Gaeta, where the tradition of the sea meets that of the land in a local specialty: the tiella
Its colors are white and red. It has 100 churches and 7 wonderful beaches that have given the city the Blue Flag for some years.
Gaeta, almost al border between Lazio and Campania, has a historic center of medieval origin that can be reached on foot by crossing the Lungomare Caboto: the cathedral, not far from the port, presents contaminations of oriental and western styles while climbing towards the Temple of San Francesco, at the foot of Mount Orlando, it is possible to enjoy a suggestive panorama.
Entering through alleys, steep stairways, shops and trattorias, one is captivated by a fragrant trail: it is that of the typical dish of Gaeta, the tiella, with its various variations.
Here, unlike other areas of Italy such as Puglia or Teramo, the term tiella indicates a stuffed pizza. But very special indeed. Meanwhile, it must be said that it embraces land and sea because in Gaeta the exchange economy between fishermen and farmers has always been intense: the gulf is a true octopus nursery while the surrounding countryside, south of the so-called Agro Pontino, supply olives, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, escarole. All these raw materials of the territory go to stuff the double sheet of tiella which, over time, has seen its thickness reduced to the advantage of digestibility. And also of practicality since it has represented over the decades a sort of street food to be eaten in wedges.
The basic rule followed by chefs and pizza chefs is to work the vegetables raw with salt, in order to release excess water by osmosis.
Particularly suitable for the summer season, the recipe of Tiella di Polpi.
The recipe of the Tiella di Polpi
Put the yeast with the salt and oil in a bowl. Add the flour by hand until you get a homogeneous mixture. Wrap the dough in a cloth and let it rise for at least 30 minutes. Separately, prepare the filling by cutting the boiled octopus into small pieces and seasoned with olive oil, parsley, chilli and peeled tomatoes. Add the pitted olives. Take one half of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until you get a sheet less than one centimeter thick. Grease a round baking pan and line it with a disc of dough. Put the filling and cover with the second disc of dough pressing the edges. Bake the tiella at 180 degrees for at least 30 minutes until it turns golden. Serve lukewarm.
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