Uova ripiene

(= Stuffed Eggs)

Recommended wine: Mussantino Selvatico
Ingredients for 8 people:12   eggs10 g capers in vinegar (plus 8 for decoration) 4 tbsp mayonnaise3 anchovy fillets (plus 2 broken up for decoration)75 g tuna in oil 24 slices tomato (large and ripe, but firm)24 slices tomato (large and ripe, but firm)24 parsley leaves salt

In Tuscany, no Easter lunch worthy of its name can go without stuffed eggs. In our area, after boiling them, the eggs are traditionally taken to church to be blessed, usually on Good Friday. Nowadays the custom of using "blessed eggs" has died out a bit; many families go away that weekend, however it’s still difficult not to “get a taste” of at least one hard-boiled egg (blessed or not), even in trattorias and restaurants, over Easter.

Put a saucepan on the stove with plenty of water and bring it to the boil; lower the heat, add a good pinch of salt and the eggs – delicately, using a spoon so they don’t break. Turn the heat up so the water comes back to the boil and leave to boil gently for 9 minutes; strain off the hot water and put the eggs under running water for a couple of minutes, to cool down. Leave them in the cold water for a few minutes, then tap them lightly on the work surface: the “dented” shell will come off easier. Divide them in two halves by cutting them lengthways. Use a teaspoon to carefully remove the yolks, put them on a plate and crumble them up with your hands, remembering to set aside 2 or 3 spoonfuls to use afterwards for decoration.

Rinse the capers, chop them finely and put them in a bowl with the crumbled egg yolks and the mayonnaise. Stir well, until you obtain a mixture with a smooth texture; divide it into three equal parts, in three bowls. In one add the tuna, strained of its oil (set aside 8 flakes for decoration), and carefully stir it into the egg mixture. In the second add the 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped, and stir well. The third mixture remains as it is, with just the capers.

Arrange the slices of tomato on a serving dish, one beside the other, without overlapping them. Using 2 teaspoons, generously fill 8 of the half eggs – from which you removed the yolks – with the caper, egg and mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle them with a couple of pinches of the crumbled yolks that you set aside and garnish with a caper (in this way they can be recognised when you serve them). As you prepare them, place each egg on a slice of tomato. Fill another 8 halves with the tuna mixture; sprinkle them with the yolk and garnish with a little piece of tuna. Repeat the operation with the remaining eggs, using the filling with anchovies. Decorate once more with crumbled yolk and the pieces of anchovy fillet, and place them on the slices of tomato.

The last “touch” will be a parsley leaf on each of the eggs and… buon appetito!