The food you find on the Puglian table is, in large part, determined by the selection of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables available. The month of May finds the greengrocer's shops full of fresh peas and fava beans. If you're looking for a new way to get your complex carbohydrates, try these lovely legumes in two different dishes. Both recipes combine seafood – we are in Puglia, of course! - and garden fresh goods. You could even prepare the two recipes for a complete Puglian-style meal featuring a first and second course.
Orecchiette Con Piselli, Orata e Carciofi
(Typical Puglian Pasta with Peas, Sea Bass and Artichokes)
400 g orecchiette
4 sea bass fillets, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
250 g fresh peas, shelled
100 g Pecorino cheese, grated
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Shell the fresh peas.
2. Clean the artichokes, removing the external leaves, stems and choke.
3. Pour one or two tablespoons of oil into a saucepan and heat.
4. Add the peas, the artichoke hearts cut into strips, a half cup of water, the tomato sauce, salt and pepper.
5. Cook over a low heat for 20-25 minutes.
6. When the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, add the chopped sea bass fillets and cook for another 10 minutes.
7. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orecchiette until they are “al dente,” then drain well.
8. Add the pasta to the other ingredients in the saucepan and mix together for 1-2 minutes over low heat.
9. Sprinkle the pecorino over the pasta, stir well and serve.
Bocconcini di Seppie con Patate, Piselli e Fave Teneri
(Cuttlefish with Potatoes, Fresh Peas and Fresh Fava Beans)
1.5 kg large cuttlefish
200 g white potatoes
150 g fresh fava beans
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
200 g red onions
1 bay leaf
1 lemon peel
White wine, to taste
300 g cherry tomatoes
Italian parsley, to taste
Basil, to taste
1. Wash the cuttlefish and cut them into pieces. Peel the onions and cut them julienne-style. Wash the tomatoes and cut each one into four pieces. Wash and mince the parsley. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
2. In a saucepan add the oil, onion, bay leaf and the lemon peel. Brown over a low heat, stirring from time to time.
3. Add the cuttlefish and continue stirring. Add the white wine and tomatoes. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and fava beans and continue to cook covered.
4. Finally, salt to taste and add the parsley and basil.
This dish is delicious accompanied by Italian bread, toasted and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
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