I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my visit to Tuscany. Strolling through acres of brilliantly colored vineyards with deep purple Sangiovese grapes, chocolate brown stems and bright green leaves. The soil rich with various shades of red and brown, telling visitors the fruit will be lush with gorgeous intense flavor.
I can still remember strolling through the fragrant vineyards (I should say, eating my way through the vineyards) in awe of the sweet, juicy Sangiovese grapes. The flavors so ripe and so sweet with a texture of velvet. I kept pinching myself while thinking… I’m in Tuscany, visiting the Cantine Leonardo da Vinci and the growers as a 2013 DaVinci Wine Storyteller. An enchanting week I will always remember.
I felt so welcome. Such lovely hospitality with the most gracious of hosts and hostesses. And of course, some of the most delicious food that has ever passed my lips.
While dining at the table of one of the growers, Bruno Rossetti and his lovely wife, I asked Bruno “what is your favorite crostini?”. He replied “simply ricotta on crostini with an anchovy”, and then he gave me a million dollar smile. Which of course melted my heart. I smiled back and told him how brilliant and delicious his favorite crostini sounded.
I started making Bruno’s crostini the minute I returned home. I’ve adapted them a bit, depending on what I have in my kitchen. Most often adding a tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano and Italian parsley to the ricotta cheese. Spreading the ricotta, sometimes homemade, onto the garlic laced crostini and then topping with an anchovy or two. The perfect before or after dinner nibble paired with a glass DaVinci Chianti.
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Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
1 cup of whole milk ricotta that has been drained
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of dried basil or dried mixed Italian herbs // during the summer I use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano and Italian Parsley
2 cans of anchovies
Crostini (baguette slices that have been toasted and rubbed with half a garlic clove)
Whisk together the ricotta, crushed red pepper flakes and dried or fresh herbs. This tastes best if it sits for about 30 minutes so the red pepper and herbs can infuse the ricotta.
Spread the ricotta on each Crostini and top with an anchovy. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired.
Serve your Holiday Antipasti Platters with DaVinci Chianti, DaVinci Chianti Reserve, DaVinci Pinot Grigio and if you’re lucky enough to score a bottle, the DaVinci Brunello. Although I’d probably keep that for myself.