The preparation of this dish requires dedication and patience, (BUT NOT DIFFICULT ) so much so that it has now become uncommon on modern Neapolitan tables, although it remains a typical dish of the holidays and of many traditional trattorias. so old that it is a recipe that is very close to a particular soup that can be traced back to Apicius’ De Conquinaria.
It was probably the Spaniards, however, who “imported” it to Neapolitan soil in the 1300s.
In Spain, in fact, a very similar soup known as “Olla Potrida” is widespread, which would have given rise in Naples to the minestra maritata (or “pignato grasso”) and a few centuries later, in Lombardy, to the typical cassoeula.
The wording maritata derives from the fact that the ingredients of meat and vegetables, are “maritated” by participating together in the soup.
The recipe over the years has been greatly reworked by eliminating or modifying ingredients that are increasingly rare to find commercially.
During traditional festivals, however, typical vegetables for preparing minestra maritata can still be purchased in the local markets of Naples, which are typically chicory, small scarole (scarulelle), savoy cabbage and borage, which gives it a bitter note. Catalogna (in Neapolitan: puntarelle) is also used in some variations.
The meat is typically pork, with tracchie,pancetta and other cuts.
According to Neapolitan tradition, it is prepared on Boxing Day to “clean up” from the revelry of the holidays. Actually, if you prepare “menesta maretata” according to the original recipe, it will certainly not be a light dish.
However, if you follow the suggestions, you will get a tasty and light dish while respecting traditions.
- 10 oz of beef muscle
- 10 oz of ungreased beef cover.
- 1 pig’s foot
- 7 oz cleaned and defatted pork rind
- 1 coarsely cleaned ham bone or piece
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 large peeled potato
- – 1 kg of “minestrella”
(mixture of wild greens: chicory, chard, wild spinach and borage)
- 4 bundles of plain escarole
- 4 bundles of black broccoli
- 2 bundles of leaf broccoli
- 2 bundles of torzella (Greek cabbage)
- 1 small savoy cabbage
- 1 rind of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Grated pecorino or caciocavallo cheese
Prepare a stock by placing in a tall, large saucepan all the cuts of meat, carrots, celery and onion cleaned and cut into mouthfuls, garlic, chopped tomato and 1 potato.
Add about 6 liter of water and bring to a simmer. while cooking, salt and degrease the broth with a skimmer.
When the meat is well cooked the meat should be cooked, with the skimmer lift the meat from the broth and keep it aside.
Strain the broth by removing all the vegetable stock and let it cool ,removing any additional fat that will solidify on the surface.
Clean and clean all the vegetables rinse them several times and blanch them separately in boiling water and salt, letting them drain well.
Save some of the cooking water from the escaroles and savoy cabbage that you may need for the liquidity of the soup.
Meanwhile, fray the cooked meat into small flakes, the rind into strips and carve small pieces from the meat near the ham bone with a small sharp knife .
Bring the stock back to a boil and add the previously blanched vegetables and marjoram .
Cook for 30 minutes and add the meats,allowing the cooking to complete for another half hour.
Clean the Parmigiano cheese rind, scraping off the surface, cut it into small pieces and add it to the soup let it cook for about 15 minutes more.
Then serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Set aside in a colander to cool so that all the broth comes out, let it cool well and keep it aside.
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