This homage to Neapolitan cuisine is for all those people around the world who love our region, hoping that they can find through our blog scents, colors and flavors of a land that never abandons us, thanks to the fact that products like those of Ciao – Il pomodoro di Napoli are now available even very far away from Naples. Here, then, the secrets of the zuppa di soffritto, a typical meat-based condiment suitable for robust stomachs of the Neapolitan people, which despite its name is a sauce and not a soup.
‘o suffritt is a dish from the popular tradition of the past, when the poverty-stricken housewives of the most poor alleys of Naples that couldn’t afford to go buy food were used to claim the meat scraps from the tables of the lords in their aristocratic palaces shouting: ‘e zendraglie – a Neapolitan word derived from the French les entrailles, i.e. the entrails, the scraps.
And with those scraps they knew how to create dishes that are now part of our tradition.
A spicy meat-based dish in which is the tomato to make the difference, the soffritto became after the war the typical filling for the sandwiches of the workers, made by housewives that threw a living cooking pans of this sauce to be sold to fill the “palatoni” – the typical Neapolitan bread – of the workers.
So, thanks to the genius of those women, for next to nothing you could buy a single plate made appealing by suet, bay tree, and ancient wisdom.
The soffritto soup changes name from place to place in Campania, – zuppa forte, zupp’ ‘e suffritt, cioffritto, zuffritto, sfrionzola – but the result does not change, especially if you make it with ingredients rigorously from our region, as the tomato concentrate Ciao.
Nowadays, housewives no longer fill the streets with the aroma of the soffritto soup and this sauce has become a dish almost bourgeois, that you buy ready-made at the butcher shops and is stored in the fridge in aluminum trays without the romance of terracotta bowls of the past.
But the taste is still the original one, strong, yummy, apt for dressing pasta and bread and that should always be accompanied by a glass of local wine: alla faccia ‘e chi ce v’o male – in the face of those who wish us bad – as we say in Naples!
Here is the recipe:
• 2 kg and a half of pork offal
• 2 cans of tomato concentrate (300 g)
• 2 cans of extract of sweet peppers (2 x 900 g)
• 1 can of 900 g of extract of hot peppers
• A deciliter of extra virgin olive oil
• 150 grams of lard
• 4-5 bay leaves
• Salt to taste
Wash the offal and put it to soak for a few hours. Then boil it and cut it into small pieces before frying it in lard oil and bay leaves for 15-20 minutes.
Then add the tomato paste and chilies and a bit of water if the mixture is too dense.
The mixture is then cooked until it reaches a thick consistency and then allowed to cool down.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, but will tend to thicken. Before serving, just heat it up by adding a little water.