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Monday, September 08, 2008

Un Viaggio attraverso La Toscana

Church St. Enoteca are hosting a series of regional Italian dinners and tonight, in the first of these dinners, we'll be exploring the region of Tuscany.

Church St. Enoteca

The starter was white bean paste on crostini with pecorino served with 2006 Villa Antinori Toscana Bianco.

Church St. Enoteca
Cacciuccio alla Livornese - 5 types of local fish and shellfish braised in tomato with chilli and saffron
2006 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG

This is the traditional dish of the fisherman of Livorno - after selling the best of their catch, they would make this simple fish stew with the fish they had. 5 different fish have to be used, one for each c in cacciuccio.

There's a lovely waft of saffron as the dish is set down before you - a bit of chilli to spike the dish but not enough to overpower the different fish.

Church St. Enoteca
Pici con Funghi - thick spaghetti with seasonal mushrooms
2006 Marchesi di Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG

Pici weren't available so bucatini were substituted (as were some spaghetti due to a kitchen incident). A simple but classic combination.

Interestingly when I was in Florence last year I did cook with pici and served it with a porcini sauce and pecorino from Arezzo - you can see it here.

Church St. Enoteca
Porchetta - Roast Berkshire Black Pork, rubbed with herbs, served with broad beans
2006 Primo & Co "The Tuscan" Shiraz Sangionvese IGT, Maremma

I drew the short straw when it came to broad beans, there were only two lonely halves on my plate though I think the person next to me had mine! You can definitely taste a difference in the pork and it must be due to the breed used.

Church St. Enoteca
Castagnaccio - chestnut and rosemary cake
Castellani Vino Dei Santi

I can't honestly say that this was a very popular dish based on just how much was left behind on our table. It was just a bit too thick and dry, it really needed something creamy, be it whipped ricotta or mascarpone.

Castagnaccio is also a dish I've made - and you can find it here.

The details:

Church St. Enoteca
527 Church Street, Richmond

Phone: 9428 7898

Restaurant Open:
Lunch: Monday-Friday 12-3pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm to late



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