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Green fried tomatoes "pasticciati" with grape must and black grapes.

(Pomodori verdi fritti e "pasticciati" col mosto e l'uva nera)

  • 4 big green tomatoes, shaped like an apple, cut into very thick slices
  • white flour
  • olive oil
  • a mixture of:
    500 grams of white grapes (the type called "trebbiano") well ripe
    a spoon of powder mustard
    2 cloves
    half tea spoon of powder cinnamon
    a pinch of fennel seeds
    a spoon of sugar
    a pinch of salt
  • table salt if necessary
  • a bunch of black grapes (the type called "sangiovese") well ripe
Dip the tomatoes in flour and then fry them in a pan with few oil (1 or 2 spoons each time), 3 or 4 minutes for each tomato's side, scraping off gradually with a wide knife because they can attach on the bottom of the pan - take care when you turn them as they are delicate and could break.
When they are fried remove them from the pan and position them on a blotting paper in order to remove any marks of greasiness (if possible, cover them with another blotting paper and press them a little bit). When all the tomatoes are fried and well dried, put them in a tin, which has been previously lightly greased with oil, and bathe them with the mixture made with "mosto" and spices until they are nearly covered (as it is concerned with the above mixture please take care to mix all the requested ingredients very well until the seeds of grapes and fennel and the cloves will be completely disintegrated), then cook them possibly on a hot plate in order to have a uniform heat all over the tin surface. Cook them over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes or until all the "mosto" will be partly dried and thickened. Few minutes before switching off, taste and eventually adjust the sweet and sour sauce, scatter over the tomatoes the black grapes and then serve very hot as a second course. Cut abundant bread because it is required by this delicious and tasty recipe.
This recipe brings us back to the Middle Age when tastes where searched and produced using together fruits and vegetables characterizing fish and meat which, at that time, had a more pronounced taste than the ones of today; the union between fruits and vegetables created strong tension. It is very surprising to discover that the country of Chianti has been able to keep and hand down this memory, even with the due changes that means the use of tomato which did not exist in Europe in the Middle Age. This recipe is made by Palmira and Maria Zanobini of Sac Casciano (we have adapted it according to our tastes and requirements), they are the wives of the two Zanobini brothers, who own the farms called "Le Lame" and "S. Cristina". These brothers are vineyard men, together with one of the sons Mario, but at the same time they are also wine merchants in Firenze in the area of S. Antonino, with another son: Simone.

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


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