Each of our Midnight Trains will have its own restaurant and bar on-board – a place where you can grab breakfast, dinner or just a glass of something decent. The quality of the food will be unlike anything you’ve ever tried before on a train. But since that may be a little while off, we’re going to help you dream a little of that first meal you’ll have after having travelled with us. Florence is king this week, and so it’s fortunate that Tuscan cuisine is among Italy’s best.
We asked chef Alessandro Candido, founder of Paris restaurant Candide, to share a recipe he’d recommend you try on arrival in Florence (alongside a wine, recommended by Camille Guillaud, the cofounder of this excellent hangout in Belleville).
‘Gnudi’ means ‘naked’ in Italian. And these are, in effect, ravioli stripped of their pasta skin to leave only the stuffing – making for a delicate and rather intense dish. It’s very popular in Tuscany, is served all year round and is generally priced pretty accessibly too.
Ingredients for four people
· 500g ricotta
· 200g grated parmesan
· Four eggs
· Four tablespoons of flour
· Salt and pepper
· 50g pistachios
· One bunch of parsley
· One clove of garlic
· Olive oil
· One brown onion
· One tin of peeled tomatoes (400g)
· 50g ’nduja
I. Tomato sauce
1. Finely slice the onion and add to a pan with a dash of olive oil
2. As the onion browns, stir in the ’nduja on a low heat until it melts
3. Add the tomatoes and reduce them by half on a low heat (around 20 minutes)
1. Finely chop the parsley, pistachios and clove of garlic
2. Mix the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and flour together in a bowl
3. Stir the parsley, pistachios and garlic into the egg and cheese mix
4. Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil
5. Using two tablespoons, mould the gnudi and place them in the simmering water. They are ready to serve when they rise to the surface (around three minutes)
III. Plating up
1. Place the tomato sauce on an empty plate and delicately top with the gnudi
2. Season to taste and drizzle with olive oil. You could also add a few parsley leaves and some grated parmesan
As an accompaniment, Candide recommends the Coup d’Blanc 2019 by Stanislas Bersan: a dainty sauvignon from the Cévennes with delicate floral notes. It’s rounded off with a subtle – but noticeable – tartness.