The land of sun and pizza. Pizza is certainly the most welcome Italian ambassador in the world! Who has never taste a pizza? My father! Really. He was born and he lives in Piedmont, a northern region, where polenta (corn- meal mush) is the must, not pizza: “why don’t people open polenteria instead of pizzeria?” he always asks me.
People certainly know the amazing Costiera Amalfitana, between Napoli and Salerno, but who knows the wilder Costiera Cilentana? The National Park of Cilento stretches from Agropoli to Sapri. It is not touristic at all, because no highways go down there. I always go to San Giovanni a Piro to spend my holidays in complete relaxation, visiting little white beaches reached only by boat, while curious goats watch me from the coastline. A real paradise.
IMPEPATA DI COZZE
1,5 kg mussels
Clean the mussels thoroughtly under running water, but don’t let them into the water. Then put them in a deep casserole on the fire. As the mussels are opening add salt and pour grated white pepper abundantly. Stir and serve at once.
COZZE ALLA MARINARA
1,5 kg mussels
Clean the mussels. Brown the garlic in a deep casserole. Add chopped tomatoes, cut parsley and salt. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes. Add mussels. When mussels are open stir gently and serve at once.
Puglia is one of the most beautiful sea regions of Italy, and its cuisine is inspired by seafaring and pastoral traditions. Visit the “trulli di Alberobello”, special white houses, similar to large eggs, in which people used to live in the last century. The Capitanata plain, the second largest in Italy, is famous for hardgrained wheat, good for making pasta and excellent for bread.
For centuries shepherds have cooked their traditional soups, using wild herbs from the mountain. Particularly good are the little wild onions called “lampasciuoli”.
Spend a week relaxing in a “masseria” (old farm) having a siesta listening the cicada’s chirr. It is the best way to breath in Puglia atmosphere.
AGNELLO AL CARTOCCIO
8 lamb ribs
16 very small onions
16 green olives
Cut four squares of baking foil and fill each in this way: 2 lamb ribs, 4 onions, 4 olives, pepper grains, oil and salt. Preheat your oven to 180 °, close the foil and bake the lamb for 30 minutes. Serve very hot inside the foil or in another plate. Very good served with potatoes and fresh extravirgin olive oil.