Tuscan cuisine

It is time for asparagus. White, green, purple, cultivated or wild, until the end of June asparagus push up through the earth for the happiness of the gourmets.

Famous since antiquity for their medicinal properties, diuretic, depurative, rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and B & C vitamins.

They need to be picked up as soon as the appear on the surface of the ground, otherwise they become woody.

Asparagus does not need to be cooked in a complicated way. In Tuscany we often use the green ones which are very tasty and slightly bitter, the countryside is also full of the thin and dark wild ones. "Nella" is the butcher of our village but also one of the best cooks. She gave us to simple recipes usually prepared in Tuscan homes.

RISOTTO o PASTA CON ASPARAGI E PANCETTA - (4 persons)

- Cut 100grs of "pancetta" (bacon) in small pieces and put it fry lightly in a large pan with some olive oil and a clove of garlic.

- At the same time boil 1 lt. of water with 1 stock cube or fresh vegetable broth.

- When the pancetta is fried enough add 400 gr. of trimmed asparagus for few minutes (2-3 minutes is enough).

- Add to the pancetta and asparagus 300 gr. (medium) of rice, stir for 2/3 minutes (you can add half glass of white wine, cook for 2/3 minutes more).

- When the rice becomes transparent add the broth with one ladleful at a time and continue stirring. As soon as the broth is evaporated, repeat this operation that will take 20 to 25 minutes. the important thing is not to stop stirring as this releases the starch from the rice.

- When the rice is cooked grate some "parmiggiano", you can also add a little fresh parsley, stir and it is ready to be served.

FRIED EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS

- Fry trimmed asparagus in butter for few minutes add salt and pepper.

- break the eggs over the asparagus, finish cooking everything in the oven.

- You can grate over some "parmiggiano" before eating. If you want other Tuscan, Italian or other delicious recipes, just click on "A TAVOLA" where Rebecca could also answer any requests.