During your stay at Tenuta Monacelli in Cerrate, in the Lecce district, in Salento, in Puglia, you’ll get to taste The traditional dishes of Lecce and surroundings, and the best dishes of this wonderful region.
The Sagne Ncannulate are an excellent first course made of fresh pasta. They’re traditionally prepared for the Sunday lunch, they belong to the farmers tradition, back when the pasta was prepared at home with only flour and water. The sauce was very simple, just tomato and, in special occasions, the ricotta forte, or schianta as they call it in Salento. This type of ricotta was made by mixing the fermented remainings, that became spicy, mixed to the sauce to make it more dense and tasty. Today the ricotta forte is prepared in local cheese dairies especially to be eaten together with the great fresh Sagne Ncannulate. This type of pasta is a rough tagliatelle rolled on themselves, and their porous texture is perfect with rustic sauces.
Pittule Ciceri e tria
The pittule are a special kind of pancakes prepared with batter and flavored with many ingredients, such as capers, olives and cherry tomatoes. The preparation of the batter requires to wait one or two hours before frying the pittule. You can combine this delicious pancakes with ciceri and tria, a dish that consists in fried fresh pasta too, called tria. In the preparation part of the pasta is boiled and mixed in a chickpeas soup (ciceri), then everything is combined with the tria. A rustic dish that will make your mouth watering!
Purpu alla pignata
The fish is an essential part in the cuisine of Salento. The octopus, called purpu in local dialect, is the protagonist of a great recipe. The purpu alla pignata is named after the pot in which it was traditionally cooked. It has to be cooked for a long time, slowly, and it must be cooked in its own water, this is a rule for this recipe. The cooking is on a low heat, without salt, seasoned with oil, garlic, tomato, parsley, chilli, white wine and potatoes. The outcome is a rich and tasty dish, to be served hot in winter and cool in summer.
The Tajeddha is a main dish made of rice, potatoes and mussels, called Tiella in other areas of Puglia, it literally means baking tray. This recipe has probably reached Puglia through the Spanish, because of its similarity with the paella. You have to put layers of rice, onion, tomato, mussels and potatoes in the baking tray. The mussels have to be cooked before, while the other ingredients go in the oven raw. The dish is flavored with parsley, garlic and olive oil, in addition to the water from the mussels’ cooking. The baking tray goes in the oven and it will come out as a tasty and fragrant rice flan, best served hot.