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Tuscan Recipes

Eat like a Tuscan with a little help from our hand-picked recipes. We’ve chosen some of our team’s favourite dishes from the region so that you can recreate Tuscan flavours in the kitchen of your holiday villa – and even when you get back home. Slowly does it with the traditional ragu if you’re to achieve an authentic satisfyingly rich sauce of local boar and luscious Chianti to dress some fresh pasta. Pick up some salt cod from the market and let us show you just how to cook it with tomatoes and olives, the way they do in Livorno on the coast. And try Panzanella, Tuscan bread salad – yes, the bread’s the star, with a little help from fresh vegetables, basil and olive oil. Whether you’re a meat eater, pescatarian, veggie or vegan, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our collection of Tuscan recipes.

Tuscan Recipes

Traditional Tuscan Ragù

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 190 minutes
500g Minced beef 500 g
250g Minced pork meat (very fatty)
500g Tomato passata
50g Celery
50g Onions
50g Carrots
250ml Red Wine
2 Bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper to taste
To prepare the ragù sauce, start by finely chopping the celery, peeling and trimming the carrots and peeling the onions.

Then pour a glug of olive oil into a large saucepan and add the chopped mixture. Fry for about ten minutes over a gentle heat while stirring, from time to time, until softened.

Once the time has passed, the soffritto should be withered and the bottom of the pan should be dry. Add both minced meats and season to taste. (At this point, I usually add 2 bay leaves to give flavour)

These should also brown slowly, stirring occasionally. Initially, all the juices will come out. Once the meat is nice and brown, you can add the red wine which will help the meat from cooking further.

As soon as the alcohol has evaporated, add the tomato passata.

Stir and leave to cook over medium-low (more low than medium!) heat for about 3 hours. At the end of cooking, the result should be a dense sauce packed full of flavours.

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Giulebbe di Ciliegie

Serves: 6 people
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Giulebbe di Ciliegie is a traditionally Tuscan dessert from the northern region of Garfagnana, an area rich in cherries, particularly of the sour and wild variety.

The term Giulebbe is actually derived from the Persian meaning gulab (a sweet concoction of fruits, flowers, honey, spices and sugar) rose water. Not only does it refer to the sweetness of the syrup but the joy experienced. In fact, someone who is in love could be referred to as “drowning in giulebbe”.

You are bound to love this delicious summer recipe. It is simple and quick to prepare so you don’t need to wait too long before you tuck in. Once it's ready, try the Giulebbe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to compliment the fruity tones and sweetness of the dessert. But most of all, enjoy!

500g cherries
150g sugar
20 ladyfingers
250ml double or whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Alchermes, or another traditional red Florentine liqueur
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Vanilla bean seeds
Cherries for decorating

1. Wash and pit the cherries
2. In a heavy-based pan, add together the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds and cherries. Cook on a controlled heat for about twenty minutes or until a syrup consistency forms. Then, remove from the heat and allow to cool. This is your giulebbe.
3. Divide the ladyfingers among six glasses or bowls. Pour over the Alchermes and allow the liqueur to soak in. Then pour over the giulebbe.
4. Whip together the cream and icing sugar to light and airy peaks. Dollop the cream on top of the giulebbe and decorate with more syrup or fresh cherries as you prefer.
5. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

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Carciofi Ripieni (Stuffed Artichokes)

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Calories: 250 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

4 artichokes
4 slices of cured ham
4 slices of Pecorino cheese
2 cloves of garlic 

1. Wash the artichokes, remove the greenest leaves, then trim off the pointed tips on each leaf and open up the leaves like a flower.
2. Trim the stems so the artichokes sit on a flat surface.
3. Mix the breadcrumbs, slices of ham, garlic and the pieces you removed from the bottom of the artichoke in a mixer.
4. Stuff the centre of each artichoke with the mixture, place in a tall saucepan with a little oil, season with salt and pepper.
5. Cook slowly and hot add just under half a glass of water to the bottom of the tray, cover and continue to cook slowly.
6. After 20 minutes, place the slices of Pecorino cheese on top of the artichokes. Wait a few minutes for the cheese to melt and serve while still hot.

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Fagioli all'uccelletto

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 130 minutes
Calories: 500 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

300 g fresh cannellini beans
1/2 glass extra virgin olive oil
200g tinned tomatoes
4 pork sausages
1 sprig of sage
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

1. Place the beans in a pan, terracotta if possible, and cover with four fingers of water.
2. Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to cook until tender but not falling apart.
3. When the beans are ready, sauté the garlic and sprig of sage in a little oil in a pan.
4. After 2 or 3 minutes, add the tinned tomatoes and cook until you have a fairly thick sauce.
5. Add the beans you prepared earlier, add the peeled sausages, and cook for at least 15 minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve hot.

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Ficattole fritte (Fried Ficattole)

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 75 minutes
Calories: 800 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

300 g flour type 00
30 g brewer's yeast
salt to taste
oil for frying

1. Flour the work surface.
2. Dissolve the yeast in half a glass of lukewarm water and a pinch of salt. Mix in the flour and, if necessary, add more water. The dough should be quite soft.
3. Roll the dough into a ball, place into a floured bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise.
4. When the dough has doubled in size (around an hour), roll it out to about ½ cm thick.
5. Cut into strips and fry in hot oil.
6. Salt the ficattole and serve hot with cold meats such as Mortadella di Prato, ham, salami, and Finocchiona.

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Fiori di Zucca Fritti (Fried Courgette Flowers)

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Calories: 260 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

courgette flowers
275 ml sparkling water
185 g flour
salt to taste
sunflower oil

1. First prepare the batter. Sieve the flour into a large bowl, and gradually add the water while mixing to avoid any lumps. Add the salt.
2. Place the batter in the fridge for at least half an hour.
3. Carefully wash the flowers, then gently immerse them into cold water.
4. Drain well and gently pat dry with a clean tea towel.
5. Using your fingers, remove the courgette flowers from the stems and then remove the pollen-covered pistils from the inside and the bits at the base of the flowers. Place the clean courgette flowers in a bowl. 
6. Heat some sunflower oil in a large frying pan.
7. Gently cover the flowers in batter, one at a time, taking care not to break them.
8. Immediately add each flower to the boiling oil, making sure to turn while cooking. As soon as the flowers are ready, drain and place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
9. Serve hot.

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Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato Soup)

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Calories: 500 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

800g tomato passata
300g stale Tuscan bread cut into slices
1 lt of water
1 carrot
1 stick of celery, cut into pieces
2 tomatoes
½ an onion
1 sprig of basil
2g ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil 
garlic (about 2 cloves) 
2g sugar
2g salt

1. To prepare the vegetable stock, boil the water with the carrot, celery, tomatoes and onion for at least ½ hour.
2. Add 15 g of olive oil and two peeled cloves of garlic to a deep, non-stick pan and sauté for 2 minutes.
3. Pour the tomato passata into the pan and boil slowly for at least 15 minutes.
4. Add the bread to the pan.
5. Pour in vegetable stock until the slices of bread are covered.
6. Add the sugar and cook on a low heat for 40–50 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally to allow even cooking and the bread to break down.
7. Then season with salt and pepper.
8. When cooked, remove from the heat and add the basil leaves to give your tomato soup a fresh, intense flavour.
9. The soup is now ready to serve in individual bowls or deep plates, drizzled generously with olive oil.

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Pasta fresca (fresh pasta)

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Calories: 260 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

200g semolina flour
2 eggs

1. Place the flour on the table and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well.
2. Mix from the centre outwards, using a fork to help you incorporate the flour from the outside.
3. Mix the ingredients, kneading the dough for at least 15 minutes to create a smooth dough.
4. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.

For different amounts, use 1 egg for each 100 g of flour.

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Peposo del Valdarno (Valdarno Peppered Stew)

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Calories: 370 per serving
Expertise level: 2 out of 3

1kg veal shank
1lt red wine (Chianti)
salt to taste
black peppercorns
ground pepper
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
a few leaves of sage
a sprig of rosemary
4 juniper berries
1 red onion
1 carrot
200g tomato passata

1. Mix the ground pepper and salt in a small bowl. Finely chop the onion and carrot and put to one side.
2. Cut the veal shank into cube like pieces, not too small.
3. Roll the pieces of meat in the bowl of salt and pepper prepared earlier.
4.Place the meat in a pan with the unpeeled garlic, sage and rosemary, about 15 black peppercorns, the juniper berries, onion, carrot and tomato.
5. Cover all the ingredients with the red wine, cook on a high heat and quickly bring to the boil.
6. Once brought to the boil, reduce the heat to a minimum and leave to cook for at least another 2 hours, occasionally checking the level of the wine. If the contents of the pan are too dry, gradually add a little more wine.
7. Stir frequently during cooking.

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Serves: 2 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Calories: 500 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

4–5 ripe tomatoes 
15 basil leaves
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
400g Tuscan bread in slices
1 small cucumber
½ glass red wine vinegar
1 large red onion
extra virgin olive oil

1. Soak the Tuscan bread in a bowl, preferably use stale bread.
2. Finely chop the onion and marinade in half a glass of red wine vinegar.
3. Wash the cucumber and slice, or cut in half if using a large cucumber.
4. Cut the tomatoes into medium-sized pieces, remove the liquid.
5. Squeeze the bread, removing as much of the water as possible, then mix with the pieces of tomato, cucumber, onion (after draining the vinegar), salt and pepper to taste and then add some oil.
6. Chop about ten basil leaves and add to the bowl with the panzanella, mixing well with your hands. Keep a few basil leaves and use as decoration.

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Tortino al Cioccolato Fondente (Dark Chocolate Cakes)

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Calories: 450 per serving
Expertise level: 2 out of 3

100 g dark chocolate
50 g flour + extra to flour tins
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
100 g sugar
100 g butter + extra to grease tins

1. Cut the chocolate into small pieces. Melt with the butter in a bain marie and leave to cool, continuing to stir.
2. Gently beat the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl using a whisk.
3. Add the sugar, then add the sieved flour and mix well. Finally add the melted chocolate to the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into 4 greased and floured cake tins. Bake in a preheated fan-assisted oven at 180° for 12–14 minutes.
5. When cooked, leave to rest for 1 minute. Then serve the cakes while still warm.

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Cenci di Carnevale

Serves: 5 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Expertise level: 2 out of 3
250g Flour
40g Caster sugar
20g Butter
10ml Extra virgin olive oil
Icing sugar with vanilla flavouring as necessary
2 whole eggs
1 pinch of salt
Frying oil as necessary
1) To prepare the dough for Cenci di Carnevale, make a well with the flour in the centre of a board, then pour in the sugar, the extra virgin olive oil, the butter and the eggs.

2) Carefully knead all the ingredients until they are perfectly mixed together and have obtained an elastic and soft consistency. Then, make a ball with the dough, cover it with a cloth and leave it to rest for about 30 minutes.

3) After 30 minutes, take your dough, knead it for a few more minutes and then, with the help of a floured rolling pin, roll it out on a surface, trying to obtain a very thin sheet (about 3 mm thick).

4) Using a pastry cutter wheel, divide the dough into numerous rectangles (some fancy recipes are asking you to obtain equal rectangles with dimensions of about 4 x 12 centimetres, but I suggest you divide them into rectangles of irregular dimensions, the result is much more fun )

5) Pour plenty of frying oil in a pan (use a deep one!) and when it is boiling hot start frying the Cenci browning them first on one side and then on the other. Ideally fry no more than 4 at the same time. So remember, don't put them all together and be careful because they cook very quickly!

6) Once cooked, drain the cenci with a skimmer and place them on a tray with a sheet of absorbent paper to remove excess oil.

7) When your Cenci have lost the excess oil, remove them from the tray, place them on a serving tray and sprinkle them with plenty of icing/powdered sugar. At this point, they are ready to serve.


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Black kale, ‘cavolo nero‘
Cannellini beans, cooked
Half a loaf of stale bread, torn into chunks
Tuscan olive oil
Water or vegetable broth

1. Chop the carrot, celery and onion (the three combined make up your soffritto base) into small dice, fry in a medium pot at low temperature for a while with plenty of good quality Tuscan olive oil.
2. Peel and dice your potatoes, then add to the soffritto base along with the chopped kale.
3. Puree half of your cannellini beans, then add the pureed and the whole beans to the pot.
4. Add enough water or vegetable broth until your veggies are covered.
5. Keep the pot at a low boil, adding water, salt and pepper for half an hour. Make sure that there is always enough liquid in the pot, so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom.
6. Add the bread chunks, keep on a low boil for another 20 minutes.
7. At this point, the soup is ready to eat. However, for it to be real Ribollita (‘reboil’ in Italian) you leave it to rest overnight and then reheat it the next day with a healthy drizzle of Tuscan olive oil.
8. Enjoy!
Tip 1: As you can see, there are no measurements for the ingredients. This is how the recipe was passed down to us from Tuscan friends and we think it encourages experimenting and having fun with your cooking. Try different ratios and make it completely your own!
Tip 2: Try to find a loaf that is similar to Tuscan bread – ‘Pane Toscano’. Enjoy some of it fresh and let the rest go stale for this authentic Tuscan delight.

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Insalata di Baccelli (Whole Green Pea Salad)

Serves 2 people
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Calories: 300 per serving
Expertise level: 1 out of 3

1 kg whole green peas
250 g mature Pecorino Toscano cheese
2–3 slices of Salame Toscano, 1 cm thick
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

1. Shell the peas into a bowl. 
2. Cut the Pecorino cheese and salami into 2 cm cubes and add to the peas.
3.Dress with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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Biscotti di Prato alle Mandorle (Prato Almond Biscuits)

Serves: 6 people
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Calories: 450 per serving
Expertise level: 2 out of 3

400g flour
250g sugar
250g peeled almonds
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 sachet of yeast
pinch of salt

1. Beat together 2 eggs, egg yolks and sugar, then add the flour, yeast and a pinch of salt. Gently roast the peeled almonds and, when cooled, add to the dough.
2. Mould the dough into 3 sausage shapes that are 3 fingers wide and 1 finger high. Place on a greased and floured baking tray, well-spaced out, brush with beaten egg and cook in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and cut across each 'sausage' sideways with a knife. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes until crunchy.
4. Leave to cool. The biscuits are best served with a good Vin Santo from Tuscany.

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Baccalà alla Livornese (Livorno Salt Cod)

Serves: 2 people
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Calories: 350 per serving
Expertise level: 2 out of 3

400g soaked salt cod
oil for frying
200g cherry tomatoes or tinned tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
small handful of parsley
flour for dusting

1. Remove the bones from the salt cod with tweezers, then cut into pieces.
Flour the pieces of fish and fry well on both sides.
2. Remove any excess oil.
3. Cook the cherry tomatoes in a pan with the olive oil, cloves of garlic and pepper.
4. When the sauce has thickened, gently place the salt cod in the pan.
5. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes, the time required to cook the tomatoes.
6. Remove the cloves of garlic and serve sprinkled with some chopped parsley.

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Anatra in porchetta

Anatra in porchetta, or more affectionately known as “Nana” in porchetta, is a typical Tuscan roast dish served most frequently in the areas around Arezzo and Siena.

About the chef:
This delicious recipe has been kindly shared by Francesco, one of the chefs with whom we work closely to provide traditional culinary experiences for our guests. Francesco learnt this recipe from the cooks he met at fairs and local events.

Francesco’s top tip: this dish is best cooked using a wood-fired oven if you have one available to you (of course, a normal oven is also fine).

Serves: 3-4 people
Cooking time: 2 hours

1.5kg whole duck (ready to cook), preferably with liver and offal
Pancetta (or bacon)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic, quantity dependent on your taste
Dried wild fennel (stems and flowers), alternatively you can just use dried fennel flowers
Lard or other roasting fat

1. Preheat the oven to 190° C
2. Clean the duck, removing any remaining feathers and pat dry
3. Meanwhile, stir together a teaspoon of salt, generous pinch of pepper and the fennel on a plate
4. Cut the pancetta into small cubes and roll into the seasoning
5. Grate or slice the garlic cloves
6. Cut the offal into small pieces and roll in the lard and garlic, then add to the seasoned pancetta
7. Stuff the mixture into the duck and sew the opening closed using a large needle and strong white thread
8. Season the duck with salt and pepper and then place in a roasting pan. Place in the bottom rack of the oven
9. Cook the duck for about 90 minutes in total. For the last 10 minutes, turn the oven up to 220° C so that the skin becomes crispy
10. Serve piping hot

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Panello con l’uva

Panello con l’uva is a Chianti adaptation of the Florentine Schiacciata con l’uva. It is a sweet flatbread laden with grapes, typically prepared around the grape harvest in autumn.
About the chef:
This delicious flatbread recipe was shared with us by Monica Lapis, one of the chefs we collaborate with to provide traditional culinary experiences for our guests. Here is what she told us about the origins of this particular recipe:
‘This recipe is from my mum and reminds me of the good old days of when we were kids and making panello con l’uva. It was a big party and we all participated, especially when it came time to eat it!
The difference between now and then is that my mum used to bake it in the oven of the wood-burning stove and the flavour was certainly more intense. I bake it in the electric oven hoping to be able to rediscover the same flavours of the past.’
Serves: 8-16 people
Cooking time: 6.5 hours
1 kg flour, 00 type
25 g yeast
600 g water
100 g sugar
10 g salt
50 g olive oil
100 g walnuts
Black grapes, to taste (the small, round variety is the most authentic)
Rosemary, to taste
Caster sugar, to taste
Sauté the oil, walnuts and rosemary in a small frying pan. Once done, remove the rosemary and set aside. Dissolve the yeast in the water, then put the flour in a bowl, add the dissolved yeast and mix. Next, add the sugar and salt and continue kneading, then add the walnuts and oil, and finally the grapes until it forms a smooth dough. Leave to rise for 4 to 5 hours depending on the outside temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200° C and while it heats up, spread the dough into a rectangular sheet pan (depending on the size, you may wish to use two sheet pans). Sprinkle the surface with caster sugar and oil, put it in the oven and bake until the surface is golden and crispy.

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Castagnaccio (Tuscan chestnut cake)

Castagnaccio, also known as baldino or pattona chestnut cake, is a traditional dessert made with chestnut flour and raisins, pine nuts, walnuts, and rosemary. It is said to have been created in a plain form by the Tuscan Pilade da Lucca in the 16th century, although it only gained popularity outside of Tuscany 300 years later, when it was refined with the addition of raisins, pine nuts and rosemary. As it’s naturally gluten and lactose free, this cake appeals to the modern palate not only for its historic significance but also for catering to many different dietary needs.
About the chef:
This recipe was kindly shared with us by Cinzia Malgeri, one of the chefs we collaborate with to provide unique Tuscan culinary experiences at our villas. Each family has their own recipe for castagnaccio and this is hers!
Serves: 8-14
Cooking time: 50 min
500 g (4 cups) chestnut flour
650 ml (2 ¾ cups) water
100 g (½ cup) pine nuts
1 sprig rosemary
80 g (3 oz) raisins
100 g (½ cup) walnut kernels
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 195° C.
Wash the raisins in fresh water and soak them in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to rehydrate them. Coarsely chop the walnut kernels with a knife, then peel off the fresh rosemary needles.
Sift the chestnut flour into a large bowl and add the water a little at a time, stirring with a hand whisk. When the mixture is smooth and homogeneous, add the chopped walnuts and whole pine nuts, making sure to set a small amount aside that will later be used on top of the cake before baking.
After 10 minutes, squeeze and pat the raisins dry with some kitchen roll, then add them to the mixture, adding a small amount at a time; mix well and add salt.
Oil a 12 inch (32 cm) low, round cake tin and pour in the mixture, levelling it with a spatula. Sprinkle the surface of the cake with the pine nuts, walnuts and raisins set aside earlier, distributing them evenly.
Lastly, add the rosemary needles, a drizzle of oil, and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. When you can see cracks on the surface and the nuts have a nice golden colour, take the cake out. When cool, serve and enjoy the castagnaccio.

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Cannelloni filled with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach in Béchamel Sauce

Cannelloni are a type of fresh egg pasta filled with ricotta, spinach, parmesan and nutmeg, covered with béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese, then oven-baked until golden brown.

Cannelloni are traditionally eaten on the eve of December 24, when, according to the Catholic tradition that has remained in families over the decades, no meat is eaten, but only vegetables and fish. However, since this dish is so delicious, many families cook it for Christmas lunch on December 25!

About the chef:
This recipe was kindly provided by Alessandro Muratore, one of the chefs we work with to provide unique experiences at our villas. Alessandro has a real passion for Tuscan cooking and is motivated by the power of food to evoke a wide array of emotions. After travelling to explore other countries’ cuisines, he has returned to Tuscany with a wealth of perspective and a continued appreciation for the flavours of his native land.
If you would like to book Alessandro for your next villa holiday, contact our villa specialists today.

Serves: 6
Cooking time: 2.5 hours
For the fresh pasta
250 g plain flour, type 00
250 g semolina flour
5 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
Extra virgin olive oil
For the filling
500 g fresh ricotta
200 g fresh spinach
150 g grated parmesan + more to top the cannelloni
1 whole egg
Salt & pepper
1 tsp grated nutmeg
For the béchamel sauce
100 g butter
100 g plain flour, type 00
2 litres fresh milk
1 tsp grated nutmeg
Begin by making the fresh pasta dough. For best results with fresh pasta, always try to work on an untreated wooden surface.
Mix both flours together, make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it. Add a pinch of salt and one spoon of oil into the eggs. Mix everything slowly with a fork and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball.
Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for one hour.

For the filling, drain the ricotta into a colander.
Meanwhile, cook the spinach in salted boiling water, drain and allow to cool.
Once cool, squeeze well and chop with a knife.
Add the following to a bowl: drained ricotta, spinach, parmesan, grated nutmeg, the egg, salt, pepper. Quickly mix into a dough.

After letting the pasta dough rest, roll it out by hand and with a rolling pin (or with a pasta maker until the last step), to make the dough as thin as possible.
Cut 15 cm long and 10 cm wide rectangles, add enough filling to cover about 1/5th of the rectangle’s surface, then roll up the dough and seal the cannelloni with a little water.

To make the béchamel sauce, heat up the milk in a pot and melt the butter in a separate saucepan. When it is melted, stir in the flour and cook together for a few moments, then add the hot milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid lumps. Bring to the boil until it thickens. Season with salt and add a little nutmeg to taste.

Pour the béchamel sauce into a rectangular oven dish to create a 2 cm thick layer on the bottom of the dish. Place the cannelloni next to each other on top of the sauce.
Cover the cannelloni with the remaining béchamel sauce and add grated parmesan on top.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes until they are au gratin.

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Vegan Vanilla Parfait

This delectable parfait is a light, vanillary treat for special occasions. It makes for the perfect dessert when you’re looking to impress your guests. Topped with little vegan meringues, the combination of textures is a delight for the senses. >
About the chef
This delightful dessert was provided by Alessio Berrioni, one of the chefs we work with to provide unique experiences at our villas. Alessio moved to England at the tender age of 17, after receiving his hotel management diploma in Assisi. Years of hard work led to working alongside the likes of Alaine Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay in Michelin-starred restaurants. Returning to Italy in 2019, he established himself as a private chef offering spectacular fine dining experiences. To him, cooking is a blank canvas waiting to be filled with the help of a pinch of inspiration and a good dose of creativity.
Serves: 8 people
Cooking time: 2 hours

For the parfait:
500 ml almond milk
180 ml rice milk
2 g agar agar
80 g oat flour
80 g potato starch
150 g icing sugar
50 ml still water
For the vegan meringues:
150 ml aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas)
160 g icing sugar
5 g salt
For the decorations:
100 ml aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas)
100 g icing sugar
50 g strong bread flour
1. Preheat oven to 110° C / 90° C fan / ¼ gas.
2. In a saucepan, bring the almond milk and rice milk to a boil.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, potato starch, icing sugar and agar agar and stir in the water. Then, add this mixture to the saucepan with the boiling milk.
4. Pour everything into a mould of your choice. Place in the fridge for a minimum of four hours.
5. For the meringues, whisk the aquafaba with the icing sugar and salt until stiff. Add the mixture to a piping bag and pipe uniform meringues onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for approximately 90 minutes.
6. For the decoration, whisk the three ingredients together, pipe them into a spiral shape onto a silicone baking mat or buttered tray. Bake at 170° C for 10 minutes.
7. Allow everything to cool down and assemble according to the image.
Tip: Instead of purchasing oat flour, which generally retails for a high price, try blending oats until fine. Ensure your blender is completely dry, to avoid clumps.

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Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

This special orange cake is traditionally prepared in Florence during carnival, specifically on Shrove Tuesday. The characteristic feature of Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is its rectangular shape, which is covered with icing sugar and decorated with a cocoa powder fleur-de-lis design. The fleur-de-lis is featured on the coat of arms of Florence and known as Il Giglio Fiorentino in Italian.

About the chef
This recipe was provided by Simone Burrini, one of the chefs we work with to provide unique dining experiences at our villas. Native to the region, Simone is an expert in Florentine cuisine and works hard to bring people closer to the flavours of Tuscany he was lucky to grow up with.

Serves 8-10 people
Cooking time: 2 hours
3 eggs 
300 g flour 
300 g sugar 
150 ml milk 
150 ml groundnut oil
1 orange (zest and juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 g baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the oil and whisk.
3. Slowly add the sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and stir.
4. Stir in the milk, orange juice and orange zest.
5. Bake in a buttered rectangular baking tin for 30 minutes.
6. Print a fleur-de-lis design onto the centre of an A4 piece of paper, cut it out of the paper and use the remaining paper as a stencil.
7. Once the cake is baked and cooled down, dust it with icing sugar.
8. Gently place the stencil on top and dust cocoa powder over it to create the fleur-de-lis in the centre of the cake.

Tip: There are hundreds of different fleur-de-lis designs online. You can choose a more or less intricate stencil design depending on your skill level.

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Ricciarelli are soft, chewy almond cookies. Originally from Siena, they are a popular treat around Christmas time, although they’re just as delicious the rest of the year.
About the chef
This recipe was provided by Monica Lapis, one of the chefs we work with to provide unique dining experiences at our villas. 

Serves 6-8 people
Cooking time: 3.5 hours
300 g shelled almonds
15 g bitter almonds
300 g white sugar
Zest of one orange
15 g powdered sugar
3 egg whites

1. Grind the almonds with some of the sugar, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
2. Add the remaining sugar and orange zest and form into a dough. Leave the dough covered with a tea towel for 3 hours.
3. Whip the egg whites with the powdered sugar until stiff. Carefully fold the mixture into the dough.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
5. Generously dust a clean surface with equal amounts of powdered sugar and flour. On top of this mixture, roll the dough out into a long cylinder and cut off 2 cm thick slices.
6. Shape the slices into ovals and place on a lined baking tray.
7. Bake the cookies for 15-16 minutes. They will appear soft but will firm up as they cool.

Tip: Be sure not to overcook the cookies, as they could otherwise become very hard.

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Torta Pasqualina

Torta Pasqualina is a savoury spinach and ricotta pie traditionally prepared for Easter Monday. Originally from Liguria, it is now a beloved spring dish all over Italy, including Tuscany.
About the chef
This recipe was kindly shared with us by Cinzia Malgeri, one of the chefs we collaborate with to provide unique Tuscan culinary experiences at our villas.

Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
150 ml water
150 ml sunflower oil
A pinch of salt
7.5 g baking powder
400 g flour
250 g ricotta
450 g boiled spinach
4 eggs
50 g grated parmesan
A pinch of nutmeg
1. Boil the spinach in salted boiling water, drain, squeeze and chop. Allow to cool.
2. While the spinach is cooling, prepare the shortcrust pastry dough: pour the water, oil and salt into a bowl. Start mixing, adding half of the flour a little at a time. Add the baking powder.
3. Continue to knead, adding the remaining flour a little at a time. Knead until the dough is firm and elastic. It may be easier to do this on a lightly floured, clean work surface.
4. Divide the dough into two parts and thinly roll out one half. 
5. Line a round baking tin with baking paper. Place the rolled-out dough into the tin and gently press down. Ensure the dough covers the base and a few inches of the side of the baking tin.
6. Prepare the filling by combining the spinach with the ricotta, grated cheese, salt, 1 egg and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix until the mixture is perfectly homogeneous.
7. Pour the mixture into the baking tin, then with a spoon create 3 evenly spaced wells in the filling.
8. Break 3 eggs into the wells.
9. Roll out the remaining shortcrust pastry dough and place it on top of the filling 
10 Bake for 45 minutes at 180 °C.

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