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Posted December 20, 2011
I have spent many summers in Gaeta, Italy, and one of my favorite memories is of "la tiella", a delicious theme dish with a number of variations. Dishes similar to "la tiella" appear throughout the region around Gaeta, cooked both at home and in bakeries and restaurants, perhaps throughout Italy as well, but you won't find them at Olive Garden or any of those other so-called "Italian" restaurants, and the Gaetana variety is by far the best.
You will find them in this recipe book filled with delicious variations on the main idea, as well as suggestions on how to adapt it to what you can find in American stores (for example, canned American anchovies don't pack quite the same punch as fresh Italian anchovies, so Tarallo suggests a substitute).
I learned how to make tiella from my Italian mother, and Tarallo provides not only a recipe that agrees with hers, but also gives you access to online videos that show how to mix the ingredients. Tarallo also suggests a different temperature than the one my mother suggested; this improved the end result of my own tiellas.
If you are interested in authentic Italian cuisine, from the region that gave us pizza (no, the Tuscans did NOT give us pizza) then you should try some of the recipes here. You won't be disappointed.