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Paolo's recipes
I was born in Trieste, in the North of Italy, and the fish recepies below rise from my familiar culture. Friends and beauty brought me only recently to Apulia. All my parents come from Istria, the town of Rovigno in particular. Now the territory belongs to Croatia but before the second world war it was under the Italian Government. As the dialect I speak may confirm, my culture belongs to the North-Eastern part of Italy, the same of Venice. Paolo

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Gratinated Canestrelli - Canestrelli gratinati

"Canestrelli" are a type of shells and they are not always available at the fisherman's stall. It depends by the period of the year. The same preparation can be used also for Mussels and "Capesante", or as they are better known out of Italy, for "Coquilles Saint Jacques".

Ingredients
14-15 canestrelli (the number depends by the fact they must be all arranged on the baking tray;
100g breadcrumbs
a garlic clove
a bunch of parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Shell each canestrello forcing the closed shells with the tip of a knife (pay attention while you're doing that).
Remove the flattest shell. Rinse the other one with the attached soft body to avoid any presence of sand.
Anyway mind that the less tap water it touchs the more is the taste it preserves.
This operation should be done directly using seawater!
Mix breadcrumbs, finely chopped garlic and parsley.
Add salt, pepper and oil.
Cover each canestrello with some of the mixture then arrange them all on the baking tray Care to avoid to overlap them.
Sprinkle with some more oil and put into the oven. Wait until the top is golden and crisp.

canestrelli1
canestrelli2
canestrelli3
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Octopus Salad - Insalata di polpi

"Polpi" are often called "Folpi" in all the Veneto Region. The smallest they are the best it is. My grandfather was used to say that small foods in general are more palatable. Normally people prefer great, gigantic, huge... I suppose due to the devastating effect of publicity.

Ingredients
3-4 "Folpi" weighting 1.5 kg in total;
a garlic clove
a bunch of parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lemon, vinegar


polpi2
polpi

Preparation
Gut and wash the "Folpi", remove the bowels, eyes and central beak. Don't break the bodies; just turn the round sacs like socks to polish internal parts. Put a pot of water on the fire. When the water gets to the boil add salt and half glass of vinegar.
Arrange the "Folpi" into the boiling water and leave for 30-40 minutes (20 minutes in the pressure-cooker). Then let the "Folpi" cool. Remove the skin (turned to brown after cooking) and the "suction pads" (my grandmother was used to eat them; I think it is only a refinement matter). Chop into little chunks and mix finely chopped garlic and parsley. Add salt, pepper and oil.
Dress with some more oil, lemon and mix again before serving. This dish tastes best when lukewarm.
My grandmother was used to leave one stomach sac: the taste given to the dish is definitely stronger but I don't suggest doing that for a more refined taste.

Serve with boiled potatoes dressed with oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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Boiled "Cannocchie" - Cannocchie in bianco

The "Cannocchia" is a type of shellfish (Squilla Mantis). It is very common in Italy and has different names in each town. In Venice it is called "Canocia" (Canocchia is the Italian word clearly deriving by the Veneto dialect). Other names are: "Panocchia", "Spernocchia", "Sparnocchia", " Cicala di mare", "Balestrin", "Sigà de maa", "Càmbara de fangu", "Solegianu de mari", "Squilla".
To prepare this dish you must be sure that you are buying "Cannocchie" "piene" (full of firm flesh). It depends by the period of the year. A saying in Venice sounds: "De Santa Caterina 'na canòcia val 'na galina": the Santa Caterina festivity is on 25th of November so we can translate: on 25th of November a "Cannocchia" is so full of firm flesh that it is worth a chicken. Actually Autumn-Winter periods are the best
.

canoce
Ingredients
20 "Cannocchie piene"
a bunch of parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lemon
canoce
 
canoce3

Preparation
Wash the "Cannocchie", remove the legs and all the small movable parts with a pair of scissors. Put a pot with some water on the fire. When the water gets to the boil add salt and the "Cannocchie". Leave for just 4-6 minutes. Then remove the "Cannocchie" and let cool. Don't waste the broth.
With the pair of scissors cut the edges on both sides of the "Cannocchie", remove the heads and try to pull out the flesh fillets without breaking them.
Arrange the fillets neatly on a dish and dress with an emulsion of oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Sprinkle finely chopped parsley and some more oil before serving.
It is not finished. Put the removed heads and all the rest into the broth again and boil for other 5-6 minutes. Then remove again all the solid parts from the broth, tray to detach any flesh particle and then use the rich broth for the "Risotto". A complete menu is "Risotto alle vongole" e "Cannocchie in bianco": the broth is a fundamental ingredient for a perfect risotto.


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Risotto with clams - Risotto alle Vongole

The generic word "Vongola" means clam. But in the Adriatic sea there are many type of clams. The photo shows how the "Telline" are. Almost extinguished from the tables of the market stalls are the "Capperozzoli", the "Peverazze" and many other tasty clams. Between "Lupini" and "Veraci" choose "Lupini". Buy the smallest. You'll do the right thing.

shells

Ingredients
80 g of rice for each person (Vialone Nano if possible)
1Kg of "Vongole"
a garlic clove
a glass of wine
a bunch of parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
broth from the "Cannocchie" preparation
alternatively a bouillon cube

Preparation
Leave the "Vongole" three hours in cold salted water. They will release sand.
Then wash them under the tap some minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Put on fire with half glass of white wine ("fermo" not sparkling). Drink the other half. Cooking is a pleasure. Stew for some minutes (don't eat them raw), then wait until cool enough to handle. Eliminate the shells keeping the bodies aside and pour the liquid they discard into a cup, detaining or filtering the liquid if some sand is present.

Fry the chopped garlic and one/third of the parsley in some oil. As soon as the garlic gets golden, add the washed rice and stew stirring continuously. To prevent the rice from sticking to bottom of the pan add some of the warm broth now and then. When the broth has been completely poured, taste and add salt if necessary. If the modern society educated you to strong tastes add bouillon cube at your discretion. Use salted boiling water when broth finishes.
Stir till the rice is "al dente" and then add the "vongole", the two/thirds of parsley, pepper. Serve after a few minutes with some clams on top, which you have preserved as decoration. My grandfather was used to add some butter just before serving.

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Buon appetito! Serve everithing with white wine as Pinot or Chardoney.
Are you already enthusiast? Go to our booking request page to secure your stay in our property.
Twenty minutes to prepare a good typical dish under a small stone dome in Trullo della Luna and then waiting night under the moon light aside the swimming pool!
Have a good stay,
Paolo