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Verona Recipes: Pearà

 

Pearà is probably the most representative recipe of Verona cuisine. It really represent the soul of Veronese dishes, deep rooted in the peasant tranditon in which nothing had to be wasted and with very simple and humble ingredients they were able to prepare tasty dishes. Pearà means "peppered" in veronese dialect. It's a creamy sauce made with ingredients that in the past were considered scraps by noble and rich family: old, hard bread and bone marrow.
Today, together with green parsley sauce, grated horse radish, mostarda (pickled candied fruit in spicy syrup) its one of the main accompaniment of the typical boiled meat tray served in traditional Veronese restaurants.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of breadcrumbs. You can make hem yourself by grating hard bread and then passing it through a sieve
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of beef bone marrow
  • 1 liter (2.1 pints) of beef or chicken soup
  • two teaspoons full of ground black pepper
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of ground Parmesan cheese
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of extra virgin olive oil
  • Two pinches of salt

Directions:

Pearà needs to be gently cooked for a long time so the ideal pot to cook it is an earthenware one. Alternatively you can also use a stainless casserole with a particularly thick bottom. A fire net it's also useful in order to have an even more gentle flame.
In the pot, with gentle fire, melt the bone marrow with few spoons of extra virgin olive oil stirring with a wooden spoon. In the mean time warm up the soup.
Add the breadcrumbs, salt, the ground pepper and the hot soup. Keep stirring until you have a uniform consistency with no lumps. Keep stirring until it boils, then turn the fire to the minimum. Add the remaining olive oil so that it creates a sort of "lid" over the pearà.
Let it cook with the lowest fire possible for two hours without stirring.
When ready add the Parmesan cheese and gently stirr.
Pearà has to have a nice creamy consistancy. It depend on personal tastes but Pearà has to be very spicy with pepper. Serve hot. It is excellent with boiled meet, especially with Cotechino, the typical salami made with pork meet and rind.

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