Begin your Florentine adventure in your own kitchen with recipes for:
Crostini alla Fiorentina
In a large skillet or frying pan, chop and saute together, ONE ONION, ONE CARROT and ONE CELERY STALK in THREE TABLE SPOONS of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Wash, chop and brown together with the vegetables, 300 GRAMS OF CHICKEN LIVER. If the mix becomes too dry, wet with either WHITE WINE or CHICKEN BROTH. Cook for 20 mins. Then add 4 ANCHOVIES, ONE TEASPOON OF CAPERS, A TABLESPOON OF FRESH SAGE LEAVES AND AT LEAST 2 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER. Lightly mix in food processor or chop well with a large knife.
Mix 2 EGG YOLKS with 6 TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR then add and mix 200 GRAMS OF MASCARPONE CHEESE. Whip 2 EGG WHITES until stiff. Then gently fold into sugar, cheese mixture until smooth. Lightly dip 4 PACKAGES OF LADY FINGER COOKIES in very strong COFFEE, preferably Espresso. Make layers of cookies, creamy mixture and MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Last layer should be creamy. Finally, dust top with POWDERED CHOCOLATE. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Fagioli all'uccelletto (Cannellini beans in tomato sauce)
Wash 700grs. Cannellini beans. Cover with three liters of cold water. Add some salt, sage and garlic to the water. Simmer on low heat for two hours if using dry beans, or 40 minutes for fresh beans. In a large frying pan using moderate heat, lightly saute 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves in 4 table spoons of olive oil. Add well drained beans to the frying pan and saute covered for about 5 minutes. Blend 300grs. of fresh tomatoes in a food processor and add to frying pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes more.
Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)
Wash 500grs. of Cannellini beans. Put beans, 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves, 2 cloves of garlic and salt in a pot. Cover with 2 and half liters of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer on very low heat for two hours, (one hour if beans are fresh). Drain 2/3 of beans and blend them in a food processor. Save the cooking water. In a large frying pan, lightly saute 3 cloves of garlic with rosemary for a few minutes. Then add 400grs. of uncooked "ditalini" type pasta (small shell pasta will also work, do not use egg pasta) to the frying pan, stirring continuously for a minute then add the processed beans and pinch of cayenne pepper to the frying pan . Stir in 200grs. of peeled and cubed fresh tomatoes. After a minute, add about half of the water left over from the beans. (More or less water depending on how wet you want your soup) Finish cooking the pasta this way by adding cooking water as needed. Add the whole beans to the soup and salt to taste. Let the soup stand for 5 minutes then serve. (Florentines generally remove the garlic and rosemary before serving.)