The fileja are a typical pasta from Calabria. It is similar to fusilli, about ten centimeters long, and it is made of the simplest ingredients: warm water, a pinch of salt and durum wheat semolina. Normally the fileja is served with a sauce with red onions of Tropea, but also with aubergines, zucchini or with the famous ‘nduja.
This pasta was used in poor homes in ancient times and could be consumed as soon as it was made or left to dry and stored for months.
The spiral shape is obtained by working the dough with the dinaculu or filejo, a sprat stick, a plant from which it takes its name.
In Calabria, the onion is one of the most traditional foods, and seems to have been introduced by the Phoenicians at the time of their domination. The red onion of Tropea is tasty and very sweet, and has become one of the basic ingredients of Calabrian cuisine.
A classic simple but tasty dish that uses this vegetable is the onion omelette, a poor, simple dish, with a few ingredients easily available in the country, eggs, onions salt and pepper.
Tropeana salad is a typical dish of the city of Tropea. The main ingredient is the onion that must be the original red onion from Tropea. The ingredients are simple and fresh, and make this dish a perfect summer recipe. It is made of red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and flavorings, and you’ll get the perfect tropeana salad.
Pipi e Patati
Pipi e patati is a very rustic and tasty course, made only with peppers and potatoes, fried in olive oil. To maintain the tradition you should use a particular variety of typically Calabrian peppers that are green, round, small in size, sweet but with a bitter aftertaste, which contrasts well with the taste of potatoes. Today it is a side dish but once it was used to stuff the loaf to serve for the for the farmers’ lunch.
Calabrian Spaghetti with breadcrumbs, also known as Spaghetti Ammuicati, is one of the simplest and quickest dishes to make of the typical cuisine of this region. This dish, in fact, is part of the poor Calabrian tradition, born in families who could not afford the luxury of eating either meat or fish. The reuse of stale bread has always been a typical custom among the most poor people, used in many recipes. In this case the stale bread is crumbled and then fried in a pan in order to make it golden, crispy and tasty.
Spaghetti ammuicati, usually are used especially on Christmas Eve, when tradition led to eating “lean” dishes, often fish based. In fact the other essential ingredient of this recipe is anchovies a cheap fish.