Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Basilicata and Calabria

Recommended Posts

I am so glad to have managed to make this before the month is over since I'd been eyeing it from the beginning. I am talking about the Pizza Calabrese from Ada Boni's book.

This is basically a tuna pie filled with good quality canned tuna, tomatoes, few anchovies, olives and capers. I decided to cook a base of onions also before adding the tomatoes since it just seemed natural to me and it went great with the filling.

The dough is a yeasted bread dough enriched with 1/2 cup lard. I am really loving these larded yeast breads and see many of them in my future. The lard makes the bread tender, light and a bit flaky. At the same time it gives it an elusive heavenly savory taste that is just remarkable.

Instead of one big pie baked in a baking dish, I made two stand alone pies. The reason for that is of course my dear wife who will not eat olives, capers or chile flakes. So, one for me and one for her.

gallery_5404_94_114742.jpg

Baked

gallery_5404_94_56021.jpg

Sliced. This is mine...she was already munching on hers :smile:

gallery_5404_94_136977.jpg

I really cannot say enough good things about this pie. The spicy, tangy and fishy filling against the tender, flaky porky dough is perfect. It tasted great warm and cold as a ...errr...late night snack. I am sure it'll taste great for lunch at the office too.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ummm. I believe you. Reminds me of that wonderful swordfish impanata from Sicily, only more saucy. I think the time has come for me to buy lard.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Elie, that pizza Calabrese just looks amazing. Italian tuna fish is nothing, nothing, nothing like Starkist!

And lard is under-used and under-valued, IMHO.

Honestly, in all 20 regions, I've never seen round pancetta. I guess it exists. My question is why is round ubiquitous here, and flat there? And, just because this is Italy, this is also called pancetta. It's uncured strips of pork belly, fried, and finished with sage and a splash of vinegar. (Belongs in the Umbria thread.)

gallery_14010_2363_677.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elie, is the recipe for the lard enriched yeast dough online somewhere? I´d love to try that.

I guess that after my eggplant parmigiana, early in the month, I´ve been real bad at cooking Italian food.. and I have no excuses! I do look forward to re-reading the threads and maybe add things when I try out new stuff!

This has been so wonderful. What a source of information and recipes and inspiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Pancetta stessa is the flat kind and the round kind is rottolato or something to that effect. I believe it is a regional thing as to which shape it takes, since both are still just referred to as "pancetta" by the locals in that region. I'd imagine the rounded kind is more prevalent here because it's easier to ship? When you make yours Ellie do you do flat or round?

Excellent looking pie. I can imagine it was exquisite.

It does bring to mind a dish I forgot to mention and make this month: murseddu. The principal ingredient is 'nduja, a cured meat made of the organs of lambs or pigs. It appears to take two different forms. In the Culinaria book, it's a pie. In Marlena di Blasi's Southern Italian book, though, it is a meat sauce that you spoon over flatbread. I've made it using sausage and then chicken livers for a faint, organy taste. It's supposed to be ferociously spicy, if made from the 'nduja.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

foodman, you read my mind. i was paging through the ada boni book just the other day and that recipe jumped out at me. unfortunately i couldn't make it then, and now the month is over.

well screw it, i'm extending this month into june, just to make that pie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It does bring to mind a dish I forgot to mention and make this month: murseddu.  The principal ingredient is 'nduja, a cured meat made of the organs of lambs or pigs.  It appears to take two different forms.  In the Culinaria book, it's a pie.  In Marlena di Blasi's Southern Italian book, though, it is a meat sauce that you spoon over flatbread.  I've made it using sausage and then chicken livers for a faint, organy taste.  It's supposed to be ferociously spicy, if made from the 'nduja.

someday i'm gonna get down to that part of italy and see how spicy things really are. i mean, i'm no chili-head, but most everything i've had in europe that promises to be spicy isn't all that hot. like those peppers in spain (pimientos al padron), where they say every 10th one or so is hot? i ate plate after plate of them and never got more than a hint of heat. amatriciana, arrabiatta, puttanesca -- i had all of the usual pasta sauces i'd heard of when i was in rome about six years ago, and none were what i would consider hot.

i know a lot more about regional italian food now than i did then. but still, when following recipes i rarely end up with dishes that are actually hot.

i'm suddenly having a sense of deja vu -- i think i've posted about this before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elie, is the recipe for the lard enriched yeast dough online somewhere? I´d love to try that.

I guess that after my eggplant parmigiana, early in the month, I´ve been real bad at cooking Italian food.. and I have no excuses! I do look forward to re-reading the threads and maybe add things when I try out new stuff!

This has been so wonderful. What a source of information and recipes and inspiration.

For the dough recipe, the book only says "Bread dough made with 4 cups flour" then kneads in 7 Tbsp of lard. So, here is how I did my version:

- 4 Cups flour

- 1 tsp instant yeast

- 1/2 cup lard, soft

- 2 tsp salt

- about 1.5 cups water

Mixed it in a food processor. I let is rise at room temp until almost doubled.

Pancetta stessa is the flat kind and the round kind is rottolato or something to that effect. I believe it is a regional thing as to which shape it takes, since both are still just referred to as "pancetta" by the locals in that region. I'd imagine the rounded kind is more prevalent here because it's easier to ship? When you make yours Ellie do you do flat or round?

I knew you'd know the names! I like to roll mine. It looks attractive and gives me a better way to spice it up well. Since it is rolled, the spices remain contained.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
someday i'm gonna get down to that part of italy and see how spicy things really are.  i mean, i'm no chili-head, but most everything i've had in europe that promises to be spicy isn't all that hot.  like those peppers in spain (pimientos al padron), where they say every 10th one or so is hot?  i ate plate after plate of them and never got more than a hint of heat.  amatriciana, arrabiatta, puttanesca -- i had all of the usual pasta sauces i'd heard of when i was in rome about six years ago, and none were what i would consider hot.

i know a lot more about regional italian food now than i did then.  but still, when following recipes i rarely end up with dishes that are actually hot.

i'm suddenly having a sense of deja vu -- i think i've posted about this before.

I've wondered that myself. These two regions we did this month are supposed to be the spiciest in Italy but I wonder if it's all relative. I can't believe that it would be on the par of, say, Thai or Indian food; it would just be too incongruous with not just the rest of Italy but the European palate at large. I just think they are a little more . . . refined? . . . in their taste and flavor range. It's all part of that balance we've discussed many times. So I'd imagine that while the spice would maybe be more pronounced, and certainly you'd have those exceptional individuals who ladle on the heat in their own cooking, the average Calabrese would object to a blow-you-out-the-door spicy dish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a gorgeous pie, Foodman. Imagine if we lived together, there would be A LOT of breads and pastas around the house! (We'd be as big as a house, I'd imagine, too!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about the sagne pasta in Puglia, look what I found last night. They are shorter than Pugliese

sagne, but essentially the same pasta.

gallery_14010_2363_251981.jpg

Served with a very richly flavored Calabrese style octopus ragu, while we gathered together and watched the penultimate Sopranos. It will be an end of era for our Soprano suppers!

gallery_14010_2363_96156.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Octopus ragu. Variation on Divina's recipe.

Soften some chopped garlic, onion and chili peppers in olive oil. Add the octopus, when the legs start to curl, add some hearty southern Italian red wine, pureed tomatoes. Cover the pot with a layer of paper, then put the cover on the pot. Do not peak until its done. Low heat. 45 minutes. Very, very dark red sauce, tender polpo, spicy and good. Served with cheesy bread to sop up the juices. I know, I snuck in cheese.

Cheesy bread is one of those things that just evolved in our household. Puree some parmigiana, EVO, chili peppers, whatever herbs you are feeling, last night it was oregano, and a pinch of salt. Spread on the bread and bake in the oven at 350 until the cheese bubbles. Turn off the oven and leave the bread in so it gets all hard. Its great for sopping up sauces, or as a bottom layer for cioppino type dishes. gallery_14010_2363_81385.jpg

And Foodman...this was thanks to you! Your description of the pork with vinegar peppers just made me have to have it! :biggrin:

gallery_14010_2363_22071.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gorgeous! You know, Hathor, I can credit your recent comments about frying peppers for groceries this week. Beautiful large, long, tapered in bright yellow, and two different varieties of pale green. Will fry them up with onions to serve with Stevarino's purée of dried fava beans.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgeous!  You know, Hathor, I can credit your recent comments about frying peppers for groceries this week.  Beautiful large, long, tapered in bright yellow, and two different varieties of pale green.  Will fry them up with onions to serve with Stevarino's purée of dried fava beans.

It's that fava bean puree that is haunting my dreams...where it is in a flat bowl with a ribbon of olive oil....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And Foodman...this was thanks to you! Your description of the pork with vinegar peppers just made me have to have it!  :biggrin:

gallery_14010_2363_22071.jpg

Hey! Wasn't that me?

and you know I would've taken credit for it too :smile: .

Very tasty looking dish. Love that thick chop.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is just gorgeous, Chufi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok so you know how garlic can burn very quickly in hot oil, but it takes a good hour to mellow if you're roasting it? by which i mean, to take the super garlicky edge off, direct heat works much more quickly than indirect.

this was brought to mind when i made involtini calabrese the other day. i had a few pieces of fresh pork left over from another meal, so i pounded them thin and followed several recipes from the internets: pecorino, chopped garlic, parsley, salt and black pepper. i didn't can them in lard, though, i browned them and then braised them for about an hour in a tomato sauce, which i served separately over bucatini.

so when we ate them, they were super garlicky. and i didn't use a lot -- just one large clove for about five small involtini. i mean, they tasted good, but they were... WOO.

(the sauce ruled, though. i think there's really something to be said for browning meat and getting those brown bits into your tomato sauce. it's the basis of all sunday gravy in the US, and is a thing of beauty.)

so my question is: are these things supposed to be intensely garlicky? i mean, they struck me as way stronger than anything i've made from any italian region so far. should i have cooked them longer? the reason for my intro paragraph is that since the garlic is rolled into the meat, it doesn't get any direct heat, and that's obviously the reason they were so strongly flavored. but i'm not sure how you'd avoid that except by even longer cooking.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so my question is: are these things supposed to be intensely garlicky?  i mean, they struck me as way stronger than anything i've made from any italian region so far.  should i have cooked them longer?  the reason for my intro paragraph is that since the garlic is rolled into the meat, it doesn't get any direct heat, and that's obviously the reason they were so strongly flavored.  but i'm not sure how you'd avoid that except by even longer cooking.

I love the sauce that results from slow-braised meats, especially involtini, as the fillings inevitably flavor the sauce.

I don't know how garlicky these were meant to be, but personally, whenever a recipe calls for garlic that will not be hitting heat directly, I soften the whole garlic cloves on the pan with a little olive oil before putting them into the filling. I just prefer the taste of garlic without that raw "edge".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      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/
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...