Tuscan Cooking: Simple and Rustic Dishes (& a Chicken Recipe)

November 19, 2020  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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Tuscan vineyard on a culinary vacation in ItalyItalians love a good feast. Even so — especially when looking at the history of food in Tuscany – they treasure simple, rustic meals that showcase the freshness of the ingredients. This is highlighted by the fact that it’s rare to find much sauce in the dishes of Tuscany, something that dates back to the Florentine Renaissance. Rather, herbs and oils often are featured in the dish, which makes sense, considering how so many exceptional oils are produced in Tuscany.

Tuscan marketWhile seasonal ingredients clearly have a place in Tuscan cooking — which travelers can discover during a Tuscan cooking vacation — they’re also often an accompaniment to the main course, which can range from beef (such as the famous Florentine steak) to other roasted meats, often cooked over an open fire. And no matter what the time of year, you know you can find a great rustic dish featuring meat. Although chicken livers are quite popular in the region too (give it a try — it has a wonderful rich flavor!)

Try a French chicken recipe with lime marinade.

If you’re looking for a chicken dish other than chicken livers though, you’ll find those as well, and as with so many Tuscan recipes, they’re often quite simple, but every bite delicious. This bocconcini di pollo alla Toscana (Tuscan-style chicken) serves four, and epitomizes simple but rustic Tuscan cooking.

Bocconcini di Pollo alla Toscana (Tuscan-Style Chicken)Sautéed chicken in a skillet.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Cook method: Simmer


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt


1. Sauté the minced onion and parsley in oil.

2. To the oil, add the chicken (already cut into cubes), and brown them.

3. Add the tomato paste along with salt and half-cup of water. Simmer this on low heat for one hour.

Chianti bottles during a cooking vacation in TuscanyLearn more about traditional Tuscan dishes with a culinary vacation to Italy. All of our trips feature hands-on cooking classes and recipes that you can bring home to make for your family and friends.

By Liz Hall

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