“SURIACA NTA PIGNATA” FROM CALABRIA
In Calabria, in the province of Vibo Valentia, the “suriaca” (or sujaca) is the bean that is typical of the area south of the Poro di Caria plain (that belongs to Drapia).
Cultivated in very fertile land, it was once the most prepared dinner of Calabrian peasants after a day of hard work in the fields.
The “suriaca nta pignata” (beans with pignata) is a typical recipe of traditional Calabrian cuisine and takes its name from the so-called “pignata”, the characteristic terracotta pot with two handles, used for the preparation of many dishes in Southern Italy.
It is a simple but very tasty dish, especially if accompanied by a glass of Calabrian “vino novello” (new wine) and enjoyed with bread.
According to tradition, to cook the “suriaca” it was necessary to fill the “pignata” with beans and water. Cooking took place over a low heat, on the embers.
During slow cooking (approx. a couple of hours), it is necessary to add water and feed the fire.
While preparing the dish, you need to take the pignata from the fire, mix the beans by shaking them manually without forks or spoons, cover and uncover the pignata with a terracotta lid.
Salt, Calabrian chili pepper and a clove of garlic is added halfway through cooking.
Ingredients for pignata beans:
100 g of dried beans per person
whole tomato (alternatively also tomato sauce)
salt and Calabrian pepper
Rinse the beans and place them in the pignata filled with water (or a pot full of water). Cook over a low heat for about two hours.
During the preparation, it will be necessary to add a lot of hot water (in order not to interrupt the cooking), because the beans will absorb a lot of it, almost doubling their volume.
When it is half cooked, add the salt, the whole clove of garlic, the oregano, and the tomato.
Ready cooked, season with some drops of extra virgin olive oil and add a little Calabrian pepper.
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