Mushroom and Tomato Soup
A traditional first course that represents life from Tuscany past, when tenant farmers filled the countryside.
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup tomato flesh
1 1/2 litres water
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan, to taste
8 slices stale Tuscan bread, grilled
1. Saute garlic in oil, add mushrooms and let cook. Add tomato, water, salt and pepper.
2. In a soup tureen, mix egg and cheese. Add liquid and stir rapidly.
3. Arrange two slices of bread in each bowl and pour soup overtop.
Yield 4 servings
Often the farm wife was cooking for ten to fifteen farm hands. This recipe can easily be multiplied and made in advance to handle a large crowd.
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins, washed
1/2 cup candied fruit, chopped
9 1/2-inch diameter tart shell
1. Sieve ricotta and put in a soup tureen. Add egg yolks, flour, sugar. lemon zest, raisins and candied fruit.
2. Whip egg whites into peaks and stir slowly into ricotta mixture.
3. Pour mixture into tart shell.
4. Bake on medium heat for 25 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Risotto With Beans
Fasgiolio (beans) are a staple of Tuscan cooking. The grated parmesan is a modern addition to this ancient recipe.
5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup butter, divided
2 cups shelled beans, washed, divided
1 Tbsp flour
Salt, to taste
1 tsp tomato paste
1/2 l aged red wine
2 cups rice
1 l chicken stock, heated
Grated parmesan, to garnish
1. In a saucepan, heat oil and 1/3 butter. Saute minced onion until brown. Add beans and dust with flour. Add salt, tomato paste and wine. Simmer until beans are cooked.
2. In a separate saucepan, heat another 1/3 of the butter. Add rice and brown slightly. Add stock. When rice is almost ready mix in half of beans.3. Stir in remaining 1/3 butter and top with remaining beans and grated cheese.
Yield 6 servings