My cooking is based on the balance of ingredients and flavours. Each ingredient is cooked to its full potential, but each one has a threshold that must not be exceeded, and one needs to know how to recognise this. For example, a Tuscan meat sauce is sublime only when fully cooked, showing its great character, texture, taste and delicacy.
Tuscan cuisine, with its magnificent inventions, utilises a multitude of ingredients in marvellous yet simple recipes, such as the tortelli of the Maremma region, those of the Lunigiana area, the Lucchese tordello with meat stuffing, cereal soups, vegetable soups, and the ribollita soup made with stale bread. For main courses, lamb cooked in Chianti wine, guinea fowl with porcini mushrooms, pork ribs with olives and pine nuts, wild boar with its Tuscan marinade. For the fish course, sea bream or sea bass ‘all’isolana’ with fresh tomatoes and potatoes, cuttlefish with chard leaves, Angel Bay risotto, prawns in sauce, cacciucco (fish soup), dried salt cod in every manner…
I sincerely wish to share and transmit this wealth of treasures that I have learned, out of the gratitude that I owe to Tuscany, as a man and as a cook.
The truth is that the recipes do not have secrets; they are inevitably changed and personalised in the kitchen by the different hands and preferences of each of us. And then the water and the ingredients of any particular moment also make a difference. The water of the Lucca area has given so much to my recipes.
I never forget that cooking is a creative art, able to elicit emotions in everyone, and this, to me, is a great gift. Thank you.
- Wholemeal spelt flour penne with red onions, yellow and red peppers and toasted pine nuts
- Pappardelle in wild boar sauce