We had a wonderful time at ‘Ecco la cucina’ near Siena whilst on holiday. Six of us spent the morning cooking with chef Gina Stipo, and learning lots about Tuscan food, as well as Tuscan men and their mothers! Fascinating! I learnt how to make gnocchi, a new thing for me though some of my friends had made it before. Gina thought we did a pretty good job of the little potato dumplings, which we enjoyed with a tomato and ricotta sauce. This was preceded by fried sage and courgette flowers, fried in a simple, light batter. The gnocchi were followed by a wonderful roast chicken dish, with lots of caramelised lemon, herbs and roasted summer vegetables. Simply delicious. Dessert came courtesy of a lush torta di pescha, or peach cake. By far the nicest cake I had in Italy! This had very little flour in it and LOTS of ripe juicy peaches and nectarines. I would serve this type of cake with a dollop of creme fraiche, double cream or even ice cream but this being Tuscany they just don’t ‘do’ dairy/lactic lusciousness! It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the pud though and I’ll certainly be recreating the torta di pescha at home, perhaps trying it with apples rather than peaches this Autumn.
Torta di Pescha