BASILICATA: The Birthplace of Pasta
This month our food tour took us to Basilicata, a beautiful region in southern Italy, rich in mountains, woods, and coasts. We have already shown you Matera, a 2019 European cultural capital, but there is much more to see in this region.
THE HOME OF PASTA
Did you know that some of the earliest records of the existence of pasta were recorded in Basilicata?
Today, there are many types of pasta in the region, some of which are hard to find in other parts of Italy. The most iconic pasta from Basilicata is orecchiette, also popular in Puglia. These homemade ‘little ears’ are often dressed in vegetable-based sauces. Another kind is Lucane Chiappute, similar to tagliatelle. They are long, very thick noodles that look like bucatini. Lucane Chiappute pair well with a simple Potenza ragu.
POTENZA AND RAGù
Potenza is the capital city of Basilicata. It is known not just for its unique beauty, but also for its unique ragù recipe, unlike the more well-known ragù recipe from Emilia Romagna. Potenza’s ragù is dialectically named 'ndruppeche. This chunky tomato sauce features seared beef and pork, stewed for hours to create a deliciously soft texture.
BASILICATA’S CUCINA POVERA: PANCOTTI
Basilicata is a fairly poor region of Italy, historically isolated from trade and politics. Its social reality affected the diet of its people: recipes are made with rustic ingredients like fresh vegetables and fresh fish (especially tuna, anchovies, and sardines). A popular dish of this cucina povera is the Pancotto, a brothy soup with onions, pepper, eggs, and pieces of bread. The soup should be served poured over toasted slices of bread.
There are many more recipes from this region and many more places to discover. Don’t forget to visit our the rest of our blog to be a part of Italy’s vast culinary tradition.
- Donatella Mulvoni