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Meals from the Middle Ages

by Maria Linardi last modified 2008-06-20 15:12

Get a taste of the Middle Ages with our great gourmet recipes.

C'è chi è convinto che la cucina medievale fosse rozza e monotona. Gradite un assaggio?Ermanno Olmi's latest film The Profession of Arms brings us back into the Middle Ages, a time full of political intrigue, religious struggle, cultural change and, surprisingly - great gourmet cooking.
Most people write off mediaeval cooking as dull and stodgy, which is far from the truth! Indeed the late Middle Ages was a time of invention and sophistication in the kitchen with much attention given over to blending flavours and colours to please the palate. To get a taste of what was cooking during the Middle Ages go to one of the atmospheric mediaeval banquets which will be held in Orvieto throughout the month of June. You will be entertained by court musicians, minstrels and jesters. Or you can recreate the flavours of the Middle Ages in your own kitchen with our two historical recipes. Buon appetito!


Minestra di fave

Feeds 6
220 g of pearl barley -
200 g of dried broad beans
80 g of chopped onion
200 ml of meat or chicken stock
olive oil
black pepper

Soak the beans in cold water for at least 4 hours. In a separate dish soak the barley for 1 hour. Crush 2 cloves of garlic, add to the chopped onion and fry in the olive oil until golden. Drain the beans and add them to the pan along with the stock and a pinch of salt. Cook for 30 minutes then add the drained barley. Continue cooking for a further 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning then add the finely chopped parsley and drizzle with some olive oil. Serve with fresh home-made bread or crostini (toasted white bread rubbed with garlic and soaked in olive oil). Then wash it all down with a glass of dry white wine.


Maialino arrosto

Feeds 6
2 best-end ribs from a suckling pig
100 g of organic cannellini beans
cherry tomatoes
dried oregano
olive oil

Soak the beans in cold water overnight, rinse and boil for around 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the meat from the bone at the top of each rib and push down. Rub the cutlets with a clove of garlic then season with the oregano, some freshly ground pepper and the olive oil and marinade for 30 minutes in a flameproof dish. Brown for 5-10 minutes over a hot flame then cook in the preheated oven for a further 25 minutes. Heat a clove of garlic and a sprig of rosemary in olive oil. Drain the beans and add to the mixture. Meanwhile plunge 6 cherry tomatoes in boiling water and remove when skin wrinkles (approx. 30 seconds). Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the vinegar, sage, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then serve along with the meat and a glass of Rosso Piceno.

Italian Bread - - Make your own Italian bread thanks to Deborah Mele's basic, yet tasty, recipe.
Bioshop - You can now buy delicious organic food online in the Bioshop. (Bioshop offers a world-wide delivery service.)
Gallo Nero - Go for a mediaeval meal in the Gallo Nero restaurant. The Gallo Nero also organises weekend and week-long courses in mediaeval cookery..

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