This post is also available in: Italian

Nowadays, food and wine have great prominence on all media. There is no TV or newspaper channel that at least once a day does not talk or “tell us” about a dish.

After all we are in Italy, world’s best in this field. Each town has its own peculiarities, and we at Torre Cajetani also stand out from the others.

Many times when we talk about Lazio cuisine we refer mainly to the dishes of the Judeo-Roman cuisine but hardly ever do we talk about the rest of the areas near the capital.

Even the Amatriciana and the Gricia, dishes from the Rieti cuisine, at least until recently were combined only with the cuisine of the capital.

We have a culinary curiosity about Torre Cajetani when talking about zocchi: a type of pasta made with water and flour and cut narrower than the most common sagne (long fresh pasta).

Sagne is perhaps the most characteristic dish of Ciociaria and is mainly used for soups, in fact, given their shape, you never knew how to eat them, whether with a fork or spoon. They are also prepared with tomato, or made into soup with beans and cut into large squares.

Also among the pasta made with water and flour there are ‘cecamariti’, a sort of long dumpling.

But speaking of the world of home-made pasta, we must also mention the famous egg pasta such as fini fini or taglierini seasoned with simple sauce or in a broth and macaroni, a little larger than taglierini and which are seasoned with chicken giblets.

Then among the first are the fettuccine, timballo, frascategli, stracciatella (egg) with chicken broth, and soup with bread underneath.

Finally, we recall the famous potato gnocchi seasoned with tomato sauce or with other delicacies.

In our land, the use of onion and garlic in cooking is widespread and when these dishes arrived in our towns they were no longer pure: they had the  addition of onion. Many of us remember that even in the Matriciana, Gricia and Carbonara, our grandmothers used to add the red onion.

It is curious to see how by moving only a few kilometres, the dishes have differences that follow the uses and products of that land.

So here is the

Recipe for Zocchi of Torre Cajetani

  • Flour
  • Lard
  • Aromatic herbs
  • Garlic
  • pecorino cheese

Mix the flour (even wholemeal if you want) with as much water as is necessary to obtain a very hard dough. Work vigorously, incorporating more flour if necessary and then roll it out with a rolling pin until you get a fairly thick round pastry.

Allow the pastry to dry, then flour it and roll it up.

With a sharp knife cut with cross cuts of 3 mm to obtain a pasta similar to “maltagliati”. After this operation, pass them between your hands so that they break apart.

Cook in abundant salted water and remove the pasta from the heat when, after boiling, it will come to the surface.

Make a bar of lard (mixed with garlic and some herbs), brown and once the mixture has melted, add the preserves (or tomatoes) and water appropriately. Cook for some time.

Once ready, add the freshly prepared soup to the zòcchi and serve with pecorino.

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