For April, our recipe of the month comes from Paola, the cook at Villa Lucia in Puglia.
Paola is originally from Sardinia, but married a man from Puglia and has lived there for most of her life, which means that she is able to combine some authentic Apulian recipes with those from Sardinia.
Paola has recently used her talents to open a Cooking School near Villa Lucia so if staying at the villa, do not hesitate to ask her to share tips and recommendations to learn new recipes for when you go back home.
Paola will organise a private dinner using the very best fresh and organic food, chosen according to what is available on a daily basis at the local fish, fruit and vegetable markets. Also, she would like to make you feel as relaxed as possible. Therefore do feel free to watch her in the kitchen and assist her with laying the table outside on the terrace or inside in the elegant dining room.
The Salento is an area of Puglia traditionally devoted to agriculture and artisanal fishing, therefore most of her recipes are based on this local produce according to what is in season.
Paola has kindly shared a typical recipe that represents this region and has been passed down for generations: Faenette e Foie (Fava bean puree with wild chicory).
Recipe for Faenette and Foie
400 g of dried broad beans without peel;
600 g of wild chicory;
150 g of stale bread cut into cubes;
1 clove of garlic;
1 bay leaf;
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Soak the beans in water overnight.
2. The next day carefully rinse and put them in a pot, cover them with cold water and add a clove of garlic, a bay leaf and salt.
3. Cook the beans on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring often until the beans are cooked.
4. Blend the beans with a blender until a smooth cream is obtained and continue to simmer.. Simultaneously alongside the cooking of the beans, wash the wild chicory is cooked and boil for 40 minutes in salted water.
5. The stale bread is cut into small cubes, sprinkled with olive oil and toasted in the oven.
6. When all the components are ready we proceed to assemble the dish: first mash the broad bean cream, over the boiled chicory, then the toasted bread and finally extra virgin olive oil.