This summer vegetable soup from central Italy is celebrated in the Sezze recipe book where they describe it as the ‘soup of love’. Ideally it is made with all fresh produce from the field and garden. The addition of bread, eggs and cheese turn it into a meal.
The authors of Ti Racconto una Ricetta di Sezze (I’ll Tell You a Recipe of Sezze) describe the dish. ‘Bazzoffia is a spring soup typical of Sezze and Priverno, two villages of the Lepini Mountains that compete for the authorship of this dish. The bazzoffia, whose name recalls a certain heterogeneity of ingredients, is made with seasonal vegetables from the April season during which are the last artichokes, the first beans and new peas, as well as lettuce and chard. Today actually with availability all year round of ingredients it is possible to make it every day. The secret of the success of bazzoffia is the long but sweet cooking which leaves legumes and vegetables intact.’
- 1.5 litres water
- 300 g fresh peas
- 300 g fresh broad beans
- 250 g chard, chopped coarsely
- 4 eggs
- 12 artichoke hearts, cut into strips
- 170 g stale bread, sliced in four
- 120 g pecorino cheese, grated
- 100 g onion, chopped small
- 30 ml olive oil
- 5 g black pepper
- 5 g salt
Pour the oil into a large pot over a gentle heat, add the onion, peas and broad beans, stir to embrace the oil, add the artichokes and chard. Pour in the water and add salt. Cook covered over a low heat for 90 minutes.
When all the vegetables are cooked, poach the eggs in the broth. Place a slice of bread in each bowl, put a poached egg on top, pour the soup and sprinkle with cheese. Season.
- 3 litres water
- 1 kg beef chuck / neck, cut into pieces
- 1 kg veal bones
- 500 g beef bones with marrow
- 500 onions, chopped
- 125 g carrot, chopped
- 12 parsley stalks
- 2 celery stalks Seasonings
- 125 g pecorino cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 100 g chicken breast, cubed
- 100 g pork loin, cubed
- 50 g pork belly, cubed small
- 50 g prosciutto ham, cut into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 rosemary spears
- 4 sage leaves
- Nutmeg, very large pinch
- 300 g white durum wheat flour, t00
- 3-4 eggs
For the broth place all ingredients in a large pot with sufficient water to cover, gradually bring to a rolling boil. Remove scum that rises to the surface, reduce heat and simmer for three hours, strain (use about 350 ml per diner), freeze the unused broth, keep the meat for other uses. Pour flour onto a clean work surface, break eggs into the centre of the flour, work with a fork into a loose dough. Roll into a ball, set aside, covered, for 30 minutes. Sauté pork belly in a hot frying pan until the fat is released, add garlic, pork loin and chicken. Add the rosemary and sage, sauté for two minutes, leave to cool. Spoon this mixture into a bowl, add the prosciutto, pecorino, nutmeg, eggs and seasonings. Blend in a food processor, taste and adjust seasoning. Form the mixture into small balls about the size of a teaspoon. On a floured surface roll out and then stretch the dough thin. Using a glass with a 6 cm diameter cut rounds in the dough. Place the balls in the centre of the rounds, fold over, seal and twist edges together to form little hats (cappelletti). Heat the broth, add cappelletti and bring to a boil, cook for five minutes until it rises to the surface.
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Pesto has origins in several Italian regions. Like the pizza and its association with Naples, the most famous pesto is an iconic traditional dish of Genoa.
- 180 g parmigiano / grana padano, fine grated
- 120 ml olive oil
- 100 g basil leaves
- 60 g pecorino / sardoor / toscano, fine grated
- 4 garlic cloves
- 30 g pine nuts
- 10 g sea salt
Pound basil with garlic, about 30 leaves for every clove. Use salt to aid grinding.
When the mixture turns into a bright green liquid, add pine nuts. Pound until incorporated.
Add Italian cheese of your choice, then the oil a drop at a time until the consistency is just right.
Fresh pesto is dangerous. Use your imagination and don’t eat too much in one go.
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