A Recipe Road Trip Through Campania
This Fried napolitano snack is flavored with anchovies—“a familiar ingredient throughout the Campania region,” according to the book. “These miniature, preserved fish typically add a subtle, umami flavor” (as when added to a sauce like puttanesca) but they “can also lend a more pronounced bite to many regional dishes,” like these salty fritters.
This region, due north of Naples, rests at the base of the Apennine mountains. Once home to the palace of the Bourbon kings of Naples, Caserta is now a center of artisanship and a main producer of silk, chestnuts, olives, wine, salami and bufala-milk cheeses.
Spezzatino Di Maiale
Pork products are a regional specialty thanks to the indigenous Caserta pigs that have been raised there for millennia. According to the book, “Casertano pigs are an ancient and rare breed whose origin dates back at least to Pompeii and Herculaneum (based on paintings found at those sites).” This pork is excellent in stews and salami, but these pigs also “produce an excellent lard, used often for pizza dough or casatiello rustico, a traditional Easter bread made with copious amounts of lard.”
Salerno + Amalfi
Insalata Di Limoni Di Sorrento
Take a train from Naples to Sorrento and you’ll find yourself in a jungle of lemon trees, softball-sized fruits dangling over the tracks. “The intensely flavored and succulent lemons of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are a celebrated culinary symbol of Campania,” according to the book—”They are even depicted on ceramics and on the frescoes of Pompeii.” Here, the fruits are sliced thinly and marinated overnight.
The cuisine in this verdant, earthquake-prone region of Campania features delicacies like porcini and truffles, sheep-milk cheeses and wine from the grapes that thrive in Avellino’s volcanic earth.
Linguine Al Pesto Zucchine
This dish incorporates two regional specialties: zucchini and olive oil. According to the book, “Irpinia, in the region of Avellino, is known for its olive and olive oil production, due to its ideal terroir: rich, fertile volcanic soil and a cooler climate as a result of proximity to the Apennines mountain range.” Here, oil is blended with zucchini for an herbal pesto sauce.
Benevento—an old Roman stronghold and major stop on the Appian Way thoroughfare—is home to millennia worth of ruins, monuments and legends. Food-wise, it’s noted for its excellent wines and torrone (a local Italian nougat flavored with fruits and nuts).
“This dish is traditionally served on Christmas day in the area of Solopaca,” a hilly wine-growing region. “Some cookbooks call it zuppa santé di nonna Carolina”—Grandma Carolina’s santé soup. Packed with meatballs and leafy greens, it’s reminiscent of the Italian Wedding Soup popular in Italian-American cuisine.