Time around the dinner table is savoured in Italy. Food is celebrated and hearty fare is always on the menu. You might be surprised to find much more than just pizza and pasta in Tuscany, with many classic comfort foods to try. Meals are often started with antipasto or a delicious soup and are always enjoyed with a glass of the region’s finest wine. Throw away the calorie counter and tuck into Tuscany’s best dishes.
This Italian classic is essentially a bread and tomato salad. A staple dish in summer, panzanella is made using crunchy stale bread paired with ripe tomatoes, red onions, and a simple seasoning of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. It is fresh, light and surprisingly filling. Variations may include the addition of cucumbers.
A traditional Tuscan soup, acquacotta is perfect as a light lunch or starter. This flavourful vegetable soup is served warm and topped with a soft poached egg. The dish is made using a variety of vegetables, depending on the season, from tomatoes to celery or spinach. A popular variation of the dish is acquacotta con funghi, made with porcini mushrooms.
For dessert, you may be treated to castagnaccio, a traditional chestnut cake. This unique dish is made using chestnut flour and minimal sugar, so it is only subtly sweet. Other common ingredients include raisins, pine nuts and a few sprigs of rosemary. It is a dense and rich unleavened cake with a cracked top and a soft centre. It is also typically vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free.
Seafood fans can opt for a tasty Italian fish stew for dinner, known as cacciucco. This hearty meal usually contains several different types of fish and shellfish, cooked in a delicious tomato, chilli, garlic and red or white wine sauce. Served with thick slices of crunchy bread to help soak up the sauce, it is a robust and filling dish.
A very popular Italian cookie, cantuccini are better known as biscotti. Traditionally baked twice to achieve that famous crisp texture, the cantuccini dough is first baked as a whole log, then again, after being cut into thick slices. Often served with dessert wine, they are a light and sweet treat. More often than not, they are filled with roasted almonds.
For the latest deals on travelling to the USA, browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 556 855.