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This pleasant-sounding word indicates different foods:
- a soup (more on this below)
- an ice cream composed of fiordilatte with dark chocolate bits (more on this another day)
- a mixture of fresh cream and mozzarella frayed in thin threads used as stuffing for burrata and also sold by itself1
First, a few words on the word stracciatella. The verb stracciare in Italian means to tear, to rip, to shred. The adjective stracciato means torn, in tatters. The soup is made with a mixture of eggs and cheese that, when poured into boiling broth and mixed quickly, cooks into shreds. Besides being delicious, this soup is quite nice to look at.
My mother would make it a few times a year. Not long ago, I asked her for the proportions she uses. This elicited the well-known answer: "poi ti regoli" meaning, you adjust quantities as appropriate. And that is basically what I did. I took out of the freezer a 1-quart container with chicken broth (brodo di pollo) I had previously made, and let it thaw. I beat two eggs (due uova) in a small bowl and added a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons (three or so) of Parmigiano, freshly grated, then a small quantity (un pochino) of lemon juice. The latter ingredient is recommended by my mother.
- 1 quart chicken broth, possibly homemade
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
The making of stracciatella is fun. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add salt and cheese and mix in, then add the lemoun juice and give it a final mix. In the meantime, bring the broth to a boil, slowly pour the egg and cheese mixture in it, while stirring briskly with a wire whisk to cause the small shreds to form. Finally, let it cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, before serving it nice and hot.
Of course, I had to add a personal touch to this, so I added some Ethiopian barley (orzo) I had cooked for another dish and forgot to use (to no lasting detriment, fortunately).
Ethiopian barley is an heirloom, hulless variety of barley, in which the tough inedible outer hull adheres loosely to the kernel and falls off during the harvesting process. Hulless barley is whole-grain barley, since both the bran layer and the germ are conserved. I get this nutritional jewel as part of my share in the Shakefork Community Farm, our wonderful local grain CSA. I cook half a cup at a time and it is so tasty, my husband likes to eat it even plain, as a side dish. The cooked grains are pleasantly chewy and create a contrast in the light-textured stracciatella.
The second time I made it (shown in the photos), I used the same quantity of broth and the same number of eggs, but I added to the latter a few tablespoons of grated Montasio, the homemade cheese featured in this post. I followed my mother's direction and adjusted the quantity as I thought appropriate, without overdoing with the cheese.
Cinzia of Bread and Cherries recently posted her version of stracciatella which offers another interesting variation on the basic recipe. I found another recipe on the Accademia Italiana della Cucina site, which calls for one liter of broth (a bit more than a quart), three eggs, four soup spoons of grated Parmigiano and 2 tablespoons of semolina. Besides salt, a pinch of grated nutmeg (noce moscata) is added (Cinzia leaves it optional). The recipe is labeled as originating from Lazio, the region where Rome is located. It is also the region where my parents were born and grew up.
1 This meaning was unknown to me until today (April 4, 2009): apologies to the early readers. It is not listed in my dictionary and I must admit I have never had a piece of burrata in my life not have I visited Bari and the surrounding area, where burrata is made.
A tureen of steaming stracciatella is what I am bringing to the Festa Italiana, an event organized by Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie of Proud Italian Cook. The running roundup is available here and [unfortunately no longer] here.
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Questa minestra tradizionale laziale è preparata con un miscuglio di uova e formaggio che, quando è versato nel brodo bollente e mescolato velocemente, cuoce in forma di "stracci."
Mia madre la preparava alcune volte l'anno, in particolare il giorno di Pasqua. Quando le ho chiesto le dosi, mi ha dato la solita risposta "poi ti regoli." E questo ho fatto.
- 950 ml brodo di pollo (o misto pollo e carne), possibilmente fatto in casa
- 2 uova
- un pizzico di sale
- 3 cucchiai di Parmigiano-Reggiano macinato fresco
- 1/4 cucchiaino di succo di limone (indicazione di mia madre)
Preparare la stracciatella è divertente. In una ciotola, sbattere leggermente le uova, poi aggiungere sale e formaggio e mescolare. Infine, aggiungere il succo di limone e mescolare un'ultima volta.
Nel frattempo, portare a bollore il brodo. Versare lentamente il miscuglio di uova e formaggio nel brodo e allo stesso tempo mescolare il brodo rapidamente con il frullino in modo che si formino gli stracci. Infine, lasciar cuocere per un paio di minuti, mescolando sempre. Servire subito.
Potete incontrare variazioni di questa minestra tradizionale, come l'aggiunta di semolino o quella di noce moscata. A me piace come la faceva mia madre.
Con questo post contribuisco all'Abbecedario culinario d'Italia, un evento organizzato dalla Trattoria MuVarA che ci porterà a visitare tutte le regioni italiane utilizzando come guida l'alfabeto. La tappa R come Roma è ospitato da Eleonora e Fronza di Garbugli0.