Friday, May 24 2024

Those who appreciate finger food, and good food in general, cannot fail to know the rustico salato leccese.

A delicate shell of puff pastry that hides a stringy heart of mozzarella, béchamel and tomato sauce.


But what is the recipe for this typical delicacy of Salento gastronomy?

Is it possible to prepare it in only one way, or are there also different versions?

Rustico, together with pasticciotto leccese, is probably one of the most famous and beloved foods of Apulian tradition: you have the opportunity both to order it online and to make it at home by putting – literally – your hands to pasta!

 

 

 

Makes about 10 Rustici

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 1/3 cups of butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130 ml) of water

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup  of tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup of bĂ©chamel sauce

To brush the surface of the pastries before baking:

– 1 large egg yolk or 2 small egg yolks

 

METHOD:

The preliminary step is to create the puff pastry: unless you want to buy it ready-made.

The latter solution is definitely faster, but the former is far more fun and satisfying!

While heating the tomato sauce in a pot, gather the ingredients listed for the puff pastry: flour, water, salt and 1/4 cup butter.

The remaining 1 cup of butter should be refrigerated after being flattened between two sheets of baking paper.

Mix the remaining ingredients to form a dough.

Then, roll out the dough on a clean surface and place the cold refrigerated butter in the center.

Wrap the butter in the dough several times to create a roll.

Place in the refrigerator for about an hour, and in the meantime, devote yourself to the filling.

Make sure the sauce is well cooked and cut the mozzarella into cubes.

If necessary, you can make the béchamel sauce at home: how to do it?

For the preparation of a delicious béchamel sauce, you will need:

– 1/4 cup (50 g) of flour
– 6 1/3 cups (1.5 liters) of milk
– 1/4 cup (50 g) of butter
– Pepper to taste
– Salt to taste
– Nutmeg

 

The butter should be melted in an ad hoc saucepan over a low flame, and then mixed with the flour and milk. Boil for 20 minutes, so that there is no hint of flour at all.

Integrate nutmeg, salt and pepper into the cream. Here is an excellent  homemade béchamel sauce!

RUSTICO SALATO LECCESE

We have come to the last stages of the recipe.

Roll out the cold puff pastry on a board, and divide it into many small disks with a diameter of4-5 inches.

You can use a pastry cutter for this purpose.

In the center of each puff pastry disk, spread a spoonful of tomato sauce, one of béchamel sauce and a few cubes of fresh mozzarella.

At this point, cover the filling with another disc: be careful to close the edges tightly so that the filling does not leak out during baking.

Each rustico should be brushed with a little egg yolk, a ploy to make the surface more golden and crispy. The contrast with the soft interior will be magnificent!

Bake in a static oven for 25 minutes at a temperature of  400 F.

Serve your rustici while they are still warm, as the mozzarella will be soft and stringy.

One of the many good sides of rustici del Salento is that they are great for all circumstances: for a snack, for lunch and dinner, for a buffet, and you name it.

 

 

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