Monday, May 28, 2012

Tuscan - Amerigo Vespucci 1512 to 2012




Amerigo Vespucci born in Florence, Italy, in Tuscany, was an Italian voyager who traveled in the second half of the 15th century across the oceans.

What did Tuscans eat and drink in the 1400's?

Firstly, the Tuscan menu is simple but everything must be fresh!!
  • pasta
  • ravioli
  • wines
  • fegatelli (liver sausage)
  • (salt free) Panne Toscano (made from white or wholewheat flour) which stands up to spicy foods
  • Panne Toscano can be rubbed with garlic and olive oil
  • Leftover Panne Toscano is added to soup, stews or bread salad
  • Luccan olive oil
  • Bistecca alla fiorentina
  • Most meats are grilled or spit-roasted
  • Vegetables and fish are cooked carefully
  • Fritto del mare (seafood)
  • cacciucco (fish stew)
  • Pork, wild boar, guinea fowl, kid, and hare take their turn on grills and spits.
  • riso nero, black rice prepared with cuttlefish ink
  • and risotto alla toscana that includes livers and kidneys.
  • Dried white (haricot) beans are a staple and are prepared in soups with ribbon noodles, as a main dish with sage, tomatoes, and garlic, and sauteed with tomatoes and chunks of tuna fish.
  • agioli ncl fiasco is a dish of beans cooked in a flask. 
  • Chianti Brolio is one of the great chianti wines.
  • One dessert is 


    Serves 8 people
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    3 Tbs. Sultana (golden) raisins
    1/2 lb chestnut flour (you can find this at Whole Foods)
    2 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil,  plus a little extra for oiling the pan and drizzling on top
    Pinch of salt
    4 tsp. sugar
    2 to 2 1/2 c cold water
    3 Tbs. pine nuts (pignoli)
    A few sprigs of rosemary

    Soak the raisins for a few minutes in a small bowl with warm water. Mix the chestnut flour, oil, salt, sugar, and water (I used 2 c. of water, but you can add a little more according to your taste and the consistency of the batter). Drain the raisins and mix them into the batter, along with the pine nuts. Pour the batter into a greased 9″ diameter pan, 2″ deep. The batter will not rise during baking, so if you have a slightly different size pan on hand, that is fine too. Sprinkle the rosemary sprigs over the top of the batter and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 F for 1 hour. You’ll know it is ready when the surface is covered with little cracks. Cool, turn out onto a plate, and enjoy! 
    Piacere il cibo toscano

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