Doorway Entrance

Enter and taste part two of my Tuscany Food and Wine series. Let me share with you my favourite recipes from the cooking experience at Toscana Mia located in Gaiole in Chianti, Italy. Keep in mind, the two sauce recipes can be used with other pasta, meat and fish dishes. For both the Pici (this was the jet lagged class) and Gnocchi – you can also try sauces such as a pesto or a quattro formaggi – whatever your appetite desires. Enjoy!

Jane & Pasta

Pici (Traditional Tuscany Pasta)

  • 500 grams of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 200 ml of water
  • Pinch of salt

Mix the flour, the egg and the water. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and knead well adding a pinch of salt. Keep kneading the pasta until it becomes elastic in texture. Leave for half an hour before making small quantities of the mix and rolling them into thin spaghetti strips. Naturally they will be irregular which is typical of this Tuscan pasta. Boil in water until al dente.

Salsa al L’Aglione

  • Pici-with-Tomatoes6 big cloves of garlic
  • 300 grams of fresh tomatoes (preferably cherry tomatoes or Pachino) cut in cubes
  • Few drops of red wine vinegar
  • 1 peperoncino (red Italian hot pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

On lower heat add extra virgin olive oil to large skillet. Clean 6 garlic cloves, crush them and put them in the skillet with oil. Wait until the garlic ‘takes colour’ and add the crushed dried peperoncino and vinegar. Add the cut tomatoes and pinch of salt. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Drain cooked Pici and pour into skillet. Serve with pecorino cheese

Gnocchi Di Patate

  • 1 kg of potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 250 grams of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Boil the potatoes, mash them and leave them to cool. Add the flour, salt, egg and baking powder. Knead together very quickly and shape the mixture into a ball. Take small portions of pasta from the dough and place them on the rolling board. Make them into finger-sized cylinders. Cut the cylinders into 2 cm pieces. Then form them into gnocchi with the gnocchi utensil or a fork. Place them in salted, boiling water and wait for them to come up to the surface. Now drain them and serve with Salsa al Gorgonzola

Salsa al Gorgonzola

  • Gnocchi150 grams of gorgonzola
  • 250 grams of cream
  • 1 large pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of each salt, pepper
  • Parsley

Cut the gorgonzola into cubes and, mixing continuously, melt it over a very low heat, gradually adding the cream. When the cheese has completely melted and has become a fluid cream, add the sugar, the salt and the pepper. Lastly sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Which one is your favourite?

Grapes-Rada

Stayed tuned for Part 3 – The Tuscan Villa and Pietrafitta Winery