By Alessandra Bianco, MA 2013-14.
Basilicata, located in the arch of the boot that is the Italian peninsula, is yet another region filled with unique and delicious treats to try. Though this area is not yet known for a bustling tourism industry, it does feature several well-known areas such as the UNESCO World Heritage site, Matera, and beautiful terrain, including the coastline along the Ionian Sea. Put it on your list for a visit and you will not be disappointed!
Peperone di Senise: Basilicata’s treasure, the Senise pepper, brick red in color, is used to flavor most of the dishes in this region but it can be eaten fresh as well. Once the Senise pepper is dried and turned to power, it can be used in cheeses, meets, and soups!
Salsicce Lucane: Long and spirally, the top quality meat in these sausages is seasoned with salt, pepper, Senise pepper, and fennel seeds.
Cacioricotta is the wonderfully scented local cheese. Its process is a hybrid technique of cheese and ricotta production.
Most typical stews are cooked in a pignata, an earthenware pot.
Cavatelli Cazmarr – stew of lamb’s innards, prosciutto, cheese and wine.
Ciammotta – fried eggplant, peppers and potatoes stewed with tomatoes.
Cotechinata – pork rind rolled around a filling of salt pork, garlic and peppers and stewed in tomato sauce.
Ciaudedda – braised artichokes stuffed with potatoes, onions, fava beans, and salt pork.
Grano al ragu’ – wheat grains boiled and served with a rich ragout made of sausage and salt pork, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and white wine and topped with grated pecorino.
Pignata di pecora – Ewe cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, pork and pecorino.
Pollo alla potentina – Chicken braised in wine with onion, tomato, peppers and basil.
Spezzatino di agnello – lamb stewed in an earthenware pot with potatoes, onions, bay leaf and peppers.
Focaccia a brazzudo: flatbread with pork crackling, lard and oregano.
Peperonata con carne di porco: pepper and tomato stew with various pieces of pork.
Torta di latticini: savory cheesecake based on ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino with pieces of prosciutto.
Zuppa di pesce alla Santavenere: soup based on grouper, scorpion fish and other Ionian seafood with plenty of garlic and pepper.
Grano dolce – pudding of wheat grains, blended with chocolate, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and vin cotto (sweet “cooked wine”).
All the above dishes are listed on http://tangoitalia.com/basilicata/basilicata-cuisine/. Want the recipes from Basilicata? Visit the site!
Photo by www.jeffdonofrio.net