Simplicity resides at the core of Pugliese cuisine - indeed, rather than relying on elaborate preparation and an extensive list of ingredients, Pugliese food emphasises a small number of ingredients. Each, however, should be of exceptional quality. This dish is one such example.
The particular geographical qualities of Puglia yield exquisite tomatoes - the sun-drenched earth, tempered by the cooling coastal breeze, makes the region a haven for plants and produce. Introduced by the Spaniards in the 1500s (when Puglia was under Spanish rule), tomatoes are now one of the famed exports of this arid region of the Italian south, hand-picked by locals, and known for their impeccable flavour. The tomatoes that serve as the base of this rugged sauce are blended with fragrant basil and garlic, and slowly simmered until thick and glossy. This creates a sauce with substance and flavour, despite its rustic simplicity. In line with Pugliese culinary tradition, we serve this vegan sauce with fresh orecchiette.
The deft hands of Pugliese nonne shape this iconic pasta, which is made from just flour and water. The pasta al’luovo (egg pasta) enjoyed in the north is less common in the south, and particularly Puglia. Here, poverty meant that eggs were a luxury few could afford. The term orecchiette translates to ‘little ears’, a nod to the unique shape of this pasta. Chef Roberta fondly recalls learning to make orecchiette at home with her grandmother as a child, assuring us that “only your nonna can pass on the tradition of making pasta”. We honour chef Roberta and her nonna with this iconically Pugliese dish, a true taste of summer in lo Stivale.
Durum WHEAT Semolina, Water, Rice Flour
Tomato & Basil Sauce (160g):
Datterini Tomatoes (77%), Onion, Carrot, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Salt, Garlic, Sugar, Black Pepper