Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The Main courses

Pollo in arrosto morto – Roasted Chicken

Roast meat is “morto” when it cooks slowly on the hob in a deep pan with a lid. This recipe, which is very tasty and with a long cooking time is symbolic of Tuscan cuisine.

To begin with the chicken is browned, and then it continues to cook slowly where the aroma will spread pleasantly and permanently all over the house.

Preparation time: 1 hour 30min

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
29 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 2 free range chicken, 2 garlic cloves, 2 cups of chicken stock, 5 leaves of sage, salt and pepper; 2 glasses of dry white wine, 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 twig of rosemary.

Put the chicken, well cleaned and without its entrails in a pan with a little oil. Stuff it with lard, garlic, sage, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the meat over a lively flame without a lid for a few minutes. Pour in the white wine, and leave to evaporate, adding the chicken stock. Add the rosemary and finish slowly cooking for 30 min with the lid on.

Carne avvolta – Rolled Beef

This recipe dates back to the times when the threshing of the wheat was a feast. The meat was food for the rich whereas eggs and omelets where for the farmers.
To produce and transform the wheat farmers’ families exchanged labour and so the housewives cooked for thirty or forty people. No family wished to cut a poor figure even though they were poor: “No meat means no feast” says an old Tuscan proverb. So to save on the quantity of meat used it was served wrapped around omelets.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients: 1kg beef pocket, some sage, 2 garlic cloves, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil, salt, a glass of red wine.

Method: Open a beef pocket and stuff it with sage, garlic and lard. In a large frying pan fry the garlic with some of the sage. In another pan prepare the spinach quickly with some extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Beat the eggs together with the parmesan and make some omelettes with the spinach just prepared. Once the sage is golden add the beef pocket and leave to cook occasionally adding some red wine. When the meat is cooked, leave it to cool so that it does not break in filling it. Put the omelettes on the meat and ties it with some kitchen string. Warm in the oven before serving.

Salsicce con le pulezze –
Sausages with tender Turnip Leaves

There are more meals than days say a wise proverb, so as to underline that it is important not to go hungry but that variety was also necessary. The “pulezze” are the tenderest leaves from the turnips. At the table turnip evoked contrasting feelings. It is said that one of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s ancestor from Montalcino had a pious wife who was fanatic about turnips, attributing to them detoxifying virtues. She often prepared them, but her husband dressed them with a blasphemous rhyme: “…said Jesus to his disciples: don’t eat turnips as they are for the ox and St. Peter said loudly: Damn the turnips and those who cook them!!!”.

Preparation time: 40 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people: 2kg of tender turnips, 20cl of extra virgin olive oil, 12-12 sausages, 4 fresh tomatoes, salt

Clean the turnip leaves and boil in a small amount of salted water. Roast the sausages in a pan with extra virgin olive oil for 15 minutes. As soon as they are ready, remove them and put the turnip leaves in the pan. Add the tomato and salt. Cook for a few minutes, then put back in the sausages, and finish cooking.

Tagliata di bue chianino all’uso della Val di Chiana –Sliced Beef Steak Val di Chiana style

Those who ask for a “fiorentina” steak in Siena might get thumped, because here the steak is “chianina”. The “chianino” ox is unique because of the white coat and for it’s large size. Some sources say it was present in Tuscany during the Etruscan and Roman periods, and in triumphant occasions used as an offering to the Gods.

It’s use in the kitchen is pretty recent, since until a few decades past, the “chianino” ox, precious for it’s strength was used in the countryside, in place of a tractor. At Fattoria del Colle these strips of steak finish their cooking on the serving tray with boiling extra virgin olive oil over them, in the typical Val di Chiana way.

Preparation time: 20 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
2,5 kg of chianino ox ribs; 50 cl of farm oil, some twigs of rosemary.

Grill a large beef steak for a few minutes. Cut it into strips of about 1/2 cm width and put them in the serving dish. Dress with salt and rosemary. Put the extra virgin olive oil to boil in a pan. When the oil is boiling pour it with a ladle over the meat in the dish.

Timballo di Cenerentola –
Cinderella’s Timbale

Helle Poulsen Tesio is the tutor at the cooking school at Fattoria del Colle. Her origins are Danish but she is Italian for love, and Tuscan for her cuisine. Helle has written, along with her husband Alfredo Tesio, nine books on the food and wines of Italy.

The timbale was created for a presentation of the wine Cenerentola DOC Orcia and was prepared to accompany powerful and modern wines. There are several phases to this recipe.

For each of these we will describe method and ingredients for 4-6 people.
Preparation time: 3 hours

1) For the timbale

200g of freshly made “lasagne” pasta, 200g of “tagliolini”, 1 shallot, 100g of sausage, salt and pepper, fresh thyme, 10cl of white wine, 200g of béchamel, 50g of grated parmesan cheese, 50g of “mozzarella” diced, 50g of diced butter.

Boil freshly made lasagne pasta for about two minutes, drain and leave to cool in cold water. Then line with half the pasta a greased baking tin. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into small pieces; clean and chop the shallot, open the sausage and cut it into pieces. Cook mushrooms, shallot and sausage in a pan for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme, adding wine and leaving it to reduce. Cook the tagliolini in boiling water for minutes. Drain and dress with mushrooms, sausage, béchamel, parmesan and mozzarella, and at the end a little black pepper. Put the dressed tagliolini at the bottom of the baking tin on top of the lasagne. Cover with more strips of lasagne and then on top little pieces of butter and some grated parmesan.

2) The Pumpkin sauce

Ingredients: 1 onion, 500 g of yellow pumpkin, 1 garlic clove, thyme, salt and pepper.

Peel and chop the onion. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into pieces. Cook the onion and pumpkin in a pan, adding some water and letting them dry a little. Put the pumpkin in a blender so as to get a smooth mixture, then put it in a pan with some warm oil, garlic and thyme to add flavour; leave to cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3) The Fried sage

Ingredients for 4-6 people:
Fresh sage leaves, 1 egg, 75g of potato starch, 75 g of flour,10cl of beer, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil.

Beat the egg with the potato starch and the flour and add the beer to the mixture. Dip the sage leaves in the batter and fry in hot oil so that they become crisp, lay on sheets of kitchen roll.

4) The Basil flavored oil

Basil, 10 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoonful of salt

Soak in boiling hot water the basil leaves and peeled garlic for a few seconds. Drain the basil and put it straight into very cold water. Dry the leaves on a sheet of kitchen roll and chop in the mixer with oil and garlic so as to obtain an emerald green dressing.

5) The Preparation and decoration:

Cook the timbale in the oven at 200 °C for about 20 minutes and decorate with chopped pistachios.

Serve with the warm dressing and fried sage leaves and chopped pistachios. Finally pour over a little basil flavoured oil.

Terrina di cinghiale e bue chianino – Wild boar Tureen

Fattoria del Colle was once a hunting area and those who visit Fattoria Colle, which is open every day all year round, can see the objects used a century ago exhibited in the bakers room and in the traditional kitchen. On the estate today there are no longer any hunters but there is still a preference for dishes prepared with game and for walks through the woods. For these we have especially created two itineraries with explanations on signposts.

Preparation time: 2 hours 30 min

Ingredients for 6-8 people: 6-8 bowls, 500 g of boneless wild boar, 250 g of minced chianino beef; 500 g of porcini mushrooms, a garlic clove, some parsley; half a glass of brandy, 2 eggs, some juniper berries, salt and pepper. In winter lay the tureen on: 800 g of chicory, and 1 glass of red wine. In summer; 500 g of rocket, a little extra virgin olive oil.

Chop the wild boar, being careful to cut the leaner bits into slithers, add the wild boar to the minced beef, and to the porcini mushrooms which have previously cooked in a little oil, with garlic and parsley. Add a little brandy, the eggs, salt, pepper, and the juniper berries, and mix all together. Put into the tureens and cook in the oven in bain-marie for 1 and a half hours at 160°C. Leave to cool, and serve warm on a bed of chicory which has been cooked in a pan with oil and red wine and salt, or serve cold on a bed of rocket and dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

Pollo in gelatina di Vin Santo –
Chicken in Vin Santo Gelatin

This is a Tuscan interpretation by Helle Poulsen Tesio of the classic chicken in gelatine. It is a long recipe but quite easy in method.

Preparation time: 3 hours.

Ingredients for 4-6 people:
500 g of chicken breast, 100 g of ham (in one piece), 50 g of chicken breast diced, 100 g of beef mince, 1 egg, salt and pepper, nutmeg, 1 slice of white bread with no rind soaked in milk and wrung.

For the filling: 1 shallot, 50 g of black olives, 50 g of pepper, 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of Vin Santo, 1 l of vegetable stock (to cook the chicken)

For the Vin Santo gelatine:
10cl of Vin Santo, 1 tbs of brandy, 15 cl of vegetable stock, 3 sheets or 6g of fish glue.

For the decoration:
200 g of lettuce, 50 g of black olives, 50 g of pepper, mayonnaise, freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation of the meat:
Cut the chicken breast in thin pieces. Put them between two pieces of baking sheet and hit with a meat pounder. Leave them on the baking parchment so as to form a layer of chicken meat.

Dice the ham into pieces 1x1cm. Mix the mince meat, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and bread once it has been soaked. Add the diced ham and chicken. Clean and chop the shallot. Cut the olives into 4 after having removed the stone. Dice the pepper into 1x1cm pieces. Put the olives, shallot, pepper and pistachios in a pan with oil, cook for two minutes. Add the Vin Santo and mix together all of the filling. Spread the filling in the middle of the pounded chicken breasts and roll it all up using the baking parchment to help. Tie is up with kitchen string at the sides and extremities. Cook the rolled up meat in the stock for about 40 minutes.Let the meat to cool. Sieve the stock which is to be used for the gelatine. Put the fish glue to soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Heat the stock until it boils, wring out the fish glue and dissolve it in the stock. Add the Vin Santo and the brandy and put the gelatine in a cool place to solidify.

Wash the lettuce and put it on a serving dish. Dice the pepper and cut the olives into four. Add the pepper and olives to the lettuce. Cut the rolled up meat into slices and put them on the salad. Dice the gelatine and decorate the slices of chicken. Decorate with mayonnaise and some ground black pepper

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