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Gnummareddi, from Basilicata a 'ball' of goodness

Thursday 30 july 2020

Typical dish of Lucanian cuisine. A simple recipe, but it contains an ancient and curious history. From north to south do not differ in ingredients or preparation, but by name

Gnummareddi, from Basilicata a 'ball' of goodness

The gnummareddi, are a typical dish of Lucanian cuisine. Want to know what they're made of? Simply angel or kid entrails, wrapped in gut. A simple recipe, but it contains an ancient and curious history. Let's discover it together. First of all, the name itself refers to the shape of the product from the Latin glomus, glomeris which means "little ball".
The origins and tradition of this dish are so distant that they are closely linked to Greece and Mesopotamia. Just think that even, in Greece, there is a dish almost equal to the gnummareddi called gardouba or gardoubakia. In fact, the millenary cattle breeding has given rise to this typical dish of the Lucanian tradition, which can be eaten at any festival and event in Basilicata.

Did you know that in ancient times it was considered the dish of the poor? Well yes, this is because offal were the few things that remained after the choice of the best parts for the rich landowners. Despite the numerous variants present on the national territory, they soon became a much appreciated dish capable of accompanying vegetables and goat's cheese. Around this traditional recipe, there are some small curiosities.

From north to south they do not differ in ingredients or preparation, but by name. Known as turcinelli in Molise, they indicate the net twisted around the skewer. Instead, in Irpinia they are called mugliatielli, to indicate a skein, while mboti in the Salerno area. The gnummareddi were soon mentioned also in cinema and theatre. In the poem "O scartellat" the poet Raffaele Chiurazzi, in '900, are compared to a beggar hunchback.
Thanks to the film Basilicata coast to coast by Rocco Papaleo, they also landed on the big screen. In Basilicata it is such a popular dish that it is prepared all year round, even for the Easter holidays. Let's see now what you need to offer your diners a dish that, surely, they will not easily forget thanks to its taste.
What you need to prepare the gnummareddi, for 4 people, are:


400 gr sweetbread and intestines;
goat/kid meat;
lard q.b;
garlic to taste
chilli pepper to taste
parsley q.b;
1 finely chopped onion
bay leaves to taste
carousel (wild fennel) q.b;
red wine q.b.


First take the casings and wash them thoroughly with water and salt or lemon and let them dry for about 12 hours. Now what you have to do is take the offal (lamb or suckling kid) and chop it into pieces with the other ingredients. Then, cut the gut lengthwise into 5 cm long strips and fill it with the mixture. Place parsley and carousel leaves inside. The original recipe also includes the use of black pepper to flavour the meat. Once everything is ready, grill for about 15 minutes. Use bay leaves and olive branches to flavour during cooking, dusting on top also chilli pepper and parsley. Finally, serve on a plate or, at discretion, inside a sandwich. You can also cook them in a pan, with a drizzle of oil, bay leaves and chopped onion. Flavour with red wine and serve on crunchy croutons. One type of cooking also includes the possibility of stewing them for 4 or 5 hours with bay leaves, onion and pecorino cheese skins or baked with potatoes. In addition, gnummareddi can be accompanied by well seasoned cheeses, stewed peppers and onions.

Enjoy your meal!
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