Italian food

Quick guide to Italian ingredients: Pasta secca

  I remember it coming as quite a shock, a few years ago,  when discussing what to have for lunch with my English partner that my suggestion of pasta was met with an incredulous, ‘but we ate that yesterday. We can’t have it every day. It will get boring.’ For me, having been brought up on an …

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Torta di noci: walnut and chocolate cake – Chestnuts and Truffles TV

This classic recipe comes from La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene by Pellegrino Artusi, first published in 1891. Not widely known outside Italy, this book is considered to be the definitive text on traditional Italian cooking, however, a great many of the recipes are from Tuscan cuisine. Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli …

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Quick guide to Italian ingredients: Finocchiona (fennel salami)

  Salami is one of the most famous of all Italian ingredients and forms part of antipasto platters and pizza toppings up and down the peninsula. Travelling around Italy however, once again, you notice that every region has its own variations and varieties. Perhaps the most famous Tuscan salami, and certainly my favourite, is finocchiona, …

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Tozzetti all’anice: Aniseed biscotti – Chesnuts and Truffles TV

  Tozzetti are the Umbrian version of cantucci (aka biscotti or biscotti di Prato) and are slightly different containing hazelnuts as well as almonds and being flavoured with aniseed. I first had these at the Saio Winery in Assisi, where they served them as part of the food to taste with their wine. Cantucci are traditionally dipped in …

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Quick guide to italian ingredients: citron (cedro)

  Long long ago, before the lemon was a twinkle in mother nature’s eye, there was the citron. One of the four original citrus fruits, from which all the others developed naturally, or otherwise, the citron (citrus medicus)—cedro in Italian—looks like a large, knobbly lemon, but is in fact a distinct fruit. When you cut …

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Panforte di Siena: Chestnuts and Truffles TV

  For Tuscans, panforte means Christmas. A centuries-old tradition from the province of Siena, panforte is a rich cake made of almonds, candied peel, and honey peppered with winter spices, with a unique flavour and texture. There are several variations on the recipe for panforte, but to create this one, I went back to the official requirements …

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