Welcome to CiboChat!

CiboChat is the Food and Culture blog of FUA Florence University of the Arts. This blog project reflects our aim to share the cultural and especially gastronomic experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and Florentine locals. Check out our Florentine Food Guide for how to dine like a local!

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Blog

Trattoria Sergio Gozzi

By Nikki Nappi, Allyson Andrews, Maggie DePaoli, Hope Joel

Trattoria Sergio Gozzi is a lunch only, family owned, 106-year-old traditional Florentine and Tuscan trattoria located in Piazza San Lorenzo. Despite being in an easy to reach, popular destination, it is not visible right away, the only indication it is there is a small sign above the door facing the street. The subtle outdoor decorations let the quality of the food and establishment’s reputation speak for itself. Given the popularity of this establishment , reservations are highly recommended. It is possible to get a table right when they open without one, but there may be a wait within 30 minutes of them opening for the day at 12pm.

The clientele is mostly made up locals and is accommodating for families with young children as well. The staff is also friendly, quick, attentive, and speaks English for travelers and visitors. There are 14 indoor tables with about 50 seats total. The interior of the establishment is comfortable, well decorated, and exactly what you would expect of a family owned Italian trattoria – the walls are covered in vintage photos, books, wine bottles, and a large family portrait.

The menu changes day to day to respect seasonal availability of ingredients, since all ingredients are fresh and purchased daily from the local farmer’s market. This is apparent in the meals we tried, each meal was flavorful, fresh, and well made. We tried for ourselves an array of  traditional Florentine dishes from soup to pasta and a meat dish. The ribollita was delicious and made with fresh vegetables. Same goes for the ravioli with ragù sauce.
The peposo, a beef stewed in red wine with tomato sauce and black pepper, was flavorful and filling and the flavors of the spices and red wine in the sauce were very intense.The meat was slow-cooked and fell right apart. Also, the provided bread was useful in soaking up all the sauce and getting to enjoy every last bite. Each meal came out hot, which is always a positive. A drink menu was not provided, but you could ask the staff to bring you water or wine.

On average, the servings are medium-sized and an entree costs around 10 euros with a 2 euro cover charge. This seems pretty affordable for the quality of the meal and serving size customers receive. Overall, we would recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants an authentic Italian meal with traditional Tuscan dishes.

Crespelle alla Fiorentina

The crepe, or crespella as it is called traditionally in Italy, is a very versatile item in the kitchen: it can be used as a first course at a seated meal, a savory street food item, and of course a dessert. Speaking of desserts, some of the most well-known recipes featuring crepes are deserts such as the mille crêpes, a French cake made of many crêpe layers. Another iconic crêpe is the crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur, which is lit on fire during the presentation of the dish. Outside of Europe some other examples include the 49er flapjack, a sourdough crêpe from the U.S., that gained popularity in California at the height of the goldrush. But today’s recipe is traditionally prepared in Florence, and has more in common with cannelloni rather than its sweet French cousins. Stuffed with ricotta cheese and covered with bechamèl and tomato sauce then baked, it’s the perfect way to surprise any guest or family with something that feels both familiar and new at the same time.

Serves 10

For the crespelle:

100 g flour, sifted
250 ml milk
4 eggs
Salt to taste

Butter as needed
In a bowl whisk the eggs with four and salt, add the milk and set to refrigerate for 30 min. In the meantime grease a non-stick pan with butter. When the mixture has cooled down, take it out of the fridge and heat the pan on a low flame. When hot, spread a ladle of the batter and cook each crespella on both sides.

For the filling:

500 g spinaci, boiled and squeezed
400 g ricotta cheese
150 g parmesan cheese, grated
30 g olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

In a large pan, sauté garlic in oil, add the spinach, and season it with salt. Sauté for a few minutes, chop, and set aside to cool.
Afterwards, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese, pepper, and nutmeg.

For the bechamèl sauce:

30 g flour
30 g butter
½ liter milk, hot
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, and let it toast until it becomes golden. Subsequently add the milk, little by little, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for about 2 min until the consistency of the sauce can coat the back of a spoon.

For the tomato sauce:

400 g tomato paste
50 olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Boil all the ingredients together for about 10 minutes.

To assemble and bake:

Above ingredients
80 g parmesan cheese

ButterStuff the crespelle with the filling and fold them. Place them in a greased oven dish. Cover with bechamèl sauce, place tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Serve warm.





Peposo Florentine Beef Stew

The peposo is a traditional Tuscan recipe from the “provincia” (county) of Florence. It’s similar to a stew, but has its distinct differences. The meat is cooked in a full-bodied red wine, usually a local Chianti from the same area, giving it a dark color. Also, a generous use of black pepper is applied, so much so that the name peposo derives from “pepe” (Italian for pepper). The dish is also known as peposo alla fornacina, since in the past the stew was placed in terracotta bowls and slow-cooked at the mouth of furnaces. Legend goes that the recipe was invented in the 1400s by the workers who tended the kilns producing the bricks that were used to make Bruneleschi’s dome. Utilizing the heat of the furnaces, they were able to cook this simple yet nourishing meal, without having to interrupt the workflow.

Serves 6

Ingredients

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic; finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
2 small stalks celery, finely chopped
2 crumbled dried chili peppers
1.3kg cubed meat from veal hind shanks/hind shin of veal
5 tsp whole black peppercorns
5 cloves garlic, wholeSalt to taste
200g chopped canned tomatoes
500g red wine

Method

Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and chili peppers for 5 minutes. Trim any gristle or fat from the meat and cut into 2cm cubes. Coarsely crush the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or place them in a thick paper bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Add the whole garlic and the meat to the saucepan. Season with salt, add the peppercorns and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the meat is browned all over. Add the tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 12 minutes, then pour in the wine. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. Serve hot.

Contemporary Wienerschnitzel with ginger mayo

The Wiener Würstchen is one of the most iconic dishes from central Europe, so much so that it is the national dish of the country of Austria. And like many other dishes that reach this iconic status, their origin is contentious. Both Austria, Germany, and Italy claim to have invented the plate first. In Italy, it is known as the “cotoletta alla milanese,” since it is commonly made in the region of Lombardy, specifically Milan, which was during most of the 1800s part of the Austrian empire, making it even more confusing to pinpoint the origin of this dish. But we can understand why so many countries want to claim it for their own. This delicious recipe is rich in flavor, with a crunchy exterior that hides soft and rich meat. Today we’re bringing you a slight variation of the original, with the addition of ginger giving it a tangy aftertaste that is well paired with the meat and butter. Try it yourself! 

Serves 4

for the ginger mayo

Ingredients

200 ml seeds oil
50 ml light olive oil
2 eggs
3 yolks
1 tsp salt
1,5 tsp Dijon mustard
1,5 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Lemon juice to taste

Method

Blend seeds oil and fresh ginger with a hand blender. Add all other ingredients and blend again. Strain through a sieve and set aside in a jar. It can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.

for the veal

1 kg of  Veal Loin 
4 eggs
300 g Breadcrumbs
300g clarified butter
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt to taste

Trim and shape the veal using a sharp knife, removing any excess fat and small bones. Cut the loin into four cutlets. Use a meat tenderizer to lightly even out the thickness – do not pound too thin. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, season with salt, ginger powder, and garlic powder. Pass each cutlet in the flour, then in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, pressing with your hands to make the breadcrumbs adhere to the cutlet as much as possible. Repeat for all cutlets. Melt the clarified butter in a frying pan over high heat. Fry the cutlets until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels to drain any excess fat. Sprinkle it with salt and serve warm with a side of ginger mayo.

Spinach and Fresh Ricotta Soup with Crunchy Bread

Today’s recipe hails from an area in southern Tuscany: Maremma.
This unique zone is known for its varied geography: blue sea, long beaches, rolling hills covered with woods, and wild marshes. By now it’s a renowned destination, but it wasn’t always like this. Until the 20th century the area was still wild and inhospitable given the presence of large swamplands, and the people that lived there had to be resourceful in their everyday life. We can see this in the way they cooked: the traditional soup we’re seeing
today features just a few ingredients that are used wisely. A quick weekday recipe that can be prepared in under an hour, and despite being a frugal meal it showcases great culinary care and will leave you satisfied at the end.


Serves 4


Ingredients:
200 gr cooked spinach
2 nr white onions
1 garlic clove
400 gr ricotta di pecora
150 gr canned tomato
100 g vegetable stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
Parmigiano, pecorino romano, nutmeg, salt, pepper to taste


Method:
In a pot with lightly salted water, boil the spinach. When cooked, drain them and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Then chop finely and sauté with oil and garlic in a large pan and set aside.
Finely chop blonde onions and let sweat in a casserole until almost transparent. Add ricotta and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cover with the vegetable stock, letting the soup cook for 30 minutes on very low heat. When done, let it rest for 2 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with additional fresh ricotta, grated cheeses, black pepper, olive oil, and toasted bread.