Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coffee Talk: Regional Italian Cooking

I love Italian food and wish I had ask my husbands aunt to give me Italian cooking lessons.   My husband said his grandmother Concetta and Aunt Anna were the bests cooks.  My husband's grandparents were born in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  They were born in a small town Manoppello a Province of Pescara.

I took this writing from Rustico Cooking 

In some ways, Abruzzese cuisine is the undiscovered treasure of Italian gastronomy. While tourists rhapsodize over Tuscan cuisine and Italians wax poetic over Emilian cuisine, few have truly delved into the flavors of Abruzzo's kitchen. Abruzzese cooks are masters at turning simple ingredients (perhaps a handful of freshly plucked beans from the garden plot, gleaming black mussels, golden noodles) into glorious feasts.They flavor their dishes with hot chili pepper, aromatic saffron, fruity olive oil. Pasta is the preferred Abruzzese first course, and none is as typical as maccheroni alla chitarra ("guitar pasta"): sheets of egg dough are cut using a flat rolling pin on a wooden box with strings (hence the name "guitar"). Crêpes (called scrippelle) are rolled around savory fillings, dropped into broths, or layered with cheese, vegetables, and meat before baking. Polenta is usually enjoyed with a spicy sausage ragù or hearty meat sauce. In port cities, just-caught fish is marinated in a vinegary brine, and rich soups are concocted from dozens of types of fish. In the mountains, sheepherding remains a common way to make a living, so lamb, kid, sheep, and mountain goat are mainstays of the diet; wine, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary are favorite flavorings, especially when the source of heat is a lively wood fire. Many families still raise their own pigs, and free-roaming pigs yield flavorful, lean meat and tasty salumi (cured meats). Pastries tend to be unsophisticated: olive oil is often used instead of butter, nuts or dried fruit provide bulk and flavor, and sheep's milk ricotta, a favorite in central and southern Italy, shows up in fritters and sweet cakes.

This region is known for their lamb dishes - well that stopped me right in my tracks both my husband and myself are not fans of lamb.  I can say I have only had lamb 3 times in my life and I know what those dishes were.  They weren't bad I just didn't care for them and I would rather have beef, pork or poultry.  While I was looking for recipes for the region lamb just keeps popping up. 

Since Abruzzo is known as the Queen of Pasta I think I will stick to that making a light pasta sauce of the 3 main ingredients, tomatoes, garlic and basil.  

I will continue to search the internet for more recipes from the region and try them.  Until they make a movie from the area like Under The Tuscan Sun I don't think I will be finding a cook book like The Tuscan Sun Cookbook anytime soon.

While writing this blog post I found out that Mario Batali's grandmother is from the same region.

Until Next Time,


  1. Love your coffee cup Pam, waiting for your delicious Italian recipes, especially homemade pasta recipes.

    1. Thank you I have another coffee cup that matches it. It has blueberries on it. I'm going to tackle homemade pasta soon. I'm going to try some pasta recipes that are fresh and light I think it will be perfect for summer.


Blogging tips