Sharing Puglia : Delicious, Simple Food from Undiscovered Italy
Puglia is the secret that Italians have kept to themselves. They flock there in summer to swim in the Adriatic and Ionian seas; to stay in the villages perched on limestone sea cliffs or fishing towns with cobbled lanes and whitewashed houses; and to devour the legendary Pugliese food. Blessed with year-round sun, Puglia is a produce paradise brimming with fruit orchards, vegetable fields, the freshest seafood and the best olive oil in all of Italy. The Pugliese cucina povera, 'food of the poor', is renowned for its simplicity, ingenuity and deliciousness. A few simple ingredients and a few simple steps are all that are needed to create sublime, flavour-packed dishes. Even Puglia's famed pasta is made with just flour and water. Think orecchiette with broccoli rabe; ciceri e tria (tagliatelle with chickpeas); cavatelli with cherry tomatoes and rocket; carciofi fritti (fried artichokes); Gallipoli-style rigatoni with prawns; rice, potato and mussel tiella; fennel and potato bake; farro with beans, chickpeas and mussels; tomato and mozzarella panzerotti; braised oxtail with lentils; slow roasted goat with fried polenta; hazelnut and chocolate cake; and zeppole - sweet doughnuts with cream. One taste of this little-known region of Italy and you'll be imagining you are by the seaside, listening to the water lap against limestone cliffs.
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