The 7 things you need to know about the trianata. Including the recipe and a secret to making it the way you like it. But only after you understand what it is …
If you have never heard of the trianata, the time has come to recover.
1. Only in Surbo
The trianata is a baked specialty only and exclusively of Surbo, a town of about 15 thousand inhabitants in the province of Lecce. Already a few kilometers away no one knows what it is, both in the city and in neighboring villages. This is because the trianata it is one of those few dishes that has remained closely linked to its place of origin, with which surbini identify more than anything else.
2. Surbo, a land of bakers
If the trianata is being prepared in Surbo it is no coincidence. Surbo, in fact, is a country strongly characterized by the presence of bakers, who have made history here. But in the past things were not like today: the families did not have a private oven at home and used the common one in every district. "When the baker lit it," the lady tells us Maria Leone, surbina doc, «he knocked on doors saying: 'Temper the bread (ie knead), temper the bread!'. It was then Maria's father, Vincenzo, known as 'Nzinu', who changed this tradition and established a fixed time for bringing the bread to be baked, in order to avoid the baker from going through all the houses. Once the oven was lit, as many products as possible were made to cook. For this reason, the trianata, as well as the various tajeddhre, was originally prepared when making bread, also because the dough is the same. Alternatively, it was also made with what remained of the sagne 'ncannulate, a rolled pasta seasoned with the sauce that is the dish par excellence for Sunday lunch in Salento. In fact, the name trianata derives from tria, the same as the ciceri, which is nothing more than fresh homemade pasta.
3. A pop plate
For all these reasons, trianata is certainly not a dish to eat alone. The trianata is a small moment of celebration, it is the oven on, it is a pan to be shared with several people. In short, one of those preparations with a strong social charge. In fact, those few who are left to make it today eat it with family, friends or take it to neighbors. And we can assure you that there is nothing more welcome than a neighbor who brings you some trianata.
4. Don't rush
To make the trianata it takes time, care, dedication, love. It is by no means a fast dish, which is why hardly anyone does it anymore and finding it is rare. So, if this happens to you, know that you are lucky and show yourself grateful to those who prepared it for you. If, on the other hand, you can't get invited to a surbino's house, the only oven that makes it (only to order) is the family-run bakery Voglia di Pane di Martina Marco, where it is prepared just like in the past and strictly baked in the oven. wood.
5. Ingredients as required
But what is there in the trianata? We tell you, but don't start asking and stressing one of Surbo about the quantities: the doses are those that are enough, by eye, also because everyone does it rightly as he likes, like all traditional dishes of respect. The basic ingredients are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, semolina flour, black olives, water, oil, salt, yeast and herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. And if you like, for those who want, a little pecorino.
6. The recipe
We give you the recipe. But don't spread it too much: the surbini are rightly jealous of their trianata.
Slice potatoes and onions and soak them in water.
Prepare a mixture of semolina flour, water, salt and brewer's yeast, just like for bread (this is the heart of the preparation).
Obtained from the dough of pizzicatelli, that is, long strips like elongated maccaruni, similar to sagne (some also make trianata with the sagne themselves).
Mix potatoes, onions, black olives, rosemary, bay leaf, parsley and thyme (Maria says it looks great).
Arrange a layer of the mix of potatoes, onions and olives on a "taieddha" lightly greased with extra virgin olive oil, with some chopped tomatoes. To taste, sprinkle with a sprinkling of grated pecorino. Then arrange a layer with the maccaruni bread and repeat the operation for the second and last time.
Place in a convection oven at 180 degrees and cook until ready, without asking too many questions.
Finally, do not make any controversy if you prepare it differently: it is normal, it is called home cooking because every house, fortunately, is different from the other. Just like every hand, every oven, every tradition that is handed down.
7. The secret
The trianata has a secret: it contains the triumph of simplicity, the ability and genius to make great things and flavors starting from common ingredients and (almost) always present at home. In each layer, different tastes and textures alternate continuously, from that of the bread above, which remains (and must remain) crunchy, to the one below, hidden by the colors of potatoes and tomatoes, wet and intoxicated by their juice. , just like in one of the best shoes.
In short, every bite of trianata is a journey, not far away, but for this very reason so precious.