The cecina from Tuscany is typical of the province of Siena, it is entirely made of chickpeas flour, water, salt and olive oil. And pepper to serve. One of the most representative recipe of the Italian cucina povera.
The cecina is all about simplicity, genuineness and primitive flavor. The flavor that conquers my mum’s kitchen when she makes it. She knows that I love anything made of a special whole wheat flour, simple, authentic and vegetarian. A good dish that connects you with the Italian traditions, back to the origins, without compromising on taste.
A dish that is easy to make and share among family and friends, essential in its appearance it can be enjoyed alone or as a side dish with some veggies or pecorino cheese. My favorite version of the cecina is the one with fresh rosemary from the garden.
To prepare the cecina all you need is a bowl and a whisk. You put the flour in a bowl, add salt and water and keep stirring. Then add the olive oil. Put the mixture into a baking tray and bake it for 15-20 minutes. The cecina is ready when the surface gets golden brown. Dust with some black pepper and serve when it’s really warm.
The second recipe I would like to present you is the castagnaccio made of chestnut flour, raisins, pine nuts, walnuts, and rosemary. The castagnaccio is typically Tuscan and its history is tangled with the town of Siena. The castagnaccio was born as a dish for the poor farmers of the region, made with chestnuts that could be found in abundance in the Tuscan countryside. The dish was born a long time ago: it appears that its creator is Pilade da Lucca quoted in the «Commentario delle più notabili et mostruose cose d’Italia et altri luoghi » written by Ortensio Orlando and published in Venice in 1553. From 1800 the dish became popular in the other regions of the Country and in this period it was enriched with raisins, pine nuts and rosemary.
The preparation is quite easy: sift the flour and add water stirring with a whisk, add walnuts and pine nuts. Later add raisins and salt. Put the mixture in a baking tray and bake for 35 minutes. The castagnaccio is ready!
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