Tuscan Women Cook Shares Generational Recipes from the “Nonnas” of Montefollonico Tuscan Women Cook Cookbook Brings the Food and Culture of Tuscany to Home Kitchens:

Who wouldn’t love to sit in the sun at an outdoor café in Italy sipping a chilled glass of wine and eating a favorite Italian meal? Unfortunately, these days international travel is tricky or non-existent. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create a bit of Italy in our own kitchens. Coleen Kirnan, the owner, and host of Tuscan Women Cook, the unique and popular culinary vacation located in the heart of Tuscany, bring the cuisine and culture of Italy to home kitchens with her new cookbook, Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas Memories Recipes.  Each recipe will transport you to the sun-dappled Tuscan fields where farm-to-table cuisine is commonplace.

“If you enjoy cooking homestyle Italian dishes, delight in the smells of rich sauces simmering in the kitchen or reading through the pages of a cookbook full of handed down recipes from generations of family treasures, you will enjoy Tuscan Women Cook.!”

“The Tuscan Women Cook cookbook is a very personal project for me. This book is a collection of delicious recipes for sure. But it also contains favorite memories associated with cooking and our glorious days spent in Montefollonico, Italy,” says Coleen.  “Our marvelous memories mingle with those of our beautiful nonnas, who have generously shared family secrets that are also, coincidentally, treasured family recipes. Most of these dishes were created centuries before we ever tasted them, refined by each generation of family cooks who adjusted the ingredients to the agricultural and technological changes that inevitably took place with each new branch of every family’s tree.”

Filled with beautiful photos of Montefollonico and recipes, chapters cover Starters, Soups, Pasta, Meat, Vegetables, Desserts, and Drinks. Some of the recipes featured in Tuscan Women Cook include:

Panzanella (recipe below)

Pasta con Salsiccia e Pomodoro (Pasta with Sausage and Tomato)
My version of the Pasta con Salsiccia e Pomodoro!
Ossobuco (Veal Shanks with Vegetables)

Fiori di Zucca Farciti con Ricotta e Fritti (Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta)

Almond Cake – Torta di Mandorle (recipe below)

Want a taste of Tuscany without renewing your passport? Tie on an apron and try delicious and authentic recipes from the Tuscan Women Cook cookbook which have been handed down from generations of the best family cooks in Montefollonico, Italy.

Los Angeles-based Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo are two inventive business dynamos who decided to take a career risk that changed their lives.  In 2016 they purchased Tuscan Women Cook, a unique culinary immersion vacation where participants learn to cook authentic Italian meals from legendary women in the Tuscan village of Montefollonico. This change in career has been extremely rewarding, both personally and professionally, for both women.  This is their first cookbook.

For more information on Tuscan Women Cook, visit their website, 
Shared recipes: Panzanella
Serves 4-6
Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from
Tuscan Women Cook cookbook by Coleen Kirnan 

Imagine your kitchen is located on a terrace overlooking the pristine Tenimenti Andreucci vineyards in the Val d’Orcia. The late afternoon dappled sunlight warms you as nonna Lorella places tomatoes, red onion, a chunk of stale bread, and some olive oil into your bowl of freshly chopped vegetables. Julienned basil leaves add the requisite Tuscan touch to this side dish staple—a Panzanella salad. Panzanella, like Ribollita, features stale bread as an unexpected player, reconstituted as it mingles with the ingredients in your salad bowl. This salad is always easy to toss together using any combination of vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and of course, stale bread. Remember this dish when your dinner party guest list swells at the last minute. Just add more chunks of bread, a few more tomatoes, and a glug of olive oil and everyone will be happily fed.

5 cups stale bread, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2    tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
3    cups coarse chopped ripe juicy tomatoes (about 1 pound)
1½ cups cucumbers, peeled and diced
¾ cup thinly sliced purple onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 bunch fresh basil plus more for garnish

Put the bread in a medium bowl. Add enough water to cover the bread. Let stand until the bread has softened, about 2 minutes. Drain well and then squeeze the bread to remove all the water. Transfer the bread to a large bowl, using your fingers to break up any large clumps into bite-sized pieces.

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk or stir well with a fork to mix the ingredients into a thick dressing. Or combine the ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake well to combine.

Scatter the tomatoes over the soaked bread. Add the cucumbers, onion, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently using your hands.

Add the basil and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more vinegar, salt, or pepper as needed. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature garnished with fresh basil leaves.
Almond Cake – Torta di Mandorle
Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from
Tuscan Women Cook cookbook by Coleen Kirnan 

It’s no secret that Italians love almonds. These aromatic nuts can be found in many Italian recipes from cocktails— we’re looking at you amaretto— to a dazzling array of desserts. But no recipe celebrates the almond quite like this Torta di Mandorle. When making this cake, Italians often use almond paste (“pasta di mandorle”), which should not be confused with marzipan. Both are made from almonds, but marzipan is smoother and sweeter. It is used for molding and shaping or as a base for fondant. Replacing cake flour with almond flour adds even more nuttiness. And it makes this cake gluten-free. Be generous with the sliced almonds that you shower on the batter before baking. They give the finished cake a sophisticated ta da that will surely impress your dinner guests.
Serves 6
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
7 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces 3 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier)
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 ounces sliced almonds Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325º F. Line an 8-inch round 3-inch deep cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with pan release.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, process the sugar, butter, and almond paste until smooth and like wet sand. With the machine running, add the eggs, liqueur, and almond extract through the feed tube.
Process until smooth.

Remove the lid of the food processor. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Replace lid and process until the flour is completely blended, for about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the sliced almonds over the batter. Bake on the center rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs but is not wet looking, for about 45-50 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let the cake cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

**Full Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.
Nonnas Memories Recipes
By Coleen Kirnan with Rhonda Vilardo
Foreword by Valerie Bertinelli
March 2021 Copyright Tuscan Women Cook
Softcover/$35.00    ebook/$15.00
ISBN: 978-0-578-82523-3
The post Tuscan Women Cook Cookbook Brings Amazing Food to the Table first appeared on . #AlmondCakeRecipe #CookbookReview #NewBook #TuscanWomenCook #Recipes

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