Italian food lovers have a reason to rejoice. The Tuscany Food Festival where Chef Luca Casini whips authentic dishes from his homeland is currently on at the city’s La Terrazza, The Hyatt Regency.
For a first hand experience of the food, we decided to head to the restaurant. Once there, we seated ourselves comfortably for lunch and without wasting any time called for Baked Bread with Pesto Sauce, along with some Fresh Lime Juice (our bit to beat the heat).
Then we graduated to a robust option with Panmolle, a salad that has bits of croutons soaked in vinegar along with chopped cucumber, tomatoes and other crunchy veggies. As far as the main course is concerned, we were spoilt for choice in that section, but after much discussion we decided to try out Cacciucco, a traditional preparation of fish stew with different varieties of fish and shellfish cooked in wine with tomatoes and chilli peppers. The dish is perfect for people who love digging spicy food.
Next in line was a soupy dish with vegetables, beans and bread, christened Ribollita. “Traditionally, this soup is made with leftover bread in homes in Tuscany. But at our restaurant, we use freshly baked bread for everything we prepare in the kitchen,” says Chef Luca Casini of the restaurant.
We also tried the Fagioli all’Uccelletto. The Fagioli is a creamy tomato and beans preparation that is paired with pork liver and a variety of other meat dishes. We rounded of our food sojourn with a Crostata di Ricotta, a yummy crostata with ricotta cheese and chocolate drops and the Torta Della Nonna, which is a sweet pastry tart with cream and pine nuts.
400 grams Cannellini beans, dry
400 grams canned tomatoes, seedless
2 cloves of garlic
4 leaves of sage
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Soak the beans for 12 hours, and then simmer in salted water. In a large pan put oil, sage and crushed garlic cloves, leave it till it becomes brown. Then add the beans, previously drained. Allow flavours to blend. Add tomatoes passed through a sieve, season with salt and plenty of pepper, and then cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve hot.