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A typical dish brought to light by the stubbornness and determination of the restaurateurs of a territory. Le Cripte Grottaferraresi, a recipe that comes back to light, thanks to innovation and love for tradition.

Italy is full of perfumes. Nature, history, food and traditions mark the flow of life in many small villages in our boot.

The scents that bring us back to our childhood, or that as it happened for Grottaferrata, a city in the Castelli Romani area, the scents that put us in touch with our history.
The Cripte Grottaferraresi are one of those scents of the past, returned to the present thanks to the union of generations of Grottaferraresi, who have worked together to bring to light this ancient recipe, handed down over the years only with the “voice”, or as they have taught us many grandmothers with the do.

Where does the history of the Cripte Grottaferraresi start from?

The crypts are inspired by the ancient recipe of the ‘Timballetti of ricotta, borage and herbs of the Castelli Romani’, found in an old nineteenth century recipe book and the version that we can taste today in the premises of the village is the one born from the mind of 3 chefs, Adriana and Raul of the restaurant la Briciola di Adriana, Nunzio Panetta of the Casina del Buongusto and Gianluca Paolucci of the Cavola d’Oro, who today propose it and above all promote it throughout the territory.
Many personalities, who culminated this cultural project by coming together in a single association called “Gustati Grottaferrata”, created by the union of nine founding members, whose task is to promote the dishes and food and wine of the city of Castles.

How are they prepared?

This dish has many aspects, which in its simplicity unite it to its municipality of origin. The crypts have the appearance of a filled crepe, or the more traditional crepes. The outside is made of sheets of egg pasta, strictly handmade. This is then linked with a cross-shaped intertwining, which recalls the ‘Ferrata Crypt’, a name that later gave rise to the name of the Municipality. The dough inside is made from sheep’s milk ricotta, pecorino, borage and ‘ramolacci’, a wild herb also called ‘weeds of the Castelli Romani’.

For the filling, the vegetables are first sautéed in olive oil, and then mixed together with the ricotta and pecorino, before stuffing the puff pastry.
The Criptensi before being served, are then covered with cheese, sometimes cherry tomatoes, then all au gratin in the oven.

The Criptensi are not just a tasty dish, they are the testimony of how love and the synergies that are created within a village can transform a simple traditional dish into a testament that is recognizable throughout the territory.
This dish is a passage of testimonies, a bridge that unites the ancient with the immortal, and an opportunity for this city to make its typical products known to the new generations, and to people who have not yet discovered the beauties of the Castelli territory.
After all, food is the meeting point for many cultures, even the most distant ones!