Carne di capra alla vutana [Bova-style goat’s meat]
La carne di capra alla vutana is the way goat’s meat is most frequently cooked in the Bova district.
Cut the goat into small pieces, sauté it in oil in a deep pan and then sprinkle it with abundant quantities of wine vinegar. Cook until there is no liquid left in the pan. Transfer the meat into a saucepan (which by tradition should be a tin-coated copper pot), with an onion and a bouquet garnis, brown in white wine until the liquid evaporates completely. After that, add chopped tomatoes from which all the seeds have been removed and some tomato purée diluted in lukewarm water. Simmer for five or six hours. Serve the meat, from which all the sauce has been strained, with boiled baby potatoes.
Frittole e Curcùci [Offal of pork and rind]
Frittole are a typical dish from the Reggio-Calabria district, made from pork offal and trimmings. A popular traditional dish, it is made from rind and the parts of the pig that remain after the prime and second cuts have been exploited. These include trotters, bones, ears, the snout, the tail, kidneys and stomach, because, traditionally, the poor never threw food of any kind away. This food is generally prepared on the occasion of some popular celebration or other. The offal, covered in the fatty parts of the pig, is simmered for several hours in a copper pot placed on ash and embers. The contents of the pot are stirred with a long wooden spoon with a cross-shaped slit in its bowl. After simmering for over seven hours, a piping-hot platter is sent to the neighbours as a sign of friendship and respect.
Curcùci are simply small pieces of frittole that have remained in the bottom of the pot. These are preserved in suet and salt in glass jars.
The rind of the pig, cleansed of bristle and other impurities, is cut into pieces of about 10-15 centimetres, washed in warm water and then boiled in water and salt in a copper pot (a caddara– the cauldron). When still chewy, they are removed from the hob and allowed to cool; later they are put in earthenware jars (salaturi) and covered in suet,
Pisci Stoccu a gghiotta [mouth-watering stockfish]
U pisci stòccu is a derivative of stockfish, that is, Norwegian dried cod, which after being caught and cured, is exported worldwide. It is the basis of several dishes typical of the province of Reggio Calabria. It is cooked and eaten having been reconstituted in fresh running water for at least three days. When it is soft, it is pounded and cleaned, and then used to prepare several dishes. This particular dish was usually prepared for dinner on Christmas Eve, a fast day, that is, a day when Catholics were forbidden to eat meat.
Clean and wash the stockfish – previously steeped and reconstituted and ready for cooking – cut into large, dry pieces. Having browned a large chopped onion in a pan, add the pieces of floured stockfish. Let them simmer and when they are golden, add chopped tomatoes (fresh if possible), pitted olives, capers, pine nuts and a few raisins. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. In the meantime, boil whole potatoes in salted water, drain when still a little hard, peel and cut them into thick slices. In a casserole greased with oil, place in a single layer of potatoes, then the stockfish and the tomato sauce; add two bay leaves and a few tablespoons of hot water and place the baking tin in a hot oven for 25 minutes. Serve directly from the casserole .
Pisci spata ‘rustùtu cu’sarmorìgghiu [Roast swordfish with a spiced oil dip]
This dish is typical of both Calabrian and Sicilian cuisine. Swordfish, especially in Calabria, is known as the pinocchio della Costa Viola [ Pinocchio of the Purple Coast] as it is a fish in great demand and one of the undisputed princes of Calabrian cuisine, not only because of the delicate flavour of its flesh, but also because of the folk rituals associated with catching it. It is seasoned with salmoriglio, a dip made from oil and spices.
Prepare the sauce (salmoriglio) by mixing oil, garlic, chopped parsley, oregano, lemon juice and salt together. Leave the raw swordfish slices to marinate in this dip for a few hours. Then grill the fish on a grid and serve it garnished with the previously prepared sarmoriglio.
Purpitti i carni [Meatballs]
This dish used to be eaten, according to tradition, during Carnevale [the period between the 17th January and Ash Wednesday], but also at Sunday lunch, when the numerous members of a family sat down together. In this case the sauce in which the meatballs were cooked was used to season pasta.
Mix the minced meat in a bowl with eggs, breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and parsley, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Roll pieces of the mixture into little balls, flour and brown them in oil and, when they are properly browned, pour some white wine into the pan, and cook the meatballs until all the wine has evaporated. At this point add tomato pulp and cook it until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve piping hot.