The most important first course from Salento cuisine is homemade pasta, the ‘maccarruni’ or ‘minchiareddi seasoned with good tomato sauce and ‘ricotta schianta’ that has a very strong taste. Maccaruni pasta is prepared with wheat flour and/or barley flour and water, and using “lu fierru”, a wire of a few millimeters in diameter and about 30 cm long.
1 kg of flour
250 g ricotta marzotica cheese, grated
1 liter of tomato sauce
Put the flour on a wooden surface. Form a hole in the center and put some water. Begin to mix adding water a little at a time until all the flour is absorbed and you have an elastic dough. Take the dough and knead it, roll it out and shape the pieces into ‘snakes’ 0,5 cm large. Cut them into small pieces (2-3 cm long). Place them on the surface separating them from each and sprinkle with flour to prevent them from sticking.
At this point, take “lu fierru” and shape one by one the pieces of dough. Take the piece of dough, lay it flat on the work surface and place the wire on it in the same direction. Press lightly with the palm of your hand making a circular movement.
Cook pasta in salted water, drain and dress with the sauce made of fresh tomatoes cooked with basil and cheese.