I'm Lisa!

I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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TASTE : Food & Drink


It’s been a while since I last posted as I took a little (long) break at the end of the year to relax, re-energise and reflect on the direction of the magazine which I have to admit was a huge labour of love.  I was stretching myself too thinly between my main job, home, being a mother and This Tuscan Life.  I am planning on putting a few special collections of the magazine together and giving this blog a little more TLC!

I thought why not start 2019 with a good food post, especially since my sister, Toni just posted her version of stuffed guinea fowl on her blog and I also featured a version of this recipe in our Christmas issue.  Our recipes are similar – both stuffed with chestnuts but mine with sultanas and pine-nuts and Toni’s with pears.  And I say ‘my recipe’ but it is actually thanks to Chef Arturo Dori that I can proudly present this lovely dish to you.  I continue to learn so much from him and he makes every recipe look so easy!

Don’t be intimidated by this recipe!  If I can do it (with the help of my friendly butcher who de-boned the bird) then anyone can.  Stuffed guinea fowl is traditionally eaten at Christmas time in Italy but this recipe will warm any Winter table and any bird such as chicken, duck, quail, pheasant or even turkey could be used instead of guinea fowl.



  • Guinea fowl, deboned keeping bird carcass for gravy
  • 500 grams minced veal
  • 250 grams pre-cooked chestnuts
  • 150 grams sultanas
  • 100 grams pine-nuts
  • 1 egg
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • red wine
  • olive oil


  • the bird carcass
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 whole red onion
  • bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1 basil leaf
  • tomato paste


Preheat Oven to 200°C & Prepare the Stuffing for the Bird

-Mix raisins, pine nuts, chestnuts in a bowl

-Cover completely with hot water

-Set aside to soften

Cook Gravy

-Ensure the bile has been removed from the bird

-Place bird carcass in pot and brown all sides.

-Add carrots, sage, rosemary, 1 basil leaf, 1 small white onion

-Add 1 tbsp tomato paste and ½ glass red wine

-Add water and let simmer

*continually remove meat foam on top

Step 6: Finish Stuffing for the Bird

-Combine minced veal with salt and pepper

-Strain chestnut, pine nut, raisin mixture and add to meat

-Knead together breaking up chestnuts

-Finely chop sage and rosemary, add to meat

-Add 1 egg yolk and 2 tbsp parmesan

-Incorporate all ingredients together

Step 7: Stuff and Cook the Bird

-Stuff bird

-Tie bird in equal sections to secure and keep moisture inside

-Poke a few holes in skin of bird with a fork

-Place bird in dish, cover with olive oil completely

-Cook at 200 degrees for 1 hours, 10 min in lower temp to 190 degrees

*Halfway through take bird out and cover with red wine, continue cooking

*45 min in, flip bird on side, turn over down to 170 degrees and let cook for 15 more minutes.

*Turn oven off when done cooking and keep bird in oven until ready to serve


-Strain gravy

-Boil and reduce down for 20 min

-Serve with a side of mashed potato and enjoy!

Once your guinea fowl is ready, let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving with the gravy.
*This stunning oval dish is from the DESINARE 1928 collection, exclusively made by Richard Ginori


*all photos by Lisa Brancatisano. photographed at Desinare cooking School at Riccardo Barthel. Thanks to Desinare for the Richard Ginori table dishes, cutlery and gorgeous ‘paper’ accessories by Uashmama.

Below is the link to my twin sister Toni’s recipe if you would like to see another version.

Toni’s recipe – Guinea Fowl with Pear & Chestnut Stuffing

Guinea Fowl with Pear & Chestnut Stuffing


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Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

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