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Routes > Folklore e Tradizioni > Per Comune > Capracotta_La Pezzata
Capracotta_La Pezzata

The Pezzata, that is the festival of the sheep boiled with sweet herbs and barbecued lamb, is the emblem of the pastoral tradition of Capracotta and the High Molise; it takes place every year on the first Sunday of August in the wonderful setting of the plateau of “Prato Gentile”.

The origin of this dish dates back to the time in which the transhumance among the High Molise mountains and the Puglia tableland was an usual habit.
Sometimes happened that looking at a river or crossing an impassable path, some animals became lame and wasn’t able anymore to go on. So, it became irremediably the dinner of the shepherds, whom could cook it, after breaking into pieces, with a few things available in a trip caravan.

The Pezzata, from a simple and “emergence” dish, since the 60’s – when the Municipal Administration of Capracotta organized a festival in order to acquaint the whole Molise and beyond with a typical dish of Capracotta, whose recipe reflected roots and origins of that shepherds people – has become a deliciousness for gourmets.

Obviously, the most important ingredient is the sheep meat, which acquires its particular taste thanks to the rise pastures, quantitatively less rich than the plain equivalents, but qualitatively much more nutritious. The meat is cooked in large pots filled with water and the first operation to do is “skimming”, that is the removal of excessive fats surfaced at the end of the cooking, then they add salt and some potatoes (also with their hull) which continues to absorb the fats produced by the long cooking (at least 4 hours) and some tomatoes to give colour to the broth, but without making it too much red. This is the basic recipe. Variations provide for the addition of other herbs like celery, carrots, onions and a pinch of chilli.

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