Vini brings Puglia to Sydney!

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Puglia is a little more rustic than other parts of Italy. Its major cities like Bari, Lecce and Trani are less visited by tourists than, say, Milan or Rome. But Puglia’s cuisine and wine makes it a fabulous destination. Many Puglian dishes have their origins in “cucina povera”, making use of what’s available! A classic example is one of the region’s signature dishes, Ciceri e Tria and the reason I was determined to make it to Vini’s Tuesday Sagra dinner. A four course dinner that celebrates an Italian region, and on

this occasion we were lucky to make it to Puglia. We take our seats and begin to slowly adsorb the menu, Ciceri e Tria was definitely there. With a large selection of Italian wines, instead of choosing the region’s Primitivo we unamimouly agree on a Montepulciano. I think we were right as it matched the rustic fare so well. We started the course with a platter of uova e pepperoni (egg with peppers) and taralli, a savoury cracker almost pretzel like. It was a tasty entree that teased our taste buds for more. This was followed by cavolfiore stufate – braised cauliflower with olives and pecorino. Some crusty bread would have been perfect to scoop the delicious sauce. A well timed Ciceri e Trio makes its way to the table.  This ancient Pugliese dish of pasta, chickpeas, chickpea puree and pieces of fried pasta for texture was divine. This is the kind of dish that inspires me, so regional, fresh and wholesome. Why wasn’t this our main, but promptly the u’verdette arrives. A roasted lamb with peas finished with a mixture of eggs, parsley and pecorino was generous and hearty. Finally the night slowly comes to an end with the famous Zeppole di San Giuseppe – a fried pastry filled with cherries and pastry cream. Overall an inspiring night that had us all feeling like catching the next flight to Italy, make that direct to Bari please!


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