April 14, 2009


Simply Divine-Divina Cucina’s Recipes


I know that I recently mentioned that I didn’t need one more cookbook, but I lied. It turns out that there was one more book that I just had to buy-Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen brought to you by Judy Witts Francini from Over a Tuscan Stove. As soon as Judy announced that she was working on a cookbook, I knew that I would be placing an order. If you haven’t checked out her blog, Judy is an American who moved to Tuscany in 1984. For over twenty years she has been sharing her love and knowledge of the food of Tuscany with her students. From tours of Florence’s fabulous San Lorenzo Market, to cooking programs in Tuscany, to excursions to Sicily, Judy is the gal to turn to. A cookbook from from someone with this experience is like inviting a little bit of Italy right into your kitchen.

Whenever the mailman comes to our door, he’s usually carrying a box for J. A few days ago a large envelope covered in gorgeous Italian stamps was delivered and I knew right away that this was what I’d been waiting for-the cookbook hot off the presses! I happened to have a friend over for lunch, but that didn’t deter me from carefully ripping into it-I knew I wanted to save those beautiful stamps. I love the cover, especially the “Tuscan Husband Seal of Approval” logo on the corner! The paper used for the cover and the interior pages put me in mind of the incredible paper products that you find in Florence.

As soon as you open this book it’s evident that Judy is opening her Tuscan kitchen and welcoming you in. The recipes are hand written and you get the feeling that you are reading Judy’s notebook. After my guest left I sat down and proceeded to read the entire book. The left hand page facing each recipe is lined and the perfect place to keep your notes on the recipes. What I loved most is the simplicity of the recipes and availability of the products used. This is exactly how I like to cook and why I have such a fondness for the food of Tuscany. Before the recipes begin there’s a list of ingredients for setting up a Tuscan pantry and a page titled “Eating like a Tuscan” which makes me want to get on a plane and head on over!

It’s hard to decide which recipe I want to make first. We have a dinner party coming up and it might be fun to do an an entire menu from this book. But, before that happens I’m making the Bomba di Riso (rice bomb) and I’ll be sure to let you know how it was!

Thanks Judy. This is just the kind of cookbook that we all need to have in our kitchen. To purchase the book go to Judy’s website and do not delay-there’s almost 100 authentically Tuscan recipes to try and if you can’t be there, this is the next best thing.

2 thoughts on “Simply Divine-Divina Cucina’s Recipes

  1. What a great find-I have perused her blog and she always has interesting recipes and stories about life in Italy. Enjoy that one more cookbook for your collection.

  2. Sounds enticing. Hope to get to sample some of the recipes. What a great idea to do an entire menu from the book…I’m sure your guests will just love it!!!

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