Cavatelli alla Ventricina, the Queen of Molise

Cavatelli alla Ventricina, the Queen of Molise

I am a kitchen chef and I would like to bring to your attention the VENTRICINA, a typical salami of my territory.

I am in Montenero di Bisaccia, in the province of Campobasso in the surprising region that does not exist: Molise.

Ventricina is a cured meat produced throughout the Trigno River Valley, both on the Molise side and on the Abruzzese side. I remember that before these two regions were a single region with the compound name of Abruzzo and Molise.

For us locals, the VENTRICINA is defined as the Queen of Salami and we produce it with the noble parts of the pig cut into chunks ranging from 2 cm to 4 cm: ham, loin, shoulder and bacon (which is the fat part that must never exceed 35%).

All these parts are then spiced with salt, sweet and spicy paprika, wild fennel seeds and other little secrets that no one will ever lt be known.

Then the mixture is stuffed into the bladder or into the larger intestines of the animal from which its name derives. In fact, it was originally stuffed into the stomach from which it also takes the name "belly-china".

At this point it is to be put out to dry and is seasoned in an olive wood bowl with three branches called perfecchi.

Ventricina can be consumed in various ways, as an appetizer or sliced as a dish. Tradition has it that it is eaten peeled with the hands in large pieces.

The first dish that can be considered the symbol of my town is the Cavatelli (which we call cuzzhtill) with Ventricina sauce, while the second dish is the grilled skewers.

Ventricina Cavatelli Recipe:

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Cavatelli 600 gr
  • Ventricina 400 gr
  • Chopped (Brunoise) of celery, carrot, pepper and two cloves of garlic dressed
  • Tomato puree (lu sctratth)
  • Two bay leaves

Brown the vegetables in three tablespoons of EVO oil and then sauté the Ventricina, cover with a lid and seal for a few minutes.

Deglaze with half a glass of red wine (Montepulciano) and half of white wine (Trebbiano) and then cover with two bottles of passata, a little water and bay leaves.

Let it go over a very low heat for at least 1 hour and, when the sauce is well reduced, cook the cavatelli and then toss them with the sauce and sprinkle them with pecorino from Molise.

The first is ready to be served -  good appetite!

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