During your stay in L’Aquila district in Abruzzo, you can taste The strong mountain flavours of the Abruzzo National Park and the typical dishes of this beautiful region.
Gnocchi con gli orapi
The orapi are tasty wild spinach, also called mountain spinach and the Gnocchi with orapi are a great example of how you can enjoy these wild herbs. The gnocchi have to be freshly prepared with a mixture of water and flour, while the sauce is prepared with a sautée of olive oil, garlic and red pepper and some orapi cut into stripes. You just have to drain the pasta to obtain a light and tasty first course. A richer variant of this dish includes the addition of crispy bacon.
Orapi e fagioli
Another example of a recipe that includes wild spinach is Orapi and beans, a rich and nutritious dish. The beans have to soak in water the night before and then they have to be boiled. The pork rinds are boiled separately. When both are ready, they are cooked together in a pan with their cooking water. The orapi are first boiled and then fried in a frying pan with oil, garlic and chilli. Finally everything is mixed in the pan for a few minutes and then served hot with a sprinkling of cheese and slices of toasted bread.
Minestra del pastore
The shepherd soup is a typical dish coming from the mountain. A soup is prepared with chopped lamb, garlic, rosemary, thyme and potatoes, it is cooked for a long time until the meat is cooked and the soup restricted. Then it is served hot with sheep ricotta and a pinch of red pepper.
Pecora al cotturo
This is an ancient recipe that dates back to the transhumance period when the shepherds used to cook the sheep in a simple way with wild herbs found in the area. The sheep meat is particularly tough compared to other meats and for this reason the cotturo Sheep requires a long cooking in boiling water, from four to six hours. To flavor the meat they used to add thyme, bay leaf, onion and rosemary. In this way you get a tasty soup. Another version involves the addition of abundant sauce. In both cases, the sheep meat should cook very well to make it tender.
Arrosticini alla brace
The grilled arrosticini is a typical dish in Abruzzo made with sheep meat. The meat is cut into cubes and put in skewers to cook on the grill. To make the cooking and the flavor better the meat is soaked with a sauce made of oil and vinegar. According to the tradition the dish is served strictly in bundles of 20 to 30 skewers wrapped in aluminum foils to keep them hot and you can only eat with your hands!
The Cicerchiata is a carnival dessert, made with eggs and flour to create a dough that then is divided into small balls that have to be fried in oil or lard. The balls are placed on a dish and sprinkled with honey. For an even more delicious variant you can add butter and sugar to the dough. A real treat!