Clarinette's Cook

Cooking Management

Veal scaloppine and butter Bean from Montecatini

Montecatini Terme - Italy

Few years ago, we did a trip to Italy in the region of Florence. After long research, I found this lovely town of Montecatini where we stayed at the Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse. It’s a short distance from Florence, in a little hill. an old termal town. It was very convenient, with fresh air and not as crowded as Florence we could easily reach by train. Nearby, we had the lovely birth town of Puccini, Lucca. If you visit the area, do try to pass by Torre Del Lago, where they have the Puccini Festival. ‘As a lover of Nature, Puccini hoped that his operas would be performed in the natural setting around the Massaciuccoli Lake.’ We could not find tickets for all of us, but I highly recommend the next door restaurant by the lake, Chalet Del Lago, with a most fantastic view and the sound of the opera, away from the crowd. We so enjoyed our meal and loved to see my youngest daughter teaching us the story of the opera she recognised. The opera Turandot.

What better than a lovely setting, a nice music and a nice meal.
I probably bring my taste for good meal from the traveling I did since I was very young with my parents. I always loved tasting new savors from all around the world. It was actually hard to find any proper Italian food out of pizza and pasta in that very touristic region of Italy in summer. Some would say I have the flair. While driving outside Lucca, I discovered a most authentic nice patisserie with fine cakes and a small range of pastas. They were just sublime. We returned few times and I could confess, I did chose our itinerary in order to pass by this place. I loved their gnocchis with olive oil and walnuts. Simple but so tasty.

Another nice place we had dinner was at the top of the Montecatini Alto, at la Torre restaurant. Montecatini is a town with beautiful turn-of-the-century Liberty Style spas (the Italian equivalent of Art Deco) and a vibrant night life.

I had a fine veal scalopini served with butter beans. An easy recipe I tried to reproduce.
Just fry in each side the veal scalope in butter, add lemon, salt and pepper and it’s done. For the butter beans, they are a good source of dietary fiber, and a virtually fat-free source of high quality protein. You just need to leave them in warm water all night before cook. once cook, I add a bit of crushed garlic, olive oil and cumin. Just simply delicious. I also love to serve them as an ‘amuse bouche’ with aperitif.

Some wine suggestions :
ALSACE Tokay Pinot Gris
BORDEAUX R: Bordeaux Supérieur, Graves, Côtes de Bourg
B: Graves
BOURGOGNE R: Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Vosne-Romanée, Brouilly B: Mâcon, Chablis
LOIRE R: Chinon, Bourgueil B: Vouvray
RHONE Côtes du Rhône-Villages
SUD-OUEST B: Bergerac

Enjoy the lovely meal and the sublime music of Puccini.


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