My last trip brought me in Tuscany once again, a wonderful land that I’ve always loved, especially for breathtaking hills around Siena. And what about the excellent traditional cuisine? Let’s talk about it!
Without doubt, this is not exactly a cuisine for vegetarians like me because of the great quantity of game meat and sausages, but if we explore it in his homemade version (that is not the typical touristic menu), we find out simple and tasty vegetarian dishes, such as the pancotto.
I ate it again a few weeks ago when, thanks to Workaway, I could work as a volunteer for Tende Capovolte, a project dealing with horses and natural horsemanship technique near San Gimignano. I experienced a blast from the past: my father is Tuscan and when I was a child, each summer I went see uncles and cousins exactly in the province of Siena. There, as good Italian tradition, I spent a lot of time eating typical homemade meals that now, after years, I tasted again at Gianluca’s house, the hosting guy. Moreover, a couple of times a week, his lovely parents invited us for a meal…and here we are with the pancotto! One of these days his mother, a great chef, made it for us and it was love at the first bite, again!
We are talking about a soup, its receipe is easy to prepare and is made by healthy and cheap ingredients, since it has popular origins.
Cooking the pancotto also helps to avoid food wastage.
One of the main ingredient is, indeed, bread, which is usually from the day before, already stale and otherwise not very appetizing.
And what’s more, the pancotto can also be well kept refrigerated for a few days, and heated with the addition of some olive oil it’s delicious anyway.
400 gr Tuscan bread (without salt)
50 gr Pecorino cheese
2 garlic cloves
1 chili pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan; add peeled garlic cloves cutted into two parts and without cores, and chili pepper chopped into little chunks. Then add chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, grated Pecorino cheese and simmer for 15 minutes. Lastly, add stale bread roughly chopped and cook all for 15 more minutes. Before serving, let sit for at least 5 minutes and serve with pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.