13 May 2015

Nonna Ida's Stewed Artichokes

Since I was a child and I was roaming around the restaurant kitchen, this is one of my favorite recipes.

This is a very tasty dish and for me it also is full of good memories, hence why I'm really glad to post it here for you all.

Ingredients for 6 people :

  • 6 Artichokes
  • 80gr. of Tuscan Rolled Pancetta
  • 8 Leaves of Calamint
  • 4 Sloves of Garlic
  • 4 Spoons of Fresh Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Spoons of Extravirgin Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation :

Clean the artichokes: first, take one artichoke at a time and cut the stem off leaving up about 10cm from the flower head then remove any of the hard leaves around the stem that are not edible and then remove the pointed tops using a sharp knife.

Once you've cleaned them it's time for the stuffing.
Use the pancetta, the garlic, the leaves of calamint, salt and pepper and ground them all finely.

Help yourself with a proper tool (I use a wooden spoon) and open the heart of the artichokes to be able to fill them with the stuffing you did before.

Take the stuffed artichokes and cut their stems then put them all (with the cut stems) into a pan and add tomato, olive oil and then put water in the pan until it's fully covered with it.

Let it all cook on low fire until all the water is gone, then serve it!


11 May 2015

Rovelline Lucchesi, Nonna Ida's Style

Rovelline is a dish from the old farmers food tradition.

This version is a little different from the original version as this one has mirepoix (celery, carrot and onions) and it's missing garlic instead.

Ingredients for 4 people :

  • 4 not too thick slices of Veal
  • 150g Carrot
  • 200g Onion
  • 150g Celery
  • 3 Tablespoon of Chopped Tomato
  • A handful of Capers
  • 1 Egg
  • 00 Flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation :

First of all, take the slices of veal and add some salt to them, then cover them with flour and dip them in the egg, finally coat them in the breadcrumbs.

Fry them in olive oil (you can use Clarified Butter if you prefer it - but in tuscany we use olive oil!).

Once they are ready put them aside, and put the mirepoix in a frying pan with some olive oil. When it's golden add the chopped tomato and the capers.

Now put the veal in the sauce you just prepared, add a glass of water and let it steam.

Serve with the sauce on top and... Buon Appetito!

10 May 2015

"Authentic" Cinta Senese Steak

Today the weather is really bad, so I decided to prepare the "Authentic Cinta Senese" steak !

I'm using the word "Authentic" because many people often sell or try to sell regular pork as Cinta and I get really angry when this happens. The one and only Cinta Senese is usually half fat half meat (as show in the picture below)... now that you know, you won't get fooled!

I usually buy Cinta Senese from a farmer that feeds the pigs with a 50% of chestnuts and acorns.

This special kind of pork is delicious, especially its fat, which is what gives the particular taste.

Unlike beef fat, this one is tender, soft and tasty… it's even better than the meat itself!

Some healthy people might dislike it, but it's a fantastic "sin" once in a while.

Remember! Diets hurt your soul!

You can have some more details on Cinta Senese by visiting this link: The “Cinta senese”: Queen of the Italian pigs.