See how LaMassa looks in winter when it is snow covered.

Pavlova La Massa


  • 4 large or 5 regular egg whites at room temperature – not straight out of fridge – there must be NO trace of yolk.
  • Tiniest pinch of salt
  • 225 grams of castor sugar – I often use regular and grind it down.
  • 2 level teaspoons of cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of cold water.
  • Mascarpone / yoghurt / sugar mix or whipped cream
  • Fruit as appropriate – mixed berries are probably the nicest.


  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees centigrade.
  • Whip the egg whites until really stiff, add sugar 25% at a time beating in between.
  • Add cornflour, water and vinegar.
  • Mark a circle in pencil on a piece of baking parchment – I draw round a 23 centimetre plate.
  • Pile the egg mix into the centre and organise into a fairly regular cylinder – no need to be over fussy.
  • Put in oven for one hour.
  • Take out of oven and put the cylinder ‘upside down’ on a flat plate.
  • Leave it to cool, the centre will subside making a nest shape – the thing will crack but do not worry.
  • When cold let your imagination deal with the decoration.

Pears and Pecorino cheese     –    goat-cheese and figs  –  Parmisan or GranaPadano

Peposo is the signature stew of Impruneta, a town south of Florence renowned for its terracotta. Indeed, it was made by the tile-workers, who would slip a stew pot into the kiln as it slowly cooled after the firing, and simmer their dinner for hours.
As you might expect, the recipe goes a long way back — the Imprunetani began making terracotta centuries before Brunelleschi came looking for roof tiles for Florence’s Cathedral in the 1400s

For years, people who have stayed at both DeiMori in Florence and at La Massa in Tuscany have enjoyed one of Danny’s Carbonara .

These pasta suppers have often been impromptu affairs, done on the spur of the moment when the always generous Danny has felt particularly so.  He likes nothing better than to whisk up one of his pasta carbonara and share it with his guests.  They in turn love the experience and the recipe which follows has, I am sure, been replicated all around the world.

Many carbonara tend to be smothered in loads of cream and Parmesan cheese, but this one succeeds with its simplicity and dignity – just a very few very natural ingredients.

Water mills within the valley

Stia, Fam Bucchi 0575-582680 • 338-1007610.

– MULINO GRIFONI (produttivo)
Pagliericcio, Castel San Niccolò Fam. Grifoni 0575-572873.

Castel Focognano, Fam. Bardelli 0575-597465 – 339-3231870

Raggiolo, Ortignano Raggiolo.
Fam. Giorgini 0575.514042 • 347-1111508.
Comune Ortignano Raggiolo 0575.539214.