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Braciolini

Appreciating the Flavors of Foggia in 3 Recipes

Simple ingredients, but careful preparation define the cuisine of Foggia. With its proximity to the sea, basic grilled seafood is very popular. While orecchiette is the most popular pasta in the region, spaghettini with potatoes and zucchini is a traditional dish. The area is also well-known for its braciolini, so enjoy these flavors and recipes of Foggia!

Baked Mussels

This delicious dish is a perfect appetizer when you have friends and family over. This recipe should satisfy four adults. Increase the ingredients by proportion if you are feeding a crowd.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb mussels
  • ½ cup Pecorino cheese
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • fresh black pepper

Preparation

Wash the mussels under fresh water. With a knife, open each mussel and leave the meat on one half of the shell. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients to create a soft batter. Place all of the mussels onto a baking sheet and use a teaspoon to place the batter on each mussel to completely cover the meat. Bake for about 15-20 mins at 400°F on the top shelf of the oven until the batter turns a golden brown. Serve hot.

Spaghetti con Zucchini, Patate e Ricotta

This delicious recipe reflects the traditional peasant culture of Apulia. The simplicity of the dish demonstrates both creativity and an understanding of how flavors and ingredients blend together into a wonderfully satisfying meal. In Foggia, they use the local ricotta salata, a hard grating cheese. An aged Pecorino will also be good, but don’t use Pecorino Romano, you’ll find it to be a bit too strong. The potatoes that are grown in the area are of a sturdy yellow variety.

Ingredients

  • 6 quarts water
  • 3 medium yellow potatoes
  • 1 lb spaghetti or spaghettini, broken into pieces about 2 inches long
  • 6 to 8 very small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated ricotta salata, aged Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Have all the ingredients prepared before you begin to cook, since everything goes very quickly once you start. Fill a serving bowl with very hot water. You will use it later to warm the pasta after cooking. In a large pot, bring the lightly salted water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and cut in half and then cut into ½” slices. Add the potato slices and boil for 8 minutes. Add the spaghetti and stir with a long-handled spoon. Cover the pot and bring the water back to a boil. Set the lid ajar and continue boiling for 8 more minutes. Add the zucchini slices and boil uncovered or 4 minutes, or until the potato slices are cooked through and the spaghetti is al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Immediately turn the pasta and vegetables into the warm serving bowl and pour the reserved cooking liquid and olive oil over the pasta. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated cheese over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Braciolini

In the north of Italy, a braciole is a chop, whether of beef, veal or pork; but in the south it is a piece of lean meat, rolled around a filling. These are braciolone if they’re big; bracioline or braciolette if they’re small. Whether by itself or with pasta, brociolini is a sure hit at the table.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless beef or veal scaloppini, pounded thin
  • 8 very thin slices pancetta
  • 2 tbsp. minced pancetta for the soffritto
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced with the parsley
  • 1 tbsp rinsed and drained capers
  • 3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut in slender fingers
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped with the onion
  • 1 carrot, scraped and finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped canned whole tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • finely minced parsley for garnish

Preparation

Pound the cutlets with a meat pounder to stretch them and make them very thin (or ask the butcher to do this for you). Lay a slice of pancetta on each cutlet, then sprinkle with a teaspoon of the garlic/parsley combination, a few capers and a finger of cheese. Roll each cutlet up over the filling and secure with a toothpick or tie with thread. In a deep skillet over a medium-high flame, brown the meat rolls on all sides in the olive oil. Remove as they brown and set aside.

For the soffritto, add the minced pancetta to the pan together with the chopped onion, garlic and carrot. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, but not brown. Add the wine, raise the heat slightly and cook, deglazing the skillet. When the wine has reduced by approximately half, add the tomatoes to the pan and continue cooking for about 5 minutes to reduce and thicken the tomatoes into a sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer and add the red pepper flakes. Return the meat rolls to the pan, spooning the sauce over them to cover well. Add salt and pepper. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve with the sauce. Garnish with minced herbs.