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Florence: Day 85

We have officially begun our farewell tour of Florence. With only a few days left, we are trying to savor everything we love and will miss about this city. For lunch today, I cooked at home with some ingredients that are not easy to find back in the states. I made trofie pasta (tied with bucatini as my favorite pasta shape) with zucchini, porcini mushrooms, and truffles.

I bought some beautiful zucchini with flowers attached from the supermarket. I’ve only had luck finding zucchini flowers at some farmers markets in the states, but they are hard to come by and are often very small.

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Dried porcini mushrooms are possible to find in the US, but are generally quite expensive. The same goes for truffles. So to make the pasta, I simply chopped the zucchini and sauteed it in olive oil. I soaked the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water until soft and then chopped them and added them to the pan, reserving some of the liquid. I then added the cooked pasta, truffles, a splash of milk, a splash of the porcini mushroom broth and salt and pepper to taste. I lightly dusted the zucchini flowers in flour and shallow-fried them in olive oil in a saute pan until crisp and served them as a garnish. It was really quite easy to prepare and highlighted four of my Italian favorites: trofie pasta, porcini mushrooms, truffles and zucchini flowers!

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We went for a very long walk in the afternoon and found ourselves near my official favorite gelateria, Vivaldi. And this time, they not only were serving gelato, they were serving granita! I had wanted to try granita in Italy, but everywhere I had seen it, it didn’t look very appetizing. I had only noticed it at touristy-looking cafes where it was being churned in a machine like a slurpee. I had actually made a comment to Joe days prior that I wouldn’t try granita from a place like that, but if a place like Vivaldi was serving granita, I would try it. So I was excited to see they had it! We ordered a gelato that was a mix of pistachio and chocolate chip with pieces of candied orange, and a watermelon granita. Both were so delicious and the granita was so refreshing! Although it was certainly sweetened, the granita tasted just like watermelon, not like sugar.

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The last stop of the farewell tour for today was La Volpe e L’Uva. We ordered our two favorites: the caprese salad and the truffle sausage and asiago crostone. We sure will miss this place!

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