italian cooking schools abruzze

Cookery Schools and Courses in Abruzzo

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Course of Typical Salentina Kitchen

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In some ways, Abruzzese cuisine is the undiscovered treasure of Italian gastronomy. While tourists rhapsodize over Tuscan cuisine and Italians wax poetic over Emilian cuisine, few have truly delved into the flavors of Abruzzo's kitchen. Abruzzese cooks are masters at turning simple ingredients (perhaps a handful of freshly plucked beans from the garden plot, gleaming black mussels, golden noodles) into glorious feasts.

Cheese Balls

They flavor their dishes with hot chili pepper, aromatic saffron, fruity olive oil. Pasta is the preferred Abruzzese first course, and none is as typical as maccheroni alla chitarra ("guitar pasta"): sheets of egg dough are cut using a flat rolling pin on a wooden box with strings (hence the name "guitar"). Crêpes (called scrippelle) are rolled around savory fillings, dropped into broths, or layered with cheese, vegetables, and meat before baking. Polenta is usually enjoyed with a spicy sausage ragù or hearty meat sauce. In port cities, just-caught fish is marinated in a vinegary brine, and rich soups are concocted from dozens of types of fish. In the mountains, sheepherding remains a common way to make a living, so lamb, kid, sheep, and mountain goat are mainstays of the diet; wine, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary are favorite flavorings, especially when the source of heat is a lively wood fire. Many families still raise their own pigs, and free-roaming pigs yield flavorful, lean meat and tasty salumi (cured meats). Pastries tend to be unsophisticated: olive oil is often used instead of butter, nuts or dried fruit provide bulk and flavor, and sheep's milk ricotta, a favorite in central and southern Italy, shows up in fritters and sweet cakes.

Abruzzo Recipes

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