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Another Italian Dinner

Having dinner in Florence at a little restaurant and pizzeria place… :)

 

Started with some wine…wasn’t very good but then again I have no idea how to choose a good wine lol. Its one of my culinary weaknesses!

 

Next was this awesome calzone…a bit to crispy but the ricotta and the prosciutto were great!

 

Then this simple pasta dish with fresh noodles and tomatoes. Good and not overly seasoned :)

 

Ok, this next pasta dish was really interesting! Fresh noodles with a Tuscan meat sauce… the noodles were quite good with a gritty texture. The sauce was defiantly a new experience. It was super flavorful ground beef and the only way I can kinda describe it was that it somewhat resembled the flavor of corned beef hash! (I love that stuff!) ..so anyways…when in Tuscany try the Tuscan meat sauce :)

 

Homemade Spaghetti

Homemade Spaghetti

So!  Since my trip to Italy i’ve been cooking a lot. I mean I cook anyways but I was just all culinarily inspired… lol. So I decided to take on the challenge of homemade spaghetti sauce with homemade noodles! This meal took several hours to prepare! Here is how it went…Put the tomatoes into boiling water for about 30sec to a min…just until you see the skin crack a little bit.Then place the tomatoes in cold water and get ready to peel! Because of the quick boil the skins will slide right offPeel ’em!Then you half the tomatoes and get all the seeds and water out…to much water and it takes forever for your sauce to cookThen put the halved tomatoes in a pot and start cooking them downNext is getting the dough togethor. Pretty simple with water, flour, oil and eggs.Mix the dough! It’s a tough-ish dough but it should not be so dry it’s crumbly.. :) Make sure you let the dough rest 15min before rolling it out.Roll the dough as thin as possible without tearing it (of course if you have a pasta machine then this step is a whole lot easier haha)Cut your pasta into the shape you like… this dough can also be for ravioli :) When I used oil in my dough I put a bit of truffle oil. <3 It was subtle but great!So all you have to do is boil your noodles and  add seasoning and wine to the sauce (One the tomatoes have disintegrated
a bit) …I also added onions and sausage to mine. Anywho, this stuff is seriously good! If you would like the full recipe just let me know and I’d be happy to type it up for you! :D

Food Firenze! (Get it? lol)

Yeah that was a ridiculous joke! But I couldn’t help it! Alright! So get ready for a super-duper long post! I went on a wonderful food tour of Florence (Firenze), Italy!  …and here are some of the amazingly delicious and very new to me, things I tried!

This was a simple beef brisket that we had in the market, the green sauce was made from cilantro and was very refreshing…the red sauce was..HOT…I avoided it because I don’t like spicy things but a little bit of it got my piece and I was freaking out..talking crazy burn your face off kinda hot!

Next was freshly made raw ravioli! The filling was some sort of smooth cheese and pear, crazy sweet and interesting. The pasta was super tender and good <3

Then onto the delicious balsamic vinegar’s…Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite condiments! <3 LOVE THIS STUFF.

We tried 7 different balsamic vinegar’s! Each one going up in age, the last one we tried was aged for 25 years, expensive but really good stuff and the older it gets the more concentrated it is. So the flavor is very strong and the texture starts to become almost like molasses <3

Next was olive oil…i’v never tasted anything quite like this. I use olive oil every day but this stuff tasted completely different! You could actually taste the olives..in fact it tasted like a fresh raw olive! Very strange indeed.. :D

Then the cheese’s with different toppings :) We had fresh mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano <3 TO DIE FOR.

The sauces were actually different kinds of chutneys, honeys and also truffle pesto-ish stuff ;) We bought several haha. We purchased the pear that was infused with essence of mustard (great stuff) and the mixed berry with truffle oil! NOM APPROVED.

Anyways, these are all the delicious things we tasted at the oldest food market in Florence. If you ever get a chance to visit Tuscany make sure you make your way to this market! <3

Food Review: Aoste Salami

Prosciutto, Pizza, Ravioli, Risotto

I ate many delicious things on my recent trip to Tuscany, Italy :) This was my first meal there (I was *very* excited lol)

 

This is fresh mozzarella and prosciutto <3 OH MAN. I love prosciutto but i’ve never had it like this! In the states it just a bit to salty and chewy..not here…it was the perfect amount of salt with meat that wasnt overly chewy and a chore to eat. Seriously good stuff right here! 

I ordered the Margherita pizza! Super simple but good. The sauce was like…BAM… tomatoes! 

 

This was a tasty fresh pasta with some darn good mushrooms! I believe it was filled with a ricotta mixture. But the interesting part was the pasta. You can see from the photo that it’s not the usual white-ish stuff but yellow, and it wasn’t to tender so it fell apart. It held quite nicely together making for an interesting texture.

 

The last and THE BEST. Probably my favorite dish that I tried in Italy! This was creamy parmesan risotto <3 This stuff was like a giant bowl of comfort food :D  This sauce was very thick and creamy, made with the delectable Parmigiano Reggiano. The risotto was very heavy, so you could only take a few bites without being full haha. Perfectly salty with a great balance of cream and cheese. Nom approved! 

 

 

Gelato and Stuff

Gelatooooo timeeeee :D

Soooooo, I tried some great gelato while I was in Florence! The real deal, not touristy stuff. It was stored traditionally in the metal bin thingys in the counter, not in a display case. The colors were pale and  not fluorescent so you knew the ingredients were real :D (Contrary to popular belief, gelato should NOT be piled high and should be dull in color)
I had FOUR different flavors lol. White chocolate strawberry, passion fruit, coffee and vanilla mint (The mint was so fresh tasting, quite a new experience!). This was some seriously good stuff! The flavors were so vibrant tasting! .

 

I also had Gelato in Pisa…not as great but still good :) I had strawberry

 

Next was chocolate! Pralines to be exact, extremely creamy stuff! My favorite was the hazelnut with cracked pepper on top. The pepper was a genius addition to the chocolate! They complimented each other so well! 

 

The view at the chocolate shop!

Dinner In Tuscany

This is our visit to a cute little italian restaurant on the last day of our trip (I’m not posting stuff we did in any specific order lol) The place was very cozy with only around 7 tables. But it was still fancy and of course they had a large selection of wine :P

 

The first starter we had were Beef Rolls, delicious thinly cut pieces of beef filled with an arugula and fresh cheese mixture. Very fresh tasting dish, it was good even though I’m not really a fan of arugula :)

 

Next was SUPER NOM pieces of rye toast with fresh cheese, raspberry preserves and mint. Oh my goodness this was so good, the saltiness of the cheese was a perfect balance to the sweetness of the preserves and the mint gave it a little extra kick :)

 

 

The entrée I ordered was a fresh pasta with a white ragú, rabbit and saffron. <3 The rabbit was very delicious, like a gamier version of beef.

 

Dessert was probably my favorite part of the meal ;) I ordered the cheesecake and you can even tell by the picture that it’s not your ordinary cheesecake, the texture of the cake is very different, having a much fluffier consistency and not nearly as dense… And FRESH. So fresh tasting that you could taste all the different ingredients, specially the cheese <3