This month, we sat down with Giulia Scarpaleggia, a Tuscan food writer, photographer, and blogger. We chatted with Giulia about traditional Tuscan food, her holiday food traditions, and her favorite pasta recipe. Read below for all that Giulia had to say.
1. What kinds of traditional Tuscan appetizers do you recommend that work well with a pasta dinner?
I’d say a spread of Tuscan pecorino, fresh, aged and semi-aged, with an onion jam and some fresh bread with olive oil. All you need to be happy!
2. What are some of your favorite winter and fall ingredients to utilize in your cooking this time of year?
I’m in love with pumpkin and butternut squash, from the color to the texture and taste. Fruit-wise, I use citrus fruit in many dishes, to give a fresh touch to savory recipes or in dessert like cakes and cookies.
3. What makes Tuscan-style pasta different from other Italian-style pasta?
It’s not different from Italian pasta, even though every region has its own special recipes. Here in Tuscany there’s a recipe for fresh pici pasta in Val d’Orcia, in the South part of Siena, which I really love. It is usually seasoned with a tomato and grace sauce.
4. With the holidays right around the corner, do you have any special food traditions you practice this time of year?
We are near Siena, so we tend to make panforte and ricciarelli well before Christmas to give everyone a sweet home-made gift.
5. Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from your new cookbook?
It will be about Tuscan food, again, but a with a special perspective. You’ll discover more very soon!
6. Finally, can you share one of your favorite pasta recipes with us?
Yes, here is a seasonal delicious one, pasta with broccoli.
About Giulia Scarpaleggia:
Giulia Scarpaleggia is a Tuscan food writer and food photographer. She lives in the countryside, in between Siena and Florence, in the same house that was built by her gran-grand father. This is where she teaches Tuscan cooking classes for foreign and local people, food writing and food photography workshops with her partner Tommaso.
She tells about her passions and her family recipes in her blog, www.julskitchen.com, which is now seven years old, and on Social Media, where you can find her as @Julskitchen. Her fifth cookery book will be published in 2017.
She loves extra virgin olive oil, the rustling of Autumn leaves, a long walk in the countryside, chocolate, pappa al pomodoro and eggplant parmigiana.