I use Queen of Abruzzo cuisine Anna Teresa Callen’s recipe for Pasta fagioli con le cotiche all ‘Abruzzese in her wonderful English language recipe book Food & Memories of Abruzzo. She uses Italy’s most beautiful and tasty borlotti beans to make this traditional Abruzzo soupy bean stew.
For all those doubters that think you can do without the dare I say it the prosciutto or gammon skin don’t even think about it, you will end up losing the flavour that this unique dish has if you leave it out. It does take a while to make, so it’s great if you are snowbound or have a free evening. I personally think this Abruzzo starter is best made the day before and left to stand to let all the flavours gently infuse.
For the Beans
½ Kilo Dried Borlotti Beans
1 Gammon Ham Bone – if you can get a prosciutto bone all the better!
1 rib of celery with leaves (that’s a stalk for those who aren’t sure)
2 cloves of garlic peeled & smashed
2 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
250 gms prosciutto skin, take off the excess fat and cut into fine strips alternatively you can try smoked gammon skin
For the Sauce
1 thick slice of prosciutto cut into 4 pieces
1 medium size onion quartered
1 medium size carrot quartered cut into 4 pieces
1 rib of celery cut into 4 pieces
1 sprig of fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 250 gms can of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon tomato puree
150 gms of short stubby pasta like macaroni
Sam is a very lucky midlife mama to A who is 6 and she works as a self-employed freelance travel and food web content manager and copywriter. She is currently writing the book 'Abruzzo: Folk and Food.
She is the co-founder of the social enterprises: The Abruzzo Blogger Community and Let's Blog Abruzzo.
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my roots, both parents born in abruzzi,Sante Omera, i learned to cook from them, the dishes, i return to abruzzi every summer, i work in usa my soul is in mountains of abruzzi, your recipe is fine BUT you want to fast track the dried bean process. overnite soaking is needed, changing cold water a few times. i cring at the canned bean cooks, please no shortcuts, do not serve until 2nd day after you prepare so the beans can give their true flavor to the dish.
john di mondi