When the garden goes under glass … is on sale in September – Italian Cuisine


There is ciambotta and there is donut. Do not confuse them, they are related, but not the same. The first is one of the best known dishes of the tradition of our South, a very tasty mix of vegetables that varies in composition, cutting and cooking from Abruzzo to Molise, from Campania to Calabria, to Basilicata.

182336The second is a preserve that prepare the women of Grottaminarda, a small town in the province of Avellino, alone and only there. They share the peasant origin and the vegetables from the garden.

Few ingredients are needed for the donut to acquire its exceptional flavor: tomatoes, preferably long type San Marzano, which were once collected and placed on the ground covered to ripen completely, basil, salt, chilli and above all a particular type of pepper that grows only on site and gives the preparation the quid which makes it unique. Small, spherical, 6-8 cm in diameter, dark green in color, it reaches the maximum fragrance and the right ripeness in this period.

Tradition has it that the night before i peppers are cut into not too small strips and left in a cool place. In the morning it's time for the tomatoes, cut into wedges and placed in the jar with the proportion of two wedges each piece of pepper and then a few leaves of basil, salt, chilli and so on up to the top. Once closed, the jar will follow the fate of the classic tomato paste, covered with water in a saucepan to boil over moderate heat for 60 minutes.

The beauty, or rather the good, comes later. Because his love marriage is with pasta (but nothing forbids new experiments with eggs and meat). The preserves poured into a pan with oil and garlic will be cooked for about half an hour and then will tastefully season the typical homemade Irpina pasta: cicatielli. That is i durum wheat semolina cavatelli that the tradition of "handmade" requires in several versions: one finger, two fingers, three fingers depending on the technique used for get out or cecare the various cylinders of fresh pasta. THE cecatielle with ciambuttèlla they were once served in the spasetta a large plate placed in the center of the table, often the only one in peasant families, from which everyone served. In the absence of the original cavatelli, industrial ones are also good, or other short pasta, including paccheri. As for cheese, it shouldn't be added, but who has tried a sprinkling of cacioricotta he has not repented.

The donut is now included in the list of traditional products of the gastronomy of the Campania Region, but it cannot be bought, it does not exist on the market even in Grottaminarda: it is made by private individuals and given to friends. So all that remains is to go there to make new friends … disinterested.

Laura Maragliano
on Sale & Pepe of September 2020

This recipe has already been read 285 times!

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