Cantucci di Prato

cantucci 1

Cantucci (or biscotti, as they are called in the States and UK), can’t tell you how many of those I ate when I lived in Tuscany. Actually it was one of my favourite dessert when I went at the restaurant. A nice glass of Vin Santo, the relaxed dipping of the cantucci in the golden boozy liquid. The most perfect way to end a dinner. Before Christmas I was unable to bake panettone so I indulged with backing plenty of cantucci and pandolce (a Genoese version of panettone) that I gave as a gift to family and friends. Searching for the best recipes I came across this one which is just perfect. I found it on a very reliable blog which I already known for years, Anice e Cannella. The only two changes I made have been replacing orange zest with lemon zest, which I much more prefer, and not brushing the cantucci with the egg (more out of laziness than anything else). A gift which my guinea pigs welcomed and appreciated very much. You can store them in nice tin boxes and bring them as a gift to friends who invite you over for dinner, maybe with a good bottle of Vin Santo!

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Fagioli all’uccelletto / Fagioli all’uccelletto

fagioli all'uccelletto

Today I present you with a Tuscan recipe which I revisited, Fagioli all’uccelletto. A meat dish just for a change, a once in a while diversion from the usual bread baking routine. A nourishing and warming dish. Fagioli all’uccelletto is a traditional Tuscan dish, typical of the Florentine area. According to Pellegrino Artusi the name derives from the herbs and aroma used to cook this dish (especially sage) which where once used to flavour dishes made which had wild birds (uccelletti) as the main ingredient. This dish employs ingredients which are more readily available and serves as a mock version of those recipes. A rustic and rich meal, with plenty of animal and vegetable proteins, which is perfect to warm up the body and lift the spirit during those cold and gloomy winter evenings. I don’t know about you, but the perfume of meaty dishes, the sound of tomato and legumes splattering, mumbling and rumbling in a saucepan always get me in a good mood. It just smells like home…

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