Traditional Dishes of the heel of Italy

Published in Puglia Food

The cuisine of the territory of Leuca is made up of simple and genuine dishes reflecting the folk traditions of the very tip of the heel of Italy in Puglia.

The Unione dei Comuni 'Terra di Leuca' has highlighted the best from seven towns in the zone demonstrating the subtle combination of wonderfully delicate and intensive flavours in the local cuisine.


Fish reigns all over, but especially in Gagliano del Capo. Here you should try the vermicelli pasta with crabs in tomato sauce; boiled octopus with olives, pepper, lemon juic and parsley; as well as grilled mussels.

In Patù seek out orecchiette pasta and 'minchiareddhi' with tomato sauce along with the special cheese ricotta. Not forgetting twisty lasagna and curled chicories in a pork soup.

In Alessano the homade 'millafanti' pasta in chicken soup, the 'zuccàli' in lamb soup and fried 'urdichella' are all exquisite.

Tiggiano and Corsano also have their local variations of potatoes and tripe and ancient 'ngialicurda' (made of flour, water, salt and olive oil), aubergine rissoles and stuffed capiscums or peppers.

Head to Salve to discover the most revered dish of the territory. It is octopus cooked in an earthenware pot or 'pignata', perhaps accompanied with potato pie made with boiled potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, black olives, onions, dwarf vegetable marrows, origano and olive oil.

The best dishes of Morciano di Leuca are fried or stuffed mussels and fried ricotta cheese with quince jam known as cotognata.

But also the fragrant 'pucce' bread with its black olives, or 'friseddhe' which is toasted bread soaked in water and dressed with tomaotes, olive oil and origano.

Finally, the unpronounceable 'carthedhathe' and 'porcheddhuzzi' which are specialities prepared during the Christmas period.

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