In the Apulian cuisine we can find a wide selection of appetizers, the most appreciated are the fish entrees, such as peppered mussels prepared with garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and of course a sprinkling of pepper. Another delicious appetizer is the mussels au gratin, a typical dish of Salento, which is traditionally used on Christmas or New Year’s, but now is widespread throughout Italy and also very popular in summer. Mussels are prepared with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley, and baked in the oven until they get a crispy crust.
In this cuisine there are also many vegetable appetizers, including the delicious caponata with zucchini, peppers, eggplant or aubergine parmigiana. Typical of Puglia are the lampascioni, a variety of onion, baked in the oven or fried.
Orecchiette alle cime di rapa
Orecchiette with turnip greens are a traditional specialty of Puglia. This type of pasta is made with durum wheat flour, water, salt and the typical concave shape which holds the condiment. There is also a variant of the orecchiette of larger dimensions and made with wheat flour. They choose the flowers of turnip greens and the most tender part and bring the pasta to boil in the same water, so that the orecchiette absorb the flavors of the vegetables. Once pasta and vegetables are drained you can add a fried mixture with garlic and anchovies in oil. You can complete the dish with a some pepper. They can also be served with rabbit sauce, tomato sauce, ricotta.The origin of the orecchiette is very ancient and uncertain,they made their appearance in the twelfth century, and among the various theories there’d the possibility that they derived from a type of dried pasta with French origin.
Carne cotta al forno a legna
Cooking in the wood oven is one of the oldest methods and in Puglia is also called cooking at the stove. The traditional cooker is a real butcher shop where you can buy and cook the meat in the same place. Traditionally, during the holidays it is used to cook the meat on the spit, often several offal or entrails especially in the rural tradition. Among the recipes that have to be cooked in a wood oven we find gnummareddi, turcinieddhi, rolls and bombette.
The biscuit of Ceglie or Cegliese biscuit is a typical cake of Ceglie Messapica. The main ingredients are almonds, a product of excellence of this land. The almonds are passed in boiling water, peeled and a part is toasted in the oven. So they are finely minced and used to make the dough. The inner filling of the biscuits is made with cherry or grape jam. Some variants provide a chocolate icing. The result is a rustic biscuit, that is crispy and very tasty, with unique characteristics. Traditionally it was prepared by the farmers especially for parties or weddings. Today we can enjoy it in the traditional way!