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Traditional recipes

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FIRST CORSE

Little ears with sprouts of cauliflower

Two big cauliflower of the faint-green variety are sufficient. Take their sprouts with a bit of stem and the tender leaves, wash and put them to cook in abundant salted water. When it reaches the boil, put into also the little ears pasta. Separately fry lightly 300 gms. of fresh lard cut into pieces and, possibly, pieces of pork and pork-rind. Some people add also 1/2 glass of white wine. When the cauliflower and the pasta are chewy, season them with the above fried mixture, pepper and grated roman cheese. The Torre Quarto wine goes well also this soup.
 
Pasta and meatballs with piquant “ricotta”
This is a very tasty dish spread out near Brindisi. Cook until chewy 300 gms. of "stacchjoddi", a home-made pasta typical of that province, which is similar to the little ears pasta but more flattened. Season with a tomato sauce, where you had previously cooked some veal meatballs, and with 1 tablespoon of hard piquant "ricotta" cheese, previously melted in the tomato sauce. Recommended wine: "Lacrima" of Mesagne, a deep red, scented, dry wine, at 18° C.
 
Pasta in turkey broth
The italian name "maltriti" literally means "badly-minced". Pour 400 gms. of "semolina" on the rolling-board, shape it into a mound, make a well in the center of the mound and put in it 4 whole eggs, 1 tablespoon of grated roman cheese, 1 handful of finely chopped parsley and the necessary salt. From this dough, which should be smooth but solid, cut out very small pieces of dough, flatten them to a thickness of 2 or 3 mm. and pinch them so as to obtain uneven a nail-big pieces of dough. Leave them to dry, then cook them in abundant salted water. When done, they must be drained, put in a dish and covered with a turkey broth prepared as follows. In a pan put ½ kilo of washed turkey (breast - leg - wing). Cover it in water. When celery, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and salt. When done, strain the broth leaving it to drop into a clean pot. Let it reach again the boil, then add it still boiling to the pasta, season with grated parmesan cheese.
    
Meatballs and vegetables soup
Boil 700 gms. of turkey's breast and 300 gms. of veal in water with, a bit of celery, some tomatoes, 1 parsnip, a sprig of parsley. Separately boil 600 gms. of curly chicory and 2 sticks of celery cut into pieces. As soon as the broth is done, strain it and keep it warm. Prepare some meatballs with 400 gms. of the boiled meat and fry them lightly in hot boiling oil. Then add the boiled vegetables to the broth and the meatballs and leave to flavour for some minutes. Chop 6 slices of toasted bread, 300 gms. of "scamorza" (a kind of cheese), slice 6 hard-boiled eggs and put the lot on individual dishes where, just before serving, you will pour the broth, the meatballs and the vegetables, all piping hot.
 
Rice, potatoes and mussels

In a clay pan arrange a layer of 2 chopped onions and sliced peeled potatoes; then the mussels, kept on a half shell, and a fistful of rice. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, oil and piquant grated cheese. Keep alternating layers until the pan is full. Decorate with tomato strips and bake. While it is in the oven, ass some water now and then so as to get the dish properly cooked.
 

SECOND CORSE
    
Baked lamb with peas
Typical dish of Easter meals. Cut about 1 kilo of lamb, still with the bone, into pieces and fry them lightly in a bakingtry with some tablespoons of oil and 1 sliced onion. When fried, moisten it with white dry wine and put it in a hot oven. After about half an hour, add 500 gms. of fresh shelled peas, salt, pepper, and cover the lot with a sheet of grease-proof paper. Break 3 eggs into a bowl, add 1 handful of chopped parsley and grated "pecorino" cheese and some pepper to them and, when the lamb is done, add this mixture to it without stirring and put the lot again in the oven to bake for 3 minutes. Serve hot. A good accompaniment is the "Negramaro" wine, a red dry ripe wine, at 18° C.
 
Carchoal-broiled mutton
It is a speciality of the people of Carbonara, that prepare it on the feast of St. Michael in October, and famous both for the cooking tecnique and for the tastfulness of the animal which is manually reared, and also for the quality of the carchoal. Cut 7 or 8 mutton chops and skewer them. In a brazier alight a carchoal fire using stalks of thyme, hazel-nut and almond shells; turn the skewer over now and then. Sprinkle it only with salt and don't allow the meat to cook completely, otherwise the fat melts fully and the meat looses its "homeric" taste.
 
Baked anchovies
Bone and wash 600 gms. of fresh anchovies. Grease a bakingtry, line its base with a layer of anchovies and season them with chopped parsley and garlic, capers, salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and a drop of olive-oil. Arrange another layer of anchovies and seasoning, then bake in a hot oven for 5 minutes, until the surface gets golden. Serve either hot or cold.

Gilt-head bream, Bari style
Clean, scale a gilt-head bream weighing 1 kilo and a half, and slice it. Place the slices in a clay pan, covering them with 1 litre of dry white wine, 50 gms. of raisins, 1/2 parsnip, 1 handful of parsley leaves, 1 bayleaf, 1 chopped clove of garlic, 1/2 sliced onion, 100 gms. of oil, salt and pepper. Leave to rest for 1 hour, then put the pan on the flame and leave to simmer slowly until the fish is done. Then place the slices on a dish which is to be kept warm. Leave the remaining sauce to thicken lightly, strain it and pour it onto the fish, adding also some oil before serving. Drink the "Vino del Messere", a white, dry wine, at 10° C.
 
Poached octopus
Buy 2 fresh octopuses, each weighing 1/2 kilo, already pounded to make them more tender. Don't clean but wash them and put them in a clay pan without water with garlic, parsley, oil, some sliced onion, some winter tomatoes, pepper or hot-chilli. Kept in the clay pan for a couple of hours on a low flame with a lid on, the octopuses curl up and send out their flavour of sea. When done, cut them into pieces and serve them with all the sauce.

DESSERT
    
Nougat from Apulia
Ancient nougat introduced by Arabs. Put in a casserole 1 kilo of honey and 500 gms. of sugar and leave them to melt slowly, taking care to stir continuously. When the lot becomes fluid, add 5 eggwhites beaten stiff, then 1 kilo of peeled and toasted almonds, a pinch of vanilla or of grated lemon rind; go on stirring until the lot is cooked, which will happen when, tasting a bit of the so obtained dough, it doesn't stick on your teeth. Finally pour the lot into a rectangular mould, previously folded with a wafer. Leave it to harden completely, then taste it.
 
Fig-flavoured cakes
Bring to the boil 500 gms. of dried fig extract with some sugar, chocolate powder, cinamon, cloves, 2 rinds of tangerine and 1 rind of orange, all grated. When the lot boils, little by little add enough handfuls of flour to get a solid dough, adding also 30 gms. of brewer's yeast; stir, as you would for "polenta", for 30 minutes. Then shape the dough into many rolls which are then left to rise. When risen, sprinkle them with cinnamon powder ans sweetmeats.

Stuffed wafers
Typical nougat generally prepared in Gargano on the Patron Saint's day or on solemn feasts. Put in a pan 1 kilo of peeled almonds previously poasted, 1 kilo and 250 gms. of honey, 150 gms. of sugar, a pinch of cinnamon. Put on the flame stirring continuously with a spoon. Separately prepare 16 cm's. large and 8 cm's. long wafers. Pour the piping hot mixture onto a wafer to a thickness of 3 or 4 cm's., cover it with another wafer and level the edges cutting away all that juts out from the wafers. Keep each stuffed wafer pressed well with a slab for a couple of hours.
 
Grain in cooked wine
Nearly out of use, this sweet of Arabian origin is prepared in Bisceglie and in new-greek towns of Puglia on the feast of St. Lucio or on the All Souls Day. Leave 500 gms. of wheat grains, cleared of the husk, to soak in water for 3 days, changing the water every day. Then cook them in abundant water until the grains open slightly. Rinse them several times, then keep them in water a while more. An hour before serving, remove and pat them dry, season them with abundant cooked wine, roasted and peeled almonds, walnut kernels chopped together with the almonds, pieces of candied peel and chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, seeds of pomegranate and blend the lot well.
 
Cinnamon little cakes
It is worth giving the recipe of this typical sweet of Molfetta for it is exquisite. Mix into dough 600 gms. of fine flour, 200 gms. of sugar, 200 gms. of almonds - baked, shelled, chopped fine - 10 gms. of cabornate of ammonium, 1 grated lemon rind, 150 gms. of cooked wine (must concentrated by several cookings), 200 gms. of light coffe and powdered cinnamon. When the dough is well kneaded and velvety, cut out, two by two, many 1/2 cm. thick disks using the rim of a glass or an oval shape. Put 1 teaspoon of cherry jam on 1 disk of each couple, then cover it with the other disk, sealing the edges with a fluted pastry wheel. Bake, then spread melted chocolate over.

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