a tavola - the cuisine of molise
(return to food)
It's historic and political connection to Abruzzo ended when Molise became
an independent region in 1963, but it still shares many of the same
culinary traditions of Abruzzo, with more of a nod to the south. There is
also a significant Albanian-speaking population, which increased after the
fall of communism. The food of Molise is uncomplicated, rich in vegetables
and pork, spiced with chile peppers, and sauced with tomatoes. There are,
however, few dishes unique to Molise. P'lenta d'iragn, a white polenta
made with potatoes and wheat and served with a tomato sauce, is one of the
more unusual dishes. Calconi di ricotta rustica are ravioli stuffed with
ricotta, provolone, and prosciutto, then fried in oil. The cheeses of
Molise include scamorza, mateca, and burrino.
Torta di Cipolla con Formaggio Svizzero - Salted Onion Cake with Swiss
350 g of flour
200g. of butter
60g of extra vergine olive oil
700g. of onions
200g. of Swiss Cheese
black Olives, pitted and cut into pieces
salt and pepper
Prepare the pastry by mixing 2 eggs 120 g of butter and oil, until you
have a soft and elastic dough that you will cover with Saran wrap and
place in the refrigerator to rest. Slice the onion and saute' lightly in a
pan with the rest of the butter, for about 20 minutes. In the meantime roll
out the pastry until you have two circles: with the larger piece cover the
baking pan and with the smaller piece you will cover the top. Slice the
cheese and cut into pieces place on the layer of pastry in the pie pan.
Mix 3 eggs with the Parmesan, the cooled onions and the pitted olives until
you have a well-mixed stuffing. Add salt and pepper and pour into the pie
Close with the smaller pastry circle brush with egg yolk and place in the
over for 30 minuted at 180� (350 F).
Frittelle di Verdura - Vegetable Fritters
Flour g 200
150g ofSmoked provola
Beer cl 20
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Wash the zucchini and peel the carrots, then cut them into "julienne" (thin
sticks) with the appropriate kitchen tool, mix these julienned vegetables
with the eggs, the beer and the flour, pouring the flour in a rainfall to
avoid lumps. Knead it fixing with salt and pepper. Heat plenty of oil and
pour a spoonful of the mixture (a little at a time) into the hot oil. As
soon as they are golden take them out and allow them to drain on absorbent
kitchen paper towels. Continue doing this until all the mixture is
PRIMI PIATTI - FIRST COURSES
Capellini with Bread Crumbs
2/3 cups olive oil
2 cups of unseasoned bread crumbs
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup pecorino/romano cheese
1 cup raisins (muscat, if available) soaked 1/2 hour
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 2 ounce tin of anchovies
1 pound capellini
Gently heat finely chopped (skinned) garlic in the olive oil until it
softens and turns slightly golden. Be careful not to brown or burn the
garlic. If the garlic browns or burns, start over. When golden, remove the
pan from the heat and set aside.
Combine and mix the bread crumbs, cheese, and pepper in a large bowl. Drain
and mash the anchovies into a paste and add to the other ingredients. Add
the raisins. Mix well.
Place the pan with the olive oil and garlic over low heat and add all the
mixed ingredients. Stir and mix the bread crumb mixture with the olive oil
and garlic. Gently warm the mixture stirring frequently to a golden
appearance (about 15 minutes)...stir and turn over the mixture from the
bottom up to prevent browning.
While you are warming the bread crumbs, start your capellini water boiling.
When the bread crumbs are done, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Remove
the pasta from the heat. Using a pasta fork, quickly begin removing pasta
from the pot layering a 1/4 of a pound into a casseole or lasagna dish.
Best in a dish 9 to 10 inches long, 5 to 6 inches wide with sides about 4
inches high. The pasta can retain water as you transfer it from the pot to
the dish. Sprinkle on 1/4 of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle the mixture
with 1/4 cup pasta water. Add two more layers of pasta, bread crumbs and
water. The final layer is pasta and bread crumbs with no extra water.Warm
in the oven and serve.
Fresh Taglolini: 300 g (already prepared)
80g of Prosciutto Crudo in small pieces
1 small onion cut in thin slices
1 small bunch of parsley
1/2 of a red hot chili pepper
3 tablespoons of Olive oil
salt and pepper
Cook the tagliolini in salty boiling water. At the same time, pour the oil
in a sauce pan and brown the onion together with the red hot chili pepper,
mixing frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the pieces of prosciutto crudo -
they should just warm up. Add 1 or 2 spoons of the water in which you are
cooking your Tagliolini, add the minced parsley and sprinkle with salt and
Strain the tagliolini when they are al dente and pour them in the sauce pan
mixing them with the other ingredients. Serve immediately.
Torta di Spinachi, Ricotta e Prosciutto - Spinach, Ricotta and Prosciutto
A roll of frozen puff pastry
300 g. cooked and squeezed spinach
150g. of Ricotta Cheese
1 slice of Prosciutto Cotto
salt and pepper
Thaw the puff pastry and, roll it out on a board until it becomes 2 or 3
centimeters high. Cut into pieces, and in a bowl blend with the ricotta,
the Parmesan, and most of the beaten eggs (Leave a little to brush on top
later), salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Put the spinach stuffing
inside and a slice of ham on top of the pastry. Make cuts all around until
you have formed many slices. Close the torte trying to form a braid then
brush with the remaining egg and place in the oven for 30 minutes at 180�
VERDURA - VEGETABLE
Zucchine alla Molisiana - Zucchini Molise Style
800g of zucchine
1 clove of garlic
1 bunch of mint
10 tblsp of extra virgin oliv oil
7 tblsp of white wine vingar
1 sliced chili pepper
peanut oil for frying
Wash the zucchini and drain them on a plate covered with a paper towel.
Cut them in thin slices. Fry the zucchini in a pan. Drain them, on a plate
covered with a paper towel and put them in a serving dish. Season them with
some salt. Wash and dry the mint. Chop garlic with mint and the chili pepper.
Pour this mixture on zucchini and then pour the vinegar on them.
Allow to marinate for 3 hours then serve.
DOLCI - DESSERTS
Crostata ai Frutti di Bosco - Fruit Torte
500 gr. strawberries, raspberries, blackberrries
1 stick of vanilla, cut lengthwise
120 gr, sugar
20 gr. gelatin
plain bread crumbs
Make a bread crumb crust by buttering the pie plate and sprinkling bread
crumbs on it.
Wash and dry the fruit. Arrange it in the pie plate.
Mix together 120 gr of sugar, 2 teaspoons of water and the vanilla stick.
Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove
the vanilla stick. Pour over the fruit. Refrigerate. Decorate with the
whipped cream at the moment of serving.