Today we prepare a very ancient and tasty dish,another flavor of Lucania and Puglia: orecchiette with broccoli raab, typical of rural cuisine that couldn’t afford expensive toppings. This dish originated in Provence, in the Middle Ages, where they produced a dried pasta (crosets). Its shape, in fact, is a bit Orecchiette. Then Angevin took them to Lucania the thirteenth century. Here they found their ideal environment where is a cult dish today!

Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 10 min – Cooking time: 25 min – Serves: 4-6 people – Cost: low

Ingredients: 1 pound of orecchiette (handmade pasta) – 2 bunches broccoli raab, stems removed, washed thoroughly – 2 salted anchovy fillets, chopped – 3 garlic cloves, chopped – 1 dried pepper (peperone crusko), crumbled – 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil – 1 pinch of salt

Preparation: in a skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil with the anchovy fillets, garlic, and chili pepper until the anchovies break down and the garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes. Then remove the freshly baked garlic.

Boil the water and add Orecchiette and salt, drop in the broccoli raab, and stir. Bring back to a boil and cook until handmade pasta for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Toss the orecchiette and broccoli raab with the sauce, dilute with some (or all) of the reserved cooking water as needed to achieve a dilute coating consistency and adjust the seasoning if needed.

So, it’s time to dream…

Recchietelle is an ancient flavor of Lucania. In particolar it is an handmade pasta like orecchiette. With lucanica and the others flavors of that country this is a really very tipycal dish of its rural tradition. My grandma made me…

Difficulty: low – Preparation time: 20 min – Cooking time: 5 min + 15 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: medium

Ingredients: 2 cups od recchietelle (handmade pasta) – 1 cup of crumbled sausage (lucanica) – 1+1/2  cups of mozzarella – 2 cups of chopped tomatoes – 8 tbsp of grated cheese – extra virgin olive oil – salt to taste

Preparation: Pour extra virgin olive oil in a pan and heat, then add the sausage already crumbled and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Afterwards pour chopped tomatoes and cook by adjusting the mixture with a pinch of salt. Cook the recchietelle (handmade pasta) until half cooked, drain and toss in pan with tomato and fresh sausage. Put everything in a clay pan and season with mozzarella, tomato and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at a high temperature.

In Lucania the wedding night is a magical time and, at the same time, the riskier, and therefore more in need of protection.

The mathers in law prepare the nuptial bed by placing it under the pillow (or in the bedside) a diaper (it will prove the virginity of the bride) and some traditional means to fight the  (six wheat berries, a pinch of salt, scissors open and sickle).

In addition, the bed should not be “seen” (watched) by anyone, except by-mothers in law, again to avoid the evil eye.

When the couple retired to the bedroom, two men, one for the groom and one for the bride, keep watch outside the door, to prevent someone to disturb the first night, and that is to put before the door carrion animal or a plow.

The next morning, the mother-in-law of the bride knocks at the door of the bridal chamber: if the groom says to come in, it means that the marriage was consummated, but if the groom says to ‘come back later’, then it is a bad sign, that there is a strong presumption that the outcome was not happy.

If all went well, the mothers-in-law enters the bridal chamber and inspect the diaper to see the signs of lost virginity.

In Basilicata the farmers are proud to grow horseradish, a root vegetable widely used as a spice in that country. Basilicata, in fact, is the home of horseradish, the soul of its rural culture, magical as its healing properties.

Despite being a root of a perennial, it is precisely during the period of Carnival and winter periods which is collected and used. The tipycal dish is Rafanata, a kind of omelette made with horseradish, potatoes, pecorino cheese and lard. It can includes sausage too. The Rafanata is a great combination of flavors, smells acrid and pungent, but really pleasant.

Difficulty: low – Preparation time: 15 min – Cooking time: 45 min – Serves: 6 people – Cost: very low

Ingredients: 8 medium eggs – 2 cups of potatoes boiled and mashed – 2/3 cups of Pecorino cheese – 3 tbsp horseradish – 2 tbsp of lard to grease the pan – a pinch of salt

Preparation: Boil the potatoes and pass. Decorticate horseradish with the help of a paring knife and grate. In a bowl beat the eggs with Pecorino cheese, then add the potatoes and horseradish; a pinch of salt and place in a baking dish, previously sprinkled with lard. The dough will not be liquid, but full-bodied. Put in oven and preheated to 200C° for about 45 minutes.

Dead Bones are very tasty and particolar bagels of Basilicata reminiscent of the bones of the dead, thin and elongated. They have always been a symbol of nuptial Lucan people.

Ingredients: 2 cups of flour – 2 tbps g of sugar – 2 tbsp of anice – wild fennel seeds to taste – 3 tbps of lard – salt

Preparation: arrange flour in a mound and make a well. Add the sugar, the anice, the fennel seeds, the melted lard and a pinch of salt. Combine all the ingredients and knead to obtain a smooth and elastic dough. Roll out little sticks with the dough and shape them into an elongated bow or a ring. Bake in a preheated oven at 335° F, 20 minutes approximately. Take them out when they are golden and be carefully!

Don’t eat them all!

Colobraro is an Italian town of 1,300 inhabitants in Basilicata.

In neighboring countries, the town is also called, in superstitious way more than derogatory, “that town“, in dialect Lucan “Cudde puaise”.

This is because for the superstitious belief that the evocation of the name is bad luck. It has become urban legend before World War II. The Mayor, highly educated lawyer and well-known person, at the end of his statement, would have said something like: “If I do not tell the truth, it will fall this chandelier”. Apparently the chandelier would have fallen really, according to some killing people, according to others in a deserted room.

More likely, the sinister reputation of the country is derived from the belief, especially the inhabitants of the neighboring countries, in the magical arts of some women who lived there in the last century, including the famous “Cattre“, as ” Maddalena La Rocca“, a “Masciara“, ie a local magician.


Maritati handmade pasta (orecchiette, fusilli, strascinati) with broccoli raab greens  and cruscki pepper is a real institution in Basilicata and in Puglia. Today we offer a faster version prepared from raw materials excellent quality. In two moves you will have the opportunity to taste and offer your guests this spectacular dish.

Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 10 min – Cooking time: 30 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: low

Ingredients: 1 pound orecchiette (handmade pasta) – 2 bunches broccoli raab, stems removed, washed thoroughly – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – 2 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained and chopped – 3 garlic cloves, chopped , 2 sun dried cruski pepper – 2 tablespoons salt


Boil 2,5 liters of water with salt and add orecchiette, drop in broccoli raab, and stir. Bring back to a boil and cook until the orecchiette are al dente, about 10 minutes.

In another pan heat the extra virgin olive oil with the anchovy fillets, garlic, and cruski pepper until the anchovies break down and the garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes; do not allow the garlic to burn or it will be bitter. Remove from the heat.

Drain orecchiette, add the mixture and enjoy Basilicata!

Orecchiette with breadcrumbs (in lucan dialect “Recch’tedde ca muddic”) Today we prepare a fast and very tasty dish, another ancient flavor of entire Lucania: orecchiette with breadcrumbs, typical of rural cuisine that couldn’t afford expensive toppings. It is a poor dish, an ancient dish of our grandmothers. Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 10 min – Cooking Read More →

Aglianico del Vulture is the first and most famous doc wine in Lucania. It comes from the volcan Vulture. Aglianico del Vulture is a noble red wine that has seen a big improvement in quality over the last few years. This wine is produced from purely Aglianico grapes.  Aglianico del Vulture cannot be sold until it has Read More →

Acquasala (Baked bread)

Acquasala is a typical recipe in Lucania, one of the poorest ever, which generally also constituted a main dish. As many poor dishes, also the baked bread provides different variants, depending on the season, and therefore the availability of certain ingredients.

Difficulty: very low  –  Preparation time: 5 min  –  Cooking time: 10 min  –   Serves: 4 people  –  Cost: very low

Ingredients: 4 slices of stale bread, 4 eggs, 1 onion, 2 red hot chili, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, salt to taste

Preparation: generally, it is a soup that is prepared by frying in extra virgin olive oil two ingredients: onions chopped and chili fresh spicy. It then adds water and is brought to a boil, reinforcing the soup with eggs (which are added to the boiling water and stir carefully). This is then poured over sliced bread (better if toasted on the grill). Baked bread can also be prepared by frying in oil (instead of or in addition to onions) alsoleeks, turnips, peppers, potatoes, and it is not uncommon to see him prepare without the egg added.