Zuppa Toscana - Tuscan Soup: Recipes from Italy's Tuscany central region!

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Gran Bollito Misto

This is basically a mix of the good cuts of meats boiled in water and then served sliced with various sauces... this is similar to a beef fondue, just that in that case you use oil instead of water to cook the meat. The broth that results from the cooking is then used to for the tortellini al brodo.

Serves: 6


  • quality select beef and veal cuts such as chuck, shoulder, rump and round - leave in large pieces
  • cut in medium sized pieces:
  •   1 large onion
  •   1 medium carrot
  •   1 stick of celery
  • salt
  1. In a large stockpot, add the chopped vegetables and salt to taste and cover with a lot of water (it should be enough to also cover the meat once it is added to the pot). Place the pot over medium heat, and bring to the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, lower heat and add the beef cuts.
  2. Cook for about an hour, then add the veal cuts and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove meat pieces from the broth (discard the vegetables before using the broth for the tortellini recipe) and cut into slices. Arrange slices on a platter, sprinkle some salt on top and spoon over some of the broth. Serve with dipping sauces or alone, seasoned with some extra virgin olive oil.

Some Dipping Sauces

Salsa verde (green sauce)

  • 200 gr. dried Italian bread, cut into smallish pieces (7 ounces)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 anchovy (or 1 tsp anchovy paste)
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and cut into 4 pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Take the dried bread pieces and place them in a bowl; add about 1 cup of water and a tsp of vinegar to the bread and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove from the bowl, squeezing to remove excess water and add to a blender cup. Add the parsley, garlic, capers, anchovies, hard boiled egg, and a bit of salt. Turn the blender on, and slowly add the olive oil until you'll have a sauce to your preferred consistency.

Homemade Mayonnaise

  • 1 very fresh egg
  • salt
  • lemon
  • about ½ cup of fresh vegetable oil

Best to start with ingredients at room temperature. Cover the egg in its shell with hot water to warm it briefly. Add the egg to your blender, adding the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt. Start the blender at a medium speed, and add about a third of your oil and continue adding it in a constant drizzle. Continue to blend until the mixture thickens. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered jar for 1 to 2 days. Makes about ½ cup.

Salsa rosa

  • 1 homemade mayonnaise recipe, see above
  • about ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp rum

Combine the mayonnaise with a the ketchup (the ratio is about 2:1) and a tsp of rum. Mix for 2 minutes to blend well.

Herb Butter Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon blend of fine herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
  • Dash hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

Buon appetito!

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