Abruzzo regional recipes

Pallott’ casc e ova (egg and cheese balls)

This is another tasty recipe typical of Abruzzo, available as usual in many different versions. As you can easily imagine from the name, this is a mixture of eggs and as much cheese as required to make the compound compact enough to allow you modeling it by hands.

As soon as the mixture is ready, you can take little portion of it and roll in order to form little balls that can be cooked in a fresh sauce of tomato and basil.

We’ve seen some recipes around the web suggesting the use of Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano; however, as you can imagine, this recipe is part of the “poor” Abruzzese tradition that was aiming to use only local products. For this reason, if you want eat traditional “Pallot casce e ova”, you should look for the one’s made with “cow cheese” (we appreciate that Grana or Parmiggiano are made by the same milk, but the taste of the local dairy product is totally different – a bit savory).

Pallot’ casc e ova represents a good main course and usually three balls each are enough considering that you won’t be eating them alone as it is likely you to use slices of fresh bread to sip in the tomato sauce.

Caggionetti

These are one of the most moreish Abruzzo’s Christmas treat than everything else, whose tradition progressively abandoned makes it today possible to taste all year round.

Caggionetti are little parcels with yummy stuffing of chocolate, chestnuts, almonds, rum, lemon zest, cinnamon & honey enclosed within a paper-thin case that you can enjoy in two different versions: fried or oven cooked.

The pasta layer of the fried version is much thinner than and made only with flour and white wine than the one cooked in the oven. And if apparently this makes you comfortable while counting the calories, well remember that they are still fried.

On the opposite, the oven-cooked version requires lard to make the case crispy once cooked, so no way to escape from your dietician indulgence or from a direct confrontation with the scale on your return.

The recipe is one of the most time-consuming across the entire Abruzzo cookbook because the fillings need to be prepared one day ahead and left to marinate; also, pretty much like “ravioli”, each caggionetto is manually prepared and sealed.

Remember, each family, village town and city will have slightly different interpretations of the recipe, so it will be very difficult to resist trying all of them (unless you are not allergic to nuts).

Parrozzo

Parrozzo has a very humble beginning. The name derives from simple bread made by Abruzzese shepherds that at the time was called “Pane Rozzo”.

It was only in 1920 that a pastry-chef from Pescara named Luigi D’Amico further re-elaborated the recipe and came up with the actual tasty cake, a long-lasting round loaf of bread made from maize.

Again, Parrozzo results to be a typical Christmas cake, but the modern culinary industry make it available also during the other period of the year in ready to export abroad.

If we would like to describe the Parrozzo try to think to sweet bread, baked in the shape of dome, created with eggs, ground almonds, lemon, semolina, yellow corn flour (to depict the color of the maize). The final result is a crumbed but tender cake, coated with melted chocolate that makes Parrozzo a showstopper.

Although it is unlikely being able to find the same quality ingredients outside the Italian border, we have been able to find this illustrated recipe that can help you a lot if you want to impersonate the Italian pastry-chef.

Nevole

This is a typical sweet from Ortona you can find only here and nowhere else. This is a sweet thin waffle made mainly from cooked grape must, flour and extravirgin olive oil aromatized with anise seeds.

Nevole mixture is cooked on a special two sides red-hot “slab grill” filled in with small portions of compound; the grill that is always kept on the hob, is turned up side down after a little while in order to obtain the tiny waffle that must be removed and quickly rolled forming a little cone before the waffle become cold.

Nevole can be served as it is or perhaps filled in with lovely fresh Italian custard.

As for the history, Nevole are found since the XV century, which cooking process common with another typical Abruzzese sweet called “pizzélle” (most known in the rest of Italy as “Ferratelle”).