Tuscan Lucca cuisine is very simple and genuine, and, being a kitchen of peasant origin, is characterized by the recipes made of simple ingredients and the seasonality of foods.
Most used foods in Lucca cuisine in Tuscany are:
Pork traditionally is the most frequently used meat in Lucca kitchen. Lucca extra virgin olive oil produced in the province is used often to enrich the taste of simple recipes. Aromatic herbs are essential in "poor kitchen" of Lucca, and are used for cooking of all types of soups, meats, cakes, pies and other foods.
In classic Lucca cuisine every dish has its own cooking pan specifically used for only for that type of food (one for sauces, one for soups, etc.).
The dishes are accompanied by local wines, usually not very strong ones but full of flavor. The most popular Lucca wines to combine with classic Lucca recipes are Colline Lucchesi D.O.C. and Montecarlo D.O.C.
You may be also interested in reading The Finest Wines of Tuscany guide before selecting the best Tuscan wine to combine with your meal.
Italian Lucca food has a large number of first courses and desserts, while the choice of main courses and starters is much more limited.
Here are some classic Lucca dishes inspired by traditional Tuscany cooking. Enjoy!
Farro (spelt) is a very ancient grain. In Lucca cuisine farro is used for minestra made with beans (type of borlotti), aromatic and spicy herbs (celery, onion, garlic, salvia and marjoram), pieces of bacon and, of course, with Lucca extra virgin olive oil.
Garmugia is a traditional Lucca spring soup cooked with onions, peas, fresh beans, bacon, extra virgin olive oil, meat and beef broth. Garmugia soup is usually served with crostini - home toasted dark bread.
Farinata is a traditional classic dish of Lucca cuisine made with beans (borlotti type), black cabbage, bacon, tomato and cornstarch.
Matuffi is a polenta dish originally coming from Garfagnana, which is served in bowls, and includes alternating layers of meat sauce, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
Tordelli are fresh pasta ravioli stuffed with beef and pork, bread soaked in broth, Parmesan cheese, eggs, herbs. In Lucca Tordelli are usually served with meat sauce and parmesan cheese.
Baked vegetables (Sformati di verdure)
Baked vegetables is a classic of Lucca cuisine. Beans, spinach, artichokes, cauliflower and chard are used the most frequently. Boiled and chopped vegetables are combined with bechamel sauce and egg yolks, put in a baking pan, dusted with bread crumbs and cooked in the oven.
For preparing a rabbit stew the Luccan style, rabbit is cooked in a pan with tomatoes, onion, extra virgin olive oil, olives, bitter olives, garlic, chilli pepper and various aromatic herbs.
Roasted salt cod with chickpeas
For cooking this dish salt cod must be cut in slices, roasted over coals and served with chick peas seasoned with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
Soak slices of beef in bread crumbs, fry them and then season with tomato sauce, capers and aromatic herbs. Rovelline is one of the most delicious dishes of the cuisine of Lucca. Excellent when served with mashed potatoes.
Buccellato of Lucca
Lucca buccellato is the city's most famous and characteristic dessert. Buccellato is a typical Lucca donut cake made of flour, eggs, aniseed and raisins. You can find them both in the traditional shape of a ring and as a loaf, but the most importantly the flavor remains the same.
In Lucca, Italy buccellato traditionally can be soaked in cappuccino or even in wine making a perfect after-dinner dessert. Nowadays you can find many variations of it but the traditional classic Lucca buccellato recipe contain just flour, sugar, aniseed and raisins.
When buccellato is dried out and not fresh anymore it can be perfectly used for a sweet Lucca soup.
Sweet Lucca Soup
For preparation of Lucca soup dried buccellato is cut in slices, softened with vin santo, and placed in alternating layers with strawberries and cream flavored with wine. There are also simpler variants, such as, for example, dry slices of buccellato can be soaked in red wine and served just like that. This Luccan sweet soup is delicious, especially in its traditional variant.
Castagnaccio of Lucca, Tuscany is a sweet rustic dessert made of chestnut flour, shelled walnuts, pine nuts, orange peel, raisins, rosemary and olive oil.
Necci are typical sweets of Lucca cuisine, made from a dough of chestnut flour cooked in the special long-handled iron briquettes. After that you'll get crepes that are filled with fresh ricotta cheese.
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