"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."|
~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise
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Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking
by Lori De Mori
Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.
Recipe - Polpettone e polpette (Meat Loaf and Rissoles)
by The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines
This basic recipe for Tuscan-style meatloaf and mini-meatloaves is just to-die-for. Inexpensive and easy to make, they might just become a new family favorite!
Polpettone e polpette (Meat Loaf and Rissoles)
Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 40 minutes
400g minced meat
One slice of bread
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
One stick of celery
One glass white wine.
Soak the bread in warm milk, then squeeze it dry and reduce to crumbs. Mix together with the minced meat, chopped ham, egg, salt and chopped parsley. Add the grated Parmesan. Blend together thoroughly for a few minutes, then, with your hands slightly moistened, form into an oval shaped 'loaf': Be very careful not to leave any cracks or gaps, otherwise the loaf will open and fall apart during the cooking. Pour the oil into a large, earthenware dish with low sides and warm gently. Roll the meat loaf lightly in the flour and place in the dish. Brown evenly all over so that the surface forms a crispy crust. Add the chopped carrot, celery and onion, toss until golden and pour in half a glass of white wine. Leave to evaporate and add half a glass of water. It takes approximately half an hour for the loaf to cook, but it should be frequently checked to prevent it sticking to the pan. Leave it to set for a few minutes and then cut into thick slices. Pour its own hot gravy over and serve with potato purče. Add some sliced mushrooms to the sauce for a really special flavour. To make rissoles instead, roll the mixture into small rounds and fry them gently in oil until cooked; add a glass of white wine and let it evaporate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
This recipe was used by Apicius, Maestro Martino and Bartolomeo Sacchi, who wrote, "This dish is commonly known as mortadella...it is good for both the heart and liver". Domenico Romoli calls them tomaselle. At the banquet to celebrate the christening of Cosimo I in 1519 a dish similar to meat loaf was served, though with the slightly more pompous title of "pie of veal minced like a loaf". Don't forget that meat loaf and rissoles can also be made from any left over boiled meat, diced very finely using a large chopping knife.
This recipe was reprinted with the gracious permission of The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines. The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines offers a wide variety of information about traditional Florentine and Tuscan cuisine, including a huge collection of fantastic recipes and basic information about this fascinating cuisine.
The Tuscan Year : Life and Food in an Italian Valley
by Elizabeth Romer
One of the most fantastic books about Tuscan cuisine and culture, Elizabeth Romer's excellent story of a year in Tuscany progresses with wonderful detail about each and every season. She shares stories, flavors, information, personalities, and great recipes that really reflect the flavor of Tuscany the whole year round. This is truly a classic in the selection of books about Tuscany and avoids many of the trendy food literature "sameness" of some of the newer books about Tuscany. The timeless nature of the tales and the recipes make it an excellent addition to any collection about Tuscany, or the perfect book to start a collection with.