31 July – 3 August 2015

In Toscana we started our culinary tour with a Chianti wine tasting at Castello di Brolio.
Our favourite Chianti Classico was the one from 2011. It was recently selected by Wine Spectator as one of the five best wines in the world. We shipped some bottles home :-)

Castello di Brolio

Castello di Brolio   Chianti

Castello di Brolio

Another typical product from Toscana is Pecorino di Pienzaa sheep-milk cheese from the ancient city of Pienza. Pecorino tastes great with a bit of honey, fig jam or pear.
It is often used as an alternative to the more expensive Parmigiano Reggiano for grating over pasta dishes.


Pecorino is also used in a typical dish from Toscana: Pici Cacio e Pepe.
This very simple pasta dish consists of Pecorino, black pepper and Pici pasta. Pici are thick, hand-rolled pasta strings that originate from the province of Siena. 

Pici Cacio e Pepe


We were invited by Vito, Fabiola and their children to learn how to cook another pasta dish from Toscana: Pasta con Rucola e Pancetta (pasta with rucola and bacon).

thumb_DSC_0111_1024We first baked the pancetta to make it nice and crispy, and then added sliced Pomodori di Pachino (tomatoes of Pachino, Sicily).

As pancetta we used a local one: Rigatino alla Toscana.


To give the dish a bit of spiciness we got some fresh chilipepper from the balcony:


When the pasta was cooked we mixed it to the pancetta/tomatoes and added rucola, fresh chilipepper and olive oil. As finishing touch we rasped ricotta salata (dried ricotta cheese with salt) over the pasta. The end result was a delicious pasta dish!

Pasta con Rucola e Pancetta   thumb_DSC_0156_1024

Pasta con Rucola e Pancetta

Grazie Mille Vito & Fabiola! It was a wonderful evening with good food and interesting conversations.