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

Pollo in porchetta (Tuscan Spit Roasted Chicken)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana20 Comments

Spit Roasted Chicken with Pancetta Stuffing

When I served this dish, several of my dinner guests were wondering what the ‘secret’ ingredient was that gave this Tuscan spit roasted chicken such a special flavor. Of course, rotisserie chicken is almost always wonderfully juicy and luscious, but pollo in porchetta—chicken prepared in the manner of roast suckling pig—is … Read More

Torta di porri (Tuscan Leek Pie)

Frankantipasti, snack, Toscana16 Comments

This recipe for Tuscan leek pie comes from the Florentine chef and food historian Giuliano Bugialli. He is one of my favorite Italian cookbook authors but is relatively little known, particularly as compared with his near contemporary Marcella Hazan. Bugialli produced a number of wonderful cookbooks, some beautifully illustrated, some … Read More

Frittatine in trippa (Frittata in Tomato Sauce)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti, Toscana15 Comments

Frittatine in trippa

Eggs and tomatoes were meant for each other. From the Neapolitan “Eggs in Purgatory” to the Mexican huevos rancheros to the Chinese Stir-Fried Eggs with Tomatoes, to the old-fashioned American scrambled eggs with ketchup, everyone seems to love this epic combination of flavors. Here’s another Italian take on the theme, … Read More

Carabaccia (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups, Toscana, Winter35 Comments

Carabaccia

Carabaccia is an ancient Tuscan onion soup, going back to the Renaissance. They say it was a favorite of Leonardo da Vinci—and that, as for so many other classic dishes,  the recipe was brought by Catarina de’  Medici to France, where it evolved into the soupe à l’oignon we all know and love today. You … Read More

Peposo (Peppery Tuscan Beef Stew)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana39 Comments

Peposo (Tuscan Beef Stew)

This Tuscan beef stew has a long history. The story goes that it was invented by the furnace workers (fornaciai) who baked the terracotta tiles for the Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo in Florence. They mixed roughly cut up beef shank, salt, lots of black pepper and red wine—Chianti, of course—in terracotta … Read More

Trippa con patate (Tripe and potatoes)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana11 Comments

Tripe and potatoes

Tripe is one of the most misunderstood parts of the cow. Although classified as an organ meat—part of the famous quinto quarto as the Romans say—well-cooked tripe has its own unique mild and subtle flavor, not at all like other organ meats such as liver or kidneys. Even for the … Read More

Tomato Sauce 101

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, reference, sauces, Toscana54 Comments

Tomato Sauce 101

I’m all for convenience when it actually makes life simpler, but it’s always been a mystery to me why people buy those jars of wretched “spaghetti sauce” that line our supermarket shelves when you can make real tomato sauce with only a tiny bit more time and effort. I suspect … Read More