Recipe: Bruschetta Alla Basilicata

Tony Traficante serves up two different options for one of Italy's simplest (yet most delicious) creations.

This article is written by ISDA Contributing Editor Tony Traficante.

Bruschetta Alla Basilicata

“Sassi di Matera”

Not saying “Bruschetta” is an invention of the Italian Region of La Basilicata, but the following is an original ‘pastoral’ recipe from that part of Italy…

Quaint Basilicata, once the poorest of the Italian regions, is located above the arch of the Italian boot. Famous for its history dating back to the Paleolithic age, archeologists still search its grounds for antiquities. “Pulling itself up by its bootstraps,” Basilicata (aka Lucania) has advanced into an exciting and thriving region.

They call this bruschetta recipe Acqua e Sale al Pomodoro con Cipolla Rossa or “Water and Salt with Tomatoes and Onions.”


  • Bring together about 8 nice sized day old (or toasted) ½ inch-thick slices of crusty Italian bread
  • Slice about 16 pieces of fresh, plump, juicy tomatoes (i.e. beefsteak or other large tomatoes) enough to cover the bread
  • A small red onion, thinly sliced
  • A pinch or two of salt and ground black pepper –to your taste
  • Prepare a handful of shredded fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, and bits of fresh garlic


  • Place the bread on a serving plate.
  • Layer each slice of bread with tomatoes and onion slices.
  • Sprinkle over with salt, pepper, garlic and basil, then, drizzle with a good helping of olive oil.

An Added Version:

  • Marinate the tomatoes, putting the ingredients together in a bowl (except the bread) for about ½ hour to generate that marvelous juice you will need.
  • Slice-up Mozzarella cheese (as many as the tomato slices).
  • When all is marinated, layer the bread with the cheese and tomatoes. Then drizzle the resulting fermented juices over the whole creation!

Serves about 6 to 8, with or without a refreshing, crisp glass of vino bianco!

A favorite of farmers after coming in from plowing the fields on hot summer mornings, it can now be yours – with a little enhancement. Bruschetta is an excellent and refreshing treat anytime, especially during the warm days of spring and summer. Use it also as a dramatic gourmet side for social gatherings.

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