How it Began

Ada June 1948

Ada June 1948

A few years ago, during a long stay in Roseto – once a fishing village, now a holiday resort on the Adriatic coast of Italy, between Pescara and Ancona – we decided to ask Silvia’s mother, Ada, to commit to paper the wonderful food that she was preparing for us every day. This web site and a recipe book are the result. They contain mostly typical Abruzzese recipes, since Ada grew up in this area and still cooks the dishes that she remembers from her girlhood.

Italy, of course, is famous for its regional cooking, but outside Italy people have mostly become  familiar with the cooking of Bologna – with its rich creamy meat sauces – and Tuscany – its hearty soups fortified with bread – or the Neapolitan pizza. The unique dishes of Abruzzo are less well known.

Italians remain fiercely proud of their local traditions, which exist in enormous profusion, with variations in language, food and wines between even adjacent towns and villages. This is as true of the region of Abruzzo as of anywhere else, and the special pasta made “alla chitarra”, the scrippelle, the ravioli filled with ricotta and marjoram, and many other delicious dishes in this book are as typical as you may find. There are many sayings and proverbs in the Abruzzese dialect, some deeply philosophical, some profound, and others darkly cryptic. As the following proverb says, “Oro, vino, amico e servitore, più vecchio è migliore”, meaning “Gold, wine, friends and servants, the older the better”: in other words, these old recipes are definitely worth recreating.

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