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The rustic flavors of Arezzo, in Tuscany


The gnudi are soft croquettes with ricotta cheese and spinach. Their name is due to the fact that the ingredients are the same used to make stuffed pasta, but in this case they are “naked”. Probably their origin can be found among the poorest families who couldn’t afford pasta. Certainly it is a very old recipe that still satisfies the most delicate palates today. The gnudi are prepared with ricotta and spinach, parmesan cheese, eggs, nutmeg and a some flour. They are boiled and served with melted butter and sage.

Gnudi photo seriouseats

Tortelli del Casentino

The tortelli of Casentino are a first course made of stuffed pasta. The fresh egg pasta is stuffed potatoes, garlic, tomato and pecorino cheese. Tradition requires the red potatoes from Cetica, a village in the district of Arezzo. This variety of potatoes has a very delicate taste and cooks well, it’s perfect for the tortelli of Casentino! The tortelli are served with butter and sage.

Crostini neri

The black croutons are an appetizer from Arezzo. The main ingredient is the chicken livers with vegetables, capers and anchovies. You can also add veal meat to the dough. The ingredients are chopped and cooked to form an exquisite cream to put on the croutons. The cream is quite dark,that’s the reason behind their name. The croutons are prepared with rustic Tuscan bread.

Maccheroni al sugo d’ocio

The maccheroni al sugo d’ocio is a dish that originated from the traditional wheat threshing. On this occasion people used to prepare lunch for those who worked in the fields. The ocio (the duck) was cooked for many hours in a pan with vegetables, wine and tomato. The tasty, rich and savory sauce was used to season fresh pasta. In Tuscany we can still appreciate this rustic peasant dish in all its goodness!

Anatra in porchetta

The duck in porchetta is a second course made of delicious meat that was originally from Arezzo. The duck is seasoned in several parts with plenty of garlic, wild fennel, salt and pepper. In the past it was cooked in the wood-burning oven, today we can enjoy this tasty roast after two hours of baking in the oven. For a more succulent version you can add ham, lard or sausage.

Grifi all’aretina photo italyzeme

Grifi all’aretina

The grifi all’aretina are a second course of rustic meat, originally from Arezzo. The grifi are the parts of the calf’s snout muscle. It’s a poor recipe that uses the scraps of the slaughter. The chopped meat is cooked in a pan together with onions, tomatoes and various aromas such as thyme or cloves. It is mixed with red wine and cooks until the meat is tender and the sauce is tight. Traditionally, the grifi are served inside the bread.

Gnocchi di ricotta del Casentino

The gnocchi with ricotta of Casentino are a first course of tasty, delicious fresh pasta. They are prepared with a mixture of ricotta and spinach, mixed with flour, bread crumbs, eggs and pecorino. Dumplings are boiled in boiling water and served with butter and sage, or with a simple sauce.

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