Corso Serpente Aureo 54, Offida
In 2000 Daniele Maurizi Citeroni realized his dream of opening a restaurant that could turn a spotlight on the local area. Offida is a small medieval village where wine and extra-virgin olive oil are key pillars of the local culture, along with genuinity and a warm familiarity. After many years of working far from home, Daniele decided to return to his home here in order to put his ideas about cooking into practice.
Before writing this recipe, I’d like to tell you the story behind it.
Pancotto is a traditional recipe all over Italy, from north to south. Some ingredients are common everywhere but small details may vary. Onion, for example, is always used in the north, but moving southwards it increasingly gives way to garlic.
The recipe is a reminder of the beauty of the cultural tradition of Italian food.
Pancotto is also a dish that relies on leftovers, a fact that, given the topicality of the problem of food waste, makes it all the more interesting.
It was very important for me to serve the dish for many reasons and to relate it to my local area by giving it the shape of a capezzale, the sack filled with chaff with which the women of Offida make lace bolsters, or tomboli.
Hence the name of the dish, which conjures up the typical bolsters of Offida.
It was also great fun to source the various ingredients for a pancotto that is, at once, all-Italian and all-Presidia.
150 g moistened day-old farmhouse bread
200 g dried breadcrumbs
4 salted Menaica anchovies (Slow Food Presidium)
1 clove of garlic
50 g onion
80 g canned tomatoes
Finely minced meadow greens, parsley, thyme, marjoram, basil, wild fennel
Cervia sweet salt (Ark of Taste), to taste
Sarawak black pepper, to taste
Tear bread into pieces, soak thoroughly in water and squeeze dry.
Put vegetables and herbs in a pan of water, and boil for 10-12 minutes. Liquidize and add the bread.
Return to the heat and remove when mixture starts to amalgamate.
Pour mixture onto a metal plate and mold into bolster shapes (similar to potato croquettes). Roll in breadcrumbs and leave to cool.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 5-7 minutes.
Serve on a PREBENNA, the trestle on which the capezzale is set, so that the pancotto “becomes” a bolster.