An Anonymous Tuscan Cookery Book

Anonimo Toscano, Libro della Cocina (late 14th or early 15th c.)  The original text is here.  The cookbook — which exists in manuscript form but was never printed — contains 184 recipes and a great diversity of ingredients and preparations.

This was the first historical cookery translation I completed, in 2005.  It was online at a different website for a while, then I took it down so I could revise the translation, and now it has a new home here.  Other projects will join soon!

Translation copyright 2013.

Anonimo Toscano


[1] To make white cabbages, well cooked.  Take stalks of cabbage, and clean them well, so that nothing is left of the leaves; and cut them at the softest part of the head: and when the pot has come to a boil, with oil and water inside, add said stalks, or rather the white parts of the cabbages, and add fennel bulbs, and let all of it boil until it is rather thick.  And if you want, you can put in oil, or meat or capon broth, pepper, ground spices, beaten eggs, saffron for color; and give it to your Lord.

[2] To make green cabbages with meat.  Take cleaned heads of cabbage, and add them to a boiling pot with meat, and boil them; and take them out and put them in cold water.  And take some more broth in another pot, and add fennel bulbs; and when it is time to eat, place said cabbages with their broth in the aforementioned cauldron; boil them a little, and then add capon broth, or oil.

[3] About the aforementioned.  Take the cabbages and put them to cook with mutton, pork, or salted meat; and put in some fennel bulb and parsley, and mix it well.  Then take out the meat, and mash said cabbages, so that they are minced very fine.  And you can put in beaten eggs, pepper, saffron, ground spices.  And this preparation can be done on a fast day, with oil, with salted fish.

[4] About the aforementioned.  Take heads of cabbage, and boil them: then take them out, and fry them in oil with sliced onions, and fennel bulbs, and sliced apples; and put in a little broth: and then dish them up, and sprinkle some spices on top.  It can be made instead with lard, with cheese and with poached eggs, and sprinkle spices on top; and give it to your Lord.

Fine greens, and fennel.

[5] Take spinach, and three times as much chard; pick them over well, and boil them.  Then take them out, and chop them thoroughly with a knife: then take parsley, fennel, anise, onions, and chop and mince them with a knife, and fry them well in oil; and take other fine herbs and fry them together, and put in a bit of water, and let it boil, and put in pepper and spices; and serve it.  With this preparation you can put in beaten eggs, fish flesh without bones, mutton or pork; or salted meat, and vary it, according to the discretion of a good cook; and take marjoram, rosemary, parsley with some good fish or other minced meat, you can make mortadelli, comandelli [types of sausage] and many other things out of it: for this preparation you can use homegrown herbs, or rather wild ones, if none can be had from the garden.

[6] About the same dish with borage.  Take borage, spinach and chard and the like: put them in cold water to boil; then throw away the water, and let them be thoroughly minced with a knife: then set them to cook again with almond milk, and, putting in minced tench, you can serve it to your Lord during Lent, with spices and with saffron, and add some sugar.

[7] About the aforementioned.  Also take whole fennel, boiled, cooked with cinnamon, pepper and saffron, and add poached eggs and chicken or other meat, or whatever you want.
[8] About the aforementioned.  Also fine savory herbs, boiled, minced, cooked with a chicken breast, ground in a mortar, and with some greens added, can be served to a Lord, or to an invalid to relieve his stomach.

[9] About the aforementioned.  Take white fennel minced finely, and then fry it with a little of the white part of a leek minced finely, with egg or lard, and put in a bit of water and saffron and salt, and boil it, and put in beaten eggs, if you want.

[10] About the aforementioned.  Take fennel that has been washed well, then boil it, and having thrown away the water, fry it with oil, or lard, salt, and serve it.

Fennel sauce.

[11] Take fennel flowers, and beat them in a mortar; add saffron, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, egg yolks, and color it with saffron; and it is a good sauce during the month of September, with eggs.

Groundsel; that is, in several preparations.

[12] Take groundsel, and … assemble it having been sliced extremely fine, and wash it well in hot water, and squeeze it; and set it to cook in fresh water with pork and a good amount of salt, or with another kind of meat.

[13] About the aforementioned.  Take boiled groundsel, well minced with a knife, and set them to fry with some onion, not very much.  And also put them in fresh water with oil and salt.  And this food is useful for one who cannot urinate because of the pain of the stone.

[14] The same, for use during menstruation.  Take cabbage leaves, which are called rapazoli, or instead the leaves of young turnips, and set them to cook; and when they are cooked, set them to fry with oil, with leeks or onions, or without one and the other.  And this can be prepared so that each is on its own, or instead mixed together.


[15] Take mustard greens and boil them in water; and throw away the water, fry them in a pan with oil and salt, or rather set them to cook with meat.


[16] Take asparagus, and boil it; and when it is boiled, set it to cook with oil, onion, salt and saffron, and ground spices, or without.


[17] Take lettuce with fresh goat’s milk, in the month of April, with spices and egg yolks, and fresh lard, and pork.  This food is called a dish of lettuce, because it is made with the hearts of the lettuces.


[18] Take young gourds, sliced, and wash them in hot water, and squeeze them thoroughly in a cloth, and set them to cook with fresh pork, and pepper and saffron.

[19] Another preparation.  Also take young gourds, and wash and press them thoroughly, with cooked eggs, and with onions, and cheese minced very thoroughly, and throw them in boiling water, with pepper and with saffron, and enough oil, and salt.  And from this you can make ravioli with mixed minced meats, and also pies.

[20] Another preparation.  Take dried gourd, and put it to soften with hot water, in the evening; and when it is softened, slice it finely, and slice it on a board, with onions, and with oil, pepper and saffron: fry it and put it in a civero [a cooking base; see recipe 94] made of vinegar and the soft part of bread, to cook.  And in this way it can be made with almond milk, pepper, saffron, salt and oil, and with walnut milk.


[21] Take fresh pears and put them in water to soften; and, this water having been thrown away, set them to boil in fresh water with salt and oil, and a bit of onion to fry with spices and saffron in a little water, and set them to cook: and when they are cooked, stir in a bit of spices on the plate.  And likewise you can make it in a bit of almond milk without oil and without onions, adding a bit of sugar and a bit of salt.


[22] Take onions sliced and washed well in hot water, and set them to cook with meat and cheese, pepper, and saffron; and then add beaten eggs, pepper and saffron, if you like, and spices on the plate.


[23] Take white leeks, according to the Tuscan custom, minced or sliced fine, washed in hot water, and set them to cook with a piece of fresh meat, and then mince said meat with the aforementioned leeks and with pepper and saffron and beaten eggs; and add on pork or another kind of meat, and serve it; and put spices on the plate.

[24] Another preparation for fast days.  Take sliced leeks, washed and pressed well, and set them to cook with oil and minced or grated bread, colored with egg, pepper, and saffron; and add poached eggs, and sliced cheese, and serve it.

[25] Another preparation.  Also take leeks cut in four pieces, and boiled well and taken out of the water, they can be fried with oil, salt and pepper, on dishes during Lent.

[26] Another preparation with meat.  Take white leeks, sliced fine and washed well, and cook them with mutton; and when cooked serve them with spices.

[27] Another preparation.  Take leeks cleaned and boiled well: the take them out, and mince them fine with a knife, and put them in a pan or other vessel to fry with oil and salt, or lard instead.  And put them in water to cook with ground cinnamon and beaten eggs and saffron, and, if you want, you may add pork or mutton or whatever kind of meat you like.

[28] Another preparation.  Take whole leeks, well washed, and cut them in four pieces, and boil them a little; then take them out, and put them on a board to drain; then take flour, and dilute it with a little hot water, and stir it in a bowl thoroughly with a mixing spoon, and put salt in it.  Then take these leeks piece by piece, and coat them in this batter; and then fry them in a lot of oil.

Turnips (naponi, also called navoni).
[TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: This cookery text uses the terms navoni/navoni and rape almost interchangeably.  Technically they are probably different but closely related varieties of the same vegetable in the genus Brassica: B. napus (rape), B. rapa (turnip), possibly B. napobrassica (rutabaga). I include the Tuscan names in parentheses but render them all as “turnip” in translation since it is difficult to know exactly which variety is meant by which term.  In addition, certain recipes state that either of the two varieties can be used.]

[29] Take heads of turnips (navoni), and boil them a little; then dry them a little; then set them to cook with chicken fat.  And if you want them colored, add saffron, or beaten eggs, diluted with said broth.  And then take eggs, cubed or minced meat, and goat’s milk, when you want it.

Small turnips (raponcelli).

[30] Take small turnips (raponcelli), boiled well in water, and put them to fry with oil, onions and salt; and when they are cooked and ready, put spices on the plate.

[31] Another preparation.  Take small turnips (raponcelli), or pappardelle instead with oil and salt and grated cheese and beaten eggs; and put cheese and poached eggs on top, on Saturdays.

Turnips (rape).
[32] Take turnips (rape) boiled with their leaves, and set them to cook with beef, and pepper, and saffron.  And when they are cooked, put them on plates for the common family.

[33] Another preparation.  Take heads of turnips (rape), without leaves, slice them and boil them in water.  And throw away that water, and set them to cook with capon or another kind of meat, and color them with saffron and pepper.  And having added beaten eggs to this, sliced dry cheese and boiled eggs, put goat’s milk on top of it, and serve it.

[34] Another preparation.  Take turnips (rape) without leaves, peeled, boiled and dried, and set them to cook with salt and walnut milk, and add pepper and saffron.

[35] Another preparation.  Take turnips (rape) without leaves, boiled; and throw away the water, take bread soaked in meat broth; and from said turnips (rape), and grated cheese, and meat fat, make a soup, which is called foot soldiers’ soup.


[36] Take red or white chickpeas; and, when they are softened, cook them with pepper, and with saffron, and with savory herbs.  And when these things are cooked, put part of it in a mortar and grind it to make it thick, and add some flavorful broth, and then add whole roasted chestnuts, and parsley roots and meat broth; or instead of this preparation, you can cook them with meat, if you like.

[37] Another preparation for a Saturday.  Take boiled crushed chickpeas, and set them to cook with pepper and saffron, and with sliced cheese, and poached eggs, or beaten eggs.

[38] Another preparation.  Take boiled crushed chickpeas, and throw away their cooking water, and add fried onions to the aforementioned things, and preserve them well with oil or lard, as the time or day requires.

[39] Another preparation.  Take boiled crushed chickpeas, and throw away the water, and set them to cook with almond milk, spices and saffron; and it can be prepared without spices, with ginger; and these should be white chickpeas.

[40] Another preparation.  Take whole chickpeas, and set them to cook with every kind of salted meat, washed and well cleansed of salt: and add pepper and saffron, if you like.  And you can add crushed chickpeas, or poached or beaten eggs, and small pieces of lard instead.

[41] Another preparation.  Take fresh, rather young chickpeas, boiled; and with the water thrown away, you can cook them with spices, saffron, salt and oil and beaten eggs, cheese and meat, as you like.

[42] Another preparation during Lent.  Take crushed or whole chickpeas, set them to cook with oil, salt and peas that have been split, or beaten and diluted in the mortar; and add spices and saffron, and serve.


[43] Take peas, and set them to boil in a lot of water, and keep the water, in which you can make soup in the French style.  And put an onion in a pan with oil to fry it; and when it is fried, put said water in said pan, and then take bread, in rather large slices, and put it in said water with spices, and soak it.  Then take the aforementioned peas, and set them to cook in fresh water with oil, salt and onion, and serve it.

[44] Another preparation.  Take well-boiled peas, and, the water thrown away, set them to cook with cheese [cascio di briga], oil and poached eggs; and then add parsley.

[45] Another preparation.  Fresh peas, cook them with oil, salt, spices, saffron, beaten eggs; and serve them.

Peas with meat.

[46] Set the peas to cook with meat, well rinsed of its salt; and slice said meat finely, once it is cooked, cut it small, and put it in bowls.

[47] Another preparation.  Boiled peas, their water thrown away, set them to cook in fresh water with salted pork, and a bit of saffron.  And then put in some fresh mutton, or other kind of meat, as you like.

Whole fava beans.

[48] Fresh young fava beans, boil them; and throw away the water, set them to cook with goat’s or sheep’s milk, or almond milk, or with meat, well rinsed of its salt.  And add beaten eggs, and small pieces of lard in the dishes, if you like.

[49] Another preparation.  Fava beans in their first stage, set them to boil, and throw away the water, set them in fresh water to boil with pork, or with cheese; and serve them.

[50] Another preparation.  Fresh young fava beans boiled; and throw away the water, and set them to cook with onions fried in oil, and ground savory herbs, with pepper and saffron added.

[51] Another preparation.  Take fava blossoms, and set them to cook with fresh pork; and when they are partly cooked, add beaten eggs, milk and spices, saffron and salt, and make sure the meat is well minced, and mix it all together, and make it thick, like a mortadello (sausage).

[52] Another preparation.  Cook fava blossoms with a whole capon, and at the end of its cooking time, add almond milk and beaten eggs, pepper, saffron and salt; and cook it in a good pot.

Split favas.

[52] Take fava beans, well split, cleaned and picked over and rinsed, and let them boil in a pot; and, the cooking water thrown away, was them very well, and put them in another pot with a little water and salt, so that they are just covered with the water, and stir them often with a mixing spoon: and, when they are cooked and thickened, mash them thoroughly with the mixing spoon.  Then dilute them with a bit of added water, and put them on plates, and put honey on the plates, or oil fried with onions instead, or fried lard instead.

[53] Another preparation.  Split fava beans, washed in hot water, set them to boil; and when they have boiled, wash them well a second time, and set them to boil in enough water to cover them and protect them from smoke.  And when they are well cooked, stir them with a stick; then dilute them with cold water, or white wine instead, so that they are well made.  Then make them into a pottage, and add oil, with fried onions; and serve it.  And if you like, you can dilute it with hot water, and if you like, add pepper, saffron, honey and sugar.  With these fava beans you can serve tench, or other fish.  And know that, with the aforementioned things, you can make a mortadello.


[54] Take lentils washed well and with stones picked out, and set them to cook with savory herbs, oil, salt and saffron.  And when they are cooked, mince them well; and put beaten eggs on top, and sliced dry cheese, serve.

[55] Another preparation.  Set lentils to cook with fresh or salted pork, and serve them, but in this case without eggs and cheese.

Beans [fasoli].

[56] Beans well cleaned and boiled, set them to cook with oil and onions, with aforementioned spices, grated cheese, and beaten eggs.

[57] Another preparation in the style of Treviso.  Put boiled beans, shelled, to cook with salted meat, and with pepper and saffron.  And this can be served fried in oil, put in a bit of vinegar, starch, and salt.

[58] Another preparation.  Take boiled beans, and throw away the water, set them to cook with mutton, pork, or beef, or whatever you like, and grind it well, and a bit of saffron and salt, and serve it.


[59] Take mountain mushrooms, boiled, and onions fried in lard, and set them to boil with spices and other savory herbs, and beaten eggs; and serve.

[60] Another preparation.  Take mountain mushrooms, and boil them; and throw away the water, then fry them with finely minced onion, or with the white part of a leek, spices and salt; and serve.

[61] Another preparation. Take dried mushrooms, and let them soften from evening until morning; and throw the water away, slice them thin with a knife, and a bit of the white part of a leek, or onion, and set them to fry in oil or lard and spices and chestnuts and vinegar, and a bit of water and salt.  And then add mustard and cooked must, and pork, if it pleases you.


[62] Take carrots well cleaned and boiled, and let them cool: and in their water cook turnips (rape) cut in four pieces and not cooked too much, and likewise let them cool.  Then take parsley roots, radishes, … and the white part of leeks, and fennel, pears, capers, and heads of cabbage, and boil everything separately, and cool them as above: according to the Lombard custom, you can put in garobbi [see note]. Then take good mustard, made with strong vinegar, fennel seeds, anise; and arrange them individually in batches.  And put finely sliced radish in each batch of the aforementioned vegetables, and put in mustard and then particular vegetables, as is convenient.  These things thus arranged, put them in a jar, and put a large board on top, and let it stand for eight days.
[TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: Garobbi is fish sauce, likely a descendant of the Roman garum. J. Florio’s Italian-English dictionary (1611) defines garo as “a kinde of dainty meat for gluttons made of the fat and softroe of divers fishes.  Also a kind of long fish which some take for the Pickerell.  Also the dripping that comes from garbage or offale of fishes.  Also fish-pickle or brine.”]

[63] Another preparation.  Take finely minced radishes, anise, fennel seeds, and set them to cook in must; and cook them so much that the must is reduced to half: and with this must dilute the mustard.  Then take small turnips (rape piccioli) and turnips (naponi), and quince, and apples, cut into four pieces, and pears cut in half, and whole carrots, and parsley roots, and fennel bulbs, and set all of these things to cook.  And when they are cooked, arrange them in order in a clean jar, interspersing the diluted mustard on top, in the aforementioned batches.  And if you like, you can put in some honey; and this can be made with sugar and cinnamon diluted with the aforementioned things and with vinegar, and put it away and serve it.

Broths: and first, grainy broth.

[64] Take a chicken cut in pieces, and set it to fry with onions, and lard and enough water; and when it is partly cooked, take savory herbs minced well, with saffron, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and ginger, and dilute with the aforementioned broth, and mix everything together well; then take beaten eggs, and add a bit of cold water, and add some of this broth, and mix it, and set it over the fire.  And when it has begun to boil, take it off the fire, and eat it.

[65] Another preparation.  Take capons or hens, and boil them.  And then put in spices and herbs, and take egg yolks, with the broth, and mix and beat it in a bowl: then boil everything together until the broth becomes grainy.  And this can be done with every kind of fowl, with lard, or without lard.

[66] Another preparation.  Take a fat chicken, cut into pieces, or whole, and fry it in lard with savory herbs, spices, whole sour grapes, and make it as above; but make only a little broth.  And this can be done with meat broth, and with large and small fowl.  And you can color it, and make it green with pounded herbs.

Fish in aspic.

[67] Take good wine with a bit of vinegar, and, when it has been skimmed after boiling, put in the fish, and, when it is cooked, take it out, and boil the wine so that it is reduced to a third: then put in saffron and other spices, with bay leaves: then strain the wine, and put in spikenard, and let it cool; then put it on top of the fish in a broad flat bowl.

Fish broth.

[68] Fish cleaned well, when it is available: fry it in a lot of oil, then let it cool: then have onions sliced crosswise; fry them in the oil left over from the fish: then take peeled almonds, raisins, dried ienula [meaning unknown] and prunes, and fry them together with said onions, and lift them out of the extra oil, and take pepper and saffron, and other select spices, and wine and vinegar; and much diluted, put it on the fire until it boils; then take it off the fire, and put it in another pot, and set it carefully aside in batches with the aforementioned fish.  And if you want it sweet, put in cooked wine, or sugar conveniently.

[69] Another preparation.  Take good wine and a bit of vinegar and boil them together and skim them: then put the fish in to cook; and, when it is cooked, take it out; and let the wine boil until it is reduced to a third: then put in bay leaves, saffron and fine spices, and reheat the fish, and take the wine and put in spikenard, and let the fish cool.


[70] Cut the throat of a gosling or goose, pluck it well and scald it; cut off the feet, take out the innards and wash it well: then take verjuice, garlic; and if you cannot get these things, take savory herbs, soaked in vinegar, and sew up the bottom, and put it on a spit, and roast it; and if it is not fat, put lard inside it.  And put a bit of water in a pan, and take the fat that comes out of there.  And when it is cooked enough, take it from the fire, and serve it with the juice of an orange or lemon or bitter orange: and if you want, you can make a pepper sauce with toasted crustless bread, and with the liver roasted and ground with said bread: and dilute all these things with vinegar, and boil it and add pepper, saffron, cloves and other good spices.  From the head, feet, innards, and liver, you can make a verjuice sauce, adding beaten eggs, saffron, spices; and serve it.

[71] Another preparation.  Put a bit of water in a pan, and take the fat rendered by the gosling or goose; and add citron juice and sugar, so that it is bittersweet; add saffron, and fry it in a pan; then toast some white bread, soaked in beaten egg yolks, and put it in the aforementioned sauce, and put them in trenchers one on top of the other.


[72] Crane well cleaned, and boiled a bit in a large pot, put it on the spit, and roast it, but not stuffed however; then have an onion cut like dice, and fried well in enough lard, and colored with saffron.  And have sliced of bread somewhat toasted, and some good wine, cooked and mixed with the aforementioned onion: boil said crane cut in pieces with said things in the wine for a quick boil.  And in the lean broth of said sauce soften the aforementioned bread: on a large trencher, arrange sauce, spices and meat in order by degrees, as is appropriate, and at the end of cooking add some of the fat from said sauce.  Likewise this can be done with a mutton or veal head, well skinned, in boiling water; but then don’t boil it too much.  And let it be done in an orderly way, as said above, cheese must be put on top, and then eat it.

Saracen broth.

[73] Take roasted capons, and their livers with spices, and toasted bread; grind it in a mortar; and dilute it in the mortar with white wine and verjuice, and then cut said capons into pieces, and boil them in a pot with the aforementioned things, and put in dates, currants, prunes, whole peeled almonds, and enough lard; and serve.  Likewise this can be done with saltwater fish; then put apples and pears in said broth.

Capon broth.

[74] Take capons, and boil them; and when they are cooked with the spices you want, cut them apart into a bowl with eggs and their broth, and add flour with a slotted spoon over said cut-up capons; and put all of this in the broth, and boil it a little; and this is called chickened broth.

[75] Another preparation in the Provençal style.  Take livers, stomachs and innards of capons well cleaned and well sliced; and put then in a pot with a little water, and cook them with spices and beaten eggs, and color them as you like.  And then fry the aforementioned things, and put in sour and sweet juices.  You can do the same with the heads and feet of capons, or similar birds.

[76] Another preparation in the Spanish style to make green broth.  Take birds, and little pieces of fried liver, or meat, as much as you like; boil them well with good spices and pounded green herbs; and then, add beaten eggs, and put them in said broth of the said meat, and let them boil.  The broth should not be thick.


[77] Take boiled partridges and cut-up chickens with savory herbs, salt, and good spices ground in a mortar; and fry said meat with lard, set it to cook in a pot with a little water, and put almond milk in it; and at the end of its cooking time, add coriander: dilute with its broth, and make a granulated broth, if you like.  In a similar way you can make peacocks, pheasants, young chickens, and little birds.


[78] Take sheep’s milk, and dilute it thoroughly with eggs, and put some lard in a pan, near the fire, so that it gets very hot: and take a slotted spoon, and drizzle the milk onto the spoon inside the pan, and cook it completely.  And, having taken it off the fire, add sugar, and eat.  Item in said broth, add solid egg whites, cut like dice; and this is called Spanish gratonia: and you can color this as you like.

Croquettes, or rather ubaldine fritters.

[79] Take clean, white flour, and dilute it with eggs and let it rest a bit: add saffron, and then set it to cook in melted lard: then put sugar or honey on it, and eat.

[80] Another preparation.  Take white flour with a bit of yeast: dilute it with hot water, and let it rise, that is ferment: then, take pike eggs, or eggs of trout or cabot (corvalo) or another kind of fish, mix them well with said dough; and, adding saffron to it, cook it as described above.

[81] Another preparation. Likewise you can make it with minced onions, with calamint (nepitella) and herbs; fry it with oil or lard [NOTE: aglio (garlic) here seems to be a misprint for oglio]: then take flour, and dilute everything together with egg whites, and put elderflowers and other flowers in it, as you like; and vary the colors as you please, and put it them in boiling lard with a spoon a few at a time.

“Gloves,” that is ravioli.

[82] Take white chickpeas, well softened in water; boil them well, then take them out of the water, minced finely and mix them with said water, and strain them; and with this strained water dilute the flour as you like and fry it on a low fire with lard and oil, and put some honey on top.

[83] Another preparation.  Dilute the flour with eggs, then make some gloves or other shape, as you like: set them to cook well in a pan with hot lard or oil.

Sausages, or fish dumplings (tortelli) if you prefer.

[84] Put the fish in boiling water, until the bones can easily be removed, and take savory herbs, and mince them well with the meat of said fish, and spices; then put everything in a very large and porous linen cloth, and press it well: then put them in the pan with hot oil, and make them lengthwise or crosswise, as if pleases you.

Meat croquettes, or rather dumplings and ravioli.

[85] Take skinned pork belly, boiled, and mince it thoroughly with a knife: take a good quantity of savory herbs, and pound them thoroughly in a mortar: put some fresh cheese on top of this and a bit of four, and dilute it with egg whites, until it is stiff.  And take a good quantity fresh pork fat, put it in a pan, until it boils, and make croquettes out of this; and once it has been cooked and taken out, put sugar on it.

[86] Another preparation. Take fresh cheese, minced thoroughly: add a bit of flour, and dilute it with egg whites, so that it becomes thick; and set it to cook with lard, as described above; and put sugar on it, as with the other things that have been described.

Gualdaffe of stomach and hot meat dishes (caldume).

[87] Take a veal stomach, and wash it well with cold or hot water, scraping it and cleaning it to make it as clean as you can: then put said stomach in a pan on the fire without liquid, and turn it and keep turning it often, so that it can be well cleaned and scraped: then wash it again with water, as before: then let it boil a little in water and cook it, putting in whole mint leaves and salt: then fry it in the pan with lard, as you like, and take its broth, which is called gualdaffa.

[88] Another preparation, with intestine.  Take the intestine of a young calf: clean it well, and fill it with the cooked gualdaffa described earlier, sliced small, mixed with beaten eggs and grated cheese, spices and salt: and when this is done, set it to boil: and then set it to roast; and serve it.  You can also put this gualdaffa in broth or in a pastry.  And you can make gualdaffe from other animals.

[89] Another preparation.  Take cleaned intestine, washed and scraped in cold and hot water; and salt it; then wash it again with water.  Take beaten eggs, grated cheese, saffron, spices and savory herbs minced and ground in a mortar; and put them in a platter or bowl, and mix together; and fill it, and set it to boil until it is well cooked.  And when this is done, put it on a spit, or on the grill; and serve it.

Said gualdaffe and hot meat dishes.

[90] From said beef gualdaffe and intestines, raw, you can make a broth, if you clean them well; slice said intestines and fry them in lard with thinly sliced onion: set them to boil, and add egg yolks with crustless bread, spices, herbs; and make a grainy broth, if you like, and color it as you like.  And this broth is called a hot meat dish.

Pluck and stomach of pork in a hot meat dish.

[91] The pluck and stomach of pork can be prepared likewise; and wash it well; and, sliced thinly, fry it in lard and with onions etc., as is said above.


[92] Take cinnamon, ginger and toasted bread (the crust), and salt, and pound them well in a mortar; then dilute with good wine, and strain it a bit, and boil it a little.  Such a sauce is called cinnamon sauce and is appropriate for all roasted goat and hare.  Note that goat meat can be roasted with bones or without bones.  Likewise hare and other meats, that is doe, stag and the like, and for which said sauce is appropriate, and citron juice with spices, if you like.

Pepper sauce.

[93] Take toasted bread, a bit of saffron but not to change the color, spices and chopped liver pounded in a mortar, and dilute it with vinegar or wine and the broth described above, and make it sweet or sour, as you like. And such a pepper sauce can be made with domestic meats, game, and fish.

Civero of hare and other meats.

[94] Cut apart a whole hare, and, when it has been washed a little, cook it in water; then take the cooked liver and lungs, grind them well in a mortar, and when said hare is cooked, take spices, pepper and onions, and fry them in lard with said lungs and toasted bread: and when all these things have boiled together, serve it to the table.  Note that you must mince and grind the cooked liver and lungs in a mortar with spices and toasted bread, and dilute it with good wine and a bit of vinegar.  And then it has been cooked and the hare fried with onion, pour said sauce over the hare, and let it cool to room temperature, and serve.  And you can do the same with pernici, that is partridges.

[95] Another preparation.    Take cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, Indian nuts [noci d’India: what spice is this?], fowl livers, egg yolks, and little birds, whole or in pieces, and fry them in lard: then cook them in said broth, and cook as described above.

Chicken or birds in sumac sauce.

[96] Take a chicken cut into pieces and fry it in lard; and take almonds and sumac with water and cook them with the chicken, and let it thicken, and serve it.  You can do the same with pieces of fish: likewise with chicken, capons, partridges, or little birds, and capon giblets.  You can put starch in such a dish; and it is very helpful for the flow of the stomach.  Likewise you can make it with chopped pieces of fish, using oil instead of lard.

Chicken in lemon sauce.

[97] Fry chickens with lard and onions, and grind some unrefined starch (amido non mondo) and dilute it with pork broth, and strain it, and cook it with said chickens and spices.  And if you do not have starch, thicken the broth with egg yolks; and when it is near the time to serve it, put in lemon juice, bitter orange or citron juice.

Gratomea of chicken, birds, and fish.

[98] Boil the chickens, take the livers, starch, spices and egg yolks, and dilute them with said broth, and make it thick: and when it is well cooked, put finely ground sugar on top, and put it on the table.  You can do the same with capons and partridges, and color and season it as described.  You can do the same with fish, using oil instead of lard.

Pomegranate chicken (romania di polli).

[99] Fry the chickens with lard and onions, and grind unrefined starch in a mortar, and dilute it with strong or sweet pomegranate juice: press and strain it well, and put it with the chicken, and boil it a little, and stir it with a spoon, or beat it, and add spices.  And if you do not have pomegranate, you can make this with herb broth.

White garlic sauce with capons.

[100] Take capons boiled well, and with the broth dilute spices, garlic and almonds, and boil it enough until it thickens.  This is called white garlic sauce; if you color it any other way, it loses its name.  You can make this with roasted and larded capons.


[101] Take chicken breast, cooked; and having placed it on a board shred it as finely as you can.  Meanwhile wash the rice and dry it, and make flour out of it, and sift it with a sieve or strainer; then dilute said rice flour with goat’s milk or almond milk; and set it to boil in a pot washed and cleaned well; and when it begins to boil add said shredded chicken breast, with white sugar and fried white lard; and keep it away from smoke, and let it boil moderately without blocking the fire, until it becomes thick, as rice usually is.  And when you are ready to serve it, put ground sugar on top of it, and fried lard.  If you like, you can make it with whole grains of rice, prepared and arranged with goat’s milk, in the transalpine manner; and when you serve it, add almonds fried in lard, and sliced white ginger.

[102] Another preparation during Lent.  Take cleaned almonds dried with a towel; and grind them as thoroughly as you can, not adding water: then with a linen cloth press them as much as you can, and put the oil that comes out in a jar: then take the shells, or rather the remaining nut pieces, and dilute them with cold water, and strain them with a strainer or sieve; and with this milk dilute the flour made from rice grains, as described above, and set it to boil as is described above: and add sugar with fish, meat of pike, frog, or other fish that has white flesh, shredded like the chicken breast; and when you are about to serve it, put sugar and almonds on it, and eat.  You can also make this with the white part of leeks, boiled in water: shred them and dilute them with the aforementioned flour, as above.

[103] Another preparation with rice.  Take rice and wash it thoroughly; and once washed, boil it: take it out and put it on a trencher to cool; then put it back to cook, and put sheep’s milk on it and boil it completely; and while it boils put in pieces of chicken, and put fresh fried lard and sugar on top.  And when you are ready to serve it, put sugar and enough spices on it, with fried lard.


[104] Take whole fried chickens, fried in lard; then set them to cook in water with sugar and ginger; and make it thick.

To stuff a peacock.

[105] Skin the peacock, keeping the head with its feathers: then take pork meat that is not too fatty, and also the ground meat of said peacock or another one, and mince and grind them together.  Also grind spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, whatever you want; once these have been well ground and beaten with egg whites, mix them together, and beat said spices and meat together thoroughly, and keep the yolk aside by itself.  The stuff said peacock with said minced and ground meat and the aforementioned spices: and wrap said peacock in pork caul fat, and close it with a wooden pick: and thus put it in a cauldron in lukewarm water, and boil it gently.  And when it has been boiled solid [i.e. the mincemeat stuffing is fully cooked], roast it on a spit or on the grill, and color it with beaten egg yolks, which you have kept aside; and don’t take all of them, but make apples out of the rest of them, as follows, that is: take raw pork loin and mince it very finely with a knife and chop it thoroughly; then mix said meat with said reserved egg yolks and aforementioned spices, and make it so thick that you can make little apples in the palms of your hands; and roll them in egg yolks and color them and set them to boil in boiling water.  Once they have boiled a little you can roast them and color them slightly with egg yolks, using feathers.  Some of these apples you can put inside the peacock, and on the outside, under said caul fat.  And once this is done, re-clothe the peacock in its coat, skin and feathers reserved, and carry it to the table; and, with the coat taken off, serve it.

To stuff a hen.

[106] When the chicken has been plucked, skin it raw; and from its meat and from boneless pork meat, well chopped, and spices and eggs and clear lard, that is clarified, mixed together, stuff the skin of said hen; and let it be placed in a cauldron of boiling water; then roast it on a spit; and watch out that it doesn’t burst.  And in this way you can prepare other birds.

[107] Another preparation.    Skin the hen, as said, whose meat is cooked with spices.  Then take an earthenware pot, made in the form of a cardafisia, that is of an inguastara or flask; put said skin in the water in said pot, keeping the neck of said skin out of the pot; then stuff said skin with said stuffing; then tie said neck closed and put in a little water, and set it to cook.  And when it is cooked, break the pot and serve it.

To stuff a calf.

[108] Take a young calf, skinned or rather peeled: roast it and stuff it, as you like: then take goslings, hens and capons and the stuffing described above, and other good things: but add a lot of chopped lard, in the belly; then take the fat that was rendered during roasting and put it in a pepper sauce with toasted bread and saffron; and when it is boiled a bit keep the pepper sauce on its own; and serve it.

To stuff a sheep.

[109] Take a whole sheep, shorn, and you can prepare it like the first method for a hen described above; and for its stuffing you can use hens, partridges boiled whole or in pieces, and all good things you want; and keep it from bursting.  Likewise you can prepare a skinned kid.

To stuff a shoulder, or other limb.

[110] Take a shoulder of mutton and lift the meat off the bone, and take pork belly, and mince and chop it all together with a knife on a board.  And take a good quantity of savory herbs, pounded, with spices and saffron, and mix it with said meat and pork belly: add fresh cheese, well beaten with eggs, a good amount; and dilute it so that it is neither too stiff nor too soft: then take the caul fat of pork or mutton and spread it over the board, and take half of the said meat and spread it on top of said caul fat: then take the shoulder bone and place it on said meat: and then take the other half of the meat and place it on top of said bone on the other side, so that the bone is in the middle, and cover all of it with the caul fat.  The place it on an iron grill, and roast it enough, and serve it.  You can do the same with other limbs.

To stuff a stomach.

[111] Take stomach of pork or mutton well washed and clean; then take their fat and meat, partially cooked; mix this with spices and eggs, and stuff said stomach with the aforementioned mixture and set it to cook in water and close the hole, and pierce it with a needle while it is cooking.  Or you can cook it on the grill instead, and color and season it as you like.  Also it can be stuffed with good pork belly, with whole ravioli.  Likewise you can stuff birds if you like.

To stuff intestines.

[112] Pork or veal intestines can be stuffed with pork fat and other meats, with spices and savory herbs, and make it like the stomach described above, tying it and piercing it; and eat it.


[113] Take round slices of bread, like trenchers; fry them in a pan with fresh lard and sprinkle good spices on it, and take toasted bread and dilute it with fat rendered from a peacock or other bird, and pour it over the bread fried in the pan; and sprinkle sugar or sour juice over this; and eat it.

[114] Another preparation.    Take round slices of bread, as described above, and soak them in beaten egg yolks and fry them in a pan: then put them on a trencher one on top of the other; and, if you want, you can put sugar or spices on them, and serve it to your Lord with peacock or with other birds.

Roman pastry.

[115] Take a chicken cut into pieces, spices and saffron and savory herbs: mix them together and fry them a bit: then add beaten eggs and a good amount of verjuice; and meanwhile make the crust; then assemble the pastry, making two or three “soles” and putting spices on each: on top of this put lard and cover the pastry and make a hole in the middle [of the top crust]: on top of this shape birds or whatever other animals you like out of dough; and put lard on them, cook them in the oven, and serve.  You can do the same with minced meat and fresh cheese.

Kid pastry.

[116] Take goat’s meat well cut up and sliced sepis [meaning unknown] and fry it in lard; also take a good quantity of savory herbs and saffron, and beat them well, and with this fresh cheese well minced, and mix it with said meat, and put it in a pan over the coals, so that it is somewhat thickened, and make a very thin crust in a tart-pan, and put fried lard between the pan and the dough.  Also take enough pepper and meat with the aforementioned eggs, and put them in a pan and make another crust, and put it on top, and put coals above and below.

[117] Another preparation.    Take minced goat’s meat or small chickens cut into pieces, and fry them with fresh lard and minces onions, and savory herbs minced with saffron and egg yolks, and dilute it thoroughly and mix it with eggs, and put all of it in a pan on the coals, and turn it often until it is set: add enough spices; color it with egg yolks and make the dough and enclose all of it: cook it and eat it.

Pastry of live birds.

[118] Make a pastry and fill it with bran [semola], and cook it in the oven; and when it is cooked, pour out the bran through a hole on the bottom or on the side, and enclose within it various live birds, whatever you like: and make a little window in the pastry, like a window in a cage; and when this is done make it seem like it is placed in a tree.

[119] Another preparation for a good pastry.  If you want to make a pastry of wild game, roast and lard the meat as you like; soak it in wine with a great abundance of spices.

[120] Another preparation.  You can make a pie from beef, mutton and pork, sliced very small with garlic, onion, scallions, clean sour grapes, or with herbs, in whatever way you like.

Parma-style tart.

[121] Take chickens cut into pieces and fry them with finely sliced onions, with a good amount of lard; and once the chickens are cooked enough put spices and a fair amount of salt on them.  Then take savory herbs, and put a good amount of saffron on them and mince them thoroughly … in a good amount, and put the marrow on its fat, and chop it thoroughly with a knife, and thicken and mix it with said herbs with an equal amount of grated cheese.  Then take another quantity of this and make ravioli out of it; and also take fresh cheese and make white ravioli.  Also take parsley and other savory herbs and fresh cheese and make green ravioli, and dilute all of the aforementioned things with egg.  Also take peeled almonds, grind them well and divide them in half; in one part put a good quantity of spices, and in the other put sugar; and from each part make ravioli individually: then take eggs and stuff them.  Also take pork intestines well fattened and washed, and stuff them with good herbs and cheese, and boil them well.  Also take raw cured meat (presciutto crudo) and slice it thinly and do the same with sausage: then take beaten egg and mix it with said chickens in a pot and place it on the coals, and mix it mix it [sic] with a mixing spoon until it is thickened; then take it off the fire and season it with salt.  Then take well picked-over flour and make a firm dough, and form it to a pie-pan or frying-pan.  Then with a spoon take the broth of said chickens and moisten said dough; then in said dough make a section with the meat of said chickens; in the second section put white ravioli with sauce on top; in the third section put the cured meat and sausage, sliced as described above.  In the fourth section put said meat.  In the fifth put the cervellati [saveloy sausage], that is, intestines stuffed as above.  Almond ravioli in the sixth; and in each section you may put dates; and also put sauce on each said meat; and in each section put plenty of spices; then put enough spices on top; and open the grate and put the baking-pan on top, and coals above and below.  Uncover said tart often and baste it with lard; and it if breaks, take the soft dough and carefully take it and moisten it with water and put it over the break, and put the hot baking-pan on top.

Tart of capon, pheasant, fowl, giblets and fish.

[122] You can also make a tart from the giblets of capons, pheasants, partridges, wild and domestic fowl, small and large; and of ocean and freshwater fish, and apples, and similar things for fast days, and of fish chopped with spices, with almond milk and eggs; and season it and color it, as you like.

A cheese dish (casciata).

[123] Take fresh cheese rinsed and well pressed, and crumble it finely with your hands in a bowl; then take eggs and beat them well together with said cheese and with chopped and ground lard, and a bit of pepper, if you like, and put it in a crust and season it with salt and cook it.  In the aforementioned things, you can put pounded mint or calamint, and it is called an herbed dish; and you can make it with scallions and gourd; and you can make such a cheese dish without the crust on top.

A roof-tile (coppo) of chicken or other birds.

[124] Cut chickens or birds into pieces; dilute flour with hot water, and make it very stiff: then make the shape of a roof-tile from said dough and put in it the aforementioned chickens with whole green grapes, saffron and spices, and a bit of cold water, and close it on top with dough, and put it in the oven or rather on top of pans; and on the top of the tile put a big piece of lard.

A tile of other things, and for every day.

[125] You can make a similar tile with beef or pork, as described above.  And, for lack of green grapes or verjuice, you can put in citron juice, orange juice and rosewater.  And you can make a tile from goat and other meats, and from kid offal with savory herbs, spices and saffron, and vary it and color it as you like; and from chickpeas, beans, and gourd and other mixtures that you can put in pies.

Eel pastry.

[126] Skinned eels, well washed and clean, sliced; and make a stiff crust and put them inside; sprinkle a good quantity of spices on top and put in a bit of oil and orange, citron or lemon juice; and cook it inside baking pans; and once cooked, eat it hot, it is better that way.

A roof-tile of lamprey.

[127] Take lamprey well washed and cleaned and sprinkle it with salt; it should not be sliced nor skinned; put a clove in every hole in its head; and make the tile out of stiff dough, and put said whole lamprey in arranged in a circle with spices and saffron: put rosewater in, and color it on top, as you like, and cover it.  You can make it in a similar way with small lampreys without cloves, with rosewater and citron, orange or bitter orange juice.  You can also roast lampreys and eat them with sauce.

Trout and other kinds of fish pastry.

[128] Shape the stiff dough to the length of a trout, or round if you want, and take the trout, and make sure it is well scaled, cleaned and salted; and its innards: put it in said dough, according to the shape of the trout, and make a horn on each end of the dough like a ship: and make two holes in said dough, one near the end, the other near the other end; or make one hole in the middle instead and cook it in the oven, or on baking pans instead.  When it is well cooked, pour into these holes rosewater, or orange or citron juice instead: and on meat days you can put in melted lard and not oil.  You can likewise make a tile or a pastry with other fish, sardines, sprats, mullet and others, in the same way.


[129] A fat octopus can be boiled and eaten with salt and cumin, or other fish similar to the octopus, which are called little flies (moscatelli).

Squid (seppia).

[130] Take the squid, open it, and take out the ink, and keep it: then take the squid cut in slices and fry it in oil with spices.  And when it is fried, put in a bit of water, and boil it: then color this with the reserved ink, which is called squid salt, with good wine, and put it in a broth with savory herbs and spices, and serve it.

Squid ink.

[131] Note that squid ink should be tied off at the head, so that it does not leak; and smoke it, so that when you want to make dressing, sauce, broth or other food black, you come back to this.  Item note, as described above, in every dressing, sauce, or broth, you can put precious materials, that is gold, precious stones, select spices, or rather cardamom, savory or common herbs, onions, leeks according to your taste, for the healthy and the infirm.

Cuttlefish (calamaro).

[132] To roast a cuttlefish, take the innards out through its ears and put salt through them, or rather through the mouth, which comes out of this animal; let there be a space the shape of a sword, and cook it a bit near the fire.  Then lard it lightly and carefully, as if it were a pheasant, and roast it again until it is done, and eat it with orange juice, citron, rosewater or lemon.

The innards and intestines of fish.

[133] Fish innards, washed and sliced not too small, fry them with oil and onions, thinly sliced; and put with them good spices, saffron and minced marjoram: dilute it with a bit of boiling water and take crustless bread, well crumbled and diluted also with a bit of water, and boil it a little; and in place of marjoram, you can use cumin; if you want to thicken the aforementioned broth with unpeeled ground almonds, dilute it with wine; and strain these things, don’t add saffron; sprinkle coriander seeds on top and carni, ground with sugar.
[NOTE: Carni would normally means “meats,” which doesn’t make sense here — from the context it seems to be a spice. Possible scribal error for caroni, which Florio gives as var. of caroba, carob or (likelier in this context) fenugreek.]

Gratonata of chicken.

[134] Chickens cut into pieces, fry them with lard and onions; and while they fry add a little water, so that they cook well in the pot, and turn them fairly often with the mixing spoon: add spices, saffron and verjuice, and let it boil; and for each chicken take four egg yolks and dilute them with verjuice, and boil them raw, and beat them together in a bowl, and then let everything boil together with the chicken joints; and once it has boiled take it off the fire, and eat it.

Sardamome of meat.

[135] Take mutton breast: slice it small and boil it thoroughly; and when it has boiled until there is no scum, take it out of the water and fry the meat with lard; then add enough of its water, so that little remains of this broth; and when it is cooked, put coriander and finely ground carrots [or is carote another error for caroba?] on top, with spices and enough saffron.  And if you do not have coriander, use cumin, and eat it.

Frumenty with chicken.

[136] Take good calvellino grain, or another good kind, cleaned and ground in a mortar, well washed.  And in the evening put it to boil; and when it has begun to burst put a fat hen or a good piece of mutton breast, hot, in the pot: cover it well and keep it like this until morning.  In the morning take out the chicken or the meat, and put it on a trencher and serve it.  Put the grain to cook with goat’s or sheep’s milk, adding fried lard or fat: then take said meat and shred it from the bones and make a soup; and put fried lard on top.  This is a good dish, and if you don’t have milk make it with eggs and cheese.

Spelt (farro di spelta).

[137] Take cracked spelt, picked over, and boil it a little; and with the water thrown away wash said spelt very well and put it back to cook with goat’s or sheep’s milk, or almond milk instead, until it is well cooked.  Mince fresh cheese and mix it with egg whites and put it in said farro as it boils, and boil it a little.  And then put in hen or chicken meat, like a blancmange; and put pork fat on top of it; and if you want to make it yellow, color it with saffron and egg yolks, and add sugar.

Zeunia of squab, chicken and other fowl.

[138] When you kill a chicken, squab or other fowl, keep the blood and the livers; then, when they are cut apart, fry the birds with onions and lard, putting in dried oregano, well ground, diluted with wine: then take the aforementioned blood and livers with a bit of toasted bread, and grind them and dilute them with vinegar and wine, and color lightly, and set them to boil with said birds, adding pepper copiously; for squab in particular add a head of garlic; and eat it.

Stuffed eggs.

[139] Take eggs, boil them and peel them, and cut each one in half, and take out the yolk; and taking marjoram, saffron and cloves, mix them with said egg yolks, and pound them well, adding grated cheese: and for every eight eggs dilute with one raw egg; and when this is done, from this sauce fill the gaps in the eggs and fry them in good lard; and eat, adding to it the sauce called French verjuice.  Fried, roasted, and beaten eggs are so well known that nothing need be said about them.

About tomacelli, or rather mortadelli (liver sausages).

[140] Take pork liver and boil it: ten take it out and mince thoroughly and often it on a board with a knife; or instead you can grate it with a grater like dry cheese.  Then have marjoram and other savory herbs, well pounded with pepper, and said liver, and dilute them in the mortar with eggs until it is thick. Then take pork caul fat, and like stretched little hills cover then and fry them individually in a pan with lard; and once cooked, take them out and put them in a new pot.  And take spices with saffron and pepper, diluted with good wine, pour this on top of them in the pot, and boil thoroughly; and eat it.


[141] Take liver, cut it into pieces and roast it on a spit; and when it is not fully cooked, wrap pork caul fat around it, and cook it.  And once cooked put it in a new pot and make a sauce for it, as described above; and wrapping each bit of liver individually in caul fat is better.

A roof-tile of goat’s or sheep’s milk.

[142] Take white flour, dilute it and make dough for a tile, or in the shape of a cap, and put it in baking pans so that it is hard.  Then take milk with beaten eggs, together with saffron, and put it in the mold, and cook it completely; and then break whole eggs with this, so that they cook in the milk.

Fish in aspic without oil.

[143] Set wine to boil with vinegar, and put in well-washed fishes to cook; and once cooked, take them out and put them in another pot.  And in said pot add wine and vinegar put onions sliced crosswise, and boil it until reduced to a third: then put in saffron, cumin and pepper, and pour all of it over the cooked fish, and let it cool.  This is a tavern-keeper’s schibezia.

The garden.

[144] During the great Easter festivities, make a tree or grapevines or a garden out of dough. And on the tree hang apples, pears, or birds, or grapes, or whatever you like, various things, made out of dough enriched with egg; and they should be filled with a stuffing described above, and color them different colors, like yellow, green, white and black.  For the honor of said tree, put in the middle of it a pastry, or rather a cage full of birds; and in such a tree you may put all the fruits you find, according to the different seasons.  When it is brought into the court, make underneath the tree (or grapevines, or garden) a tall wood fire, and put scented branches in it; and set it up with pomp.

Dulcamine, that is, fritters not for Lent.

[145] Take flour diluted with eggs and water and roll it out thin; cut it in the shape of leaves or figs, or as you like, and fry in plenty of lard or oil; and once cooked put boiled honey on it, and eat.

Herbed dish.

[146] From all flowers and other herbs aforementioned, whatever kind you like, you can make an herbed dish (erbolato) with cheese and eggs and spices, and it should be cooked in the oven or between baking pans; the crust is called herbed dish (erbata).


[147] Take good, white flour; dilute it with warm water, and make it thick; then roll it out thin and let it dry: it must be cooked in capon or other fat meat broth: then put it on a platter with grated rich cheese, layer by layer, as you like.

Honey boiled with walnuts, called nucato.

[148] Take boiled and skimmed honey, with walnuts chopped slightly and spices, cooked together; dip your hands in water and spread it out; let it cool and serve it.  And you can use almonds and hazelnuts in place of walnuts.

Dumplings (tortelli).

[149] Out of dough you can make whatever objects you like, such as horseshoes, pins, rings, letters and every kind of animal you like.  And you can stuff them, if you like, and cook them in a pan with lard and with oil and fish, and color them as you like.


[150] Take pure milk, clear, strained, and add kid or lamb rennet; and when it is curdled, wash it well, and put it between reeds, and give it to your Lord; or put it in cold water instead until it is time to eat.

Pannicia with milk.

[151] Take legumes well picked over for rocks and sand; and well washed and ground let them boil with a bit of water; then put enough milk and some lard on top, or rather fried pork fat, and color it as you like.  And you can eat this dish with roast kid.

Sauces: and first the sauce for a roast.

[152] Pound basil in a mortar and add pepper and dilute it with verjuice.  This sauce is good with all roasts and boiled eggs; and lacking this, have orange, citron or lemon.

Sauces for pigeon.

[153] Roast pigeon liver and cook it under the coals; then grind it in a mortar with pepper and toasted bread soaked in wine or oil, and dilute it.  If you want to boil it, you can; if not, serve it raw.

Sauce for crane.

[154] Take the liver of a crane and roast it on the coals; then take good spices, marjoram, saffron and said liver, and grind everything together well, and egg yolks with it, and dilute it with good wine and a bit of vinegar; then put in a bit of cooked must, so that it is bitter-sweet.

Sauces for gosling and suckling pig.

[155] Make as described above, except for the cooked wine.  And the fat rendered by the gosling, put it in the sauce.  Do likewise with roast suckling pig; and if you do not want to make such a sauce, make green sauce.

Sauce for mallards and ducks.

[156] Make as described above for crane sauce; but do not use saffron for any river birds.  In all these things that have been said, the discrete cook can be well educated according to the variety of the regions; and he can vary and color his dishes, according to the one for whom he prepares them.


[157] Take rich cheese and slice it small, and take pork caul fat; mix these things with flour and eggs, and dilute; and put in saffron, put it in a crust to cook, and make it white; or color it, as you like.

A dish (solcio) of birds’ feet and pig’s head.

[158] Boil the feet and heads thoroughly; add a good amount of vinegar and sage leaves, and eat it.  And you can keep it for 15 days, in the winter.

[159] Also from these same things make it as described above, and when the meat is partly cooked, add vinegar to the water, enough, so that it is not too strong nor too weak.  Then let it boil until reduced to a third, in the summertime; and put the meat in another jar: put bay leaves on it, and take spices and saffron, and dilute it with the aforementioned broth, and add spikenard well minced on it, and season it with salt, and eat it.  And if spikenard is not to be had, use cumin.  Likewise you can make gelatin from suckling pig, chickens, or other birds as you like.

Roasted cheese.

[160] Take brie cheese, which is fatty, or buffalo-milk cheese, or another kind, which is soft and fatty: let it be clean, and very fresh, rinse it; then put it on a rod split into two parts, or on a rock, and turn it toward the fire until it begins to melt, or rather scorch and run from the heat: then put it on bread sliced very thin, or rather on a set (nebula?) of trenchers, and carry it to your Lord.

Cabbages for invalids.

[161] Boil cabbages a little in plain water, and for each one cook some mutton in another pot of water; then take out the cabbages and said meat, and put everything in a pan, and cook it well, and put in some parsley, and cook it as you like for invalids.

Fine herbs.

[162] Boil spinach, borage, parsley, chard, dill and the like, and throw away the water: then chop them very finely on a board: and set them to cook with almond milk, and keep them away from the smoke.

For those who are constipated or who cannot urinate.

[163] Take spinach, … with a bit of fennel, parsley and borage and mallow, washed well: boil them, then mince them and set them to cook with mutton.  Cabbage is also a laxative for the infirm.  Take cabbages from the furrows and put them in the broth in which the mutton was cooked, and cook them well and put a little salt.  And on fast days take cabbages from the furrows with fennel, and cook them with oil, milk and saffron.


[164] Take young little gourds, wash them well in hot water, and press them thoroughly, and set them to cook with almond milk.  Note that for invalids, dishes of herbs and young greens can be cooked in the broth of the meat that is given to them.

Chickpeas for invalids.

[165] Take red or white chickpeas; set them to cook with oil and salt and pepper and saffron and a bit of rue; grind them in a mortar, and eat.  Also take crushed chickpeas and boil them, and throw away the water, put them in fresh water to cook with oil and chopped lard, salt, saffron, spices, beaten egg yolks and a bit of cheese; and mix everything together, and serve.


[166] Take lettuce cut in half and cook it without salt; and put it on a trencher, and serve it with green dressing or sauce.

Fresh peas for invalids.

[167] Take young peas and thick milk [i.e. cream?] and almonds, and add a bit of salt: then make a roof-tile of well made dough: put on top, if you like, sugar, and set it to cook, and eat it.

Almond milk and spelt for invalids.

[168] Take almonds and peel them; grind them and dilute with boiling water, and put this milk to cook with the soft part of bread, or spelt instead; and put in the yolks of fresh eggs; and beaten, or rather diluted, add saffron and sugar and a bit of salt.

Genoese-style trout for invalids.

[169] Put trout in boiled almond milk, and a bit of salt, and serve it.

Rice for invalids.

[170] Set rice to cook in water in which kids’ feet have been cooked, and add almond milk and sugar.

Flour for people who have colds (infreddati).

[171] Boil water with four ounces of gum and two ounces of sugar; and while it is boiling add white flour little by little, mixing it thoroughly with a spoon, and let it cook well, and give it to someone who has a cold.

[172] For invalids you can also cook partridges, chickens, fish, according to the invalid’s health, boiled plain or rather in broth, according to what was just said, and serve them poached eggs and many other things.

Mullet for invalids.

[173] Boil mullets with parsley and saffron, and serve.

Boiled apples for invalids.

[174] Boil apples, then slice them; let them cool and serve to the invalid.

Roasted apples.

[175] Wrap apples in reeds and put them under coals: let them cook, then slice them; put them in wine and give them to the invalid.

[176] About the aforementioned, another preparation.  Cut apples in half and take out the seeds inside them, and fill these empty places with ground sugar: then put the apple back together and put it on a spit to roast so that the apples appear whole; and when they are well roasted, give them to the invalid.

[177] Roasted meat is more flavorful than boiled, because it is cooked in its own juices, and the other kind in other liquid.

To cook a roast quickly and well.

[178] Take coals and cook with these; and when they are burning well pour some wine on them, and they will last more and more fiery.  And also take oil and lard well ground and chopped, mix them together and baste the meat with this.

Onions in sauce.

[179] Take onions, cook them under the coals and then peel them, and slice them crosswise very long and very thin: add a fair amount of vinegar, salt, oil and spices, and serve.

To draw salt out of a pot.

[180] Put in the pot a piece of crustless bread wrapped in a white linen cloth; others say to use flour.  Or if you hold it suspended near the broth, it will draw out the salt.

To take the smoke out of a dish.

[181] Put a pierced walnut [shell] in the pot, and it will draw out the smoke toward itself.

New fritters.

[182] Take bread without crusts well grated and the juice of fine herbs, mint, parsley; and take eggs and mix them together, and set them to fry in fresh lard, melted in a pan.  And then put it on a trencher, and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

For one who does not have yeast.

[183] Take a loaf of bread and grate it and grind it with flour; this will not make good bread, but then a good sourdough comes out of it.

To make verjuice or alligar.

[184] Take tartar, that is the lees of white wine: grind it well, cook it with wine or water, and it will be verjuice.

23 thoughts on “An Anonymous Tuscan Cookery Book

  1. Heather Rose Jones

    I’m feeling very foolish because I’m sure I knew whose blog this was when I bookmarked it for future reading, but now I’ve forgotten and I can’t find the information anywhere on the site. I saved off a copy of your translation for future reference but I feel very uncomfortable not including your name on the file for proper credit.

    1. ariane Post author

      Thank you! I’m a big believer in making these texts as widely available as possible. And thanks for helping to boost the signal via your blog, too!

  2. Pingback: Aquafaba!? Or how to redact a recipe – meddling medlars

  3. Pingback: Beans as Thickner – meddling medlars

  4. Pingback: Fazantpastei – historisch pronkgerecht van Bartolomeo Scappi – Ciao tutti – ontdekkingsblog door Italië

  5. Pingback: Medieval Cabbage and Kale from Tuscany – Medieval Histories

  6. Pingback: Fennel and Leek Soup or About the aforementioned. – meddling medlars

  7. Fleur-de-Gigi

    Thank you for posting this here. I will be using this for a reenactment event in March 2018. I wonder, have you ever heard of zusvese? It is a word from a recipe circa 1477 that I found and I cannot find any reference or translation of it. It is something that can be juiced.

    1. ariane Post author

      Hello! I don’t recall running across that word before, and a quick search in my culinary dictionary didn’t turn up anything useful. Some more context would be helpful; as I’m sure you know, early modern Italian spelling wasn’t regularized, and regional dialects varied greatly. If you’re willing to share the recipe and whatever information you have about the source, I’d be happy to try to puzzle it out. I just added an email link to my About page, so feel free to drop me a line to follow up!

      1. Fleur-de-Gigi

        It is from my research on Caterina Sforza. i have published most of my translations here

        This is the recipe:

        Piglia zusvese, una scudella de succo, et dello aceto bianco più forte come puoi et componi lo succo con lo aceto, poi bagnia pezze di canovaccio in ditta acqua et poni sopra el petto et poni doi tazzette di vetiio sopra pezze che vadano sopra tecte. Lega con una fascia longa, più stretto che poi, et cusi farai piccole dure et el petto bello (Catellani 2014).

        Take enough “zusvese” to make a cup of juice, the strongest white vinegar you can, and mix the juice with the vinegar, then wet pieces of cloth with the water and apply across the chest above and below the breasts. Put two little cups of glass over the teats. Wrap with a long, narrow band tightly around. This way you have small and firm and beautiful breasts, and while you do this the woman will be chaste.

        Feel free to email me about this at

  8. redcrosse10999

    Reblogged this on redcrosse10999 and commented:
    I seriously thought this would make a nice addition to anyone’s culinary library so I have taken the liberty of reposting it today. I appreciate the opportunity to do it and I know I will enjoy it in my own keeping as well.

  9. Pingback: Making Candy with Honey Part 1: sight – meddling medlars

  10. Pingback: Redaction Challenge: An Anonymous Tuscan Cookery Book  | Myrkfaelinn

  11. Pingback: The weirdest things we learned this week: scientists doing sex magick, ancient mac and cheese, and contagious writer's block - TechtBeast

  12. Pingback: Ep 164: Iron Gall Ink with Lucas Tucker - Cassidy Cash

  13. Nancy

    It is interesting that tomato based dishes became such a signature of modern Italian cooking although the tomato was still unknown in the Italy of the Middle Ages.

    I deduce that the word “compost”/compote resembles more or less a chutney?

    Thank you for what must have been a labor of love, plowing through this treasure.

  14. Pingback: Falvey Memorial Library :: Post-Quarantine Cooking with Kallie

  15. Pingback: DIY dairy: The problem of almond milk... - The Past is a Foreign Pantry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s