Above: Arrosticini being cooked on a grill in Abruzzo, Italy

5 Specialties of Abruzzese Cooking

The hearty, rustic cooking of Abruzzo is based on the region’s superb lamb, as well as some of the best-quality pasta in Italy, pulses (beans, chickpeas and lentils) and sheep’s and goat’s milk cheeses. Here are five specialties to look for.

Pallotte, fried balls of cheese and breadcrumbs, is a typical food of Abruzzo, Italy - ChiccoDodiFC/iStock/Getty Images


Fried balls of cheese and coarse breadcrumbs, bound together with egg and usually served in a tomato sauce. This iconic Abruzzese dish is in the cucina povera (peasant cooking) tradition, recently made fashionable by chefs such as Cesare Casella.

Arrosticini grilled over charcoal - Massimiliano Agati/iStock/Getty Images


Lamb or mutton, chopped into cubes, skewered and then grilled over charcoal. Arrosticini are often accompanied by slices of bread soaked in extra-virgin olive oil, plus peperoncino (hot chile peppers). Arrosticini were originally eaten by mountain shepherds, especially from the villages of Civitella Casanova, Carpineto and Villa Celiera. The traditional accompaniment is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine.

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Above: Arrosticini being cooked on a grill in Abruzzo, Italy

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