Italian Delights with Caciocavallo Cheese

cannelloni

Caciocavallo is an Italian cheese made from cow's milk. It is made into a gourd-like shape, about 11 3/4″ (30 cm) long and weighing about 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

Caciocavallo cheese is produced in Calabria and some other regions of Italy. The taste of the cheese depends on its stage of maturity. A cheese that has matured for 10 days is sweet to the taste, while a spicy one takes more than half a year to mature.

Caciocavallo can be used to prepare top-notch Italian specialties. Cannelloni ripieni, typical of Calabrian cuisine, are magnificently scrumptious.

For 6 servings you will need 1 1/5 cups of a hard-wheat flour, 4 eggs, 1 pinch of salt, 17.5 oz baked pork, 2/5 cup grated Caciocavallo, nutmeg to taste, 3 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

caciocavallo

Make the flour into a pile, form a well in it, break 2 eggs over it and add salt. Knead a dough, add 2/5 cup of warm water. Leave it for 20 min. Roll it out to about 3/4″ (2 cm) thick and cut out squares 4″ (10 cm) per side. Pour 12 1/2 cups of water in a pot and the oil.

Bring it to a boil and drop the dough squares in. Boil for 5 min. and take them out, dip them in cold water and put them on the table. Grind the meat, put it in a saucepan, pour in the sauce from the boiling and saute for 5 min. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Pour the olive oil in a deep tray. Put 2 tablespoons of stuffing in each square and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cheese. Wrap them into rolls, pour the sauce from the frying over them and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake 15 min. at 392°F (200°C), remove from the oven, pour on 2 whipped eggs and bake for another 5 min.

fusilli

Fusilli alla Siracusana is another fine delicacy. For it you will need 1 eggplant, 2 peppers, 24.5 oz tomatoes, 1 bunch of basil, 2/5 cup grated Caciocavallo, 4 anchovies, 3 1/3 tbsp of pitted olives, 2 tablespoons of capers, 14 oz fusilli (a type of pasta), 6 tablespoons olive oil, salt to taste.

The fusilli can be substituted with spiral or plain macaroni.

Cut the eggplant into cubes, salt and leave to drain out the bitter juice. Roast the peppers, peel and cut them finely. Parboil the tomatoes with boiling water, peel and cut them finely. Chop the anchovies and olives finely as well.

Fry the eggplant until golden, add the tomatoes and fish, salt, and saute for 15 min. Pour 12 1/2 cups of water in a pot, add salt and bring to a boil. Throw in the fusilli and boil al dente - for the core to be firm.

Add the peppers, olives and capers to the sauce and saute for 2 min. Add the fusilli and the remaining olive oil and saute another 2 min. Serve sprinkled with Caciocavallo and generously decorated with basil leaves.

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