Tuscan Cooking: Simple and Rustic Dishes (& a Chicken Recipe)
Italians 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.
While 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!)
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. Here, for one, is a recipe from the always charming and passionate Chef Claudio of our popular Classic Tuscan Table cooking vacation! This bocconcini di pollo alla Toscana (Tuscan-style chicken) may be served during a meal — along with an array of other dishes. Claudio is known for spoiling his guests with more than enough food! This particular recipe serves four, and epitomizes simple but rustic Tuscan cooking.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
1. Sautee the minced onion and parsley in oil.
2. To the oil, add the chicken (already cut into cubes) and brown.
3. Add the tomato paste along with salt, half-cup of water. Simmer this on low heat for one hour.
Learn more about traditional Tuscan cooking 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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