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8 Traditional dishes from Basilicata

For this appointment I wanted to write something different, an article about food but going directly to the source. Hence I decided to interview my grandmother, who with great pleasure has told me secrets and stories about 8 traditional dishes of Basilicata, my home region. An occasion to create a connection between different generations, the opportunity to recover old and precious culinary and cultural traditions. Hope you enjoy, so I can let my grandmother know about that!


1 of 8 Traditional dishes

first courses

SPAGHETTI with BACCALÁ

A traditional dish of the Christmas Eve, prepared when for religious customs the family can’t eat meat, but eaten also all the year round. We have to boil the typical “baccalà” (salted codfish) in the tomato sauce with onion and parsley for some hours and then dress the pasta with it. Ideal with the spaghetti pasta, we serve a simple but tasty course to savour with all the family.


2 of 8 Traditional dishes

first courses

FUSILLI (con il ferretto) with MOLLICA

The “fusilli” are made manually with durum wheat, flour and water and are wrapped around a thin wire “ferretto” an original tool of South Italy. What about the dressing nanny? Oil, stale crumbs and “peperoni cruschi” a DOP product of Basilicata. A little of red hot chili pepper oil in addition. “Recuperating left-over food we can create something different and special”!


3 of 8 Traditional dishes

first courses

CUCCIVA

Many families traditionally cook it at the New Year’s Eve lunch because the legend has it this dish brings prosperity into the New Year. A very poor soup made with all the products of the vegetable garden: beans, chickpeas, corn, barley and grain, boiled with “don’t be scared” as my granny said, pork rind, ears and stuffed pig foot. For the braves ones. Delicious.


4 of 8 Traditional dishes

second courses

FRIED BACCALÁ

Still standing? Well, let’s go to second dishes. You have to know that our meals are pretty demanding. Once again salted codfish “baccalà” dressed with “peperoni cruschi”, sun-dried and crisp red peppers, a DOP product from Basilicata as we said, and one of the major delicacies of the region. After that we can fry it in extra virgin olive oil. I tried several times but only my grandma can make it properly.. and amazingly tasty.


5 of 8 Traditional dishes

second courses

FRITTELE DI PEPERONI CRUSCHI

Let’s go on with the precious “peperoni cruschi” in the kingdom of fried dishes. We prepare a batter made of flour, water, grated cheese and parsley. Then immerse our breaded peppers into hot oil, rigorously extra virgin olive one. Also in this case even if it could seem very easy, we have to pay attention to our batter and above all to frying procedure. My Grandma swears she will teach me..one day maybe.


6 of 8 Traditional dishes

desserts

CRESPELLE

We run for dessert, in Basilicata as well. One of our traditional ones are without a doubt “crespelle:” sweet doughnut made with flour, water, oil and yeast fried in boiling oil. In few minutes they will be ready to be covered with sugar or honey, chestnut one possibly. Gonna tell you a secret, let’s try also salted version with anchovies. Super yummy granny!


7 of 8 Traditional dishes

desserts

CASTAGNACCIO

Another traditional sweet that thanks to my grandmother I called to mind. Very typical of winter are the “castagnaccio”, mini doughnuts of shortcrust pastry filled with chestnut flour, sugar, grated orange peel and vermouth, then baked following the ancient recipe. Don’t tell her I’ve revealed it to all you.


8 of 8 Traditional dishes

desserts

FICHI SECCHI

Finally, cherry..ops fig on the top! A recipe that is like an old buried jewel. I didn’t know at all about that. I asked to my grandmother something really old and not in vogue anymore, so she pulled out this sweet specialty. You have to let the figs dry at the sun on a wicker surface during summer. When they are sun-dried you can fill them with nuts then pour them on ron or cognac and put in a little vase.


Now you know maybe too many Basilicata’s culinary secrets. Try this at home if you dare. Greetings from my grandmother and Basilicata hoping you come visit as soon!