Feb 042015
 

 

Located in the north of the Gulf of Naples a picturesque volcanic island Ischia is famous for being a shooting scene for many outstanding movies (including “Cleopatra” with incomparable Elizabeth Taylor). It is also known for its high-quality wines, as well as for a few Neapolitan cuisine culinary pleasures. Savory, sweet, earthy and crunchy foriana sauce is a staple component in Ischia’s community diet, especially during Lent.

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The sauce is very good when served like the way it is typically served on its motherland Ischia – with pasta, giving the dish quiet an interesting structure. It is also excellent with toasts, cheese, Brussel sprouts, green beans, or even roasted beets. I like to cut my beets into small cubes or coarsely grate them using a ‘mandolin’ type grater, then mix with foriana sauce and extra good quality olive oil, lemon juice, fresh parsley or basil (optional). This is a very healthy and unique beet salad.

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The sauce is well kept in a refrigerator for up to two weeks. After each use, you should pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top of the sauce to keep it ‘fresh’ and ‘alive’.

The sauce recipe is adapted from a great book Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone.

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Foriana Sauce

 

about 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pine or pistachio nuts (pine nuts in original version)
  • 10 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus oil to cover the sauce in the pot
  • ½ cup light or golden raisins
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For Pasta ala foriana (6 servings):

  • 1 package (450-500 g) pasta (spaghetti, linguini, Fettuccine, etc.).
  • 1 cup foriana sauce
  • Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

 

Preparation

In a blender or a food processor coarsely grind the nuts and the garlic. The mixture should look like granola. Add the oregano and pulse it a few more times to combine.

In a medium-size skillet heat the olive oil, add the nut mixture, the raisins, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, avoiding browning.

Put the hot sauce in clean jars, pour a thin layer of olive oil and store in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/3 cup of water. Stir in foriana sauce and extra virgin olive oil, if needed. If the pasta seems rather dry, add a little water from the pasta.

Serve sprinkled with cheese and parsley or basil, if desired.

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Cook with pleasure!

 

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