If the peninsula of Italy is a leg in a fancy high-heeled boot drawing back to ungratefully kick the football of Sicily, the region of Abruzzo would be located just behind the knee. If one were to continue this rather awkward metaphor, you might imagine this to be a tender, perfumed, delicate spot. In reality it's a rather harsh mountain region, pocketed by small valleys and bordered by the Adriatic Sea.
But all is not lost. The food here is hardy and excellent. With a liberal hand, the Abruzzese have been flavoring their dishes with red chile peppers called diavolino, or little devil. Diavolino adds liveliness, heat and spice to almost everything, even the famous Spaghetti alla'Amatriciana, which while thought to be Roman, is actually an Abruzzi specialty (or so the Abruzzese say). Farming and livestock production were traditional occupations so the area is known for its tasty goat, sheep & pork products including cheeses and preserved meats.
In coming up with a menu, I have to admit I cheated and threw in a couple of dishes that weren't specifically Abruzzese. I'll bet they're not uncommon in the area, though.
Here it is:
- Herbed Pizza Margherita
Not specifically from Abruzzo but makes a tasty appetizer.
- Maccheroni alla chitarra
Utilizing the classic Abruzzese pasta
- Agnello all'Arrabbiata
Delicious spicy lamb braised in white wine.
A few extra veggie & starch dishes to round out the menu.
- Torta di ricotta e frutta
A beautiful ricotta & fruit tort for dessert.
Other Abruzzese dishes I've cooked:
Abruzzese Food Links