Calling a Chef at your Villa in Tuscany means making you taste the true flavors of local cuisine.
When I started my job as a private chef and cookery teacher, I never imagined that the working season would last so long. I thought I would have worked at most 3 months.
Instead, the tourists who visit Tuscany are more and more and they love to stay here longer and longer.
The first time maybe 3 or 4 days, then a week, a month. And then there are those who want to transfer here and with some sacrifice can do it too.
One of the most authentic experiences you can have in Tuscany is the Cooking Course of Edible Plants.
We go for a walk, we gather wild but edible plants and then we cook them in a house immersed in the nature of the Tuscan hills.
And it is thanks to the working season, which is getting longer and longer, that in recent years this course is having great success.
There are no longer only Summer tourists, that is vacationers. Nowadays many people love to travel in Spring or Autumn, especially those who are looking for good food.
In these seasons the fruits of the earth are in fact more generous and varied; the colors of Tuscany are indescribable and country walks seem like real movie sets.
Furthermore, edible plants provide a lot of benefits.
Well, with this spirit, the other day I went with my daughter Ginevra to take a walk on the hill. We found some splendid wild fennel and decided to propose it to Swedish tourists from Stockholm, for whom I would cook the next day as “Chef at your Villa in Tuscany”.
Calling a Chef at your Villa in Tuscany means eating according to the seasons, everything is fresh and we prepare the whole meal from scratch, on the spot.
Traveling out of season, for example in Autumn, can reserve you some wonderful surprises, here in Tuscany.
In the case of fennel, in addition to the leaves, you can also collect the seeds. Well with these you can make fantastic biscuits cantuccini. Yes, just using fennel seeds instead of anise!
If you call me in Autumn, I will be happy to prepare you not only fresh Pasta but Risottos with the most succulent veggies you have ever tasted; and let’s not talk about the main courses.
In fact, it is precisely in this season that they are most appreciated.
- ½ pound (200 gr) Wild Fennel fronds. Use only tender stems, leaves and slim
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Extra virgin olive oil
- To taste salt
- 1 pound (450gr) Spaghetti
- ½ fresh hot chili pepper (or 1 pinch of hot pepper flakes)
- 1 garlic clove
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 handful of coarsed salt
- Wash the fronds well in cold water
- Take a Santoku knife* or a mezzaluna* (see detail above) and start chopping the fronds over a cutting board. The smaller the better.
- Chop hot pepper as well
- Pour the oil in a wok (or a pan) and heat on the stove
- Put in the garlic clove (skewered in a toothpick) and hot pepper
- Add the chopped wild fennel and let it frying 2 minutes
- Pour the spaghetti in boiling water and let them cook al dente
- Heat on the stove and set the wok over it
- Add salt to taste
- Remove the garlic clove
- Drain the Spaghetti and pour them in the wok over the stove
- Sautè the Spaghetti adding a ladle of cooking water
- Bring to the table and eat IMMEDIATELY
- Buon Appetito!