Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Recipe from Chef Carlotta's kitchen
Easter in Italy has many wonderful traditions. In Apulia, the Easter starts with the Benedetto, which means the Blessed Dish. If you ask my mother to prepare the Benedetto she will serve you a starter, if you ask my dad to prepare the Benedetto, he will serve you a lamb stew. Confusing? Sure, but welcome to Italy! Enjoy these two variations, one from my mother, the other from my father.
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Carlotta's Mother's Benedetto
The Benedetto is made with 13 ingredients - the same number of the apostles, including Jesus, basically from spring season. Everything is served on the same plate and it is the very first thing you will eat for Easter lunch. The name is because the householder bless it with an olive branch and holy water at the beginning of the Easter prayer.
Hard boiled eggs (cut in 6 wedges each)
Slices of coppa or soppressata
Fresh ricotta or hard ricotta (cut it in wedges)
Asparagus (raw or stir fried)
Lampascioni in oil (it is a very local tiny and bitter onion that is usually boiled in vinegar and preserved in oil)
Arrange everything on a nice platter. There is not particular order on how you eat each item, just enjoy!
Carlotta's Father's Benedetto from Mola (a small town in Bari province)
My father comes from a small town named Mola, part of the Bari province. In Mola, this is their version of Easter Benedetto. This is a lamb stew made with fresh peas, fresh broad beans, artichokes, soppressata and eggs. This is one of those meals that I crave. It is SO GOOD. I hope we can cook together! You can request this class, or see my other cooking classes here.
Soppressata, a handful
Lamb Chops, 1lb
Peas, a handful
Broad Beans, a handful
Artichoke hearts, a handful
Beef Broth, 1 liter plus extra or use water
White wine, about a cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Peel and slice an onion, and cook it in a pot with a few drizzles of EVOO and a handful of diced soppressata.
Add the lamb chops and roast. Add a glass of white wine to deglaze the pot. Add peas, broad beans and sliced artichokes. Cover with beef broth or water and keep this pot simmering for a couple of hours.
The pot should be really moist before you add (with the heat OFF) 1 egg per serving. Basically it is the same technique of the Carbonara making, and the purpose is to thick up the gravy into the pot.
Add pepper and salt if needed.