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Alessi cuisine



“La Garmugia” A meat and vegetable soup with pulses from the town of Lucca

  • A)
  • 2 bunches of beet or chard with thick stalks
  • 1 small Chinese cabbage
  • 1 bunch of black cabbage
  • a clump of chicory
  • a small root of daikon
  • B)
  • 2 fresh sausages
  • 150 grams lean minced beef
  • C)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 leek
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • a small piece of rosemary
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 meat stock cube
  • 1 “Porcini” mushroom stock cube
  • a pinch of dried basil
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • D)
  • 4 artichokes cut into slices
  • 1 pack of frozen peas
  • 1 pack of frozen asparagus points cut into pieces
  • 1 can of fresh broad beans
  • E)
  • 8 slices of toasted bread
  • 50 grams of parmesan cheese grated and mixed with a pinch of black milled pepper and a pinch of “fin erbe”
Take the vegetables in A) and divide the stalk from the leaves and cut them separately into pieces. Cut the daikon also in pieces., Put the vegetable stalks and the pieces of daikon in a pan with 1.5 litres of salted water and cook for 15 minutes, drain, and place to one side, keeping the vegetable stock. In the mixer put all the items in C) with ½ litre of very hot vegetable stock, blend well. In a fry-pan lightly fry the peeled and crumbled sausages over a high heat for 2 minutes ; then add the minced beef, mix well with a wooden spoon and cook for a further 3-4 minutes over a high heat. Add the blended ingredients of C), bring back to the boil, mix well, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes stirring often. At the end of this time add the vegetable stalks and the vegetables in D), cook over a low heat for 10minutes. After 10minutes add the remaining vegetable stock, cook for 5 minutes, finish by adding the pieces of leaves cut at the beginning and cook for a further 15 minutes. Prepare the dishes by putting 2 slices of bread heavily covered with the peppered parmesan in each, pour over the vegetable stock and allow the toasted bread to absorb it, then quickly cover with al the cooked meat and vegetable mix : serve at once.
This very common antique soup recipe, traditional in the area of the town of Lucca proposed with somewhat anomalous ingredients like daikon and Chinese cabbage, could seem like blasphemy. But no, in our opinion this unprejudiced use of ingredients which come from elsewhere, or however are strange to our country tradition, is a means of demonstrating that affirmed in the preliminaries, the non-segregation of our cuisine. Keeping close to the traditional gustatory parameters, the ingredients are continually updated by the originality lent to our city by the coexistence with different communities and culinary expressions, those far from our climate, but which are here with us to be precise, and as in the case of the Chinese have affirmed the validity of their cuisine.

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

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