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Minestra maritata (married soup)

The recipe in these pages is challenging not in the sense that it is difficult but because it is an important recipe, a recipe that occupies a role of queen in Campania gastronomy. You can find several versions, each family has its own. The one of my recipe is that of my grandmother, of course, and I will tell you what happened before it was made.

Let’s start from the beginning: WHEN, that is, the day you decided to make the soup; once it was decided when (which mainly depended on the period in which a family friend was slaughtering the pig he had grown in the courtyard), the ingredients were purchased. Pork and vegetables. The meat was taken from a friend who raised the pig by feeding it naturally and the vegetables were bought from the farmer and not at the market. The soup pot was huge because grandmother distributed it a little to the whole family who were looking forward to this moment of the year.

The minesta had a preparation of a day and was eaten the next day. I started to appreciate it when I was almost 20, maybe my palate needed to mature to appreciate those flavors. Now it is an important appointment for me in January and no matter where I am, I always try to get the ingredients needed to prepare it, replacing someone if I really can’t find everything. Now get to work and enjoy this lady soup.

Now I live in Northern Ireland and here is not easy or almost impossible to find some ingredients and I have used what is easy to find on the market.


2 pak choi

the heart of a Savoy cabbage

1 endive

500 gr cavolo nero

½ kg of pork ribs

½ kg of spicy sausage

2 cloves of garlic

1 stalk of celery

Chili pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

1 liter of vegetable or chicken broth

Salt and pepper

Clean all the vegetables and blanch them separately. In a large saucepan, brown the finely chopped garlic, diced celery and chilli in extra virgin olive oil, add the pork meat, when is golden add the vegetables mixing all together. Add the broth, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer from 1 to 2 hours. Serve with rustic bread.

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