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FLORENCE FOOD GUIDE: TUSCAN RECIPES...

Missing the taste of the Typical Italian Recipes you tried while in Florence? Here are some Tuscan recipes using typical Florentine and Tuscan ingredients for Casa Howard Florence Guesthouse customers to try themselves at home!








Pappa col pomodoro (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • Stale home-made bread, 500 g
  • Fresh ripe tomatoes, 800 g
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 basil leaves
  • A pinch of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
  • 1 and ½ l of broth
  • 1 glass of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Lightly brown the garlic cloves in the olive oil
    • Add together the tomatoes, previously peeled and chopped into small pieces, the puree and the basil
    • Add salt, pepper and ginger and allow to cook for apx. 15 minutes
    • Add the hot broth and right before its boiling point and add the thinly cut bread
    • Allow to cook for 10 minutes more or until the liquid has been absorbed
    • Stir or whip together.
    • Serve warm, adding a touch of olive oil. Don’t use any cheese.

Ribollita di Zuppa alla Contadina (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • Stale home-made bread, 300 g
  • Dry white kidney beans, 350 g
  • 6 small bunches of chard
  • 1 black cabbage
  • ½ savoy cabbage
  • 3 celeries
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
  • 1 onion
  • ½ red chili pepper
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 1 glass of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • brown the onions with the red pepper in the olive oil
    • Add the tomato puree and the tomatoes
    • After a few minutes, add the previously boiled and drained beans and all the vegetables, previously washed and cut in relatively small pieces
    • Add 5 ladles of cold water and the remaining ingredients
    • Allow to cook for at least 2 hours
    • Serve in earthenware bowls on two slices of toasted bread, lightly rubbed with garlic
    • Some olive oil may be added on top, no cheese

The day after with the ribollita:

      • On top of the remaining soup (mixed with the bread), in the bowl, put thin slices of onion, black pepper and olive oil
      • Place them in the oven until the onions are golden.

Lepre in Dolceforte (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ½ a hare (1.5 kilos apx.)
  • “prosciutto”, 30 g
  • Raisins, 40 g
  • Grated plain chocolate, 30 g
  • Pine nuts, 30 g
  • Candied cedar and orange, 20 g
  • Sugar, 50 g
  • ½ onion
  • ½ big carrot
  • 2 celeries
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • Flour
  • 1 glass of red wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Chop the herbs and the prosciutto and place them in the hot olive oil (6 spoonfulls) together with the pieces of hare, salt and pepper
    • When all these ingredients have browned, take them out of the oil, throw the most oil, drain and pour some flour on them
    • Cook them and add some water from time to time
    • While the hare is cooking, prepare the “dolceforte”, even though it is better to prepare it the day before:
      • Mix in a glass the pine nuts, raisins, chocolate, candied fruits, sugar and vinegar (a small quantity)
  • Add the dolceforte to the rest and allow them cook together for a short time, in order for the infuse the tastes.

Crespelle alla Fiorentina (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • spinaci, 300 g
  • Ricotta, 200 g
  • Flour, 100 g
  • Butter, 80 g
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 glass of milk
  • ½ l Béchamelle
  • A small quantity of tomato sauce
  • Grated parmesan
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • In a bowl mix the previously cooked and ground spinach, the ricotta, 2 eggs, 3 spoons of grated parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg
    • Prepare the “crespelle”, by mixing 2 eggs, the milk, 50 g of melted butter, the flour and a little of the salt. The deriving batter should be very smooth.
    • Butter a small pan and place a thin layer of batter on it; cook the “crespella” on both sides. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
    • Fill the crespelle with the mix and roll them. Lay them one beside the other on a heat-resistant pan and pour the béchamelle on them.
    • Pour some grated parmesan and a little of the tomato sauce; put them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Ingredients:

  • Flour, 250 g
  • Sugar, 120 g
  • lard, 80 g
  • Orange peel
  • Icing sugar
  • 1 spoon of orange liquor
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar
  • 1 bag of yeast (the natural baking soda)
  • Salt
  • 2 glasses of orange juice
  • 2 eggs

Preparation:

    • Make a heap of flour, pouring the yeast in the middle with a little water
    • Work on the dough by adding some water from time to time, if necessary.
    • Let the dough rise for approximately 2 hours
    • Work the dough again, adding the egg yolks, the lard, the grated orange peel, the orange juice, the liquor, a little salt and the vanilla sugar
    • In a baking pan with low edges, previously buttered and covered with flour, place the dough out with a maximum thickness of 2 cm
    • Cover the pan for 1 and ½ hours
    • Place in the oven for approximately ½ an hour
    • Serve warm with icing sugar on top

Panzanella

Ingredients:

  • Stale home-made bread
  • Fresh ripe salad tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh Florentine red onion
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Cut the bread into slices and let them soak in cold water for approximately 15 minutes
    • Take out the slices and wring them
    • Place the bread in a bowl and mix all the previously cut vegetables together with the basil
    • Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix very well; place the bowl in the fridge
    • Add the vinegar when serving it.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Ingredients:

  • Young beef, “chianino”, if possible, and ripened 5 to 6 days
  • The cut is in the loin with the fillet, the “controfiletto” and the T bone in the middle (this cut is not found outside of Tuscany)
  • Its dimensions: from 600 to 800 g, not more, and of 2 fingers high

Preparation:

    • Simply place it on the hot grill (charcoal with no flame) for 5 minutes
    • Turn it over and salt the cooked side
    • After 5 more minutes turn it again and salt the other side
    • The result should be a grilled meat outside and “al sangue” (“rare”) inside
    • Some black pepper can be added and perhaps a little lemon juice.

Tortelli (serves 8)

Ingredients:

Filling

  • Lean veal meat, 400 g
  • Ricotta, 100 g
  • Chard, previously boiled and squeezed, 200 g
  • Grated parmesan, 100 g
  • Grated pecorino, 20 g
  • Butter, 50 g
  • 3 eggs
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

"Pasta"

  • White flour, type 0, 800 g
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt

Preparation:

    • Brown the veal in the butter adding a little of broth to aid its cooking
    • Grind the meat very well and place it once again in its broth
    • Place everything in a bowl; add the ricotta, the previously ground chard, the cheeses, eggs, salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg: mix all the ingredients together very well
    • Prepare the dough for the “tortelli” and roll it out into a very thin layer. Cut it into the shape of tortelli, very similar to that of raviolis
    • Fill the tortelli with the mix
    • Boil the tortelli for a few minutes only, and they’ re ready
    • They go perfectly with a “sugo di carne” (meat sauce), along with “burro e salvia”, “sage and butter”.

Alchermes di Firenze

Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon, 12 g
  • Coriander, 10 g
  • Alquermes, 7 g
  • Mace, 3 g
  • Cloves, 2.5 g
  • Sweet orange peel, 5 g
  • Star Anise, 3 g
  • Cardamom, 10 grains
  • Vanilla, ½ stick
  • 95 degrees pure alcohol
  • sugar, 600 g
  • Rose water, 100 g

Preparation:

    • Grind all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a mortar and place into a bottle with the alcohol and 300 g of pure water, with the vanilla cut in small pieces
    • Cover the bottle and let the infusion rest for 2 weeks, moving the bottle every day
    • After this period of time, let the sugar melt in ½ l of pure water and add it to the infusion; shake well and let it rest for another day
    • Then, filter the liquor with a paper cone and add the rose water

Arista (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin (arista), 1.5 kilos
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 small rosemary branches
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper grains

Preparation:

    • Chop the rosemary, garlic, 2 spoons of salt and pepper
    • Cut from the bone the “controfiletto”, the biggest part, with a very sharp knife and put the ground mix on the bone
    • Place the meat on the bone again and tie it very narrowly; make small but deep holes in the meat and fill them with the mix
    • Finish the mix by rubbing the loin with your hands, adding a bit of olive oil and place the loin in the oven (170 degrees centigrade)
    • From time to time pour the oil that comes out of the meat onto the loin, and when it is close to being completely cooked, raise the temperature.

Anatra all’Arancia

Ingredients:

  • 1 duck, 2 kilos apx.
  • 5 oranges
  • 2 spoons of sugar
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1 small branch of sage
  • ½ glass of Brandy
  • ½ glass of white wine
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Fill the previously plucked duck, having cleaned off of its entrails, removed its head and the feet and washed and dried it, with half orange cut into small slices, the sage and salt and pepper. Close it with a thread so that the wings and the legs stay close to the body
    • Add some salt and pepper all over the duck and after adding some olive oil, place it in the oven at a medium temperature
    • After 1 and ½ hour, and after having moved it from time to time and having poured some brandy over it before taking it out, remove the duck from the pan and keep it warm
    • Brown the chopped mix of herbs and vegetables and when the onion begins to brown, add the sugar and the rest of the oranges (peeled and cut into round slices), and while cooking them, add the white wine
    • When it has evaporated, sift it and boil it for 5 minutes more
    • Then, add the duck again, this time cut in four pieces
    • Serve it very hot, with the creamy sauce on top and some slices of orange.

Cenci

Ingredients:

  • Flour, 300 g
  • 2 eggs
  • Sugar, 50 g
  • 2 spoonful of Vin Santo
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon or orange peel
  • Salt
  • Frying oil

Preparation:

    • Make a heap of flour and add in its middle the sugar, the eggs, the previously grated lemon peel, 3 spoons of olive oil and the Vin Santo to the middle.
    • Work the dough well, leave it to rest in a ball for ½ hour
    • Roll out the dough until it is around 2 mm thick
    • Cut the dough into slices around two fingers width and then cut these slices horizontally into other slices of four fingers width
    • Fry them in a very hot oil until they become a golden colour, then take them out and let them drain
    • Sprinkle some icing sugar on them.

Fagioli all’uccelletto (the traditional recipe; serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • Fresh cannellini beans, 1 kilo or 400 g dry
  • Ripe or peeled tomatoes, 200 g
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Brown the garlic cloves and the sage in an earthenware pan, in 5 spoons of olive oil
    • Then add the deseeded and peeled tomatoes
    • Cook the sauce and add the beans, previously prepared in cold and salted water with also a spoonful of olive oil
    • Add salt and pepper and allow to cook for 15 minutes more, making sure that everything infuses well.

Carabaccia (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large onions
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 2 medium carrots
  • Peas, 300 g
  • 4 eggs
  • Home-made bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

    • Chop the onions, the celery and carrots
    • Put all in an earthenware pan together with ½ glass of olive oil, add salt, pepper, cover and allow to cook very slowly for an hour; move but don’t add water
    • A few minutes before the mix is cooked, add the peas, previously prepared and sifted
    • Toast 4 slices of bread, and, after having quickly wet them in warm water, lay them in the bowls
    • Cover the bread slices with the 'carabaccia', put a poached egg on top and cover with grated parmesan

The original is also with:

      • Ground almonds “ambrosine” (400 g)
      • Cinnamon 15 g
      • Sugar and cinnamon poured over the carabaccia instead of the parmesan.


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