About salentine traditional dishes
The cuisine of Salento is based on poor kitchen: historically dishes derived from the land ingredients. A land rich in vegetables, durum wheat, and olives.
A very traditional dish is “Sagne Ncannulate”, twisted noodles with tomato sauce, ricotta cheese and basil. Another typical dish is named: “ciceri e tria”, a kind of hand-made mixed with chickpeas and seasoned with Salento olive oil. Orecchiette and little macaroni (minchiareddhi) are a genuine dish, very tasty when served with vegetable or meat.
There are fish dishes such as “lu purpu alla pignata” (stewed Octopus cooked in a typical terracotta container).
Another fish dish is “taieddhra” consisting of mussels stuffed and fried black, then put in the oven with potatoes; such as the ‘rape nfucate’ (stewed broccoli with the addition of chilli), beans, chickpeas, homemade pasta such as the ‘sagne ncannulate’, ‘minchiareddhi’, and ‘ricchiteddhe’ accompanied by fresh ricotta cheese.
A very traditional dish is stewed horsemeat and “turcinieddi” which are the heart, liver, lungs, and spleen seasoned with salt, pepper, & parsley, then wrapped together with its intestines and grilled. Bombette are more suited for those who shy away from the offal bits. it is a roll pounded veal around breadcrumbs, seasoning, cheese and possibly some type of cured meat.
Among the baked goods are the “pizzi leccesi” or “pizzionguli”, which is a variant scèblasti typical of Greek Salento and a soft round bun called “puccia” : it contains tomatoes, onions and Leccese olives,but there is the version with only olives. Typical of the Salento is also the focaccia stuffed potatoes, Pitta .
The dessert of Salento is the “pasticciotto”. A shortbread crust, typically made with lard instead of butter, encases pastry cream. Sometimes amarena cherries are added to the cream. It’s delicious ! The spumone is a house specialty:it’s a mix of vanilla and chocolate gelato with a thin layer of crumbled chocolate cookie between them.