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Arista Toscana Shopping Tips
Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.
Arista Toscana Cooking Tips
The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.
Arista (standing rib roast of pork with rosemary and garlic) – Toscana
- 2 kilo bone in pork loin roast, rinsed and dried
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, washed, leaves removed
- 60 mls extra-virgin olive oil
- 250 mls white wine
- 1 kilo potatoes, cut in 2 cm dice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Score the skin of the pork and rub it 5 grams of salt, ensuring the salt gets into the cut part of the skin. Leave the roast in the refrigerator, uncovered overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Mix together the garlic and rosemary with 7.5 grams (1½ teaspoon) salt and 5 grams (1 teaspoon) black pepper.
- Partially, cut the ribs away the bone, leaving it attached at the thicker end.
- Rub the area between the bones and the loin with the garlic and rosemary mixture.
- Use kitchen twine to tie the roast back together so that it does not separate while cooking.
- Rub the rest of the meat (but not the skin) with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the roast bones down and skin up in a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven or clay pot.
- Pour the white wine in the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until a thermometer in the centre of the roast registers 65C (150F).
- Turn the oven up to 225C (450F) and cook until the skin is crisp and crunchy and a thermometer inserted in the centre of the pork roast registers 75C (165F).
- Remove from the heat and allow the roast to relax for 15 minutes before slicing. Check the potatoes to see if they need more salt or pepper. Slice and serve with the beans.
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What Does Zuppa Toscana Mean?
So, Zuppa Toscana is a general term that means “Tuscan soup” with Italy being the place of origin. A classic and more authentic Zuppa Toscana may feature beans and/or other vegetable components inside of a lighter based soup broth. The very popular Italian-American restaurant, Olive Garden, has transformed (and Americanized lol) this soup into a more richer and slightly heavier version with heartier ingredients.
- 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
- 1 ¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 6 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed
Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.
How to make Zuppa Toscana
There are many ways to make Zuppa Toscana, including using the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.
This Zuppa Toscana recipe is made on the stove, in one pot. It’s simple, easy and ready in less than one hour! You can certainly adapt the recipe to use with your favorite appliance, if you prefer.
Recommended equipment/tools: Dutch oven, wooden spoon.
Here’s how I make this Zuppa Toscana recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
- Cook the bacon: Cook the bacon until golden brown. Remove and reserve.
- Brown the sausage: Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the sausage. Remove and reserve. Drain most of the rendered fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened. Then, add the white wine to deglaze the pot.
- Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the reserved bacon and sausage back into the pot. Stir in the kale and heavy cream.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until the kale is thick and the soup has thickened slightly.
- Add the grated parmesan and mix to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Teenagers cooking class in Tuscany and “arista” (pork) recipe and video!
Teenagers cooking class yes! Kids are going to prepare a special dinner for their parents.
We go throughout Tuscany for Private Cooking Classes and Dinners with our Company: Cuoche in Vacanza (Cooks on holiday).
These times we went to Massarosa and Montespertoli.
So: many people at the table, enjoining the fruit of their sons’ labour.
The first Villa where we run teenagers cooking class was near the “city of wine”: Montespertoli.
The name is “Casa Tara” and we worked very well over there because of the large kitchen and dining room where we could serve at the table.
The second Villa was fantastic… and let me say a fantastic one… near the village of Massarosa : “Al Valentino”. You can enjoy your outdoor meals on the comfortably furnished verandas.
Our students came from the USA and SCOTLAND. I couldn’t imagine they worked so hard, better than many adults.
I and my assistant chatted with girls and boys about various recipes, fresh ingredients in season, and different kinds of meat here in Tuscany.
Everyone was guided by enthusiasm and passion and I’m so proud of them and the work that they made. Sometimes, while making fresh pasta, for example, there was a deep silence in the kitchen…that’s why they were really concentrated.
They wanted to make a good impression with their parents!
The Main Course: Tuscan Arista with Garlic, Rosemary and Milk Sauce
Here’s the perfect Tuscan dish for teenagers cooking class.
It’s anyway a successful dish loved by everyone likes the Tuscan cuisine and the tasteful pork meat in general.
That’s why the pictures come from various courses and cooking experiences during this year of cooking classes and private dinners in Tuscany.
Arista is the best cut from the pork (the meaning in ancient Greek is precise “the best”)…you know the word “aristocracy” for example.
What we’re going to make is an old Tuscan recipe that my granny taught me when I left my birth town for going to the University in Pisa. I can’t forget her words:
“Let’s prepare Arista right now my dear, I’d like to teach you the recipe. So that you can cook it when you’re in Pisa and will invite your friends for dinner!
I know you’ll be thinking of me, honey”.
The Story of Arista dates back to 1432 when during the Council of Florence was served this Tuscan meat dish. The Greek patriarchs were so excited about that they shouted: “Aristà, Aristà! (meaning: excellent)”. From that moment this is the name of Pork Loin Tuscan Style.
Anyway, the recipe that I’m gonna write for you is a bit different from others here in Tuscany, it’s my granny’s one and I loved teaching how making the characteristic “garlic and rosemary milk sauce” during our teenagers cooking class. It’s a perfect way to maintain tender meat.
We obviously run cooking classes for all ages, not only teenagers cooking class and there’s one curiosity in common at all ages: to know the…
Tips and tricks to make perfect Arista
- arista (pork loin) that you’re going to buy should not be completely lean but have some fat and brown streaks, indicating the tastiest and close to the bone meat. If you buy a completely lean one, you can be sure that you’ll obtain a very dry and hard to eat the dish.
- weigh the meat and count about 4 minutes for each 100gr of meat. For example you’ll cook 1 kg of meat for about 40 minutes. After this time you’ll cut the meat in slices if you see that it’s always pink, you have to reheat for a bit over the stove with the milk sauce. If instead the cooking is perfect (white but not dry), set your slices in a tray and just cover them with the milk sauce before serving.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
1 kg arista (pork loin)
5 rosemary sprigs (40cm each)
2 garlic cloves
80 gr unsalted butter
to taste extra virgin oil
1/2 l. whole milk
to taste salt
3 tbsp all-purpose (no yeast) flour
Remove all the rosemary leaves from the woody stems.
Chop the rosemary leaves with the garlic over a board, using a large knife.
Melt the butter in a small pot and
sprinkle all the sides of the meat with butter
press the meat over the board with chopped rosemary and garlic and cover all the sides
pour the remaining melted butter in a casserole with 2 tbsp of oil and heat
put the meat in the pot and let it golden all the sides
pour the milk in the pot and salt
cover with a lid and let it cook 40 minutes about (flipping 2 times)
Taste the milk if salted enough and remove the meat from the pot and keep it warm in aluminum foil
pour the tbsps of flour in the casserole and start whisking with a hand whip to be sure there are not lumps. After 3 minutes while is boiling it should be creamy, if necessary add 1 more tbsp of flour.
Cut the meat in slices of about 0,5 cm (not so thin) and place over a serving tray.
Pour the milk sauce over the meat
Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Do you know a similar recipe? Any question? I’m at your disposal to answer you.
Standing rib roast of pork
There’s a lot of inspiring stuff flying off the presses lately, and we’re thrilled to make room on our bookshelves -- but not at the expense of that one old favorite. You know, the cookbook whose jacket has gone missing, whose pages are stained with gravy, whose splitting spine is taped together. It’s the one we can always count on for great ideas and practical advice. In that spirit, here are the all-time favorite cookbooks of Times Food staff writers:
Want to know why Richard Olney’s “Simple French Food” is my favorite cookbook? Read the recipes -- the one for onion panade, for example. In fact, just read the first sentence: “Cook the onions, lightly salted, in the butter over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, keeping them covered for the first 40 minutes.”
In that one brief passage, we get three cooking lessons: Salt the onions from the start to help draw out the moisture so the onions wilt faster. Start them in a cold pan so they melt without scorching. And cover the pan early on to trap the heat, helping retain moisture and keeping the onions from browning.
Even better, the dish is a total knockout. It’s like a transcendent French onion soup -- deeply aromatic, nearly custardy, with a stunning gratineed cap. All this comes from only the humblest ingredients. No fancy foodstuffs, no expensive equipment and no tricky techniques. With Olney’s cuisine, time and care are all that are required to work miracles. There is no more important lesson for a cook to learn than that.
I love poring over cookbooks, but in truth, I rarely follow a recipe to the letter when I’m cooking at home. Unless, that is, it’s from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (co-written with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck). I first opened this book in the early 1970s, and it hasn’t let me down since. The instructions are clear and thorough, the simple line drawings extremely helpful in illustrating cooking tips. Even what might seem like a fancy dish (a charlotte, say) feels doable. One of my all-time favorites is the blender hollandaise sauce it’s so deliciously foolproof, you can’t help but feel confident that you’re really mastering the art.
Judy Rodgers is a consummate chef, and “The Zuni Cafe Cookbook” reflects the sensibility behind the intelligent and sensual food at her long-running restaurant in San Francisco.
The writing is wonderful, the selection of recipes smashing. I get hungry just thumbing through it. I’ve cooked from it so much that the pages just naturally fall open at certain recipes, such as the peach crostata, the world’s greatest roast chicken with Tuscan bread salad, or, standing rib roast of pork. The pork has become my fallback for entertaining when I don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. It’s incredibly easy and incredibly satisfying, and a great dish for a beautiful Chianti or Sangiovese.
Barbara Hansen, staff writer
On my first trip to Mexico a couple of decades ago, I discovered a bilingual book that became my bible to Mexican food. “Mexican Cook Book Devoted to American Homes,” by Josefina Velazquez de Leon, first came out in 1956, but nearly half a century (and many reprints) later, it remains a valuable guide.
Velazquez de Leon, the Mexican equivalent of Fannie Farmer, provides practical cooking instructions but also makes her country’s vibrant cuisine come to life. Leafing through the pages, I can practically taste the mole de olla (a fragrant and spicy beef stew and stuffed squash blossoms as they would have been prepared in a traditional kitchen, where clay pots simmer over a wood fire.
Charles Perry, staff writer
In 1968, I was a romantic in the kitchen. All ingredients taste great, I figured, so you could just mix and match. Whee! Some would call this California cuisine before its time. Back then, I thought of French food as a lot of bland, pretentious fripperies. But one night, an old college friend cooked cotelettes de porc au cidre from Elizabeth David’s “French Country Cooking,” and I was awestruck. The unexpected combination -- of browned pork, rosemary, cider, garlic and capers -- really worked.
There was nothing improvisational about it. The dish was as perfect as a Doric column -- despite David’s disdain for giving exact measurements. Today I have hundreds of cookbooks from around the world, but I still find myself going back to David’s rock-solid recipes.
Leslie Brenner, Food editor
Pastry making is not my forte, nor do I have a sweet tooth. That’s why when Lindsey Remolif Shere’s “Chez Panisse Desserts” was published in 1985, I flipped over it. Shere was Chez Panisse’s first pastry chef, and a thread of sophistication runs through her desserts, which are more about flavor than they are about sugar. No one can look into the soul of a fruit the way Shere can: She has an innate sense of what to do with a tangerine (use it to flavor oeufs a la neige). She even coaxes flavor out of cherry or apricot pits to make noyau ice cream. And she pairs figs dipped in caramel with anise or Chartreuse creams. “The herbal flavors complement perfectly the sweet muskiness of the fig,” she writes. What could be more inspired than using Chartreuse (or Calvados or Bourbon or late-harvest Riesling) to finish a meal with an elegant, easy flourish?
Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
A hearty and delicious Italian restaurant favorite you can make at home, but even better!
Homemade doesn’t always mean a recipe will taste better than it’s restaurant counterpart. But in this case, homemade beats the restaurant version hands down! Seasoned to perfection, this soup is so much more than a milky potato and sausage soup. This soup is warming, filling, flavorful comfort food worthy of an entire meal.
Our Tuscan inspired soup is creamy, but not too thick. It has great texture with chunks of sweet Italian sausage and chewy, vibrant kale leaves. The tender, buttery potatoes are filling and practically melt in your mouth. With just the right amount of tender vegetables and salty bacon, this is a company-worthy meal you’ll want to make again and again.
Each step of this Zuppa Toscana soup recipe is designed to build flavor.
The flavor starts with a few slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, then removed to drain. Sweet Italian sausage is added to the drippings, seared and broken into chunks. Let the sausage brown a little bit on the bottom before stirring. It develops wonderful flavor and adds a nice chewy bite!
Instead of leaving all the fat in the soup, which may make the broth a little greasy, all but two tablespoons are removed.
Next sauté the big three: one large onion, a small carrot and one rib of celery. Once the vegetables are crisp tender, add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh thyme leaves. When the pungent aroma of fresh garlic fills the kitchen, sprinkle in two tablespoons of flour. The flour coats the vegetables which helps to slightly thicken the soup broth.
The other amazing thing that happens is the flavor that develops as the flour darkens and starts sticking to the bottom of the pot. This fond is essential for great flavor. It’s just like making an amazing gravy or sauce. Terrific flavor starts at the bottom of the pot.
Now you have a rich base with all the flavors of bacon, sausage, vegetables and thyme. Add chicken broth and diced potatoes and cook until the potatoes are just tender. Finally, half-and-half and tender kale leaves are stirred into the soup and simmered until heated through.
Don’t forget to add plenty of fresh ground black pepper and serve with a hunk of crusty bread! Dinner is on the table in about an hour – start to finish.
I make a big pot of soup almost every weekend during the winter months.
Having a delicious pot of soup on hand jumpstarts the week making it easy to get dinner on the table when Monday rolls around. We also love to eat leftover soup for lunch throughout the week. If you’re looking for a few new soup recipes to try, check out our archives for Soups, Stews & Chili.
Can you freeze Zuppa Toscana Soup?
Yes, this soup freezes very well! I love that the hearty kale leaves don’t fall apart in the freezer. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently to prevent mushy potatoes.
Is it okay to make Zuppa ahead?
Absolutely! If you’re making this soup to serve later, I recommend that you undercook the potatoes by just a few minutes. Once all ingredients are added to the soup, remove it from the heat and cool before covering and storing in the refrigerator. There’s no need to wilt the kale at the end. It will be wilted enough when rewarmed.
What are the best kind of potatoes to use in this Zuppa recipe?
For this soup I prefer to use a waxy potato. I don’t recommend russet potatoes because they break down easily and may become mushy. That’s why russets are great for mashed or baked potatoes. Fluffy and soft and melt in your mouth delicious but not great for soups, in my opinion.
Waxy potatoes can be added to the soup with the skin on adding even more texture and nutritional benefit. Potato skins actually have more nutrients than the whole rest of the potato. Leave the skin on if you can!
Pick up any waxy white or yellow potato like Yukon Gold. Our local store sells butter potatoes, which fall under the same description of gold fleshed potatoes. A nice red potato will work well in this soup too. It’s all good!
What is the best kind of sausage to use in this soup?
I use sweet or mild Italian sausage for this Zuppa recipe. However, you can use hot Italian sausage if you prefer, but leave out the crushed red pepper flakes that are added with the garlic. There’s just the right amount of zing in this soup without a burning sensation.
Sweet, or mild, Italian pork sausage is pretty much interchangeable with hot Italian sausage, in most recipes. Unless your recipe calls for one or the other, you can be certain it’s all good!
Do you have to use half-and-half in this recipe?
Feel free to use whole milk instead of the half-and-half in our recipe. You can also substitute the half-and-half with one cup whole milk combined with one cup heavy cream, with great results.
What does Zuppa Toscana mean?
This Italian phrase translates to “Tuscan Soup.” The original, or classic Zuppa Toscana, is a meatless vegetable and bean based Italian soup. The enormously popular Olive Garden restaurant chain is credited with creating the creamy, meaty based version similar to the recipe we shared today.
10 Best Instant Pot Recipes for Everyone
The best and easiest instant pot recipes for anyone who owns an Instant Pot! From 20-minute chicken burrito bowls to pot roast in less than 1 hour! If you don’t have an Instant Pot just yet, these recipes will be sure to convince you to get one ASAP!
1. Instant Pot 20 Minute Chicken Burrito Bowls – This literally comes together in less than 10 min prep and another 10 min in the pressure cooker. The chicken is so tender and the flavors are just unbelievable here. After this, you’ll never want to make burrito bowls without your IP. [GET THE RECIPE.]
2. Instant Pot Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese – Making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot is definitely the way to go. It’s unbelievably easy, it’s made in one single pot (hello, easiest clean up ever), and the mac and cheese comes out amazingly creamy. You can’t beat that. [GET THE RECIPE.]
3. Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder – So hearty, cozy and creamy – perfect for those cold nights. It’s comfort food at it’s easiest. [GET THE RECIPE.]
4. Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice – Thanks to the pressure cooker, everyone’s favorite New Orleans dish can be made in no time. No need to presoak the beans either. Simply throw everything into the IP and let it do the work for you. [GET THE RECIPE.]
5. Instant Pot Korean Beef – No sautéing. No shredding. No nothing. Just 10 min prep or less. And the meat comes out so perfectly melt-in-your-mouth tender. [GET THE RECIPE.]
6. Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto – I promise, this will be the EASIEST risotto you will ever make right in your pressure cooker without any stirring or any kind of fuss or babysitting. The risotto comes out perfectly too – rich and creamy, loaded with mushrooms, spinach, peas and freshly grated Parmesan. [GET THE RECIPE.]
7. Instant Pot Pot Roast – A complete pot roast Sunday dinner in the pressure cooker in just 60 minutes? Yes, please. [GET THE RECIPE.]
8. The Best Instant Pot Chili – Yes, it’s simply the best. Just be sure to serve with lots of cornbread, please. [GET THE RECIPE.]
9. Instant Pot Butter Chicken – Better than restaurant-quality butter chicken right at home. Serve with rice and extra garlic naan for the best home-cooked meal ever. [GET THE RECIPE.]
10. Instant Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat – This copycat tastes just like the restaurant version except you can now make it right in the IP. Anyone can make it so it’s basically fool-proof. [GET THE RECIPE.]
Is Zuppa Toscana Healthy?
Zuppa Toscana is naturally loaded with nutritious veggies and this version uses flour, cornstarch and half and half instead of heavy cream. Still, if you would like to make this Zuppa Toscana recipe healthier, then there are a few substitutions you can make:
- Bacon Substitute. Replace bacon with turkey bacon.
- Italian Sausage substitute. Substitute the pork Italian Sausage with ground chicken or lean ground turkey with beef bouillon, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Half and Half Substitute. Increase the flour to ½ cup the cornstarch to ¼ cup and replace the half and half with milk.
- More Veggies. Decrease the amount of potatoes and increase the quantity of other vegetables.