Today I want to talk to you about some of the recipes typical of the city of Pistoia. Unfortunately, in Tuscany, where this town is located is one of the least known among the provinces, although its history is very old and the art you can find anywhere in the small historic town center, as in the other towns of the province. In the province of Pistoia, you can find environments still intact and rich from the point of view of the flora and fauna. Then the flavors of this small piece of land, you can enjoy both in the city and in the small towns that offer many typical local products.
We start our menu pistoiese with the starters.
The garlic bread today usually served with the appetizers especially in the winter, it is a very old tradition when the farmers not being able to throw anything away, and used the dry bread, making toast on the fire.
slices of bread (rigorously tuscan and so without salt)
a clove of garlic
just enough salt.
You make toast in the oven some slices of homemade bread, just taken from the oven, rub with the clove of garlic that you have peeled. At this point, the bread is seasoned with olive oil and a pinch of salt. It is recommended that you eat it freshly made still warm.
Another specialty of tuscany "black bread croutons" found throughout tuscany, but that in Pistoia are prepared with a mixture of chicken livers and the spleen, unlike other areas where the spleen is.
300 grams of chicken livers
150 gr of spleen
a rib of celery, a small onion and a carrot chopped to make the base of the sauce.
some capers salt
half a glass of red wine
a glass of meat broth or stock.
a clove of garlic
a bay leaf
a few leaves of parsley
salt and pepper
butter and oil as needed.
Clean and wash the chicken livers and the spleen, move everything in a food processor to crumble it as possible.
Chop as finely as possible, the carrot, the celery and the onion. In the meantime, with a little butter and olive oil in equal quantity to lightly fry in a pan the chopped vegetables that you have already prepared. Add the clove of crushed garlic, the parsley and the laurel, which, however, should be removed as soon as golden brown. At this point unite at the base of the sauce, the mixture of the livers and the spleen and let it simmer for about a half an hour, adding broth if the mixture tends to dry out too much. After this time add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the capers that you have chopped very finely, adjust the salt and pepper and continuing to add broth and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes until the mixture is soft and creamy.
Prepared in the meantime, the bread, abbrostolendo of small slices of tuscan bread( without salt). Dip only one side of the bread in the broth and place over a serving of the sauce. Our black bread croutons are ready. Another way to bring it to the table, the croutons, in my opinion better, because it allows you to eat them hot is to prepare guests directly to the croutons at the table, carrying a ceramic bowl containing the sauce with a small stove that allows you to keep it always hot, and the croutons just out of the oven. Will then be for the diners to choose how many of the bread croutons to eat.
Let us now turn to the first. I'll propose two, the first is the typical dish which is prepared on the 25th of July which is the feast of the Patron Saint of Pistoia, San Jacopo, and it is of the macaroni on the duck. A dish so rich and substantial. The other is a first course really poor. His name is in prison, and legend has it that it was prepared by the inmates of the prisons of Pistoia, which was located next to the public slaughterhouses. For this dish very easy to be used and then the waste from the abattoir and the less valuable of veal or beef.
We pass now to the recipes:
This dish is considered a single dish, as the duck meat sauce used for dressing the macaroni, and pieces of duck large who will serve for the second, they are cooked together. We begin, however, by pasta, the macaroni, which are to be prepared normally at home being very difficult to find in the market already ready, if not in some laboratory of fresh pasta, where you can order them. And' a pasta that looks like little squares of about 7/8 cm 7/8 cm. But it is very simple to prepare them if you know to make a dough of wheat flour.
Ingredients for 4 people:
about 400 g of flour dipo 00
a pinch of salt
a dash of olive oil.
Work the flour with the eggs that amalgamerete floor plan by adding a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil, until the dough is uniform and smooth. At this point, or it flattens the dough with a rolling pin until you get a dough very end, which will later be cut into squares, or use a pasta machine that allows you to pave the strips of dough which will then be cut as before. Our macaroni are ready, now for the duck.
This preparation is employed for the muscovy (so called because it flutters a lot less than the other species, despite not being wetsuit really). The strange is that this type of duck is not our territory, but the farms are in the valley of the po. But it is not a dish that is very old if you consider that this variety of duck was imported from South America.
Ingredients for the preparation of the duck:
A whole duck
A rib of celery
a sprig of rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
500 grams of tomatoes peeled chopped
a glass of dry white wine
olive oil, salt, pepper and grated cheese, just enough.
Preparation of the sauce of the duck and the duck into pieces that will serve as a second dish.
Clean the duck, removing all the innards, that we will forget because they will serve in our meat sauce. Cut the duck into small pieces, taking care to remove a few piece larger, a small amount of meat will be finely minced.
In a pan put the olive oil and saute the vegetables (onions, celery and carrots, cut into listelline thin but not chopped), crushed garlic, go removed as soon as it is golden. When the vegetables are golden brown, add the duck, cut into pieces and the small pieces that had chopped before.
Cook the meat for a few minutes and in the meantime clean and wash under the running water well in the interior of the duck that you had removed before. Chop finely and add to the onions and meat will be these that will give body to the sauce that will season our macaroni.
Then add the white wine and let evaporate, add salt and pepper and put to this point the peeled tomatoes into small pieces and the sprig of rosemary which will be removed once cooking is finished,.. all must be made and cook about an hour and a half, adding hot water if the mixture tended to dry out too much.
When it is cooked, remove the larger pieces by putting them aside in the warm to eat it as a main dish, while the sauce remaining, serve as a topping for the macaroni that in the meantime you did cook in abundant hot salted water.
To the table, bring the cheese already grated that everyone will desire. The original recipe wants as cheese to season this dish, a typical cheese of the pistoia mountains, the cheese made from raw milk,and is great because it is not very salty, however, is not very easily and then of parmigiano reggiano or grana aged and grated will go well.
Usually to accompany the pieces of duck, which will serve as a second course, the ideal are the beans snakes, a type of green beans are very long (hence the word snakes) that are only found in summer and are cooked in a pan with a soffritto of carrot, celery and onion in the olive oil and peeled tomatoes into small pieces. They are truly an excellent side dish for other preparations.
Let us now turn to this humble dish, which unfortunately is very rare in our city, where it was created. Unfortunately, as everywhere, the poor pieces type offal of veal, centopelle, the tripe and the intestines, are considered unappetizing by the new generations, who do not appreciate them for nothing. Remain care, however, to the older generations more accustomed to use everything that there was to eat.
Ingredients for 4 people:
gr 350/400 tuscan bread (without salt) possibly baked in a wood, and at least a couple of days
gr 300/400 giblets and mixed veal (you can ask your butcher)
a rib of celery
3 ripe tomatoes
a few leaves of basil
salt, black pepper and grated pecorino cheese.
The day before the preparation is washed very carefully in running water, offal. Cook in boiling water for a few minutes then throw away the cooking water and put the offal in cold water to keep until the day after.
The day after, cook the offal in salted boiling water along with the carrot, celery and onion to the tomatoes and basil for about 3 hours. Remove from the heat, put the giblets and the vegetables and into the cooking water, put the bread crumbs as possible, decorating it occasionally with a whisk or with a wooden spoon for it to become a jelly, soft and creamy.
Combine the giblets and the vegetables that you will put aside, put a little butter, sprinkle with black pepper and grated cheese and serve very hot.
Let us now move on to the main dishes.
Ingredients for 4 people.
1 kg of wild boar meat
2 rib of celery
2 medium-sized onions
1 clove of garlic
a sprig of rosemary
a few leaves of parsley
2 sage leaves
a few juniper berries
400 grams of tomato sauce
2 glasses of red wine
salt, pepper, and olive oil just enough.
the preparation is quite long, in fact, go, started the day before.
You put the boar to marinate in a large bowl together with 1 carrot, 1 celery and 1 onion finely chopped, allaglio, spices and red wine. Let it rest for the whole night
The following day remove the meat from the marinade and discard the rest.The wild boar meat must be done in small pieces. In a crock pot put out to dry the other carrot, celery and onion, (do not use the ones of the marinade that retain the smell of the boar and do not go well) finely chopped. When they are golden, add the wild boar cut into small pieces and let it cook until it has absorbed and evaporated all the wine that was left in the meat from its marinade. Once browned, the wild boar, add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste and let it cook cover the meat for about 3 hours, turning it occasionally and adding a little broth of flesh or nut if needed. After this cooking, the wild boar is ready to be brought to the table and enjoyed.
Deserve an entire chapter, because in the tradition of pistoia there are several cakes and specialty desserts.
In the meantime, how can we not recall the famous confetti of pistoia urchin called by the pistoia candy birignoccoluto. To curl the outside rather hard, which has a vague taste of vanilla while on the inside we find a heart of anise seeds or coriander. And a typical handicraft production of Pistoia, in fact, only here you will find this type of candy.
We then go to another dolcetto is typical of a country in the province of Pistoia, the brigidino. It is a small wafer fragrant from the orange-yellow colour, often curled, that smells of anise.
Not to mention the cakes that you make with the chestnut flour that is found in abundance in the woods near the city. Cakes such as castagnaccio or chestnut cake with ricotta cheese which would deserve a chapter to itself. However, talking about this my city, and especially of the traditional dishes here are cooked, I also think that for this Pistoia deserve a more detailed visit, to enjoy these and many other specialties here that I have not mentioned.