Anna introduces us to the hills of Abruzzo with a rich and varied starter of toasted casarecchio bread ‘crostini’ topped with cherry tomatoes in oil, as well as a ‘saltimbocca’ of pear and cheese. You will also enjoy a plate of pallotte cac’e, which are melt-in-the-mouth balls of egg and cheese. This is all accompanied by some classic Abbruzzese products; olive ndoss’, preserved in salt over a long period, and a local Pecorino cheese on a bed of wild roquette.
Next, for the first course, our Cesarina serves a timbale of ‘scrippelle’, which are a local speciality; fine strips of pasta are layered with succulent veal meatballs which are filled with mozzarella, Parmigiano cheese, and occasionally with wild vegetables too.
For the second course, we have a roast lamb on a bed of grilled bell peppers or eggplant, depending on the season. The lamb is wrapped in ‘pancetta’ bacon and rosemary before being cooked in the oven. This is served with roast potatoes with rosemary, known as ‘patate sabbiate’ (literally meaning “sandy potatoes”). This dish owes its name to a dusting of breadcrumbs and grated Parmigiano cheese that gives them a sandy appearance!
We come to a sweet conclusion with the typical “pizza dogg’ “, a layered cake of almond glaze, pastry cream, chocolate, coffee-soaked biscuits and Alchermes liqueur. The dessert is accompanied by sweet ‘tarelli’, similar to pretzels, which are eaten dipped in Trebbiano wine and Ratafia, a black cherry liqueur from Montepulciano. It is locally known as “the Elixir of Abruzzo”.