A few days ago I had my friend Lara from the Masseria Arenazza in Monopoli on the phone. She told me that her hands were hurting from cleaning thousands and thousands of artichokes, for their conserves and tapenades. When the artichokes arrive fresh from the fields, they have to be prepared immediately. This way they stay fresh, crunchy and more tasty.
Lara and Lucia, her mother, together with the other women of Arenazza, prepare every day all the hand-crafted vegetables for the Arenazza conserves and tapenades.
At the end of March the artichokes are prepared. All the preparation is done by hand; the best organic cultivated artichokes from the variety Brindisi are first cleaned, then boiled, and after that, put into jars and covered with olive oil EV.
The result; a delicious hand crafted artichoke in extra virgin olive oil !
I really admire these women. They not only prepare the artichokes, but all the other vegetables too…every day of the year. Thanks to them I can taste a bit of Puglia at home the whole year around !
Thank you Lara and family!
Organic artichokes variety of Brindisi
The fresh artichokes are all cleaned by hand immediately.
The outer leaves are taken off.
Every single artichoke, thousands and thousands, are cleaned in this way by the women of Arenazza.
The cleaned artichokes are cooked .
After the cooking they are cut in pieces and put one by one in the jars.
The artichokes are then covered with extra virgin olive oil.
READY FOR ON OUR TABEL
In the recipe of this simple and delicious carrot cake, I used olive oil instead of butter. It makes the structure of this cake soft and the taste great !
200 g flour self raising
180 ml EV Olive Oil
200 g brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
180 g grated carrots
zest of half an orange
- In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, zest of half an orange and the olive oil.
- Add the eggs one by one and beat with a mixer for 10 minutes.
- Add the grated carrots.
- Gently mix in the flour and cinnamon.
- Pour the dough into a cake form, previously buttered and lightly dusted with some flour. If you use a silicon form you don’t need to butter and dust it.
- Bake in a preheated oven 175° for about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool down in the form for 10 minutes. Then turn on a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Buon appetito !
Orecchiette is the typical pasta of Puglia.
The pasta form looks like little shells and is often prepared with a delicious Sauce of Cime di Rape.
But this kind of Pasta is irresistible with a simple tomato sauce, like the Fiaschetto one and some Cacioricotta cheese also.
The best is the home-made orecchiette of course.
It looks so simple to make, but I’ve tried and can guarantee you it needs a lot of practice before having orecchiette without any holes and looking like Orecchiette
Here a video I’ve filmed during my Orecchiette cooking course, to help you on the way.
400 g durum wheat fine semola flour
1 dl warm water
a pinch of salt
A very nice traditional antipasto from Puglia with mussels.
- 1 kg mussels
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 80 g dry breadcrumbs
- 40 g grated parmesan cheese
- 4 spoons of EV olive oil Lanzilotti
- 3 spoons parsley finely chopped
Clean the mussels very well; scrub the shell and wash under running water. Discard all open or damaged mussels, take of the”beard”.
Put the mussels into a pan, add 1 garlic clove, 1 spoon of chopped parsley, some chili and half a cup of water.
Bring to a boil over high heat until the mussels open (a few minutes).
Take of the empty halves and put the shells containing the mussel on a tray.
Filter the cooking water and keep a part.
Put the breadcrumbs, parmesan, rest of the parsley, finely chopped garlic, EV Olive oil in a bowl. Mix well and add as much of the mussel cooking water until you have a moist mixture not to dry and not to liquid!
Top every mussel with a bit of the breadcrumb mixture and press.
Bake the mussels until they are golden brown in a pre-heated oven 200 ° (about 8 minutes )
Serve immediately ! Buon Appetito !
- 250g flour
- 150g sugar
- 150g butter
- 1 egg
- zest of one lemon (grated)
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 2 pears
- 100g sugar
- 1 egg
- 25g butter
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
For the dough: Remove the butter and eggs from the refrigerator half hour in advance.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, the grated lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Add the egg. Let the dough wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for half an hour.
The filling: Peel the pears and cut into small pieces. Melt the butter and 2 tablespoons sugar (taken from the 100 g) melt in a non-stick skillet. Add the chopped pear and cinnamon. Leave the pears caramelize for 3-5 minutes . Put the pears in a colander and keep the cinnamon butter sauce.
Mix the ricotta with the remaining sugar and the egg and add the caramelized pears, add a spoon of cinnamon-butter sauce.
Place 2/3 of the dough in a greased pie plate, don’t forget the edges!
Pour the ricotta mixture into it. Use the remaining dough for the decoration.
Bake the crostata in about 40 minutes at 180 °
Buon Appetito !
If you like cakes, try also this one Carrot Cake with olive oil !
Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilipeppers…a classic recipe, simple but always tasty, especially when eating it toghether with your friends and drinking a nice glass of red wine!
or use the ready spices:
Spaghettata Pugliese spices
Heat the olive oil together with the crushed garlic (or the the Spaghettata Pugliese spices) in a large saute pan. Pay attention not to burn the garlic, it will become bitter. Add the peperoncino as much as you can handle.
In another saute pan bake the breadcrumbs in some olive oil until they become crispy.
Cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain the spaghetti and transfer the pasta into the saute pan with the spicy olive oil. Toss everything for 1 minute. Serve immediately!
Add the crispy breadcrumbs on your plate