Featured Recipe – Roast chicken with vin santo

Roast chicken with vin santo recipe by Giulia from Jul’s Kitchen

Vin santo roast chicken  Jul's Kitchen

Vin santo roast chicken
Jul’s Kitchen

This recipe may not feature a lot of ingredients but our featured food blogger Guilia from Jul’s Kitchen says each ingredient is essential. “This is how I would imagine a woman living in the Tuscan countryside would have loved her farm-yard chicken to be roasted on a foggy Sunday morning. No butter smeared on the chicken, no fussy stuffing, just a good chicken, some salt and pepper, olive oil and vin santo. She could find everything in her pantry or in her yard.” Vin Santo literally meaning holy wine, is a Tuscan family favourite and is often home made.

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Celebrate International Coffee Day At Home

Find your perfect way of enjoying International Coffee Day at home with our handy equipment guide

If Italians hold one thing close to their heart, it is their love of coffee. Since introducing the beverage to the rest of Europe from Egypt, and with Venice opening its first café in around 1683, people all over the world confess that the only to start the day is with a fine cup of coffee.

We all have our own favourites, whether it is espresso, cappuccino, latte or any other variation. Some like more milk – others dabble with chocolate or caramel. There are so many ways to make and enjoy your coffee.

And that’s where we come in. To celebrate International Coffee Day, we decided to look at some of the best ways to make your coffee at home. What should you use? What’s best? Well, here are our favourites:

 

Method 1 – Moka Pot

 Moka Pot

  • For the Moka Pot you’re going to need your coffee to be ground fine, almost like table salt. The size of your pot will naturally determine how many cups you can get out of it and you’ll need roughly 4 grams of grounds per cup.
  • Boil some water and fill the bottom of the brewer. Then insert the filter basket into the bottom, fill with your coffee and level it off with your finger.
  • Screw the top onto the base (be sure to take precautions when handling the bottom with all of that boiling water!) and place the pot onto a stove at medium heat – any hotter and the coffee is likely to burn.
  • Slowly, as the water boils, steam from the bottom of the brewer will be forced up through the finely-ground coffee and into the reservoir above, where it is collected.
  • Once the bottom section is almost empty you’ll start hearing gurgling noises and seeing that the liquid leaving the central spout has turned roughly the colour of honey. When this happens, remove the Moka Pot from the stove and keep the lid closed. After you’ve used your Moka Pot regularly, you’ll have your timing down so it almost seems automatic!

Now you’re ready to serve up your coffee, adding milk or hot water – whichever you prefer.

Rosemary Molloy of An Italian In My Kitchen prefers a Moka Pot for her morning coffee along with some Italian based treats:

“I use a Bialetti Moka Express coffee maker (in my opinion the best brand of Italian coffee makers you can find) which makes about three cups of coffee. The brand that I always use and I suggest is Lavazza Crema e Gusto (Gusto Dolce) because it has a non-bitter taste to it and it’s lighter than other Italian espresso brands.

For breakfast I usually make espresso and heat some milk in a pot. I then mix them together in a large mug and I make my husband and me two homemade lattes. We like to accompany our coffees with some Italian cookies called Pan di Stelle or some homemade biscotti and crostata (it’s a tart filled with Nutella or jam.) During the summer I get out my blender and make some iced coffee using the espresso coffee. It’s nice to sip some cold coffee while reading a book in the garden.”
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An American guide to Sicilian wine

Sicily and the wines that are breaking into the US market

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, nestles only three kilometres from Italy’s boot, at its closest point.  We may easily be transported to an Italian idyll, forgetting that this island has been marred by emigration, Casa Nostra violence and soaring unemployment over the years.

But in the past decade or so Sicily has found its feet again. With unemployment falling from 23% to 11% from the 90s into the new millennium, Sicily’s industry is ready to grow and achieve.  That is echoed within its wine industry!

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Featured recipe – veal saltimbocca with polenta

Tuscany Now’s Featured Recipe – veal Saltimbocca with polenta

 The Edible woman's veal polenta

 

Veal saltimbocca and polenta, so authentic and traditional in Italy, can sometimes seem both exotic and unapproachable to an English chef. With both veal and polenta more easily to acquire than ever before, and also with much higher ethical standards, now is the time to explore this Italian classic. Deliciously simple, this Northern Italian dish is simple and pretty easy to prepare, relying on the quality of your ingredients.

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What wines should I drink in Tuscany?

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles

Tuscany Now

 

vines in tuscany

If you’ve ever wondered “what wines should I drink in Tuscany?” Tuscany Now are hear to provide some light! We spoke to eminent wine enthusiast Gary White for today’s feature, focussing on the range of wonderful wines which are so readily available in one of Italy’s most culturally and gastronomically rich regions – Tuscany.

Gary gives any budding oenologist a guided tour through this region, giving a brief overview of Tuscan wine history before revealing which grapes we should all hunt out when in the area!  Take a look at our map of Italy to get your bearings, and see what Tuscan villas you might stay in so you don’t have to drive after sampling these most wonderful grapes to the full…

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Vote for the Tuscany Now Cook-Off

Inspired by the culinary wonders of the Tuscan countryside, we challenged amateur cooks from around the world to enter an Italian Cook-off. From primi to dolce, beautiful dishes have been created and posted for all to attempt!

We have whittled down this fierce competition to twenty favourites, chosen for their impeccable Italian authenticity, presentation, creativity and cooking expertise.

 The creator of the winning dish will be offered a villa to stay in for a weekend, along with a cooking class from esteemed Signora Anna Bini. 

So which dish is the deserving one? Who has won the Tuscany Now Cook-Off? Please vote now!

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Italian landscapes – how do they speak to your emotions?

From the awe-inspiring drama of the Dolomites to the rolling, verdant plains of Tuscany to the turquoise Amalfi coast, Italian scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.

Jennifer Yound Citta d'Oro

Why do our holiday snaps sometimes fail to do these scenes justice?  We may not have professional cameras and technical capabilities, but there is something further lacking.  Have you ever noticed that a painting of a landscape, or an art photography shot, can capture some of the emotion you felt when you were there?  Tuscany Now compares photos of Italian landscapes with painterly renditions of the scene.  What do you think?  Do they capture more?

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Tuscany Now Cook-Off Competition

Cook off- competitionDo you enjoy cooking, being adventurous and adding a little spice to your kitchen?

Tuscany Now is giving you the chance to win a weekend get-away in the beautiful city of Florence, in our beautiful 15th century farmhouse Il Monte. All you need to do is cook up a dreamy dish that would tingle any Italian taste buds.

Up for grabs are 20 bottles of wine and a weekend away for two. Read more