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Alessi cuisine



Freghe volterrane, co' "bubbolini"

  • 4 slices of Tuscany stale bread
  • 1 kg of winter tomatoes, the so called "bubbolini", ripe but compact
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • a small bunch of sweet marjoram
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • some grains of black pepper
Take a grill and roast the slices of bread over a brisky heat, in order to cook them crunchy outside but soft inside, rub them with the garlic cloves and put them in the plates. Divide four small tomatoes in two parts and rub them on the hot bread to melt them completely and drop the remaining peels. Bathe abundantly with new oil, sharp and spicy, then put over each slice of bread the slices of tomato, not finely cut, as many as you need to cover the bread. Then put some leaves of marjoram on the slices of bread, salt a little bit, grind a lot of pepper and dress with some other drops of oil only the tomatoes, then serve very hot.
The over-mentioned amount is much more indicated for a hors d'oeuvre, but using more quantities of the indicated ingredients, it can become also a first or a second course. This is a change of the famous "panunto toscano" (Tuscany greased bread), which takes its origins from the area of Maremma (south-west of Tuscany). The indicated winter tomatoes are the round ones, with a hard peel, small but very tasty, which are kept hanged on the "picce"; these are normally made at the end of August. These tomatoes have the quality to keep very well, without roting or going mouldy, for the whole winter; furthermore they maintain a very decided and strong taste of tomato with a very low level of acidity.
Also this country recipe entrusts its values, its dazzling savour to the goodness of the natural tastes not distorted by the "criminal madness" of certain "technique" and of certain "science" (one example over the others: there are tomatoes which arrive fresh, in full winter, from Holland - please think that the tomato is a sunny vegetable, it is the symbol of the sun and it exalts itself with the sun).
The ingredients should be as natural as possible. The "nature" (even if the last charms of Rousseau utopia have vanished) is always the most sensible parameter to whom we can refer, when we want to look for the pleasure. The ravings of the most sophisticated aesthetes (who are faded imitative followers of Huysmans delirium), related to assumed and subjective refinements or coarseness, leave us without any words. The people from Viareggio used to say "I discorsi li porta via il vento e le biciclette i livornesi" (speeches are blown by the wind and bicycles are taken away by the people from Livorno): what's the meaning of this sentence?

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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