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.
The Pittule or pettole of Puglia are some tasty pancakes usually served as an appetizer. It is an ancient and simple recipe, prepared with only flour, water, yeast and a pinch of salt, they prepare a batter that is left to rise for a few hours, and then they form balls to fry in boiling oil.
In Puglia they were traditionally prepared for San Martino, Immaculate or Christmas, or in some towns during patronizing festivities, but nowadays they are spread throughout the year.
The variants are so many because they added to the dough the ingredients or leftovers found from time to time, such as cabbage, chicory or turnip. Nowadays you can easily find the pittule alla pizzaiola enriched with tomatoes, capers, olives and oregano. The Christmas pittule instead are prepared with the addition of stockfish.
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 Pasticciotto is a dessert that was born in Lecce. It is a delightful small pastry pie filled with cream and baked in the oven. It comes from stuffed pies but has the reduced size of a single portion, usually with an oval shape. The traditional pastry requires lard, while the cream is flavored with lemon. We don’t know the exact origin of the pie, but its features are similiar to those of the pies of the beginning of the eighteenth century, and there are many traditional bakeries that contend for the invention of dessert. In July in the town of Surano there’s the festival of the Pasticciotto and in one edition they have prepared the biggest pasticciotto ever!
The scapece, marinated fish, is a dish of Salento, in particular of Gallipoli. It is a second course of fish that is fried and alternated to layers of bread crumbs seasoned with vinegar and saffron. Traditionally it was kept in wooden casks and was very useful during wars or sieges because could be stored for a long time and ward off hunger in the most difficult periods. The most used fish is the blue fish of small dimensions.