italian cooking

What to taste in Tuscany

The origins of Tuscan food are rather rustic, as we can see from its basic ingredients: bread, even stale bread, spelt, legumes and vegetables.

Some typical appetizers are crostini (toasted bread) topped by spreads like cream of chicken liver and spleen, panzanella, and salame, including finocchiona, a fennel-flavored salame.

The typical first course is soup, like the famous ribollita or bean soup, spelt soup, pici (a type of spaghetti from the area of Siena), or pappardelle with hare.

A famous fish dish is cacciucco soup, followed by mullets and the stockfish stew of Livorno.

Among meat dishes, the bistecca fiorentina (grilled T-bone steak) is the most popular; guinea-fowl meat, pork and game are quite common as well.

The typical desserts are castagnaccio (chestnut cake), buccellato (anise cake) and cantucci.
Wine production here is excellent for both variety and quality: Tuscany produces the finest wines in Italy, from Chianti to Vino Nobile Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and many more. Vin Santo, a sweet and liqueur-like wine, is paired with cantucci (almond cookies, or what Americans refer to as biscotti).


If you wish to know more on Italian cooking or you’s like to take a few lessons to learn and improve your cooking skills with a professional chef, then take a look to our Italian cooking courses!

italian cooking

Institute Galilei

The Galilei Institute is one of the most prestigious among the Italian language and culture schools in Italy for foreigners.

Our school of Italian language was established in 1985, in the centre of Florence, with the aim of providing high quality linguistic services to private people and multi-national companies in need to learn the basics as well as to improve the Italian language up to the highest levels in little time. That is the reason why the Institute Galilei specializes in one-to-one and small group courses with max. 4 participants per class.

After only a few years, the quality of our courses, the reliability of the programs, and the rigorous attention to the individual and her/his linguistic needs allowed us to establish a reputation for meeting the needs of some of the leading companies of the world, many of which have become our steady customers.

Today, the school also offers one-to-one and small group courses in Italian culture such as art history, Italian cooking, and drawing & painting (taught in Italian, English, and on request in other languages). These courses complete the services of the Institute Galilei allowing a practical and immediate approach not only to the Italian language but also to the main aspects of the Italian culture.

Institute Galilei


italian cooking

Italian cooking: Italy, the Land of Taste

Italy has always been a synonym for “good food,” offering an unmistakable explosion of flavors, scents, and aromas. Aside from having one of the most famous cuisines in the world, it also proposes an immense variety of different regional dishes and recipes.

cucina italiana

Visitors cannot miss the culinary and wine itineraries – journeys through Italy’s enogastronomic culture, in search of ancient recipes, genuine products, and simple food inspired by classic Italian cooking and innovative creations. World-renowned products such as Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, Parma and San Daniele ham, Modena balsamic vinegar, Genoa’s pesto, buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Alba truffles are just some of the symbols that make Italy the land of good food. And how could we forget pasta and pizza, universal synonyms for Italy?

cucina italiana

If you wish to know more on Italian cooking or you’s like to take a few lessons to learn and improve your cooking skills with a professional chef, then take a look to our Italian cooking courses!

italian cooking

To-do in Florence: A Valentine’s day full of sweetness!

Are you ready for the Valentine’s day? Or do you still need to organize something for the one you love, but have no idea of what to do?

Well.. Like every year, in Florence there is the possibility to enjoy the day of love with a lot of sweetness! This romantic city offers in fact in piazza Santissima Annunziata a very special event totally dedicated to sweetness!!

The chocolate fair 2017 welcomes you again with a very interesting program and a lot of sweet surprises!

All information about the program and the opening hours can be found on the official website of the fair:

If you want to impress the people you love by preparing delicious recipes and dishes by yourself, have a look at our Italian cooking courses!

italian cooking

Italian cooking: Pappa al Pomodoro

italian recipes, pappa al pomodoro recipe, italian cooking recipesThe “pappa al pomodoro” is one of those dishes that best represents the Florentine and Tuscan cuisine, as it is made of simple ingredients which, properly combined, offers tasty and flavoured dishes!!

Here are the ingredients:

350 gr of stale Tuscan bread
500 grams of ripe Tuscan tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lt of vegetable broth

italian recipes, pappa al pomodoro recipe, italian cooking recipes– Peel the tomatoes (they are ripe, so there is no need to pass them in boiling water), remove the seeds and cut them into small pieces.

– Heat up the oil in a pot with garlic. When the garlic releases its aroma, add the tomatoes and some basil stalks.

– Season with salt, add the chili and simmer the sauce for a few minutes covering the pot.

– Cut the bread into small pieces and let it soften in warm vegetable broth. Squeeze lightly and add the bread to the tomato sauce.

– Cook for about 15-20 minutes while turning it, until the “pappa” begins to take shape. If it is either too dry, balance the consistency by pouring a ladle of broth.

Add the fresh basil leaves torn by hand and leave to rest for an hour.

The pappa al pomodoro is at it best when served warm with a sprinkle of pepper and a little olive oil…

And now…Buon Appetito!!!

If you wish to know more on Italian cooking or you’s like to take a few lessons to learn and improve your cooking skills with a professional chef, then take a look to our Italian cooking courses!


italian cooking

Italian Cooking: Bucatini all’Amatriciana

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guanciale di maiale

The Amatriciana or matriciana is a typical dish of the Italian tradition, known and appreciated in every region. The name comes from Amatrice, a town in the province of Rieti. The main ingredients are guanciale (jowl bacon), pecorino cheese and tomato.

In the nineteenth century and until the beginning of the twentieth century the popularity of the dish in Rome grew considerably. This happened because of the close contacts between Rome and Amatrice. Many innkeepers and restaurant owners in the city were from Amatrice, so that the term “Matriciana” came to mean “inn with kitchen”.

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The pasta Amatriciana was very well received and quickly became a classic dish of Roman cuisine.

Here’s the recipe!

Although you can use any type of pasta, the tradition requires to use bucatini (large spaghetti  hollowed in the center).

You need:

  • 400 g of bucatini (or spaghetti)
  •  300 g of peeled tomatoes (in season 4-5 ripe red tomatoes)
  •  150 g of jowl bacon thick sliced
  • 60-70 g of grated pecorino (mild and not too salty)
  •  1 red pepper
  •  1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  •  salt and pepper

Bring to the boil the water for the pasta. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into cubes eliminating the hard parts (rind), put on the fire a frying pan and when it is hot, combine the bacon and let it cook on low heat with a little oil.

Add the tomatoes, peeled and chopped and cook over high heat for about ten minutes; season with salt, pepper and remove from heat. As soon as the water bubbles, add the salt and the pasta to cook it. Drain the bucatini “al dente”, season with the sauce, sprinkle with cheese and mix everything.

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bucatini all’amatriciana

To better appreciate the dish, put the pasta Amatriciana in the dishes and add more grated cheese before serving.

Enjoy this delicious recipe with family and friends, accompanied by a good glass of Italian wine! Buon appetito!!

If you want to learn this and many other recipes of our cuisine, remember that the Galilei Institute offers Italian cooking courses in Florence, all year round!!

italian cooking

Traditional recipes from Florence: the “Ribollita”!

The Italian Cuisine is famous all over the world for its full tastes and unforgettable dishes: how could someone forget the taste of Lasagne, Pizza or Pesto?
With hundreds of different recipes, which can be different from region to region, lovely smells and genuine
ingredients, coming to the “Belpaese” will be a wonderful experience for your palates!

But why not learn how to prepare something by yourself? It’s easier than it seems! Let’s start with a special recipe coming directly from Tuscany, the heart of Italy: ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you the “Ribollita”.
Well, the name could sound quite strange and actually means “re-boiled”, beacuse during the poor periods the Italian farmers used to cook it on Friday and to reheat it on Saturday in order to have something to eat until Sunday. It’s a simple stale bread and vegetable soup.

500 g stale Tuscan bread (not salty, really important)
300 g dried white beans
250 g ripe tomatoes
3 carrot
1 Tuscan black cabbage
3 potato
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of celery
a few springs of parseley
extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
chilli powder

There are many versions of this traditional Tuscan dish, depending on the season and the availability of the ingredients. Start by preparing a good bean soup. Leave the dried beans tio steep for at least 12 hours, then drain them. Cover with fresh water and cook over a low heat in a covered pot. Meanwhile in a pan cook the diced onion, carrot and celery in a little oil. Add the crushed garlic, the skinned and chopped tomatoes, the red chilli and the thyme and after about 5 minutes add the potatoes cut into small cubes and the thinly sliced cabbage. Cook over a low heat, adding a little water. Pass the beans and their liquid through a food mill and add this mixture to the vegetables. Check the seasoning just before removing from the heat, after about 20 minutes. meanwhile, in a large ovenproof dish arrange two thin layers of bread and pour the soup over them. Make another two layers of bread and cover with more soup. The ribollita is obtained by reheating the soup over a very low heat. Make a dent in the centre, add some olive oil and boil very slowly, protecting the pot with a heat-diffuser plate.

Try it and you will be surprised – absolutely delicious!

This recipe is included in the Italian cooking courses offered by Institute Galilei.