The orecchiette pugliesi are a real institution, known everywhere for their typical shape. The preparation requires simple ingredients, just flour and water, and manual skills if you prepare fresh pasta. Orecchiette can be seasoned in many ways, with a simple tomato sauce or with meat sauce, but the typical recipes is the orecchiette with turnip. Turnip greens are not prepared as a dressing, but they must boil in the same water with the pasta, to absorb the flavors and create a delicious main dish!
The pancotto pugliese is a soup made with stale bread and wild herbs. It’s a very old recipe and was cooked with various vegetable ingredients, depending on what was available. The most used herbs are chicory, borage, fennel, preferably wild herbs with intense flavor. The vegetables are boiled together with tomato and a few potatoes to thicken the meal, at the end of cooking and when the broth will be slightly narrower, the stale bread is cut into pieces and added to the pot. This poor dish created in the countryside tradition is still used especially for the holidays.
The stew of lamb is a famous dish in Puglia and is used on Easter. The traditional recipe includes the stew with lamb cooked with cardoons, or cardoncelli. Once the vegetables are clean, they are boiled in salted water and left aside. The lamb meat cut in pieces should be cooked with garlic, oil and parsley and some water. When the meat is ready the chopped cardoons are added with an amalgam of eggs and cheese. The result is a rich and appetizing dish, the cardoons have a bitter taste that goes very well with the delicate flavor of the lamb, a tasty and succulent second dish!
The stuffed eggplants is a delicious second dish. The eggplant with firm flesh and shiny and smooth skin is the best for the success of this dish. The eggplant should be cut lengthwise and ravaged inside, the pulp obtained is cut into cubes and fried in olive oil. The tomato is prepared with olive oil and basil. Then proceed with the filling, a mix of breadcrumbs, capers, eggs, cheese and the chopped eggplant already cooked. They fill the eggplant and put it in the oven to brown. The preparation may seem elaborate but the result is excellent!