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5 Best Recipes from Puglia

5 Best Recipes from Puglia

Here are 5 recipes from Puglia you should definitely try if you are trying to get a taste of southern Italy;

Orecchiette alle cime di rapa

Also known as “recchitelle” or “strascinati” The name of this dish, Orecchiette ‘little ears’ is derived from the shape of the pasta, it has a concave dish shape. It is one dish that embodies the puglian traditional dish. The pasta is paired with a number of sauces and gravies to give a filling and satisfying meal as it has the nature to absorb sauce but is popularly and best enjoyed with rapa – a local specie of broccoli and olive oil. The pasta is only made from water, flour and durum wheat semolina. To make the pasta, pour the durum on a pastry board and form a fountain, add a pinch of salt and pour room temperature in the center. Mix and knead the dough until smooth and elastic for about ten minutes. Place the round dough into a bowl and cover with a clean cloth to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut a piece of the dough and roll to a thickness of about 1cm. cut it into small pieces and use a butter knife to form small shells by dragging each piece of dough towards you on the pastry board. Then turn the shell back on itself. To make the rabe, add cleaned broccoli leaves to a boiling water for five minutes and add salt to taste. In a skillet, add oil and some breadcrumbs, stir until it turns golden brown. Also, add oil and unpeeled crushed garlic clove to a frying pan and drained anchovy fillets. Mix and dissolve with the spatula to create the sauté. After boiling the broccoli, add the pasta to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, mix gently, drain and pot into the skillet with the sauté. Stir fry for a few minutes and add salt, the pasta is then ready to serve.

Tiella - Pugliese paella

It is a traditional puglian dish which is made from rice, potatoes and mussels. There is a slight variation in the recipe across the cities in Puglia. The first challenge in making this dish is opening the mussels by hand using a special type of knife by making small incision so that the mussel and its liquid is intact and the aroma is preserved. The meal is then carefully alternating rice and vegetables with mussels. The water added to cook the meal must be regulated so the rice boils perfectly and the whole dish is neither dry nor soggy.

Fave e cicorie: Fava beans and chicory

Fava beans and chicory is a traditional dish that originates from inland Puglia. This dish is mostly served during the winter period as comfort food both in restaurants and homes, dried white fava beans are cooked for hours until they soften into a puree the beans puree is mostly served with chicory green, sweet Italian pepper and extra-virgin olive oil.

Apulian Focaccia

This is a type of flat bread with soft, thick dough and crunchy edges that is garnished with rosemary and tomato slices with sprinkled with oil and baked in a wood fired oven like pizza. The original type of focaccia was usually baked to test the temperature of the oven. To make the dough, add flour, boiled mashed potatoes and salt to a bowl of warm water with yeast. Mix thoroughly, knead for 10 minutes and place in an oiled bowl and cover. After the dough has doubled in size, divide into 2 and sharpen into a ball, place each dough ball into a baking pan and cover for another 10 minutes till it doubles. Then sprinkle olive oil and add tomatoes, salt and oregano, place into a preheated oven of 400˚F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until it is golden brown.

Bombette pugliesi

This Bombette are small rolls of pork, stuffed with caciocavallo cheese, salt and pepper. This is usually served as second course in restaurants and also sold at butchers’ shops and neighbourhood kiosks. After the meat is stuffed and rolled to take a bowler’s shape, then cooked on a grill or in the oven.