Orecchiette alle cime di rapa
The Orecchiette with turnips are the most representative dish of an entire tradition. Those with fresh pasta are excellent and are cooked together with the vegetables, strictly fresh, to get a perfect result and making sure that the pasta absorbs the aroma. Then they are fried in pan with olive oil, anchovies, garlic and chilli, the “recchitelle” are a traditional peasant dish that today still conquers us with its simplicity and its flavors. A variant of this dish, with the same procedure, is orecchiette with broccoli.
Ciceri e Tria
Another typical recipe of Salento with ancient origins is the Ciceri and Tria, which means chickpeas and fried dough. Tria is derived from an ancient Arabic word which means fried. The fresh pasta, without eggs, has the shape of a short and twisted noodle. The chickpeas are cooked together with garlic, tomato, onion and potatoes to create a broth. A portion of dough is boiled in the broth with the chickpeas and another part is fried and later added to the previous preparation. Then they add chopped parsley, olive oil and a little bit of pepper. A rich dish with a unique flavor!
The eggplant Parmigiana is another rich dish known throughout Italy with several variations. In Puglia the parmigiana is prepared with layers of breaded eggplant with eggs and flour and then fried. They prepare the sauce with the tomato sauce and proceed in making layers of eggplant, sauce, mozzarella and grated cheese, and then it goes in the oven for half an hour. An amazing dish!
Fave e Cicoria
Another typical recipe of Puglia is the beans and chicory, a poor but tasty dish made with dried beans and wild chicory. The dried beans are soaked in water for a whole night and cooked until they melt into a puree, in some villages they also add a potato. Chicory is simply boiled in water and served with beans, seasoned with olive oil. The dish is simple and has an intense flavor due to wild chicory that has a bitter taste in contrast to the sweetness of the beans. With the grown chicory you get the same dish with a more delicate flavor.
Pignata di Polpo
Finally you have to taste a fish dish, to fully appreciate the richness of this land and the sea. The Octopus Pignata, where the pignata is a traditional clay pot, still used to ensure perfect cooking of the octopus that can be very long. The octopus is cooked in its own water, is a fundamental rule of this recipe, so important that almost became a proverb! The octopus is cooked with the addition of potatoes, tomatoes, onion, garlic and red pepper until it is tender and has absorbed all the flavors. A tasty fish dish that is served with slices of rustic bread. Enjoy your meal!