Food was still cooked over fireplaces and terracotta pots traditionally were part of everyday life, not the past. Cooking in clay pots was once the norm for Mediterranean peoples. With Neolithic finds and evidence, pots, along with those in soapstone, were among the earliest vessels used for cooking, ancient evidence of early human settlements. Intuition from the bottom: from the mud, to be exact. It turned out that by manipulating clay and drying it in the sun, it could achieve durable and lasting forms; with the birth of trade and the need to transport increasingly complex products, prototypes of what we now consider the first terracotta vessels were born. And these pans are still used today, even in the presence of those in steel, aluminum or copper, a source of undeniable advantages. From pulses to vegetables, from fish to meat, cooking in a pan not only keeps the temperature even and constant, prevents excessive use of fats, but also allows you to capture and preserve the taste and smell of the product thanks to the porous material. food
Great for slow cooking, terracotta pans are especially suitable for cooking soups, minestrone, stews, gravies and cereals. Of course, these traditional pots are not suitable for the “quick cooking” of our time, they are difficult to clean – never with soap and only water and lemon – these pots are very fragile and require care and attention to handle them, but the results obtained in their use it’s amazing. Tofeja, Fojot, Ola: In Piedmont, terracotta pots also have their own name, they are very important in the gastronomic tradition of the region and they all accompany typical preparations and dishes, they can add color to the whole table by themselves. Below is the recipe to try them too:Buy furniture.
- 500g of fresh borlotti beans in shell
- 200 g of potatoes
- 200 g of pumpkin
- 3 large leeks
- 2 pork ribs
- 2 carrots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 onion
- 1 dl extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- pepper if necessary
The first step in preparing our “Ula al Furn” starts with cleaning the vegetables: first we peel leeks, pumpkin, celery, carrots and garlic, potatoes and onions, then we wash them thoroughly with a wide knife. We cut all the above-mentioned vegetables into cubes.
We will process parsley and basil separately: after washing them carefully, be sure to remove the remains of the soil, finely chop them, collect the proceeds in a bowl. We will be using them soon!
Well: now let’s take our typical Piedmontese earthenware pot in which we will cook our “minestrone” and fill it with freshly processed vegetables; alternate layers, now with vegetables, now with pinto beans, and then finish with pork ribs.
Let’s take back the freshly processed parsley and basil and spread it on our Ola. We salt and pepper according to our taste and let everything rest for half an hour: during this time we will allow the spices to release their scents that will blend into the final soup.
After wetting our soup with a glass of water, cover it with a special lid and cook it in a preheated static oven for no less than 3 hours. Every now and then we will go to check on the state of the soup and mix different ingredients with a ladle.
After the expected time, allow the Ula to cool for a few minutes before serving. Perfect: our recipe is ready: let’s accompany it with a glass of Barbera, maybe garnish everything with a sprig of basil. Bon Appetit.