The arrosticini are one of the most popular and appreciated regional dishes. Connected to the pastoral tradition on the mountains of Gran Sasso, they are prepared with cubes of sheep meat strung up on a skewer, alternating with layers of fat that make the whole thing tastier. Then the skewers are roasted on ember and seasoned with olive oil, salt and vinegar. Together with bread and cheese they make a simple and rustic dish, perfect for evenings with friends, and protagonist of many festivals. They’re known throughout Italy, but only in Abruzzo you’ll be able to taste the originals!
Pecora alla callara
The Pecora alla callara, originally from the province of Teramo, is a recipe passed down from Abruzzo’s shepherds. During the transhumance pastors used to cook sheep, but they often chose the older ones or even the ones that died of fatigue, resulting in the meat being particularly tough and in a longer cooking time. Today you can taste the delicious sheep meat cooked following this old recipe, prepared with oil, carrots, celery, onion and flavorings. The slow cooking gives to the meat the right time to lose his fats and to absorb the flavors, becoming soft and mouth-watering.
Pasta alla mugnaia
The pasta alla mugnaia is an ancient dish of the gastronomic tradition of Abruzzo, originating in Elice, in the province of Pescara. This fresh pasta was a poor dish that was prepared by millers using only flour and water. The pasta get rolled out obtaining thick and rough tagliatelle. Today you can taste this dish of humble birth enriched by eggs in the dough and by meat sauces that match very well with the texture of the pasta. Pork in particular is perfect for this dish, browned in a soffritto, shaded with some red wine and at last added to the tomato sauce. This recipe, combined with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, is a robust and nutritious first course. Every year in Elice the pasta alla mugnaia is the protagonist of the namesake festival.
Trippa alla pennese
The Trippa alla pennese, original of Penne, is a rich main dish of humble birth. In the XVIII century’s rich palaces, after slaughtering the calves, the tripe, considered a low-quality part of the animal, was given to the populartion, that used it as the Sunday main course. Nowadays you can taste an excellent Trippa alla pennese prepared with plenty of flavors like parsley, bay, marjoram and chilli, fried in olive oil, celery, onion and at last covered in tomato. After being slow-cooked, for at least two hours, the tripe will be soft and the dense dressing will be absorbed. The tripe is best served hot and sprinkled with Abruzzo’s pecorino, along with some toasted bread and a local red wine like Montepulciano or Cerasuolo.