Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The First Courses

Pappardelle con sugo bugiardo –
Pappardelle in a deceitful  sauce

From medieval times until half way through the 20th century, game, poultry and pork were the only meats for the farmers and laborers of Trequanda and outskirts. “Pork must be one month old, the goose three and then you will eat just like a king” This is a local saying, but when talking about sauces in this area we mean made with beef.

But since everyone could not afford beef the housewives invented a substitute, where the beef was replaced with sausages and bacon.

Preparation time: 50 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pasta: 1kg of flour, 450 g of water, 4 eggs.

For the sauce: 3 carrots, 1 onion, 2 sticks of celery, a little parsley, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 300 g of pork bacon, 4 sausages, 1 glass of red wine, 1kg of thinned tomatoes, peperoncino and salt.


For the pasta: mix the flour, water and eggs to obtain a dough, then roll it out until it is 2mm high, then cut into irregular diamond shapes of about 10 cm in length. For the sauce: fry in a large pan onion, celery and carrots finely chopped. Once they have a golden colour add the bacon and crumbled sausages. Add the red wine made of Sangiovese grapes, the tinned tomatoes and a little salt, leave to cook over a low flame. Cook the “pappardelle” in boiling salted water, and then dress them with the sauce adding a little chopped parsley.

Pinci al sugo di nana –
Hand made Pasta with Duck Sauce

Pinci is a long pasta (like a thick irregular speghetto) made with water and flour, made for centuries in the farming families in the countryside south of Siena. At Fattoria del Colle, on Mondays, Orietta Fabi teaches how to prepare them according to tradition. There are many sauces which can dress this pasta: the one which tradition prefers is made with duck meat, called “nana”, in this area. Again in the local slang “picio” or “pincio” means string and the name changes from area to area: in Montepulciano they are called pici, in Montalcino pinci and in Trequanda lunghetti.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pinci: 1kg of flour, 450 g of water, 1 egg, salt

For the sauce:

1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 sticks of celery, 20cl of farm extra virgin olive oil, some juniper berries, 3 bay leaves, 800g of duck meat with its entrails, 400g of minced beef, 1glass of red wine, 800 g of tinned tomatoes sieved, some parsley.


For the pinci: Make a dough of flour, water, one egg and a pinch of salt; leave the ball of dough after having kneaded it well, leave it for half an hour to rest. Roll out the pasta until it half a centimetre thick on a rolling-board and cut into strips about one cm wide. Roll each strip between your left hand and the board, pulling the other extremity with your left hand. Keep the pinci covered up with a napkin until it is time to cook them.

For the sauce: in a large pan fry onion, celery and carrot finely chopped; add some juniper berries, bay leaves and peperoncino. Clean and divide the duck meat, chop it and add it to the vegetables together with the minced beef. Cook the meats, adding the red wine and allow it to evaporate. Add the tomato puree and leave it to cook over a low flame for a while. Cook the pinci in boiling salted water and then dress with the sauce and a little chopped parsley.

Ravioli dei pastori sardi nelle Crete Senesi – Shepard’s Ravioli

Leaving Siena one can reach Trequanda across the Crete Senesi, a sea of bare hills which are the paradise of artists and photographers but infernal for the farmers. This land is preferred for advertisements for cars and it is easy to recognize it in the publicity for Porsche and Mercedes.

In the 1960’s many men from Sardinia settled in the Crete Senesi; here they found cheap pasture land and so they brought their flocks.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pasta: 1 kg of flour, 450 g of water, 4 eggs, and a pinch of salt.

For the filling: 400 g of sheep’s milk ricotta, 50 g of grated pecorino, parsley, 2 egg yolks.

For the sauce: 800 g of tomato salsa, a pinch of salt


For the ravioli: make dough with flour, water and eggs so as to obtain a smooth and soft ball. Roll the pasta out until it is a large oval 3-4 mm thick and cut into rectangles 8-10 cm long.

For the filling: mix in a bowl the “ricotta”, the grated “pecorino”, a lot of chopped parsley and the egg yolks. The ricotta must dry a little so as to give a dry and compact appearance to the mixture. Fill the pasta rectangles with the mixture, close them and cook in boiling salted water. Dress with tomato salsa and grated pecorino.

Zuppa di pane di Trequanda –
Trequanda’s Bread Soup

Vegetable soup with bread is common all over Tuscany, but it’s ingredients change from area to area. In Trequanda it is unique because of the presence of “prosciutto” among the ingredients. Today it is very difficult to find a real Sienese “prosciutto”, salty and fatty, but for the perfect result of this recipe it is essential. The only alternative is to use salty prosciutto and salty bacon together.

Preparation time: 50 min.

Ingredients for 6-8people:

1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 200 g of tasty Sienese prosciutto, 30 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 l. of white wine, 1black cabbage, 1kg of beets, 400 g of tomato fillets, 1/2 kg ofwhole white beans, 1/2 kg of sieved white beans, 6-8 slice of bread.

Method: Fry in plenty of oil the onion carrots, celery and prosciutto diced. Cook for about 30 min and add occasionally some white wine: add the black cabbage cut into strips and the beet. Leave to coop for a further 10 minutes before finishing with the tomato fillets diced. Add the whole white beans and the ones that have been sieved. Prepare in the earthenware pot called “coccio”, the toasted bread broken up. When the soup is completed pour it into the pot adding a little extra virgin olive oil.

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