Minestra maritata

Minestra maritata – Napoli culturaleCC BY-SA 4.0

The minestra maritata (in Neapolitan dialect menesta mmaretata) is a typical dish of Campania’s cuisine. The ingredients of meat and vegetables are “married,” participating together to the dish’s flavor.

It is the Neapolitan reinterpretation of the Spanish olla podrida, and it is boiled meat that became popular during the Hispanic domination of Naples. Today prepared on religious holidays, according to the strictest Neapolitan tradition for Christmas and Easter lunches, but in the post-Renaissance period among the most popular in Naples and the surrounding area throughout the year.

Over the years, the recipe has been dramatically altered, eliminating or modifying the ingredients, which are increasingly rare to find on the market. During the traditional festivities, however, in Naples’ local markets, it is still possible to buy the typical vegetables used to prepare minestra maritata, which are chicory, small escarole (scarulelle), savoy cabbage, and borage, which gives it a bitterish taste. In some variants, catalogna (in Neapolitan dialect: puntarelle) is also used. The typical meat used is the pork of lesser quality, with tracchie, sausages (typical was the so-called nnoglia or peasant salami), and other cuts.

In the most ancient tradition, instead of toasted bread are used scagliuozzi, typical fritters of fried cornflour with a rounded shape, placed on the bottom of the plate.

The preparation also recurs in the gastronomic tradition of Ciociàra (from Ciociaria, a region of southern Latium), where this recipe is found in cookbooks and is mentioned in the typical cookbooks of the area.

Regional Recipe from Campania