Cantucci (Tuscan Almond Cookies)

Frankdessert, Toscana31 Comments

Cantucci

Cantucci, also known as biscotti di Prato, are perhaps the best known of Italian cookies. Made from a simple dough of flour, sugar and egg, into which whole almonds are folded, they are baked twice: once in cylindrical ‘logs’ to cook on the outside, then cut into sliced and baked again … Read More

Calamari in zimino (Squid Braised in Greens)

FrankLiguria, secondi piatti, Toscana33 Comments

Calamari in zimino

If you’ve read our Glossary of Italian Cooking Terms, you’ll know that the term ‘in zimino‘ refers to a whole class of dishes in which the main ingredient (usually seafood) is braised in spinach or swiss chard. And perhaps no dish represents this class better than this one, calamari in zimino, from … Read More

Farinata di cavolo nero (Tuscan Kale and Polenta Soup)

Frankpolenta, primi piatti, Soups, Toscana58 Comments

Farinata di cavolo nero

When I think of Tuscan cuisine, first and foremost, even before the classic bistecca alla fiorentina as wonderful as that is, I think of its hearty vegetable soups. The best known of these soups is probably  the ribollita, of course. But the most memorable Tuscan soup I’ve ever had was in a small … Read More

Schiacciata all’uva (Tuscan Grape Focaccia)

Frankdessert, Fall, snack, Toscana39 Comments

Schiacciata all'uva

No one understands simplicity quite like the Tuscans. As Leonardo da Vinci famously said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.  This rustic Grape Focaccia, which the Tuscans call Schiacciata all’uva, is a case in point. Almost austere in its simplicity, the result is nevertheless both beautiful and—if your ingredients are topnotch—unfailingly delicious. … Read More

Ravioli nudi (Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings)

Frankgnocchi, Lombardia, primi piatti, Toscana34 Comments

Ravioli nudi

Ravioli nudi, or “nude ravioli”, also known as gnudi, malfatti, gnocchi verdi, or the more literal gnocchi di ricotta e spinaci—are dumplings made with the usual spinach and ricotta filling for regular ravioli without their usual pasta “clothing”. Often thought of as a speciality of Tuscany—they are also sometimes called strozzapreti toscani—they … Read More

Uova alla fiorentina, Bugialli’s Original Eggs Florentine

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana21 Comments

Eggs Florentine

Delicious as it may be, the dish known in most of the world as Eggs Florentine —eggs sitting on a bed of spinach braised in butter, topped with mornay sauce and shirred in a hot oven— is, in fact, not Italian but a French invention. Some say it was invented … Read More

Salsicce all’uva (Sausages and Grapes)

FrankFall, secondi piatti, Toscana, Umbria44 Comments

Sausages and Grapes

The use of fruits in savory dishes was once common place in Italian cooking, as it was in European cooking generally.  Giuliano Bugialli, for example, tells us that the original duck à l’orange was a Tuscan dish. But with some notable exceptions like mostarda for boiled meats and strawberry risotto, it’s become a … Read More

Crostini di fegatini (Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini)

Frankantipasti, Fall, Toscana15 Comments

Crostini (Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini)

Crostini di fegatini—bread slices topped with a savory chicken liver paste—are the iconic Tuscan antipasto. In this version from Giuliano Bugialli’s classic work, The Fine Art of Italian Cooking, the liver paste is flavored unusually with  juniper berries, a touch that Bugialli says evokes the autumn hunting season. Whether or not … Read More