Divina Cucina's Recipes

by Amy Sherman
Print Email

divinacucina.jpgCan you imagine a cookbook with ingredients but no measurements? My cookbook that I got from the school I attended in Florence many years ago is like that. So is the cookbook "A Tuscan in the Kitchen". Tuscans are funny that way. Because they grew up cooking without measurements, they can't imagine why anyone else should need them.

Thank goodness for Divina Cucina's Recipes, because my ability to write down recipes back in the day was not what it is today, and I actually appreciate measurements with my recipes. Judy Witts Francini is an American who has been living in Florence for over 25 years. She's a fantastic cook and cooking instructor and also has a lovely blog that really gives you a feel for shopping, cooking and eating in Italy. When I heard she was publishing a cookbook of recipes, I couldn't wait to check it out.

The dishes in the book are absolutely what I remember from living with a family in Florence. Included are the recipes for what local people actually eat – classic antipasti from the region, plenty of soups, and main dishes that use generally inexpensive cuts of meat and poultry. It's real Tuscan food, and not restaurant food. You won't find "Bistecca alla Fiorentina" because frankly, no one cooks that at home. One thing I experienced in Florence is that vegetables are never served plain, and Judy includes lots of great recipes for vegetables that use a bit of flavorings such as prosciutto, garlic, tomato or lemon. Once you cook vegetables this way, you will never eat plain steamed vegetables ever again!

Now of course, each person cooks slightly differently, and there are no set in stone recipes for classic dishes like Pappa al Pomodoro or Involtini. One person uses a red onion another a leek, one person uses fresh tomatoes another canned. My recollection of certain recipes is not exactly the same as hers, but I have tried plenty of Judy's recipes and they always work for me. Because she's been a cooking instructor for so long you'll find her recipes very easy to follow.

The only downside to the book is that I love Judy's writing and wish she had included more notes about the recipes in her book, but for that, you'll just have to head over to her blog Over a Tuscan Stove.

 

Amy Sherman is a San Francisco–based writer, recipe developer, restaurant reviewer and all around culinary enthusiast. She blogs for Epicurious , Bay Area Bites and Cooking with Amy .   

 

You have no rights to post comments

 

restaurant news

Lunch at Maggie's Farm in Middleton
New England
by Kitty Kaufman

maggiesfamrToday's adventure begins as I leave Boston over the Tobin Bridge to Route 1 North to Middleton. I go by giant box stores and chain restaurants I've only read about. Although people drive fast in...

Read more...
Gelato Bar
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

ice-cream-cones.jpg Despite the fact I have parents who eat ice cream almost every day (if they could have it at every meal, they would), until recently I thought I could live happily without ever lifting a dessert...

Read more...
Surf's Cranking in Portsmouth
New England
by Kitty Kaufman

Surf 6Our boogie boards are home but we're amped at Piscataqua's harbor. After hours on red brick, the idea of dinner is is looking good so we tube into a high top in the bar. For openers, Jim's got a...

Read more...
Bludso's BBQ: A Joint Even Veggies Will Love
Los Angeles
by Annie Stein

bludsologoThis is like an April Fool’s Day joke; a BBQ joint write up by a vegetarian! There is a method to this madness. After all there’s more than one way to come at anything!

Here’s the theory; there are...

Read more...