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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Basilicata and Calabria

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Our last two regions to cover are Calabria and Basilicata, forming the “toe” and the “arch” of The Boot, respectively.

As always, it should be pointed out that combining these two regions is not in any way trying to imply that their cuisines are limited or interchangeable. It’s just that there is little information on them both. There’s Cucina di Calabria by Mary Amabile Palmer, and cookbooks on Basilicata are nonexistent, as far as I know.

Cucina di Calabria begins with a heartbreaking historical account of not just Calabria, but all of the mezzogiorno (the regions south of Rome: Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily, and Calabria) and their generations of oppression at the hands of one group or another. She details the massive immigration wave from Italy to the U.S. in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, which included her grandparents, and the families torn apart and left behind as a result. Throughout the rest of the book are essays on the cuisine (coming closer to the end, when it would have made more sense to include it in the introduction), travel and geography of Calabria, and various traditions, songs, dances, and stories. At first I thought that a lot of the recipes were just the same old, same old, but then I realized they all seemed so familiar because Calabrians (Calabrese?) formed the largest percentage of Italians coming to America in that turn of the 20th Century Immigration wave. (Did I hear that here, on eGullet?) So a lot of Italian-American mainstays are Calabrese in origin.

Two immediately recognizeable dishes claim to be calabrese: puttanesca, a quick-cooked pasta condimento of olives, tomatoes, capers, and chilies, and eggplant parmigiana. There is also some overlap with Sicilian dishes, though the Calabrese versions are a little more pared back.

As for Basilicata, the poorest region with supposedly the spiciest cooking of Italy, there is very little to go by. Waverly Root's chapter on this region is less than 5 pages long, and he says that it is fairly similar to the cooking of Puglia.

Stock up on chilies, then, and let's dive in!

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Had no idea that Eggplant Parm is supposedly Calabrian. Good to know, since it is one of my wife's absolute favorite dishes.

I definitly have to make that Spicy Calabrian bread from Carol Field's book. Been waiting all year to give it a shot when we get here. Also like I mentioned earlier in the Abruzzo thread, Ada Boni has quiet a few Calabrian interesting recipes in her regional book.


Edited by FoodMan (log)

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Houston, TX

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Kevin, I believe I cited John & Galina Mariani who claim that from 1890-1910 of the 5 million Italians who came to the United States, 4 million were from the southern regions of Campania, Calabria, Abruzzo, Puglia and Sicily.

Remembering an article on Basilicata in Gourmet last year, I found a reference in a blog that implies the region is about to become the new tourist destination. (The other articles were also in Condé-Nast publications, though.) Evan Kleiman wrote the short piece, accompanied by recipes in April 2006.

The blogger also mentions Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped in Eboli which Francesco Rosi adapted as a film in 1979. Available on DVD, it may be worth renting for the cinematography alone.

Pasolini shot The Gospel According to Matthew in Calabria, should you prefer to watch a classic film after preparing something frugal from this region.

ETA: The latter would be especially good for a newly baked loaf.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Well, while we're on the topic, Basilicata's claim to fame recently has been that parts of Passion of the Christ was shot there.

Erica de Mane's book Flavors of Southern Italy isn't a strict reading of these regions but is influenced by them and has a number of fun recipes. Also, Micol Negrin's Rustico had notable chapters on each region as well.

On eggplant parm: the origins are debatable with these things as Campania also lays claim to having invented it. Alberto and I discussed origins of alot of these dishes when I covered the regions previously in my 2005 cooking thread.

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I did a little hunting on Basilicata only and have lots of links to add some time later in the day or before the end of the week at any rate.

However, a few are worth adding quickly right now:

First, it would seem that one book in English includes recipes in an exploration of Basilicata, though it looks as if libraries would you your best bet for flipping through a copy of James Martino's work.

Formerly known as Lucania, the Italian region of Basilicata does seem to be making efforts to attract tourists and has built a fine Web site in the process. Here's one page its authors call Lucanian Delicatessen which actually features local foods. Note the side bars devoted to relevant topics.

After giving our otherwise, mostly beloved Mario Batali grief in a different thread in this forum yesterday, I thought I'd make up with the fashionisto by drawing your attention to a Web site I'm not sure any of us have linked before: Mariobatali.com. This must be a response to the Food Network's cancellation of his show (?). At any rate, I've linked the site's overview of Basilicata, but there is much to click and browse.

To conclude on a light note, sort of, and this is my point: How do you flip a frittata made with 30 eggs?

Here's an account of the 16th-century origins of that rather cumbersome dish.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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To conclude on a light note, sort of, and this is my point: How do you flip a frittata made with 30 eggs?

weird, deliciousitaly.com isn't resolving for me right now.

anyway, considering the trouble i had last night flipping a fritatta made with seven eggs and entirely too much sauteed fennel and leeks, i imagine the answer is 'very very carefully.'

those diavolicchio peppers that mario describes on his site sound remarkably similar to these finger-length curled red chilis i get at the vietnamese market. they're noticeably hot but not remarkably so, and perk up almost anything. i think i'll sub them in.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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To conclude on a light note, sort of, and this is my point: How do you flip a frittata made with 30 eggs?

weird, deliciousitaly.com isn't resolving for me right now.

anyway, considering the trouble i had last night flipping a fritatta made with seven eggs and entirely too much sauteed fennel and leeks, i imagine the answer is 'very very carefully.'

Or, don't flip it (the frittata) at all...I just bake mine in the oven after starting it on top of the stove - once it's set a bit, into a low oven (300 -325) it goes till it's done! Then it slips right out of the pan :smile:.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Turns out I had everything for Melanzana alla parmigiana (I knew there was a reason I bought that bunch of basil yesterday! :biggrin: ) so that's what I made today.

Cheesy greasy goodness!

gallery_21505_2929_21558.jpg

gallery_21505_2929_1268.jpg

I always wonder what this dish is supposed to be. Primo? Contorno? We just had it for dinner with a salad. It's very rich, but deliciously so.

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Gorgeous, Klary!

Actually, while compiling sources, I came across one recipe that gave me pause when it comes to attributing Eggplant Parmigiana to Basilicata. I am not about to draw conclusions from limited research and information culled exclusively from the internet at this point. However, the challenge of approaching a region that is so under-represented in cookbooks makes the effort interesting and useful when the births and pending arrivals of so many babies are putting dampers on participation. Not wanting to associate myself with the beliefs or practices of our most recent Pasolini revisionist, I nonetheless figure this is a way to do penance for not cooking anything from Abruzzo/Molise in April.

Here's a reformatted, quasi-transcription of a recipe that I was going to post at one point, anyway. I'll add a link for my source along with further information later:

Melanzane al forno (Baked Eggplant)

1 kilo eggplant

150 g black olives

100 g salt-packed anchovies

50 g capers

2 ripe tomatoes—sliced and seeded, I am guessing from instructions below

1 stale bread roll

Olive oil (described as being very "soft" or mild-tasting)

Oregano

Parsley

Garlic

Salt

Wash the eggplant, cut it in half and make some cuts in the internal pulp, salt and leave to drain for an hour.

Pit the olives and finely chop the parsley, wash, debone and cut the anchovies into small pieces.

Remove the soft bread from inside the crust of the bread roll, crumble it and put it into a mixing bowl with the olives, the parsley, the finely chopped garlic, the capers, the anchovies and a pinch of oregano, mixing all ingredients together well.

Wash and dry the eggplants and put into an oven dish with the open part facing upwards and fill the hollow with the mixture.

Cover with the fillets [seeded slices, I suspect] of tomato, sprinkle with plenty of oil and put into a preheated oven, cooking for about one hour.

The recipe is called "ancient"--but experience in reading sources from the 16th-18th centuries suggests that the word "antiche" often distinguishes something "very old" from something as new as a generation or two ago. The tomatoes tell us something, but when you're dealing with a farmer's family traditions as opposed to Scappi's papal court...

It makes sense that in a region defined by cucina povera, vegetables, bread and pasta are central to the diet. There are clearly many dishes featuring vegetables including eggplant, artichokes, potatoes, tomatoes and foraged greens. Especially now that tourism is beginning to affect cooking, other regions provide ingredients and some of their traditions have infiltrated indigenous culture, including major holidays when the cakes and pastries of Naples, Puglia and Sicliy slide into local ovens. Note the presence of anchovies in the recipe above; most likely they're from Sicily. Therefore, mozzarella* and Parmigiana are probably available.

Yet, cows are not a major presence in Basilicata. Beef appears in a few dishes, but sheep, goat, chickens and rabbits are the animals the Lucani turn to more frequently. I'm going to postpone any comments about pigs since my sources vary given the animal's central importance in a few gory rituals, a dessert made with its blood, and of course, the sausages that are right up there with chili peppers as defining elements in the region's cuisine.

As far as cheese-making goes, ewe's milk prevails. It's used for ricotta forte, a type of cheese also found in Puglia and produced over the course of a month, adding a little more salt each day to increase the flavor.

I therefore wonder if Basilicata's baked eggplant dish simply evokes Eggplant Parmigiana. Surely, there are more ways in which a vegetable as versatile as eggplant is prepared, so I will be looking for other preparations with sliced, fried eggplant, layered with sauce, cheese and baked.

*ETA: Just tried a quick search to see how internet sources associate eggplant parmigiana w Basilicata. No luck yet, but here's an essential clue:

In Italy, buffalo's mozzarella is made mostly in the southern region of Campania, near Naples, but also in nearby Apulia and Basilicata.
Source.
Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I think of chiles when I hear of Calabria; I guess because some recipes specify Calabrian chiles.

Here is an interesting article that discusses the history of chiles in Calabria: Calabrian Chile Culture

The beginning of the article discusses the introduction of the chile pepper upon the return of Columbus to Europe in 1493 and how it was first potentially viewes as a potential cash crop to compete with black pepper. The history given here is that the chile pepper (or peperoncino, in Italian) flourished so widely and easily around the Mediterranean that it ended up not being a replacement for the high status black pepper but began to be heavily used by the populace in local cuisine in Calabria and throughout Southern Italy.

The article mentions that many Calabrese immigrated at the turn of the 20th century to locales in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina and that the pepperoncino served as a culinary liason with their roots. The Italian Chile Pepper Academy (L'Academia Italiana del Peperoncino) was formed.

The Academy is based in the Northern Calbrian costal village of Diamante, the heart of the Calabrese chile pepper culture.  In 1992, the institute marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the Americas, and more importantly for Calabria, the chile pepper, by organizing the first annual Festival del Peperoncino, a celebration of the culinary and cultural contributions the peperoncino has made to the region.  The festival is held annually the first week of September.  As shop owners and residents decorate storefronts and balconies with strings of chiles known as filas, new spicy dished are prepared for public consumption each evening.  Products ranging from fiery alcoholic beverages to chile laced desserts are displayed along side peperoncino inspired artwork.

Here in the States, peperoncino refers to those tangy, pickled peppers you get with a deli sandwich or with a pizza.  Although very tasty, this is not the full extent of the peperoncino.  In actuality, there are several varieties of peperoncini grown in Calabria.  These varieties include sweet peppers, such as the peperone, which literally means "big pepper", to the more spicy variety, such as the Italian Cayenne pepper, the naso di cane, or "the dog's nose".  The ciliega (cherry), amando (loving), and sigaretta (cigarette) are also varieties of chiles grown in Calabria.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Some links from the fiery foods website:

This link shows and discusses the growing and harvesting of Calbrian peperoncini. There is also a photo that identifies the major various chiles grown there.

It's almost time to say good-bye, but first our three fiery friends invite us to a street cafe in a small village on the way back to our car. It is still hot, and we appreciate a special treat -- the popular local beverage, a mix of sweet soda and cold coffee. Very refreshing, especially after tasting all those peperoncini. Enzo arranges for yet another treat: They are slicing a salsiccia for us, an  air-dried pork sausage, spiced with fennel seed and -- of course -- peperoncini. Since we are enjoying this tasty sausage so much, Enzo buys a whole sausage ring for us to take home. These folks are great. On our way back, he makes yet another stop, at a bakery named Antico Forno Normanno. (the antique Norman furnace). He buys a bag of Tarallini al Peperoncino for us, a crunchy Calabrian snack, made with flour, white wine and -- peperoncino piccante. Those crispy rings are addictive -- once opened, it's hard to put the bag away.

The Fesitval del Peperoncino in Diamante

The place of that event and center of the southern Italian peperoncino cult is Diamante at the Costa dei Cedri, a pleasantly undeveloped part of Italy's west coast with its clear sparkling seas.

The historical fishermen's village is situated on a rock, safe from flooding, and - in ancient times - from pirates, too. Today, tourists capture the town instead - thousands of them in the summer, many from northern Italy, but also from other parts of Europe. By early September, most of them are gone - except for the chileheads, that is. They're here for their event of the year, the Festival del Peperoncino. In 2002 it took place for the 10th time, from September 4 to 8.

Some Calabrian recipes that feature chiles from the fiery foods site: click

Wild Onion Soup (Zuppa di Cipolle Selvatiche)

Spicy-Hot Tomato Soup (Zuppa Piccante al Pomodoro)

Chicken with Garlic and Chile (Pollo, Aglio e Peperoncino)

Enraged Pasta (Penne all`Arrabiata)

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil & Chiles Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncini)

Devil’s Tart (Crostata del Diavolo)

Peperoncino Grappa (Grappa al Peperoncino)

edited to add: I just see that these fiery food articles are part of an 8-part series on everything chile and Calabrian. If you go to one of the links you can navigate forward and backward between the articles. There is also one that features a trip to the Calabrian Peperonciini Museum! If you read through the stories, you can find out about a lot of the local dishes the authors ate there during their visit.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The Food of Southern Italy by Carlo Middione has a few recipes listed as specifically from Basilicata and Calabria.

Here are the listed recipes from Basilcata:

Agnello con funghi salvatici (lamb stew with wild mushrooms)

Ciamotta (Mixed vegetable stew with eggplants, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and garlic)

Maccheroni di Fuoco (Fiery maccaroni with garlic and red chiles)

Mandorlata di Peperoni (Almond Peppers; fried bell peppers with sugar, toasted almonds, rasins, vinegar and olive oil)

Patata con Diavoliccio (Hot devil potatoes Sliced, boiled potatoes layered with chile oil)

Pecorella in Salsa (Snails in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Polla alla Potentina (Chicken, Potenza style Pan browned chicken pieces with onions, pepper flakes, crusched tomatoes, parsely and basil; served with pan juices and roasted potatoes)

Fritella alla Lucana (Lucanian Semolina Fritters flavored with Bay Leaves)

I'll add the Calabrian recipes later...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Here are the Calabrian recipes from The Food of Southern Italy by Carlo Middione.

Ceci all’Alio (Chickpeas in Olive Oil)

Insalata di Cavolfiore (Cauliflower Salad with Anchovy, Capers and Green Olives)

Pomodoro Arrostiti (Roasted Tomatoes)

Insalata di Bacala (Salad with Salt Cod and Cauliflower)

Zuppe di Accia (Celery Soup with Bread, hard boiled eggs, soppresata, Italian sausage and Pecorino)

Maccheroni alla Pastora (Macaroni with Sausage and Ricotta, Shepherd Style)

Pasta Ammudicata (Broken Percatelli or Bucatini with anchovies, bread crumbs and crushed red pepper)

Costelettini di Agnello alla Calabrese (Lamb Chops Calabrian Style, Pan cooked lamb chops with artichokes, red bell peppers, garlic, mushrooms, capers and anchovy)

Sformato di Patate di la Cugina Maria (Cousin Mary’s Potato Pudding with Parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, hard boiled eggs and mortadella) (not a typical recipe but one given by a Calabrian!)

Pesce Spada in Graticola (Grilled Swordfish with breadcrumbs, garlic and oregano)

Tonno alla Calabrese (Tuna, Calabrian Style with bread crumbs, crushed red pepper, a marinara sauce)

Spiedini di Maiale (Skewered Pork Rolls with soft Pecorino or Provolone, pancetta and garlic)

Pasta e Arrosto (Macaroni and Pork or Veal Roast with Natural Juices; also has quail, rosemary, sage, red wine and pecorino)

Fagiolini al Pompodoro (String Beans in Tomato Sauce)

Melanzane “non so come si chiamano” (Cousin Mary’s Eggplant with oregano, mint, garlic and vinegar)

Polpette di Melanzane (Eggplant Dumplings with Pecorino)

Torte di Noci (Walnut “Cake” a walnut tart flavored with candied orange peel, mosto cotta and raisins)


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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One of my favortie books "A Taste of Southern Italy" by Marlene De Blasi has a small section on Basilicata which starts "A land of bitterness since the epochs before history" :laugh: but has fair coverage for the region as does Calabria.

Got to love any recipe for trout that starts with "Go Fishing" :wub:

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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I've not seen eggplant parmigiana associated with Basilicata, only from Calabria. 

My error--I obviously read in haste. I hadn't read the entries you posted in August 2005 about this month's two regions, so it was great to scan them and find both your qualified remarks about Calabrian eggplant and Alberto's theory concerning the Indian-Chinese route through which the Greek origins of pizza may be traced.

During the lull between food blogs from Snow Country & Amsterdam, fans might find distraction in the archives of this blog: The Other Side of the Ocean. Scroll down to December 15 and then move upward through the 18th for accounts of a couple's time in Basilicata. While not a food blog-writer, Nina nonetheless takes pictures of meals in addition to people and her surroundings.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Beeing Basilicata my neighbouring region I have been there quite often. It's pretty isolated, a lot of small villages on top of mountains, traditions there are still quite strong.

I remember going there especially for religious fairs, la festa della madonna di Viggiano is pretty famous, or some other festivities, for ex. in San Mauro Forte, in January, there is the festa del campanaccio where fires are build all around the village and the villagers go around with huge bells for two days :blink: , this marks the starting of Carnival. They use to go from one cantina to the other drinking robut red wine and eating even more robust food, I rememeber a sheep stew in particular. Really delicious their salumi: salami piccanti, capocollo and cheese. Manteca is a specialty around the area: it looks like a caciocavallo but it has a heart of butter.

Bread is truly really good, think of the tradition of pane di Matera, as famous as Altamura bread in the South.

The food of Basilicata is not very different than the pugliese food from the inside. Same kind of pasta (orecchiette, strascinati, maccheroni col ferretto), a lot of lamb and vegetables, but beeing in the mountain they have also a lot of mushrooms (a lot of porcini in Calabria), a lot of wild board hunting and wild herbs.

Here I have some pictures of things my parents brought back for me on the last trip to Calabria.

They have been to Altomonte, a very nice village around the Pollino, maybe the closest destination for skiing for pugliesi. The Barbieri hotel and restaurantwas a very good experience for my father

gallery_20639_4221_170234.jpg

These dry peppers are not spicy, they are called peperoni kruski, these actually were from Altomonte but the most famous with IGP (Indicazione geografica protetta) are the Kruski from Senise in Lucania.

You open them, take out the seeds and put in a pan with oil for seconds until they pop up, it should be done very quickly, if the pepper burns turns out bitter. They are eaten as chips as appetizer. Could be sweet or spicy.

I know there is a very popular dish with these pepper and scrumble eggs.

These, still from Altomonte, were called seccatini, if I rememeber correctly

gallery_20639_4221_38713.jpg

Sorry, bad picture. They are dried strips of gourd, to be cooked they need to soaked in water. There is a huge tradition of preserved vegetables: dry tomatoes, tomato paste and underoils in genaral (spicy eggplants, stuffed peperoncini, mushrooms and so on). Have you ever heard of bomba? A spicy calabrese veg paste?

Or 'nduja? it is a salame spread very, very spicy.

I also got from my mom this tool to add to my collection

gallery_20639_4221_184761.jpg

it looks almost like the "comb" they use in Emilia Romagna for garganelli, in Calabria it is used for a fried sweet dipped in honey, similar concept than cartellate in Puglia but different shape.


Edited by Franci (log)

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Nice write up Franci! I love the idea of 'pepper' chips.

How does that tool work? Do you use like a chitarra and cut the pastry? Or roll down it to make a ridge pastry?

Sometimes you can 'nduja in the US...but be warned, that stuff is FIERY!! At least to me!

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can any of you help me? the other day i was looking through the interwebs for basilicata recipes, and i found one for green polenta, where somehow the polenta was cooked with broccoli rabe, and then served with grilled lucanica sausages. well, i have polenta, i have broccoli rabe, i have the local version of lucanica sausage... and i just spent like 20 minutes googling for that damn recipe and i can't find it.

i just don't remember the specifics of cooking the broccoli rabe with the polenta -- i can't imagine cooking it for the 20 minutes or however long it takes to make polenta (yeah, i know, 45 minutes).

anyway, did any of you come across it in your research?

p.s. there was even a picture of the dish, in a bowl with sausages around the edge. i swear i'm not nuts.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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How does that tool work? Do you use like a chitarra and cut the pastry? Or roll down it to make a ridge pastry?

It took me a while to find out. Here in this blog you can roughly see how these pastries are shaped.

But I found out that the same tool is used in Sicily for another sweet, from Delia, Caltanissetta: la cuddrireddra

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can any of you help me?  the other day i was looking through the interwebs for basilicata recipes, and i found one for green polenta, where somehow the polenta was cooked with broccoli rabe, and then served with grilled lucanica sausages.  well, i have polenta, i have broccoli rabe, i have the local version of lucanica sausage... and i just spent like 20 minutes googling for that damn recipe and i can't find it. 

i just don't remember the specifics of cooking the broccoli rabe with the polenta -- i can't imagine cooking it for the 20 minutes or however long it takes to make polenta (yeah, i know, 45 minutes). 

anyway, did any of you come across it in your research?

p.s. there was even a picture of the dish, in a bowl with sausages around the edge.  i swear i'm not nuts.

MrBig, I tried to google for you because I never had this polenta.

I found out that:

* there is a polenta fair in Nemoli, Potenza, where the polenta is served with a sauce made with sausage, pancetta and the crumbled red peppers

*there is a dish called "carchiola", try to google that. The recipe in English call for rape, in the Italian recipes I see that is mainly referred to a corn focaccia served with savoy cabbage. Now, I cannot tell you if some lucani who moved to the States changed the recipe or there is a village where actually this polenta and rape is cooked.

*I found out looking in the Proloco web site of Comune di Picerno (famous for lucanica) that they do a corn focaccia with lard, cracklings, raisins, cheese and horseradish!

I'll look between my books if I can find something else :wink:

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thanks franci. i guess i'll just make sausages and polenta and rapini tonight. maybe i'll make some chili garlic paste, just to liven things up.

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      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By alacarte
      I recently took a trip to Northern Italy, and was delighted to find that the cappuccino everywhere was just wonderful, without exception. Smooth, flavorful, aromatic perfect crema, strong but not too strong.
      Aside from the obvious answer (duh, Italians created cappuccino ), what makes Italian capp so fantastic, and how do I duplicate the effect here?
      I'm wondering if it's the water, the way the coffee is ground or stored, the machines used....I'm baffled.
      Also noticed that the serving size tended to be smaller than what I'm used to -- i.e. a small teacupful vs. a brimming mug or Starbucks supersize. Not sure why that is either.
      Grazie mille for any insight on this!
    • By Modernist Cuisine Team
      The Modernist Cuisine team is currently traveling the globe to research pizza and different pizza styles for our next book Modernist Pizza.  Nathan and the team will be in São Paulo and Buenos Aires soon. We'd love hear from the eGullet community—what pizzerias should they visit while they're there? You can read more about our next book Modernist Pizza here. Thanks in advance, everyone! 
    • By scordelia
      My article was published (my first one!)! Hooray! And I do have some Florentine restaurant recommendations including the new Osteria del Pavone which is amazing--lampredotto ravioli is now a thing and it must be tried.
       
      http://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/florence-in-winter/
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