Nicoletta was born in Abbateggio, a small hillside town in the province of Pescara, where she still lives today with her husband, two daughters and mother-in-law. She has fond childhood memories of saints’ days, where friends, family and guests would sit around the table together to enjoy huge dinners together. The table would be laden with everyone’s favourite treats. Nicoletta’s past is firmly rooted in typical recipes and her local history, and she loves sharing her stories with guests.
Eating at Nicoletta’s, aside from enjoying delicious traditional Abruzzese fare and tasting her homemade olive oil, is about making yourself at home in the welcoming family home and soaking up the colourful traditions of the region.
Nicoletta begins with an appetising starter board of local hams and pecorino cheese. This simple antipasto is the perfect way to start the Taste Experience.
Next, we have a typical countryside classic that is often prepared on festival days; pasta ‘alla chitarra’, or ‘allu carratore’, as they say in local dialect. This literally translates as ‘guitar spaghetti’, as it is prepared using a kitchen tool that consists of sharp wires stretched over a box, that is used to cut spaghetti into a square shape. The wires give it the appearence of a guitar, hence the name. The pasta itself has a porous texture that absorbs sauce very well. Nicoletta serves her pasta alla chitarra with a rustic lamb sauce.
For the second course, we have lamb with potatoes, a favourite of Abruzzese cuisine: the meat is prepared carefully so that it is perfectly tender, and the soft potatoes are the perfect accompaniment. On the side, we have ‘foie strascinat’, which is savoy cabbage leaves sautéed with garlic, oil and a touch of chili pepper.
For dessert, Nicoletta serves ‘pizza sbattuta’, which is a sponge cake dessert with layers of cream, for an indulgent and delicate finish.