By Rebecca DeAngelis

Wheat is an important crop of Basilicata, so it makes sense that they have a dish like Cuccia. Every town has their own take on Cuccia based on what is available at their markets. I like a little bit of everything but you can make your own variation. This recipe gives you the the ricotta and wheat berries as your base and leaving you the option to add condiments as you please. 


Cover wheat berries in cold water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the berries and place them into a 3-quart saucepan with the salt and enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Cook at a slow simmer partially covered for about 1 hour, or until tender. The kernels will open up slightly.


Drain the wheat berries and let them cool. In the meantime blend ricotta until smooth. Add honey to taste. Mix ricotta and wheat berries. Add nuts, candied orange, raisins or currants.


Spoon in a bowl and dust with cinnamon or grated chocolate. Serve warm or at room temperature.