Italy’s rich and varied gastronomy has evolved from a long culinary tradition that reflects the great variety of its different regions. Italians have managed to uphold and update ancient recipes that continue to delight locals and visitors alike.
Some examples of authentic dishes are the Bucatini all’Amatriciana from Amatrice, a town 100 miles away from Rome which has an altitude of 2,800 feet; the Piemontese Roast with Vegetables, a recipe from the Piedmont that highlights the varied and tasty gastronomy of this part of Italy, and finally the Arancini, one of the great specialties of Sicilian cuisine, which consists of rice balls in the shape of small oranges, filled with different products. In this case we offer you the recipe for the Arancini Tirolesi, a variety that includes speck, a smoked sausage characteristic of the north of Italy.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 oz. of pecorino (sheep cheese)
12 oz. of tomato sauce
1 hot chilli
14 oz. of bucatini (a type of pasta)
7 oz. of guanciale (as an alternative you can use jowl bacon)
Cut the guanciale into small cubes and brown it in olive oil. Add the chilli, tomato sauce and salt and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat. Boil the bucatini, and when al dente, drain and mix with sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and black pepper. If you want a tastier sauce: brown the guanciale with chopped onion and add a little white wine over high heat until it evaporates, and proceed as described above.
Piemontese Roast with Vegetables
2 lbs. of finely chopped veal
1 cup beef broth,
1 glass of Barolo red wine
2 oz. of bacon
a pinch of black pepper
½ glass of cognac
1 small onion, minced
mashed potatoes and broccoli
Season meat with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a bowl with the brandy and let it marinate for two hours. Sauté the bacon in a pan. Drain the meat and brown it in the bacon fat and butter. Add wine, cognac and vegetables. After evaporation, roast in a 400° F oven for one hour. The meat should be very tender and juicy. In the meantime, prepare the side of seasonal vegetables sautéing them for a few minutes, then place them in the oven for 10 minutes at 300° F. Serve with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
3.5 oz. Carnaroli rice
a pinch of saffron
1 hardboiled egg
1 raw egg
2.5 oz. of speck sausage
Boil rice with water and a little salt and set aside. In a pan, sauté the finely sliced leek with thin strips of Specken and add a pinch of saffron. Mix everything with the cooked rice, adding freshly grated parmesan cheese, the hardboiled egg, and the raw egg. Shape the mixture into large balls using your hands, and coat them with the breadcrumbs and egg before frying. A good arancini should have a hard crust, and must be eaten hot. The word arancini comes from arancia which means orange in Italian, and this dish bears its name because of its typical shape and color reminiscent of the fruit that results from the use of saffron. ■