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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Basilicata and Calabria

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I've never seen 'chiodini' in the market, what color are they? season? size?  All the usual questions!

Thanks!

I see them all the time at Testaccio but never buy them. I think I did buy them once and decided they weren't worth the trouble of cleaning them, but maybe I'll try them again. They come in clusters and have long stems, about 2 inches, and tiny brown caps. They're very cute, just like little nails. They are also called piopparelli or pioppini (Agrocybe agerita). I'll have to pay more attention next time I go to the market. I'm sure you know them, but by a different name.


Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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My dinner was from Basilicata as well.

Strangolapreti alla potentina based on this recipe here. The recipe is pretty badly written but it can be used as a good base. I used sliced pork cutlets rather than a whole piece. Apparently Strangolapreti in Basilicata are pretty much Puglia's Orecchiette.

Making the meat rolls

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Pasta ready to cook

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Pasta course dressed with the meat cooking liquid and topped with pecorino. This was by far the highlight of the meal. These were tender, soft and deliciouse with a deep flavor from the sauce.

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I served the meat rolls with a contorno of baby broccoli and asparagus cooked with anchovies and garlic and lemon juice. Overall a very good meal.

gallery_5404_94_68744.jpg


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Looks wonderful, Elie! Did you use hard durham flour for your strangolapreti? Judith tells me it's difficult to find and I've read it's not easy to work with unless you're used to it.

* * *

Mitch: These threads remain open for augmentation any time you choose, so no need to feel apologetic :smile:

* * *

Are we done at the end of May--or at least planning to take a break until tomato season before dissecting gravy, Clams Casino and the essentials of a good "Italian" sub?

* * *

Too lazy to look for the proper thread for adding bibliography, but I recommend looking into Lidia's Italy. Note the choice of Batali-orange for the cover.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Elie that dinner looks amazing from start to finish. In fact I think it's the type of dish I've been pining for since we started the region but it did not turn up in my own research. I will add it to my list!

I made a lamb dish inspired by my readings on Basilicata. The meat was slowly braised with onion, shitake, stock, wine and oregano. We also had a ligurian treat - homemade tagliatelle with fava-mint pesto. The lamb was very tasty in its simplicity.

gallery_41870_2503_12064.jpg

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Pontormo-

I used about 75% regular AP flour and the rest semolina flour. Maybe not 100% authentic, but like I said, the result was excellent.

After May, we can definitly keep on adding to existing threads. Liguria (fava bean sauced paste is fantastic Shaya), Campania and Sicily are three regions I'm definitly going back too every so often.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Are we done at the end of May--or at least planning to take a break until tomato season before dissecting gravy, Clams Casino and the essentials of a good "Italian" sub?

It's probably best to keep what momentum we have and just dive right into "The Italian Immigrant" cooking thread. As FM points out, these are all open-ended threads so you can always keep going into the summer afterwards.

Too lazy to look for the proper thread for adding bibliography, but I recommend looking into Lidia's Italy.  Note the choice of Batali-orange for the cover.

Her PBS show on this book is running concurrently. I'm impressed enough to want to get it.

This past year we've seen Lidia's Italy, Jamie's Italy, and Biba's Italy cookbooks all released, weird . . .

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Elie: It's just impressive to me that you had the energy at this point to make eggless pasta by hand... Do you have plans to prepare something from Basilicata with dried fava beans? I bought some for the first time, but need to review options.

Shaya: The lamb looks wonderful, too. And I've made maro just about every week that I've found fresh fava beans at the supermarket. I'm looking forward to the local ones at the farmer's market. Having attempted to use frozen ones from China in a vignarola when the artichokes appeared (this was not a good year, sadly), I discovered there just isn't a substitute for the fresh ones.

Kevin: It is very interesting, indeed, to see how many comprehensive regional surveys are coming out! You were a harbinger of a trend! :laugh:

Did Mario Batali inspire you, or...? (I also wonder what Micol Negrin thinks, though Ada Boni's book was the first available to English speakers as far as I know.)

I don't know Biba ______ at all, though I've seen the name. Any good?

* * *

I am fine with plunging directly into a thread devoted to the food of the Italian diaspora, but hope we also set up a thread to serve as a coda to this year and a half of cooking the regions of Italy. Cf. the reflections at the end of Kevin's year-long resolution. There have been plenty of comments already about new favorites that are now part of our repertoire.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Elie: It's just impressive to me that you had the energy at this point to make eggless pasta by hand...  Do you have plans to prepare something from Basilicata with dried fava beans?  I bought some for the first time, but need to review options.

'Had the energy'?? Oh, c'mon...u know it's fun :smile:.

I always have dried fava beans on hand (for falafel mainly). So, what do they use them for in Basilicata?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Beautiful meals Elie and Shaya!

I'm in recovery mode from our son's graduation. Let's just say it was.....wild....no police, but a visit from the Block Captain.......

I served a Campania version eggplant that is simple and my absolute favorite version. The only 'strange' part is that it is meant to be served room temp.

The sauce is just tomato, onion and a ton of fresh basil. The eggplant is fried after being dipped in egg and flour, layered with fior de latte mozzerella, finished with grated parmigian. That's it. No photos because I couldn't even FIND my camera in all the chaos.

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I always have dried fava beans on hand (for falafel mainly). So, what do they use them for in Basilicata?

I'd imagine that it's for something similar to the 'ncappriatta of Puglia. In Calabria, there's a similar version as well called macco, I believe, that is a little more dressed up. In Puglia, 'ncappriatta typical of their spartan cooking: the beans are slowly simmered in water until they collapse, then olive oil is swirled in. Calabria's version has bay leaves or dried oregano and fennel seeds.

Or there's always a simple soup, I'd guess.

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Thanks, Kevin. I think there's also a kind of purée. At any rate, I came across a few things when providing the links at the beginning of the thread. You might take a look there, Foodman.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Did Mario Batali inspire you, or...? (I also wonder what Micol Negrin thinks, though Ada Boni's book was the first available to English speakers as far as I know.) 

I don't know Biba ______ at all, though I've seen the name.  Any good?

*  *  *

I am fine with plunging directly into a thread devoted to the food of the Italian diaspora, but hope we also set up a thread to serve as a coda to this year and a half of cooking the regions of Italy.  Cf. the reflections at the end of Kevin's year-long resolution.  There have been plenty of comments already about new favorites that are now part of our repertoire.

Though a number of writers preceded him, Mario was definitely the one that caught my eye on how vastly different the regions of Italy are. The first episode I ever saw of him, he was cooking from Trentino and made a beef braise with carraway seeds and then cannderli, the bread dumplings.

There's also the superb Culinaria book, detailing each region. And let's not forget Marlena di Blasi's one two punch on Northern and Southern regions. Nicol Megrin's book is, I'd imagine, an offshoot of her work at the magazine Cucina Italia, which often devoted one issue to a region of Italy as well.

Biba Caggiano(?) is one of the "old guard" of cookbook writers who rose to prominence alongside Lidia and Marcella or a little after they did. I think she also had a PBS series.

Each of these "____'s Italy" cookbooks don't dwell on every region from what I've seen but instead profile that particular author's favorite locales in Italy.

At any rate, sorry for this to be so OT. I made a Calabrese meal earlier this week and have another one to go, but it'll probably be sometime in June before I get to it.

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I had some dough left from making baguettes so I made this Calabrian (or maybe Basilicata) inspired focaccia topped with homemade pancetta, capers, chile flakes, oregano and onions. Quiet delicious.

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Those curls of pancetta look lovely, Ellie!

This is a meal I made last week.

We started with eggplant parm, which wound up not looking too good on camera. But as I've said before, my recipe is to grill the eggplant first, then top it with crushed tomatoes mixed with garlic and orgenco, then basil and mozzarella over the top.

We then had for the main pork chops with vinegar and peppers. I used the updated recipe in Erica de Mane's Southern Italy cookbook. She utilizes sherry vinegar for a less assertive flavor in the final dish. Highly addictive.

gallery_19696_582_40403.jpg

We had on the side zucchini with grilled tomatoes and basil:

gallery_19696_582_66509.jpg

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Very nice thick chops Kevin. For eggplant parm. Do you not bake them at all after grilling and topping?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I forgot all about pork chop with vinegar and pepper...I love that dish! Yours looks especially good, Kevin.

I was just fantasizing about the ultimate potluck....all of us who participated in the regional cooking threads, having one big potluck dinner. How much fun would that be?? :biggrin::cool:

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I was just fantasizing about the ultimate potluck....all of us who participated in the regional cooking threads, having one big potluck dinner.  How much fun would that be??  :biggrin:  :cool:

I'm in! I'll make the gnocchi... :raz:

That dinner looks great, Kevin. I can't believe you have enough mojo to pull off these meals with a little baby around. You are truly a diehard!

Hathor, the eggplant dish sounds really simple and good. Congrats to your son on graduating!

Pontormo, your eggplant dish also sounds great with the potatoes - sort of reminiscent of my version of moussaka...

Foodman I have a foccacia with olives that I wanted to try to squeeze in this month. Yours looks great, I love the pancetta idea. Interesting how foccacia is popular in this region.

I have to give Foodman total credit for our amazing dinner tonight - it is blatant cribbing, I know, but I had to try and make the Strangolapreti Basilicata myself. My little guy wants to make orechiette - so it's on the radar - but today I told him we were making a type of orechiette to go with a rolled-up meat dish. I looked at the recipe Foodman linked to upthread, and also noticed that Micol Negrin has it in her book Rustico (Love this Book!) but serves it with wheat berries rather than the pasta. Can anyone tell me what are wheat berries? Are they like juniper berries?

I started the sauce with some sliced onion as I felt it needed it, and noticed that Negrin adds this to her version as well. I also added a cup of stock for flavor. Otherwise the two versions of the meat preparation itself are pretty much the same.

Having not grown up with pork, I still haven't quite gotten used to the idea of cooking big hunks of it (unless it's been smoked or cured...) so I used a flank cut of beef which my butcher assured me would become tender enough for the delicate baby teeth of my bambinos. It was wonderful. This is my idea of the perfect meal. It's self-serving - the sauce goes with the pasta, the meat makes the second course - perfect. Even my sweetie, who normally prefers meat to pasta and doughy foods, was digging into the pot to find more of the pasta (shhh...I have a second batch hiding in the freezer...)

Preparation of Beef

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Plated with Yellow Beet Greens - blanched and sauteed with garlic, chiles and olive oil and still super-duper bitter

gallery_41870_2503_32041.jpg

Strangolapreti - chewy, tasty, divine!

gallery_41870_2503_32806.jpg


Edited by Shaya (log)

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I have to give Foodman total credit for our amazing dinner tonight - it is blatant cribbing, I know, but I had to try and make the Strangolapreti Basilicata myself.  My little guy wants to make orechiette - so it's on the radar - but today I told him we were making a type of orechiette to go with a rolled-up meat dish.  I looked at the recipe Foodman linked to upthread, and also noticed that Micol Negrin has it in her book Rustico (Love this Book!) but serves it with wheat berries rather than the pasta.  Can anyone tell me what are wheat berries?  Are they like juniper berries?

no, it's really closer to farro. like, imagine farro, but it never really swells as much or gets as soft. it tastes similar, but has a chewier texture.

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Shaya: I'm so glad you are enjoying Micol Negrin's book, too. I've taken it out of the library countless times during the past year, but think she does a particularly good job on regions that are under-represented. Elie really inspired you well!

(I had to add eggplant parm to the other dishes I made, but it's not worth more than to say I liked baking the slices instead of frying them for a change and Foodman's right about pecorino. I still say leftovers tucked into a baguette w lots of chili flakes and extra mozzarella is the ultimate fusion dish.)

Short note to clap for the burst of oil-glistening activity at the end of the month, especially for the sleep-deprived man who started this wonderful series.

I'd say we all should start saving up for an anniversary potluck high in the Umbrian hills.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I've a good size house, with an open door, and a big kitchen. It would be an honor to host the anniversary potluck! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Beautiful meal Shaya! Does anyone know why pancetta is round in North America? It's one of my mysteries of life. In Italy, pancetta is a big chunk, like bacon, never round. Foodman, I bet you know the answer. Maybe we need a pancetta thread...

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Preparation of Beef

gallery_41870_2503_50749.jpg

Plated with Yellow Beet Greens  - blanched and sauteed with garlic, chiles and olive oil and still super-duper bitter

gallery_41870_2503_32041.jpg

Strangolapreti - chewy, tasty, divine!

gallery_41870_2503_32806.jpg

These pictures are sp gorgeous and mouthwatering..they are worth quoting again! We should have a hall of fame pics thread from this series and put these in. They sure look better than mine, but I am glad to inspire and that you seem to have enjoyed the pasta as much as we did (shhh....we ate that pasta for almost a week afterwards. Heats up great)

Wheat berries are basically the wheat kernels. The ones that are dried and ground to make flour. That's all. You can buy them peeled or unpeeled. I always buy the peeled ones since they are much easier to cook.

CLICK HERE to see how they look like. They are used in Lebanese cooking often.

Does anyone know why pancetta is round in North America? It's one of my mysteries of life. In Italy, pancetta is a big chunk, like bacon, never round.

Hathor :shock: !!! What do you mean 'In Italy'???!!! We all know that the country is made up of 20 regions and each is different and treats their food -and cured meat- differently and so on and so forth :smile: . On a serious note, I am not sure I know. I definitly heard Mario say more than once on his show that both types are found in Italy and they actually have different names, but I forget what (something along the lines of 'Rolled Pancetta' and 'Flat Pancetta').

Kevin? Any ideas?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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