The goodness of the table of Montemiletto are the cecatiell co ru’ ppullieio. A main course of Irpinia made with a very aromatic and perfumed spontaneous grass, similar to the mint, exactly pulieio o puleio.
Therefore, the handmade Cicatielli are a mix between cavatelli and fusilli.
Of very ancient origins and linked to the traditional and tasty farm cuisine, it is told that centuries ago a woman, annoyed for her husband’s betrayals, wanted to vent the anger she had inside inventing a pasta. All this seems comprehensible if we think about the way in which the dough is made (with strong rush), the tear of the piece of pasta that is pressed (‘cicato’) with the index and middle fingers of the hand, movements that well exemplify and testify the anger of a cuckolded woman, who will succeed, exactly with this dish, to reconquer her husband.
The pulieio, in Italian puleggio, is a plant already known by the ancient Romans who used it against respiratory ailments. Pulieium or pulegium derives from pulex (flea), maybe because it had the feature to keep these insects away. It has little, really aromatic leaves.
In the typical recipe, ‘Li cecatiell cu ru’ ppulieio’, take quite a bit, choose some leaflets, wash them and grind them in the mortar, together with the garlic and the hot chili pepper. Heat the oil in a pan, put the pesto, leave frying a bit and put fresh and peeled plum tomato. Salt and, when the sauce is ready, flavor the ‘cecatiell’, that is, fresh cavatelli, made up of flour and water, scratched with an only finger and boiled in abundant water.