ricciarelli-siena
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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
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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!
onion-soup2
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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
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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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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).
chickpea soup
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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.
tuscan-bread-soup
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Tuscan vegetable and bread soup

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This soup, like many others, actually improves if left for a day or so. We make a large batch and have it in varied ways - without the bread soaked into it but served on top of hot toast rubbed with raw garlic or with the bread and served at room temperature.
stracotto
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Stracotto ~ Tuscan “Overcooked” Beef

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The vegetables in this slow cooked dish produce a velvety-textured sauce which goes perfectly with the tender meat.
stracotto
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Cannellini beans with tomato and herbs

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Literally the name means “in the manner of little birds”: this is the way that small birds were cooked up when they were brought home from a morning’s hunting. Cannellini beans are so much nicer...