Recipes From Our Kitchen

Spring recipes

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Fettunta ~ Toasted Bread with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A traditional savory start to your Tuscan dinner – toasted bread with fresh garlic and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Choose to add fresh tomatoes and black olives bruschetta-style or serve as a simple snack.


  • Bread, sliced
  • Garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Tomato, sliced and black olives pitted (optional)
  • Oregano

Lightly toast the slices of bread and then rub them with a clove of garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. You can also add diced tomato and pitted olives tossed in olive oil, sea salt and oregano as a garnish.

Pair with Donna Olimpia Bolgheri


The vineyards of Bolgheri Bianco produce some of Italy’s very richest Vermentino. Light, brilliant straw gold and of medium intensity. Ample and clean perfumes with mineral hints, citrus fruits, white flowers, candy and honey. The palate is full and tasty, with a long lasting and pleasing aftertaste.
The name Donna Olimpia 1898, was given in 1898 to the estate in honor of Gherardo della Gherardesca’s wife Olimpia Alliata of Biserno to commemorate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.


Insalata di Carciofi & Olive Nere ~ Artichoke & Black Olive Salad

A delicious veggie insalata made with grano or farro, artichokes and black olives. This authentic Mediterranean salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or meat.

Serves 4


  • 8 artichokes, small, tender and cleaned
  • 1 lemon, organic, non waxed
  • 300 g (12 oz) grano, wheat berries, or farro, presoaked overnight with water and salt,
or use organic brown rice.
  • 1 lemon, organic, non waxed
  • 1 red onion, small and tender, peeled and chopped finely
  • 200 g (7 oz) black olives
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped finely
  • 2 pinches of fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


Clean the artichokes, remove the outer tough leaves, clean the stems and cut them in half. Put them in water and lemon juice for 10 mintues. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the grains. Simmer until the wheat berries or farro is cooked. Next, boil the artichokes in a pan with salted water for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. When the grain is cooked, drain, leave to cool then place in a bowl. Add the onion, olives, celery and thyme to the grain, then the olive oil and vinegar, and lastly salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichokes and mix well.

Pair with Vernaccia di San Gimignano


Hailing from the hills of Tuscany and the medieval town of San Gimignano, this elegant wine is one of Italy’s oldest white wines and the first to reach DOC status. As far back as the 13th century, royals were sipping this white, and since then, the dry, bitter-after taste of this wine remains characteristic of the region.
The full-bodied nature of this white makes it a perfect match for artichokes, pecorino or parmigiana, and herbal dishes such as pesto.


Gli Gnudi ~ Florentine Ravioli

Prepared in our The Chianti Masterpiece Siena™ Tuscan Cooking Tour & Dario Cecchini Visit ~ 8 Day Program

From la cucina povera comes a delightful take on traditional ravioli, delicate spinach and ricotta balls simmered in sage butter. Delicious, flavorful and a fresh addition to your Tuscan table.

Serves 6


  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) fresh spinach
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) ricotta, day old
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g (5 oz) of Parmesan, grated, plus extra when serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 100 g (4 oz) rice flour
  • 80 g (3 oz) butter
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Flour, enough to coat before baking

It is best to use day-old Ricotta that has been chilling in the fridge; it will have released some of the excess moisture.

Wash and cook the spinach in a pan with a little salted water. Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water, chop well and add to the ricotta mix along with the rice flour. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Form the mixture into large ping-pong size balls and roll them in the flour. Drop them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the sage. Transfer the gnudi to the pan and coat with the butter, adding salt if necessary. Serve hot with a heavy dusting of Parmesan.

Pair with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Tuscany is world-renowned for its classic red wines, grown from the Sangiovese grape on the hillsides of Montepulciano. Delicate bundles of dark, purple grapes hang from the branches in vineyards surrounding the town. Once fermented, these sweet grapes produce a medium-bodied red with hints of cherry and plum. These red fruit aromas pair well with green vegetables and will highlight the spinach in your Florentine Ravioli.


Tiramisù alle Fragole ~ Strawberry Tiramisù

Prepared in our The Chianti Masterpiece Siena™ Tuscan Cooking Tour & Dario Cecchini Visit ~ 8 Day Program



For the strawberries:

  • 400 g (14 oz) strawberries
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) sweet white wine (Vin Santo, Marsala, Asti, Recioto)

For the Cream:

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) sugar
  • 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 150 g (6 oz) ladyfingers (preferably Savoiardi brand)

For the Strawberries:
Wash and slice the strawberries, allow them to dry well. Transfer the strawberries to a bowl and add the sugar and sweet wine and leave to macerate for at least 3 hours.

For the Cream:
Separate the eggs. First whip the yolks with half the sugar (50g) until thick and frothy. Then scoop in the mascarpone and mix until combined.

Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar (50g) until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture. Let it rest in the refrigerator.

Drain the strawberries and reserve the liquid for soaking the ladyfingers.

Prepare the tiramisu in individual cups. Begin with a dollop of the mascarpone cream then place a layer of the ladyfingers dipped in the strawberry syrup. Next, add a layer of the sliced strawberries and follow with a layer of cream. Repeat in this order until the glass is full, creating one, two, or even three layers. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream. Decorate the top with any remaining sliced strawberries.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pair with Vin Santo ~ Tuscan Dessert Wine

Vin Santo or “Holy Wine”, is true to its name, a fabulous finale to any Tuscan menu. This dessert wine is made from grapes that have been dried on straw, producing a concentrated, sweet wine. With citrus aromas of apricot and orange, and a slight honey after-taste, this pairing will pop against the tart strawberries in this dish.