A tomato and vinegar sauce, typical both in Sardinia and in Liguria. A recipe that encompasses the taste of the Mediterranean, in all its nuances and contaminations, and which perfectly enhances fish dishes – as in the recipe of tuna meatballs with adjiadda by chef Carlo Biggio
L'aggiadda (also called agliata), is a preparation based on tomato, vinegar, capers, bay leaf and garlic. An ancient recipe, originally from Liguria, where in the past it was used by fishermen to preserve local fish or to season it, in particular fried or roasted fish.
Almost a carpione, was born as a poor and useful dish, with which fish was preserved especially in summer, before the advent of refrigerators. The recipe that is called aggiadda in Liguria was imported to Sardinia by the tabarkini, a people of Ligurian navigators who colonized in 1500 theTabarka island, Tunisia, and then settled permanently in the south of Sardinia, on the islands of San Pietro and Sant’Antioco. Still today the inhabitants of Carloforte and Calasetta, the two main municipalities of these islands, proudly define themselves as Tabarkini and carry on the traditions of their Ligurian origins, from the Ligurian dialect to the gastronomic identity, which encompasses all the contaminations between the territories it has passed through . In particular, many Ligurian recipes are found in the cuisine of the Sulcis islands, from pesto to Genoese focaccia, up to aggiadda; but also Arabs such as couscous.
The tabarkina tradition in these islands is also carried out by young interpreters of local cuisine. Among these, for passion and commitment to the territory, it stands out Carlo Biggio. Carlo is a 34-year-old chef, born in Calasetta where he still lives after a series of professional experiences between Spain, Ireland, Poland and Luxembourg, in high-level restaurants, but also as a private chef. Thanks to a cuisine with a strong Sardinian identity and in particular tabarkina, he has been a guest of several culinary and regional television programs and international competitions where he has represented Italy and its territory. After several years he returned to Calasetta, a little out of nostalgia and a little to put his experience into action: thus the Mamma Fina Gastronomy was born, a tribute to his mother and to the passion for cooking that he was able to convey to Carlo. In gastronomy, home cooking is concentrated between traditional Tabarkina dishes and Italian cuisine, with local ingredients, primarily fish and its accompanying sauces. Aggiadda is one of its specialties.
The recipe: crispy tuna and aggiadda meatball
The Aggiadda can be easily made at home and enjoyed as an accompanying sauce with fried or roasted fish, but also raw on bread bruschetta to feel all its aromatic taste. Carlo Biggio offers it in combination with tuna, the Carlofortino ingredient par excellence.
Ingredients for 4 people
1 kg of ripe bunch tomatoes 500 g of tomato sauce
40 white vinegar
15 g salt
chilies to taste
40 g capers
3 clove of garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and put them together with all the other raw ingredients in a saucepan and cook for 25 minutes on a low heat, reaching the desired density.
Ingredients for tuna meatballs
300 g of fresh tuna 100 g of stale bread 250 ml of milk
50 g of pecorino
1 tablespoon of capers
breadcrumbs to taste
Stir the previously chopped tuna in a pan for a few minutes, together with the capers.
Soak the stale bread in the milk, squeeze it and add it to the tuna, and add the pecorino, marjoram, egg and a part of breadcrumbs. Form the meatballs and pass them in the remaining breadcrumbs, then in the beaten egg and again in the breadcrumbs, forming a double breading.
Fry the meatballs in hot oil, dry them and serve them on the aggiadda, in a bowl.
L'Aggiadda in glass vases
The recipe of the aggiadda by Carlo Biggio, for its authenticity and ability to tell a territory, was chosen from the Bonverre line and included among the author's recipes in glass. The recipes, kept in the hermetic purity of a glass jar, which guarantees a minimum expiration of two years without any addition of preservatives, can thus travel through time, arriving even in distant territories and maintaining the original taste. Together with other Bonverre sauces and recipes, it is available for sale in selected stores throughout Italy and on the Atmosfera Italiana gastronomic e-commerce.