TUSCANY CAMPO TARTUFO - step by step instructions

A great many regions of Italy are intensely diverse; the food from one city barely even echoing that of its neighbour. Tuscany is a little different, and a common thread certainly runs through the food of its major cities – Florence, Sienna, Lucca & Pisa, amongst others – and through the countryside in between. This is an almost austere cuisine, with a strong focus on dried pulses, earthy vegetables, wild herbs & the finest olive oil in the world. It could be considered a little dull, if it wasn’t that each and every ingredient has an intensity that highlights the land from which it comes; oil from Bolgheri, pine nuts from the Migliorino San Rossore park that straddles the lands of Lucca and Pisa, garlic from Val di Chiana. This is food that sings its origins, each mouthful an echo of the Etruscan landscape, and a reminder that sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the finest.

RIBOLLITA
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PICI WITH BLACK TRUFFLE, SAGE & BUTTER

ROCKET, FENNEL & PECORINO SALAD
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TORTA DELLA NONNA

For your meal you will need:

A bowl for dressing the salad

A pot for the Ribollita

A second pot for boiling water

A frying pan for the sauce

The detailed recipes for the dishes are below, but in essence:

  • Bring a pan of water to the boil for the pici
  • Heat the ribollita, then eat
  • Cook the butter & sage for the pici
  • Cook the pici, and mix the two together, then top with truffle
  • Dress the rocket & fennel salad
  • Eat both
  • Let the pie come up to room temperature, then eat this too

Ribollita

European cuisine abounds with recipes for cabbage and bean stew, a theme that flows through the peasant food tradition of almost all European nations, including our own. In Tuscany though, the cabbage is cavolo nero, an intensely iron rich and dark cabbage, the beans are delicate cannellini, and the lot is perfumed and enriched with the finest of Tuscan oil. Ribollitta means ‘reboiled’ and this soup benefits immensely from a day or two of resting between the initial cooking and the second reboiling; an ideal dish then, to be started by us, and finished by you. 

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • ribollita
  • some chunks of stale bread
  • a bottle of fine oil
  • A little grated parmesan

 Directions:

  • Place the ribollita in a saucepan, and add a splash of water
  • Stir through the stale bread, then gently reheat till just simmering
  • Check the seasoning, then pour into bowls
  • Pour over the oil, and scatter with a little parmesan

Pici with butter, sage & black truffle

The north of Italy, Piemonte in particular, celebrates white truffle in the autumn; the ethereal perfume flavouring dishes like tajarin, agnolotti or risotto. But come winter, and the frosts, and the white tubers recede for another year. In Tuscany, and Umbria, they celebrate a different truffle – the black tartufo nero. It is earthier and less aromatic than its white counterpart, but with a greater depth of flavour, and it peaks just as the white recedes; a ray of flavour in the depths of winter. If white truffles are a celestial pleasure, black ones are very much an earthly one. And don’t we all need some earthly pleasures about now…

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • Handmade pici
  • A bag of butter & sage leaveas
  • A fat black truffle
  • A little parmesan

Directions:

  • Bring a large pan of well-salted water (10g/lt) to the boil
  • Roughly chop the sage, and place with the butter in a frying pan
  • Grate a little of the truffle finely, and reserve
  • Add the pici to the boiling water, and cook for 4-5 minutes
  • After the first minute or two, add a ladle of the pasta water to the butter, and place on a high heat
  • Bring this to a simmer, then cook to emulsify the butter and water
  • Add the grated truffle to this pan, then the pici, and cook together for a minute or two until the sauce is glassy and thick
  • Turn onto a plate, and scatter with the parmesan, then either shave or grate the remaining truffle (on a truffle slicer or mandolin or the small holes of a grater) finely on top

Rocket, fennel & Pecorino salad

Tuscany is a land teeming with intensely flavoured vegetables, and few more so, or more Tuscan, than wild rocket and Florence fennel. Here we shave the fennel into delicate ribbons, matched with little slivers of sharp and salty Pecorino Romano, tossed through the rocket, the lot dressed with the finest oil and bitter lemon.

Your pack serves two as a side and contains:

  • Wild rocket
  • Shaved Florence fennel
  • Shaved pecorino romano
  • A pack of lemon dressing

Directions:

  • Place the salad ingredients in a bowl
  • Give the dressing a good shake to mix, then pour over
  • Dress lightly and delicately with your hands, then sit the lot on a chosen plate

Torta della nonna

The Tuscans don’t do much by way of desserts – most meals end with a little cheese, or one of the many biscotti esteemed in the region; cantucci, panforte, or Brutti ma buoni – the ‘ugly but good’ biscuits that could be the name of a whole host of Italian dishes, perhaps dipped into Vin Santo or warm Zabaione. Torta della Nonna is a notable exception; Nonna– Grandma – is, of course, held in the highest regard in Italy. The very word signifies comfort and care, an older and gentler way of doing things. This rich custard pie is a gentle and homely embrace of a dish – sponge like pastry encasing a rich filling of thick vanilla custard, the lot topped with delicate, aromatic pine nuts.

Your pack serves two and contains:

  • 2 fat wedges of torta della nonna

Directions:

  • Remove from the fridge a half hour or more before eating, to allow the slices to come to room temperature
  • Remove from the tub and place on plates
  • If desired, dust lightly with icing sugar
  • Eat.

ALLERGENS: all packs are prepared in a mixed kitchen, we cannot guarantee the absence of ANY allergen. All packs of this dish contain dairy, gluten, alliums, eggs, celery, and nuts.