A TOUR OF ITALY – A VISIT TO THE SOUTH
The difference between regional dishes in Italy can be so extreme that you may often struggle to believe they are actually produced in the same country.
Freshness is paramount to southern Italian chefs and this is delivered through their salads, seafood and vegetables which often thrive in the warmer climate.
At Cucina Rustica we do our best to mirror the traditional southern flavours, using ingredients such as; aubergine, tomatoes, mozzarella and seafood to really complement our dishes.
Below are our top 5 southern regional dishes, that you’ll find when you visit our restaurant.
The simple Italian salad is the perfect way to begin your meal, without spoiling your appetite for the main course. We layer up buffalo mozzarella and vine tomatoes before drizzling a helping of basil olive oil over the top. Traditionally, Caprese salads are made to resemble the Italian flag, using the colours of red, white and green.
The appetiser is named after the Italian island of Capri, just off the Amalfi coast in the southern Italian region of Campania, where mozzarella is found, along with some of the tastiest tomatoes in Italy.
2. Spaghetti allo scoglio
One of our most popular dishes is the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. A hearty blend of spaghetti, tomatoes, garlic and parsley provide the perfect bed for the juicy king prawns, calamari and mussels which sit on top. The south is renowned for its vast seafood offering, and this will be found in most dishes you come across in the region.
With a beautiful coastline, and typical Mediterranean climate, it’s no surprise that their seafood is a popular favourite within many of their dishes.
3. 4 Stagioni Pizza
Although this Italian favourite makes an appearance across all Italian regions, it is originally a southern speciality, which is traditionally served hot from the wood burning oven and topped with an assortment of vegetables, seafood, meats and cheeses. All of our pizzas are made to order, so you can add extra ingredients as you so desire.
Our popular 4 stagioni pizza offers a taste sensation to our guests, a mixture of mushrooms, artichokes, ham, olives, mozzarella and tomato sauce are layered up on to the base to ensure this Italian favourite is packed full of flavours.
4. Rigatoni al forno
The Rigatoni al forno is a staple dish from Southern Italy combining pasta with a cherry tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and aubergines. Baked pasta dishes are a traditional delicacy in the beautiful region, and it’s no surprise why. At Cucina Rustica we use the tube-shaped pasta to encapsulate the melted cheese as it runs into the tomato sauce and softens the aubergine.
Introduced to Sicily centuries ago, the delicious vegetable can be found in numerous forms of local specialities all across the region.
5. Cosciotto d’agnello
Did you know that most of Italy’s lamb is raised in the central and southern regions? In the south the land is quite rocky with many hills, therefore making it a better region to graze sheep rather than cattle, which are traditionally raised in the North. When serving our famous Cosciotto d’agnello, we ensure that our lamb shanks are extremely tender, and full of flavour. Red wine is the key ingredient in this dish, which deepens the flavour of the rosemary and tomato sauce, as well as allowing the rich intense flavours of the wine to develop as the meat slowly cooks.
This dish is served with our deliciously creamy mashed potato and mint sauce.
If you enjoyed reading our blog and want to know more about the heritage of our dishes, check out our Northern dishes blog here: http://www.cucinarustica.co.uk/information/tour-italy-il-nostro-bel-paese/