Today, in Italy the Grandpa’s day is being celebrated. We believe it’s a great occasion to honour and say thank you to all of our grandparents, who are always willing to help us when we need them. While I was thinking about which cake my daughter’s Grandpa would love to eat today, I thought about his taste when it comes to sweet treats. He is very fond of every kind of sweet food, but he has a penchant for chocolate. So, wanting to be impartial and still giving credit to all the Grandmothers, albeit satisfying his craving for chocolate, we went with this luscious version of the Grandma’s tart we already baked in the past.(Torta della Nonna).
This Schiacciata Dolce, called Schiacciata Fiorentina, is a typical cake from Florence. It is very popular and appreciated during the Carnival season. In Italy, Carnival is celebrated all over the Peninsula, from the big cities to the small villages, organizing parades and masquerade balls in a cheerful and carefree atmosphere. This period culminates in the Mardi Gras, baking as much as possible before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. You then have one more day to eat as much as you want, so let’s go and bake our SchiacciataFiorentina!
Spinach is available year round but in this period you find the fall variety characterised by more succulent leaves. Spinach is a good reservoir of minerals and vitamins, as long as it is consumed strictly raw. If you have to cook them as in this recipe, it’s better if you steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients. Now you are all set to prepare this recipe from Tuscany: the Gnudi. This name, in Tuscan dialect, means naked, as they are not covered with dough. The lightness and delicacy of this dish is the strength of the Gnudi, which are best accompanied by a fresh dressing light tomato sauce or butter and sage.
Autumn is coming and it calls for cosy moments with your friends and family, sharing a warm and convivial food.
Today’s recipe of Pasta al Coccio is a typical Florentine fall recipe that we got from our sweet friend Alice. Let’s go meet her in the following interview.
Do you want to introduce yourself, telling us where you are originally from and where you live at the moment?
My name is Alice and I’m 14 years old. I was born in Geneva but I live in the neighboring France where my parents moved before my birth. Because of CERN and international organizations there are people from a lot of nationalities, including many Italians.
Talking about food, what’s your favourite Italian recipe which you use to prepare often and easily?
My favourite kind of food is pasta, especially “Pasta al coccio“.
Today we baked a traditional Tuscan recipe: la torta della nonna. It’s a scrumptious, and at the same time, delicate tart filled with lemon custard, and sprinkled with an abundant handful of pine nuts.
These pictures were taken in collaboration with the photographer Franca Quaglia (http://www.pointandshoot.ch), based in Zurich, who gave us valuable tips to improve our photography skills. Thanks Franca for such an amazing day!
The cecina or farinata is a traditional street food from the Tuscan Riviera and the Liguria region. People use to eat a slice of cecina in an open focaccia bread named “schiacciata” for a snack or a quick dinner.
This dish is especially popular in Livorno (Tuscany region) where it is called “5 e 5”, because in the past 1 cecina and 1 focaccia costed only 5 lire each.
This week our Italian friend Elena, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, shares with us a tasty and traditional recipe from Lucca, a beautiful small town in Tuscany. If you are arranging a journey in Toscana don’t miss a stop there, even just to taste the tordelli di Lucca!
This week we show you a very traditional peasant zuppa from Pisa – Toscana (zuppa pisana). Despite the humble origins and ingredients, it is a very tasty and nutritious dish. The principal ingredient is black cabbage (cavolo nero or palmekål); if you prefer a sweeter taste you can replace it with the green one.
The recipe is a very old one, coming directly from granny Elgiva, the grand-grandmother of my dear friend Irene.
Advice: let rest a day in the fridge and reheat before eating to enhance all the flavours!