La Trattoria da Rocco it is owned by the family They eat since 1986 and today, located inside the picturesque market, it represents a real institution in the Florentine district of Sant'Ambrogio. A nice and characteristic place where you can eat excellent Toscan kitchen at reasonable prices, with a loyal clientele of artisans and traders in the area but also of students, artists and intellectuals. In short, everyone in Florence knows Rocco.
“And to think that my father, who is from '43, is not Florentine, he arrived from Basilicata at the age of 14, he was taking ice to the Grand Hotel. When we took this business it was a gamble because the place was in bad shape. Little by little we have evolved, we have focused a lot on the choice of products and on family management ”, he says Paul, son of the “legendary” Rocco, as he is keen to point out, and who has worked at the restaurant since he was a boy.
“I've been here since I was sixteen and then I put the whole family there - he explains Paul - from my wife Maddalena, to my daughter, who often helps us; soon my son will also arrive who is now studying to become a cook. Continuity in catering represents a guarantee of quality ".
Eating at Rocco's is actually always a guarantee. Few typical dishes, many side dishes based on seasonal vegetables and simple condiments: a tasty but rather light cuisine.
“Our secret is to use fresh and quality ingredients that I buy every morning in this market. Then we use a few sautées, no sauces, butter or lard, we dress with simple Tuscan extra virgin olive oil and our dishes are never heavy. On the other hand, in the evening, at home, we take what we prepare here and we want to eat well ”.
The menu is Tuscan doc and, among the various traditional dishes, the tripe, the lampredotto, the ribollita and of course the peppery, the famous meat stew much loved by Florentines and beyond. Let's see together the version of Rocco that he usually prepares Gianmarco, chef of the restaurant for years and who, by now, has been fully welcomed into the family. Doses for about 4 people.
PEPOSO DI ROCCO
1 kg of beef muscle, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 large golden onions, 2 stalks of celery, 1 carrot, 50 g of tomato paste, 1 liter of Chianti wine, flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper , pepper in grains.
“First of all, you have to use quality meat that I personally choose. Then it needs to be cleaned, the muscle is a hard, fat and calloused piece and needs to be prepared well. Then it is cut into small pieces like a stew that we put to macerate in Chianti for a day and a night in the refrigerator. Sometimes we add a little bay leaf but we prefer not to add spices.
After the indicated time, we take the meat, we keep the wine used aside. we rinse it and let it rest for an hour. In the meantime, prepare a coarse mixture with the herbs and brown them, when they have browned, add the meat and the wine from the marinade. Cooking over low heat lasts about 3-4 hours, season with salt and add pepper, a little in grains and a little in powder. We enrich with a little concentrate and, 5 minutes before completing the cooking, pour a little flour into the sauce to thicken it ".