Pope Francis is known worldwide as a down-to-earth and frugal pope. However, he also takes delight in life’s simple pleasures including delicacies from his place of birth and food that his mother cooks for their family’s lengthy Sunday lunches.
“My mother was such a great cook. She would make fresh cappelletti with ragu (a sauce with meat and vegetables), risotto alla piemontese (a dish made from rice and parmigiana reggiano), and delicious oven-roasted chicken,” said Maria Elena, the Pope’s sister, in an interview.
Check out these recipes of two of the pope’s favorite dishes from his family home!
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Brush a well-plucked and cleaned chicken with some olive oil.
- Prepare seasoning of salt and chopped herbs (add a couple of cloves of garlic or lemon zest) and use it to coat the chicken inside and out.
- Place the chicken in a pan drizzled with oil at the bottom.
- Once the oven is hot, put the pan with the chicken inside the oven and let it cook for an hour.
- After 30 minutes, turn the chicken with a fork to cook it evenly; moisten it with its drippings.
- You can add a side of roasted potatoes by cutting a pound of potatoes into chunks and adding them into the pan after 30 minutes.
Cappelletti with Ragu
- For the sauce, set aside 3 ounces of beef and 2 ounces of pork loin, lean and ground
- Prepare a pan of broth from bouillon cube.
- Prepare the base by sautéing a small onion, half a stick of celery, chopped carrots, a little oil, and butter.
- Saute until the smells are softened and then add the meat. Stir well.
- Add half a glass of white wine and evaporate quickly by raising the heat and stirring.
- Add salt to taste.
- Once the mixture is dry, add a couple of cups of tomato puree, along with three tablespoons of broth.
- Simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. If the sauce seems dry, simply add more broth made from a bouillon cube.