The local cuisine of the Province of Frosinone uses the basic products found in Lazio, but includes a strong influence of Abruzzo. The dishes are based on ingredients from the land – simple but of outstanding quality. The most common types of handmade egg pasta are maccaruni, a very thin fettuccine, gnocchi served with polenta and the famous Timballo Ciociaro. The desserts are very simple, prepared and baked according to recipes handed down from generation to generation. Among these are the delicious ciambelle al vino, made with young wine from the fall harvest.
A favorite of Pope Boniface VIII, this timballo is notoriously delicious.
For the pasta
1 lb flour
A pinch of salt 1
For the filling
4 oz prosciutto
8 oz ground beef
8 oz ground pork
3 eggs, hard boiled
8 oz peeled tomatoes, chopped
½ onions, chopped
4 oz white wine
6 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 or so fresh basil leaves, torn
salt as needed
black pepper to taste
Mix the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt and kneed to form the pasta. Let it rest under a damp towel for 20 minutes. Stretch it thinly and cut it into large squares to fit a round baking dish, 9” in diameter.
Hard boil three eggs. Once cooled, peel and slice the eggs. Set aside. In a pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion, ground beef and ground pork over a medium flame. Allow the meat to brown well. Add the white wine and mix, allowing the wine to reduce for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. After a few moments, add the basil leaves, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to simmer covered for 60 minutes.
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Run cool water into the pot to stop the pasta from cooking further. Drain onto a damp cloth.
Lightly season the baking dish with olive oil. Begin building the timballo by spreading the prosciutto along the bottom and sides of the dish. Arrange a layer of the meat sauce, followed by a layer of pasta. Spread another layer of sauce; top with mozzarella and slices of the hard-boiled eggs and a sprinkling of Parmigiano cheese. Repeat the layering three times. Bake in the oven at 325°F for 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the baking dish to help the timballo release and then invert onto a serving dish.
This simple but flavorful dish uses basic, fresh ingredients. Unusual for recipes from Italy, it combines tomatoes with chicken, uncommon except in Lazio and Abruzzo.
1 whole chicken, about 2 pounds
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ cup white wine
2 oz capers
12 oz tomatoes, diced
1 red bell peppers, cut into slices
1 yellow bell peppers, cut into slices
½ tsp crushed red pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
Wash the chicken and pat dry, then cut into pieces. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stew pot. Add the garlic and allow it to become slightly golden, without browning. Add the chicken pieces and let them become browned, adding the wine 2 tablespoons at a time, turning the chicken enough so that they evenly cook, about 5 minutes. When the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes, peppers, capers and crushed red pepper. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Ciambelline al Vino
Ciambelline al Vino is a delicious, crunchy, not too sweet cookie, traditionally made in the Ciociaria during fall using white wine.
½ cup white wine
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
sugar for coating
½ teaspoon anise seeds
Pre-heat oven to 350°. In a medium mixing bowl add the white wine, vegetable oil, sugar, anise seeds, salt and baking powder. Mix the ingredients well and then gradually add the flour a little bit at a time. Incorporate all the flour and mix by hand until you have a smooth, consistent dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead lightly for about 1 minute. The dough will be soft, so do not overwork it. Cut off pieces of the dough a little dough at a time, rolling each piece into a rope about 5 inches long. Bring the ends together to form a circle. Dip in sugar and place on parchment covered cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until golden in color. Let cool for 8-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool.