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Dreams of Tuscany and Venice : MENU IDEAS NEEDED!

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So I fell deeply in love with Venetian cooking when I visited there for the first time last year. My pals rave about Tuscany.,,,,,there fore - since it is my turn to think of a theme for our next get together

TADA: Tuscany and Venice.

and I have been doing research - but getting stuck!

Any creative souls out there want to assist this poor soul with outlining options?

We all get together at one house and bring our prepared items - sometimes we finish up at the hosts location......

Any thoughts appreciated!

ALSO affordable WINE suggestions from those regions!

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  1. Sole Agra Dolce, which is a sweet and sour fish fried with breadcrumbs and then topped with an onion, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and raisin sauce with a little butter and lots of olive oil--served at room temp. This blog gives the basic recipe, though I serve mine the same day it's made. Amazingly good. http://blogs.gloucestertimes.com/food...

    1. Venice is easy to fall in love with. We go twice a year and enjoy trying foods of all sorts. Polenta is a staple (shrimp or octopus on polenta is great). How about mostarda di frutta? It is awesome with carpaccio of fish or beef. Mozzarella in Carozza (fried mozzarella toastes) are delicious and fun. In Venice you can find octopus on menus regularly - if you have access, why not try Polpo con Patate? Polpette di tonno (fish balls) are found throughout Italy but often in Venice. Of course carpaccio di carne is popular, too, both in Venice and Tuscany.

      Other ideas:

      Pasta e fagioli

      Gnocchi con scampi

      Lasagne di pesce (fish)

      Spaghetti (or risotto) al nero di seppie (if you can find squid ink) -

      Radicchio, fish, asparagus and scampi risotto

      Brasato con amarone di valpolicella (braised beef with amarone)

      Maiale a latte (pork in milk)

      Melanzane sotto olio e aceto (eggplant in oil and vinegar)

      Salsa piccante di peperone e acciughe (red bell pepper and anchovy sauce)

      anything with artichokes

      La peperonata (bell peppers with anchovies, capers, oil)

      Zabaione is one of my favourite desserts

      1. I am not sure what your definition of "affordable" is but I think this wine fits the bill. It is a very good QPR (i pay $15), from Tuscany and should be available in most areas. Rocca di Frassinello Le Sughere. I have had the 2007 and the 2008 and both are good. I have not had the 2009 but I would assume it is comparable.

        1. WOW!
          I knew my CH's would come through - first thing when I get home tonite and am going to work on these ideas!

          THANKS SO MUCH CH'rs

          1. Here is a white wine suggestion. vernaccia di san gimignano. there are lots of different producers.Prices should be in the low teens. A very food friendly wine.