"...We come directly to your holiday home in Tuscany..."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tuscan Cooking Classes: Pici, Fat Spaghetti to impress someone you love with an amazing taste of #Tuscany!

Pici Collage

Pici (fat spaghetti) Maremmani
Recipe by Erika Elia (Cuoche in Vacanza.it)
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1,05 hour about


  • 14 oz all purpose flour
  • 4 oz semolina
  • 7 fl oz water
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour the all purpose flour in a bowl and make a well in center
  2. pour in the water and start to incorporate the flour by circular motions with your fingers or with a fork
  3. add the oil and the salt and knead to obtain a mass
  4. knead for about 5 minutes trying to form a leaf
  5. cover the pasta with a cotton clothe or a plastic wrap and let it to rest for about 30 minutes
  6. flatten your dough with your hand and roll it out with a rolling pin
  7. the thick of pasta should be around 1/4 inch
  8. at this point you have 2 options:
  9. 1) you can slice your pasta with a knife (1/4 inc lengths) and don't worry if some stripes will be longer than others: homemade pasta is always different
  10. roll your stripes on the surface, with your hands to give them a circular shape
  11. 2) you can use an useful rolling pin with grooves (have a look to the pictures) and press it on pasta while rolling; after rolled it out you'll have to pick your stripes and separate your fat spaghetti one by one
  12. I love the shape they already have in this way, but you can gently rolling up with your hands, if you prefer
  13. remind to sand very well your work surface with the semolina and to sand again the pici once done
  14. now you can cook the Pici:
  15. put them in a big pot with boiling and salted (2 tsp) water and let them cook for about 5 minutes
  16. You can season them with your fav sauce: ragu (meat sauce), pesto sauce, pummarola and don't forget to add parmesan...the final touch and a must here in Italy!
Print Recipe

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eggplant (Aubergines), #Parmigiana di Melanzane on the top of a hill in #Tuscany

Parmigiana Aubergines
Here's one day Cooking Class by CuocheinVacanza spent between Tuscan hills in a faboulous Bed&Breakfast hold by English People. Breathtaking view over green and sunny fields, olive trees and all you need to live in peace with world and Nature.
By popular demand I'm posting an old recipe about "Aubergine Parmigiana" or Parmigiana di Melanzane, as you say here in Italy. The most suitable month to make this dish is August, but so many people ask me to show this recipe...and so it's done this incredible and tasty, evergreen delight.

tuscan landscape

Aubergine Parmigiana

Recipe by Erika Elia (CuocheinVacanza.it)
Prep time: 40 minutes + (30 minutes to rest optional)
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1,30 hour about

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300 gr caciocavallo cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 3 large aubergines
  • 40 cl (1/2 a bottle) peanut oil or extra virgin oil
  • 100 gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 100 gr rock salt
  • to taste salt
  • 5 basil leaves

Cooking Directions
To prepare tomato sauce for Aubergine Parmigiana:
  1. Put in a saucepan the onion and garlic, with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry for a few minutes, then add tomato sauce and simmer to the thickening of the sauce and, lastly, add the salt and the basil leaves cut with your fingers; then turn off the heat and it's done!
  2. Wash and cut the eggplants into slices about 0,5 cm.
The following step can be optional if you're sure having very fresh and firm Aubergines:
Put them in a bowl (or colander), big enough to hold them all, arrange them in layers and sprinkle each with salt. Let to rest for about 1/2 an hour. After this time, remove from the bowl, rinse under running water and dry well.
  1. Prepare a pan with the oil (about 1/2 a bottle), fry the eggplants until they are golden on both sides and let them dry on a paper.
  2. Anoint a baking tray, sprinkle the bottom with a little of sauce and start to have a first layer of eggplant to be placed side by side without overlapping.
  3. Pour a little sauce on the eggplant, spreading it uniformly, and sprinkle with a little of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  4. Slice the caciocavallo (or mozzarella) cheese and deal a few slices of it on the sauce leaving a little space from one another. Now prepare the second layer, placing the aubergines in the opposite direction to the previous one (if at first you have arranged vertically, now arrange them horizontally) and continue covering them with sauce, Parmesan cheese and finally with slices of cheese, until all the ingredients.
  5. Remember that the last layer must be of only tomato and grated Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Place the aubergines in the oven at 200 °C (400 °F) for 30 minutes until they present the characteristic golden "crust".
  7. You can serve your eggplant parmigiana hot, just pulled out of the oven, or at room temperature ... it's good anyway, even cold!
  8. Suggestion: you can grill the eggplants (instead frying). This Aubergine Parmigiana'll be very tasty but certainly "lighter".
Print Recipe


Saturday, April 11, 2015

#Florence: Private Dinners and Cookery Courses by CuocheinVacanza...a new season's started!


And 'now started a new season of work and Rossy and I are always departing to new places in Tuscany..."We come to wherever you are in Tuscany to prepare the tastiest dishes with you".
The cookery courses and private dinners are our specialty and this year we started in a big way, discovering places truly unique, with breathtaking views, where you make your vacation, and we come to cheer up your evenings with the most exquisite delicacies.

You have just spoiled for choice with our  really different menus.


The week began with a really chic Passover meal, in a beautiful house in the historic center of Pisa, we then moved to Terricciola, to celebrate the birthday of a Norwegian lady with her family.  


The week ends in Florence, in a beautiful building in the historic center. Our guests are this time Americans who, after returning from shopping and museum visits, decided to relax in this beautiful apartment with our dishes, all strictly homemade.


What have we prepared? Where we were?
Find it in the photos, and if you also want to live these fine dining experiences, you've just to call us:
"...We come directly to wherever you're staying in Tuscany to prepare the tasteful dishes with you" 



Our recipes all for you!! 

For homemade Gnocchi recipe: click here  
For Bruschetta: click here
For homemade Pasta: click here
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