DIVINA CUCINA’S RECIPES: Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen
Marty Martindale

By Judy Witts Francini

She answers to many titles: market maven, culinary concierge, cooking teacher also author of “DIVA.” She is Judy  Witts Francini, and she has conducted her school in Florence, Italy, for 25 years. It is exciting city noted for its designers, artisans and fabulous food markets. Many refer to her as “Your best friend in Florence since 1984.”

Judy soon deveveloped a fondness for Florence’s bountiful, colorful San Lorenzo Market, which she shopped daily. This is also where she practiced her mother-in-law’s secret for becoming a good Tuscan cook. “Spend more time shopping and less time cooking,” she told her daughter-in-law. Anxious to pass this wisdom along, Francini made sure she introduced her cooking students to her favorite marketplace.  Now her book of nearly 100 of her favorite recipes from classes taught in Florence and Chianti is ready for distribution. Judy urges you to invite your friends to your own Tuscan table.

Below is an overview of just a few of the recipes in her book:

CROSTINI DI FEGATINI (Chicken Liver Toasts)
Calls for white onion, butter, capers, anchovy paste, Tuscan sherry and a baguette

PESCE FINTO (Fake Fish)
Potatoes, Tuna, olive oil, capers and vinegar

SUGO DI CARNE RAGU (Meat Sauce)
Ground sirloin, tomato sauce, carrot, onion, celery, prosciutto, dried porcini mushrooms, red wine and nutmeg
ALLA PUTTANESCA (Spicy Sauce)
Tomato sauce, anchovies, capers, black olives, garlic and red chili pepper

SALSA VERDE (Green Sauce)
Parsley, capers, garlic, anchovy, pine nuts, wine vinegar, olive oil and white bread

ACQUACOTTA (Cooked Water)
Red onions, celery, olive oil, stewed tomatoes, water, eggs and sliced bread

PAPPA AL POMODORO (Tomato and Bread Soup)
Garlic, canned plum tomatoes, stale bread, leek olive oil, broth, basil and red chili pepper

PANZANELLA (Bread Salad)
Stale bread, tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, basil, olive oil and vinegar

RAVIOLI GNUDI (Naked Ravioli)
Spinach, ricotta, eggs, flour, nutmeg and parmesan cheese

RISOTTO DIVINO (Non-Stir Risotto)
Risotto rice, olive oil, garlic, boiling water and parmesan cheese

VITELLO TONNATO (Veal with Tuna Sauce)
Veal or turkey breast, tuna, anchovy paste, capers, mayonnaise, celery, onion, carrot and parsley

FINOCCHI GRATINATI (Fennel with Cheese)
Fennel bulbs, fennel seeds, jack cheese, oregano and olive oil

PISELLI ALLA FIORENTINA (Peas Florentine Style)
Peas, pancetta, garlic, parsley, sugar and olive oil

RICCIARELLI (Senese Almonds Cookies) Almond flour, egg whites, flour, baking powder, powdered sugar and almond extract

Just this year Judy Witts Francini retired from teaching classes and concerns herself with writing, market tours, tastings and week-long culinary tours in both Tuscany and Sicily.  Her beautiful cookbook is hand-sewn, as well as glued, to assure kitchen endurance. In it she has allowed plenty of room for personal adjustments, serving sizes and yes, even recording enthusiastic reactions from your guests! Order her book from:  DIVINA CUCINA. Judy ships all orders by registered mail. This means two books ship for the same price as one, and they’re all signed copies.

Next on Francini’s work schedule is to compile a requested Italian version of Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen.

Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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