Re-create the Pope’s Italian trip with these easy recipes!

Re-create the Pope’s Italian trip with these easy recipes!

When Pope Francis travels, eating local cuisine has become a constant for him, especially within Italy. But because the Pontiff isn’t really one for luxury, you can say that delectable, no-frills local fare is right up his alley! At the same time, he supports the farm-to-table movement: that is, dishes that use ingredients that are produced and cooked in their territory of origin.

We chart his culinary journey through the different regions of the Bel paese or “the beautiful country” – and allow you to partake in the dining with these easy recipes!  

 

Also Read: Tinapa Recipes: Three Ways to Cook Andres Bonifacio’s Favorite Food

 

Region: Lampedusa
Recipe: AMBERJACK AU GRATIN

Amberjack is a kind of fish common in the island of Lampedusa, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy. (Photo from cdkitchen.com)

 

Ingredients:

  • 900 g amberjack fish
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 2 spoons grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • oil
  • white wine
  • salt
  • parsley for garnish

 

Preparation for 4:

  1. Slice the amberjack into four fillets. In a bowl, place the breadcrumbs, finely chopped garlic, sliced small onion, grated pecorino cheese, and a pinch of salt. Mix it well, but it must not be too thick. Place the amberjack fillets in a roasting pan and sprinkle the flavored breadcrumbs.
  2. Sprinkle white wine, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and leave it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.
  3. Add a slice of lemon and some parsley and serve.

 

Region: Tuscany
Recipe: RIBOLLITA

A famous Tuscan bread soup, Ribollita is a hearty and nourishing stew usually made with leftover bread, beans, and vegetables. (Photo from farmdrop.com)

 

Ingredients:

  • 350 g dried cannellini beans
  • 250 g cabbage
  • 300 g beets
  • 300 g kale
  • 300 chard
  • 220 g stale bread
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 180 g peeled tomatoes
  • 1 potato
  • 80 g onion
  • 80 g carrot
  • 100 g celery
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • chili

 

Preparation for 4:

  1. Soak beans in water for 24 hours.
  2. After soaking, cook for one hour over low fire with garlic and rosemary.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Set aside one portion of the beans and blend the remaining three portions.
  5. In a sauce pan, stir-fry the carrot, celery, and onion and add the potato cut into cubes.
  6. Crush the tomatoes and place them in the sauce pan, then cut the cabbage, kale, and beet. Place them in the pot, adding the blended beans, and let liquid boil for 45 minutes.
  7. Add salt and spices and all the beans you set aside.
  8. Slice some bread, place each slice on a plate. Pour soup over bread and serve.

 

Region: Caserta
Recipe: PASTIERA

Pastiera is a type of Neapolitan tart made with cooked wheat, eggs, ricotta cheese, and orange flower water. It is usually eaten during Easter. (Photo from granarolo.it)

 

Ingredients:

Cake pastry:

  • 315 g 00 flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 180 g lard
  • 135 g sugar

 

Filling:

  • 250 g milk
  • 350 g cooked wheat grain
  • 30 g lard
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 400 g ricotta
  • 350 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 g candied citron
  • 15 g orange blossom water
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean

 

Preparation for 8:

  1. Knead the ingredients for the cake pastry until you get a smooth pat, then wrap in Cling Wrap and leave in the refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Cook in a small pot for 20 minutes the milk, wheat grain, lard, and the lemon rind until mixture becomes creamy.
  3. Combine the ricotta with sugar using a whip or spatula. Add eggs, wheat grain, vanilla seeds, and cubed candied citron, and insert the orange blossom water and cinnamon.
  4. Roll the dough in a pan, place the filling, cover it with dough strips, and bake in the oven at 180oC for 80 minutes.

 

Text by Matteo Valsecchi with the My Pope team.
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