In the lead-up to the holiday season, six Florentine chefs each pledged a recipe to Christian homeless charity Caritas’ Le Ricette della Solidarietà’s cookbook. That’s not all: on November 14, the entire menu, from starter to dessert, was served at the San Francesco soup kitchen in piazza Santissima Annunziata to supporters of the La spesa che vale (grocery shopping that matters) drive, which allows the charity’s meal centre to receive support through virtual food shopping.
Francesco Carzoli (Osteria Pratellino) served an antipasto of lampredotto meatballs with ginger mayonnaise, while Duccio Pistolesi, resident cook for the ACF Fiorentina football squad, whipped up a pre-match beetroot and purple potato risotto. Paolo Gori of historic Trattoria Da Burde went with a chickpea and anchovy stew, the meat course by Gabriele Andreoni (L’Oste Trattoria Italiana) focused on calf tongue lavished in a creamy green peppercorn sauce, alongside a sweet-and-sour cabbage-centric side by Caritas’ own cook, Carlo Mazzola. The cookbook comes to a close with a decadent chocolate ganache styled by Luigi Bonadonna of The Stellar.
“With this recipe book, we wish to thank all Florentines, companies, institutions, volunteers and cooks who stand by the Foundation to provide a service to those who come to the meal centre: people of all ages who don’t have anything to eat, those who are forced to flee their own countries, those who don’t have anywhere to go, all those who are alone and vulnerable,” explains Vincenzo Lucchetti, president of Fondazione Solidarietà Caritas di Firenze. “In the via Baracca soup kitchen as well as the San Francesco in piazza Santissima Annunziata and those in the suburbs, those in difficulty can not only find a hot meal, but we also listen to them with open arms in a welcoming and homey atmosphere.”
Recipe: Pre-match risotto by Duccio Pistolesi (ACF Fiorentina)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 purple potatoes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g Carnaroli rice
1.25 litres hot vegetable stock
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
Cook the beetroot in boiling water. Once cooked, peel and puree with olive oil.
Clean the purple potatoes and cut them into chips. Steam and then dry them in the oven to produce a powder.
Cook the onion in oil in a saucepan over a very low flame, stirring often. Add the rice and let it toast over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Cook for about 18 minutes, adding the hot vegetable stock a little at a time. Remove from the heat, add the butter in pieces and the Parmesan to taste, and keep stirring to thicken the rice and make it creamy.
Serve topped with the purple potato powder and beetroot cream.