Florentine Christmas

by Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

Christmas is such a happy day, and in Florence, our families gather for a great banquet of traditional Christmas dishes. Almost every dish is served with red wine. Wine is so important to us, and there is no celebration without a toast with hearty red wine or some “bollicine”—sparkling white wine.

Of course, the most important toast is made at the end of the meal with glasses full of Spumante and Prosecco—perfect to drink at the end of the feast with the panettone—the typical Italian Christmas cake.

Please enjoy these traditional Florentine Christmas recipes . . . and Buon Natale!

Crostini Toscani

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini

17 oz. (500 grams) chicken livers

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Tuscan bread or homemade bread

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1.5 oz. (40 grams) pickled capers

10 oz. (300 ml) chicken stock

½ glass of white wine

½ carrot, finely chopped

½ stalk of celery, finely chopped

3 anchovy fillets in oil

1 teaspoon of tomato paste

Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot with the oil, add the chicken livers, cook for 5 minutes over a gentle fire, turning them often with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with wine and let it evaporate. Add salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, wetting, if necessary, with half of the stock.

Place the livers in a food processor with the vegetables, adding capers and anchovy fillets. Blend until creamy and velvety.

Photo by: Conanil on Foter.com

Put chicken liver cream in the pan and add the tomato paste, stock, and salt.

Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Toast the slices of Tuscan bread, spread the warm cream of livers on each slice.

Serve with a good glass of red wine—a Chianti or Brunello.

Agnolotti alla Fiorentina

Spinach Gnocchi

For the dough:

200 g of wheat flour