If you are passionate about Italian and Tuscan cuisine and want to explore the staple ingredients, if you are about to move on your own and you need to stock up your pantry from zero, or if you, like me, enjoy browsing through the pantries of other people, don’t miss today’s episode.
Today we’ll explore a well-stocked Tuscan pantry. Once you define a number of recipes that you love, that are reliable and express your true soul as a cook, work on your pantry. Stock it with the essential ingredients to cook your favourite recipes and to improvise, store your food so that you can control quantities and expiring dates, browse through the jars, bags and cans often, not too leave anything behind.
Listen to the episode to discover the 10 unmissable ingredients and a recipe for pasta with anchovies, capers and toasted breadcrumbs.
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Learn the Italian language of food word after word. Every year more than 200 people join our cooking classes. Speaking with them, I made a small dictionary of important words and pronunciations that can help you navigate through the immense world of Italian food. So, if you love Italian language as much as you love Italian cooking, these are a few words that can be useful for you.
Today’s word is lardo. L – A – R – D – O
Do not mistake lardo for lard.
Lard is pork fat rendered and clarified. In Italy, we call it strutto (which means melted).
It is a cooking fat, creamy almost like butter. It is still used in some traditional recipes as schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a Carnival treat from Florence, in shortcrust for crostate and to fry, especially meat – rabbit is incredibly delicious when fried in lard. It is also used to preserve food, as for fegatelli di maiale, pork liver pieces spiced with fennel, salt and pepper, wrapped in the fat net which is around the pig intestines and cooked until golden.
Lardo, instead, is a cured meat. It is the fat from the back of the pig which is traditionally cured for months in marble basins with salt, pepper and a mixture of herbs and aromatics. You slice it as you would do with a prosciutto, and you can use it on toasted bread, or to wrap lean meat – but also fish, try shrimps! – to cook them and make them moister and more flavourful. I have a recipe for pork medallions wrapped in lard on my blog, for example!