A Taste of Tuscany (+ Three Bruschetta Recipes Evoking Italian Sunshine)

Italy. The inspiration leaving my Long White Cloud home, aka Aoteoroa, aka New Zealand. It was also the second European country I ever visited (the first being the Czech Republic where the allure of beer and dancing architecture was simply too strong to resist) and more than I ever thought it would be.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Bookings For You but my (very many) thoughts are only ever mine, and my appetite raring as I wrote up our day simply attests to how much I enjoyed their cuisine.

What I never thought I would end up doing is finding myself, Amy, Keri, Emma and a gathering of other bloggers enjoying a slice or two of Italian cuisine down the leafy lanes of lanes of suburban Surrey, but find them we did. Invited down to a day of cuisine masterclasses by the team at Bookings For You (a company sharing 350 personally visited, luxurious holiday rentals in Italy, including the Italian Lakes, Tuscany, Umbria & Puglia, and in Southern France), we thoroughly enjoyed watching – and occasionally helping – the Giovannini family whip up a feast of epic proportions.

The Giovannini family drove the ingredients for our four-course feast all the way over from their beautiful farmhouse – the Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne in Volterra, Tuscany (also home to silver screen villains, the Volturi in the Twilight saga) one of the amazing holiday rentals that Bookings For You shares.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

With their pastry shop Dolceria del Corso in Volterra in their family for three generations, Giancarlo Giovannini and his wife Fabiola, son Dario and his wife Vera know more than a thing or two about exquisite Italian cuisine, following the Tuscan traditions of simplicity and gorgeous ingredients.

(Vegetarians & vegans, look away for the next image.)

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

From extra virgin olive oil pressed from their own grove of olive trees, to the thigh of boar that had roamed their 100+ year old farmhouse grounds, every dish they handmade and shared with us was full of passion, incredible flavour and lashings of heritage.

(Keep scrolling for the 3 Bruschetta/Crostini recipes we enjoyed; Toscana, al Pomodoro & Crostini con Fegatini – chicken liver crostini.)

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Our appetites were more than sated by the feast before us; from helping them make handmade ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta, to watching them expertly twist the steaming strands of pici pasta, drizzled in olive oil and topped with parsley, mint, basil, garlic, egg and pecorino cheese.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

The joy of blogger friends? “Hey, Amy, can you please turn out your wrist so that I can get your tattoo in the photo? Thanks!”

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Utter gourmet afternoon bliss.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Before we knew it, they unveiled the slow roasted wild boar, having made lots of incisions and filling them with a mixture of rosemary, sage, garlic and some lard. The meat was then seasoned, drizzled in olive oil, tied and scattered with sharp black olives.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

But wait, there was more.

Classic tiramisu that American expat Vera created practically in front of her Mother-in-law was our first dessert.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi 

Then, from this…

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

…to this…

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

… we witnessed the Giovannini family’s signature creation of Millefoglie Crema Chantilly e Frutti di Bosco, a cream covered extravaganza of cake and fruit. These are often made at local weddings, constructed in front of the mesmerised wedding party – in lieu of heavy fruit cake – and often the bride and groom have a go at helping to decorate.

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

But, now, the best bit: their traditional recipes for heavenly Bruschetta and Crostini.

From the traditional Toscana Bruschetta…

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Bruschetta Toscana Recipe
Yields 12
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7 calories
1 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
3 g
24 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
3g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 7
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 24mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Tuscan country break bread
  2. Garlic
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice and toast the bread to a golden colour.
  2. Take a whole garlic clove and simply rub it along the warm bread.
  3. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. Amy's awesome tip to peel garlic is to pop the cloves into a tupperware container and shake them - no smelly hands necessary.
beta
calories
7
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
1g
more
Adventures of a London Kiwi https://www.adventuresofalondonkiwi.com/
…not to mention the delectable Bruschetta al Pomodoro – which has to be made with vine- and sun-ripened tomatoes…

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Bruschetta al Pomodoro Recipe
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99 calories
22 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
311 g
169 g
11 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
311g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 169mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
25%
Vitamin C
54%
Calcium
6%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Tuscan country break (sliced and baked)
  2. Tomatoes (diced)
  3. Onions (minced)
  4. Garlic (minced)
  5. Extra virgin olive oil
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
beta
calories
99
fat
1g
protein
3g
carbs
22g
more
Adventures of a London Kiwi https://www.adventuresofalondonkiwi.com/
..and the rosemary sprig dappled Crostini con Fegatini spread liberally on the Tuscan country break bread (sliced and baked).

Italian Cuisine Bruschetta Recipe Bookings For You Adventures of a London Kiwi

Crostini con Fegatini (Chicken Liver Crostini) Recipe
Yields 12
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383 calories
1 g
231 g
40 g
7 g
23 g
72 g
41 g
0 g
1 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
72g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 383
Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g
61%
Saturated Fat 23g
113%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 231mg
77%
Sodium 41mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
93%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
1%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Tuscan country break (sliced and baked)
  2. 300 grams chicken liver
  3. 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 6 sage leaves
  6. 500g butter
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Fry chicken livers with the garlic, sage and olive oil.
  2. Halfway through add a glass of wine similar to that of Vinsanto or a sweet white wine.
  3. Once cooked blitz the chicken with about 25 grams of butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve on toasted bread.
beta
calories
383
fat
40g
protein
7g
carbs
1g
more
Adventures of a London Kiwi https://www.adventuresofalondonkiwi.com/
Utterly, glorious, belissimo cuisine that took me back to our visit to Italy so many years ago. A repeat visit is definitely in order.

What is your favourite Italian dish?

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Italian Cuisine | 3 Bruschetta Recipes | Adventures of a London Kiwi