments

Sugo finto

Another of the many Italian dishes in the cucina povera tradition, sugo finto is “fake” because it is basically a meat sauce (sugo di carne) without the meat that was so unaffordable for most people not too far in the past. (It is also called sugo scappato, or ‘escaped’ sauce, for … Read More

Petti di pollo al burro (Butter-Braised Chicken Breasts)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana64 Comments

Petti di pollo al burro

In Italian Food, the 1954 book that introduced the English to real Italian cookery, Elizabeth David includes a recipe for petti di pollo alla fiorentina, or Florentine-Style Chicken Breast. She says it is a “lovely way of cooking a good chicken, and has a nice, extravagant air”. And indeed it is. But the … Read More