GASTRONOMICA TOUR OF ITALY: CAMPANIA

"In Napoli, where love is king...When boy meets girl, here's what they say...". Who doesn't know the famous song by Dean Martin, about one of the most famous Italian cities, Naples.

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If we were to emphasise the cuisine of Naples, indeed we could summarise it with a single adjective it would be “solar”.

The recipes from Campania represent the sum of food and wine culture which, starting from Naples, reaches all the provinces of this beautiful Italian region. A surplus of flavors, smells and colors that lead us on a seemingly endless journey from the iconic pizza.

Ingredients from the sea and from the land, recipes known all over the world and “family” secrets: all this and much more is the cuisine of Campania, a true triumph of goodness.

With its 450 typical products recognized at regional, national and community level, Campania cuisine can be considered as the first in Italy for variety and number of potential ingredients that can be used.

In fact, it is here that, historically, dishes and preparations such as pizza, tomato sauce (or sauce if you prefer), bronze drawn pasta (Gragnano is famous) and ice cream are born. Many of these, as well as being symbols of food in Campania, are often goodness associated with the whole of Italy.

A cuisine that has many arrows in its bow, from the artichoke of Paestum to the lemon of the Amalfi Coast, there are many traditional recipes from Campania that still enrich the daily tables and those of the party. Like pasta and potatoes, a full-bodied “almost soup” easy to prepare and rich in taste, the Neapolitan ragú, made with chunk of different meats instead of mince meat (learn more here) or the worldwide famous buffalo mozzarella.

Equally good are the mussels au gratin, which make this ingredient a real resource in terms of fish cooking, and the gnocchi alla Sorrentina, generally prepared in a tiella with a rich dose of cheese.

Campania has a very tasty series of selected and acquired foods. Fish, game, black truffles from Avellinate, olive oil and, of superb quality, fruit, vegetables and vegetables are chosen. Particular mention should be made of the tomatoes that right here (especially those of San Marzano are famous) have the best productions and uses.

Let’s discover together three of the most famous recipes from this fantastic region.

CROCCHÉ DI PATATE (POTATO CROCCHÉ)

INGREDIENTS FOR 8 PEOPLE

-1 Kg of potatoes

-4 eggs

-80 gr of butter

-5 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano

-5 tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano

-Bread crumbs for coating

-1 bunch of parsley

Flour as needed

-Coarse ground maize flour

smoked scamorza or provola

-Frying oil

Salt

 Crocche di patate potato crocche

 


HOW TO PREPARE IT

Take the potatoes, wash them well and boil them with all the peel in a pot of water.

Once the potatoes are boiled, peel them while still hot and mash them with a potato masher.

In a bowl, put some butter and mash it with a fork, then add the potatoes and two whole eggs. Then add the parmesan and grated pecorino. Mix everything well.

Meanwhile, wash the parsley and chop it. Add it to the dough. Taste and season with salt.

Take the smoked provolone or scamorza and cut it into cubes of about half a centimetre. Then take a portion of the potato mixture and form a croquette with your hands, taking care to insert a cube of provolone/scamorza in the center.

Coat the freshly made croquette in flour so that it dries on the surface. Take a container and fill it with a mixture of breadcrumbs and corn flour.

Break the remaining eggs, but use only the egg white. Beat the egg white in a container until foaming. Pass the floured crocchè first in the egg white and then in the breadcrumbs mixture.

Take a frying pan (or a deep fryer) and fry the crocchè, until they have a nice even golden color on the outside. Serve the crocchè piping hot.

GENOVESE

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

-320 g of pasta

-600 g Beef (round, magatello or lacerto)

-1 kg golden onions

-60 g celery

-60 g carrots

-1 sprig parsley

-1 bay leaf

-100 g white wine

Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Salt, to taste
-Black peppe, to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

 

HOW TO PREPARE IT

To prepare the Genoese, start by peeling the onions and slicing them thinly. Gradually transfer them to a container and go on to peel the carrot. Then chop finely and clean the celery, not throwing away the top leaves. Chop this too finely and set aside.

Move on to the meat, clean it of any excess fat and cut it into 5 large pieces.

Finally, pick up the celery tuft, add the parsley and bay leaf and tie with kitchen string thus creating the bouquet garni. Move to the stove. In a pan large enough to contain the onions, pour plenty of oil. Add the onions, celery, carrot and cook for a couple of minutes over low heat.

Then add the pieces of meat, a pinch of salt and the bouquet garni, mix and leave to flavour for a few minutes. Then lower the heat and cover with the lid. At this point the Genoese must cook for at least 3 hours; there is no need to add water or broth because the onions will release the necessary liquid so that the bottom does not dry out. It is however important to check and mix the Genoese from time to time.

After 3 hours, the Genoese must be balanced in its sweetness so you need to add the wine. First, however, remove the bouquet garni. Raise the heat slightly, add a part of the wine and stir.

Cook the meat without a lid for about an hour, stirring often and pouring in the wine as the bottom has dried. At this point, take a piece of meat and chop it on a cutting board and set aside. Finally, break the ziti and cook them in boiling salted water.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back in the pan. Add a few spoonfuls of cooking sauce and stir to mix.

Serve adding a little seasoning and crumbled meat to the pasta, pepper and grated Parmesan to taste and your pasta seasoned with Genoese is ready.

BABÁ AL RUM (RUM BABÁ)

INGREDIENTS FOR 15 BABA

-125 g of flour

-50 g of butter

-2 whole eggs (large)

-1 yolk

-15 g of milk

-15 g of sugar

-15 g of fresh yeast

-a pinch of salt

FOR THE SYRUP

-500 g of water

-250 g of sugar

-250 g of rum

-1 lemon

Baba al rum

HOW TO PREPARE IT

Start preparing the rum baba, briefly mixing flour and yeast in the mixer with the hook, or by hand. Add milk, eggs and yolk, previously mixed and work for a few minutes until it is homogeneous. To avoid the formation of lumps, add the egg and milk mixture while the planetary mixer is running or, if you work by hand, keep stirring.
Add the sugar and mix. Finally add the salt and butter, softened at room temperature. The dough should be soft, almost liquid.

Transfer the dough into a pastry bag. Pour it into the molds, filling up to about 1 cm from the edge. Let it rise for about 30 minutes at a temperature of 30 ° (in the oven off, with the light on).
The dough must come out of the molds, forming a dome.

Bake at 180 ° in a preheated convection oven for about 13 minutes. The babas are ready when they are easily removed from the mold. You can cut the bottom of a baba and check the honeycomb of the dough. Unmold and allow to cool well.

Prepare the syrup: in a saucepan, heat the water, sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, then strain. Add the rum. Transfer the syrup to a bowl and, when it is still hot, completely immerse the baba for a few moments. Drain on a wire rack for cakes.

If you wish, you can brush the babas with warm jam to taste, to make them shiny. Let them rest in the fridge for about 1 hour before serving to enjoy them at their best. Before being soaked, the rum babas can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or in the freezer, until the evening before use, tightly closed in a food bag.

BUON APPETITO!

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