Typically Tuscan and Traditional
Tuscan cooking uses fresh and simple ingredients of the season including many legumes, cheeses, vegetables and fruits. Let not the simplicity fool you for the flavors of the region’s cooking are rich and the servings are hearty. The everyday market ingredients are so accessible and the preparations are easy. Tuscan homes have generations of cooks who pass on recipes down to the youngest members, hence, meals always have traditional roots.
Looking at typical Tuscan fare, what is served during a meal? Firstly, there’s the white, plain, unsalted loaf of bread that accompanies all meals. It’s bland and that separates it from other loaves of other regions for it is meant to absorb the flavors of sauces and mixes. Tuscan bread can also be flavored with crostini di fegatini or liver paté or grilled with garlic, olive oil and salt to have fettunta that soaks up pure olive oil flavor. Then appetizers are laid out in a wooden board – like cured meats which include prosciutto, salami, and different types of sausages.
A Tuscan dish is a ‘waste not’ meal, making use of leftovers in ingenious ways. The ribollita and the papa al pomodoro are soups that use stale bread as base making thick broths but incorporates fresh inexpensive ingredients, like onions, carrots, celery, kale and cabbage. Other first course dishes are simple pastas such as pappardelle alla lepre o al sugo di cinghiale, an egg noodle pasta with either hare or wild boar sauce.
For the main course, a prime example is the bistecca alla fiorentina, the famous steak of Florence from a special breed of cows is served very rare alongside roasted potatoes and beans. You also find wild game like wild boar, hares, pheasants and other birds prepared as stew or are roasted. Your side dishes are very simple, yet tasty, preparations of green vegetable sauteed in olive oil, chicory in olive oil and garlic, sauteed spinach, multiple ways artichoke, eggplant and fried zucchini flowers, grilled mixed vegetables, side salads, roasted potatoes, and plenty of beans. You can finish off your meal with a simple fruit or cantucci, a small hard, almond-flavored cookie.
Tuscan Fare in Seattle
Are you dining Italian tonight? Then look forward to something memorable, a truly gastronomic experience that captivates the palate and fills the tummy. A Tuscan dinner will take you there. Experience Tuscany in our Italian Seattle restaurant, the IL Bistro, truly traditional and typical.