Carnival ribbons - Chiacchiere

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Different versions of these fried dough ribbons can be found all over Italy at Carnival.

Pizza ebraica - Jewish sweet "pizza"

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This delectable item is not pizza at all, but an eggless, unleavened pastry crammed full of whole almonds and candied fruit and cooked until it looks rather burnt but is in fact absolutely perfect, with the nuts crunchy and fruits bursting with flavour.

Ricciarelli - Sienese almond biscuits

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For many, along with the spice-dense panforte, the light, sophisticated ricciarello is the true Tuscan Christmas treat. They used to be made in convents and apothecary shops, the only places where the right spices and storage conditions would be found.
Italian Apple Cake

Moist Apple Cake

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Manuela’s mother has offered lots of inspiration and recipes for our cooking classes in Tuscany. This is one of her recipes, now handed down to her children and grandchildren. Thanks Licia!

Gnudi - "naked" ricotta and spinach dumplings

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These are called "naked" dumplings since they are like ricotta and spinach ravioli without their pasta "clothing". They are easy to make and delicious!
Buckwheat crepes

Buckwheat crepes with a spinach and ricotta filling

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Buckwheat flour makes delicious crepes and is gluten free. you can fill the crepes with all sorts of things. Our recipe used ricotta and spinach, seasoned with nutmeg.

Certaldo Onion Soup

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Our local town, Certaldo, had been famous for almost a thousand years for its delicious red onions. A group of local farmers has been growing them and popularising them again. They are used in many dishes. One of the most popular is this simple, warming soup.

Minestrone ~ Tuscan Vegetable Soup

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The distinctive taste of this soup comes from the cavolo nero ("black cabbage"). This has recently been popularized by chefs such as Jamie Oliver and is now available in many farmers' markets.

Pasta with broccoli

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This is a quick, healthy and tasty dish originally from southern Italy which has many possible variations (some add anchovies, some boil the broccoli in the pasta water etc).

Pasta and chickpea soup

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This dish is lighter than it sounds, but is satisfying enough to have as a one-course meal with bread to dip into the bowl. It is a hit on our cooking courses in Italy, particularly the vegetarian ones.