Because of their joint history, Molise shares many of the culinary traditions of Abruzzo, and there are few dishes unique to the region.
One is p’lenta d’iragn, a white polenta made with potatoes and wheat and served with a tomato sauce. Another is calconi di ricotta rustica, ravioli stuffed with ricotta, provolone, and prosciutto, then fried in oil. The cheeses of Molise include scamorza, mateca, and burrino.
In the interior of Molise, you can still find orchards with a very old type of apple tree that produces very aromatic fruit known as mela limoncella.
Many families used to display these apples around their kitchen and living room doorframes because of their special scent. They have a green-yellow peel, a very strong scent, and a slightly acidic yet sweet flavor.
Molise typical food includes:
Abbuoti or torcinelli involtini: (envelopes) of lamb intestines filled with chopped liver, sweetbreads, hardboiled egg and baked.
Baccala’ alla cantalupese: salt cod cooked with peppers, capers, black olives, grapes, garlic.
Calcioni di ricotta rustici: rounds of pasta dough filled with ricotta, provolone and prosciutto fried in olive oil, often part of a fritto misto, fried in oil.
Lepre a ciffe e ciaffe: hare cooked in a marinade of vinegar and wine with plenty of herbs.
Panettoncino di mais: a spongy corn-flour cake with chocolate.
Pezzata: ewe stewed with tomato, onion, rosemary and hot peppers.
Picellati: pastries filled with honey, nuts, and grapes.
Pizza con le foglie: corn flour flatbread baked with wild greens; pizza e minestra is a soup of pork broth and field greens with the pizza crumbled into it.
Polenta maritata: slices of cornmeal fried in oil with garlic, layered with a filling of red beans and peperoncini and baked in the oven, a specialty of Isernia.
Tacchino arrosto – Roast turkey Molise style
Polpi in purgatorio – octopus cooked with tomato, garlic, parsley, and diavolicchio.
Zuppa di ortiche – soup of early spring nettle sprouts cooked with tomato and bacon.