Food, Love and Memories ~ Scrippelle ‘Mbusse

One thing is for sure – soup is the most curative of substances. From sniffles to broken hearts, nothing is as comforting and warming as a well prepared bowl of soup. What you put in it depends entirely on personal taste and probably a bit on your heritage.

My grandparents Giovanni and Anna were both from the Teramo province of Abruzzo and one of the typical dishes of ‘la cucina teremana’ is Scrippelle ‘Mbusse, a simple dish of seasoned crepes in a clear broth.

Our mother’s best friend Grace, also the daughter of Italian migrants, was a legendary cook who loved nothing more that to cook and tell stories. She often came to visit my mother in her retirement village bringing with her all the fixings for my mother’s favourite dishes. I can still hear Grace saying to my mother Louise, “Lou, I brought you some scripelle and with those nice little pancakes”. Grace’s scrippelle ‘mbusse had a lovely clear chicken broth with a few tiny bits of chicken and carrot visible. She would season the crepes with pecorino (“never parmesan Lou”). Then she would roll them up tight, cut them into strips, portion them out in the bowls and ladle the broth over the strips. We would eat and talk and laugh.

Louise and Grace are sadly no longer with us in this world, but their memory lives on in a bowl of scrippelle ‘mbusse prepared recently by my husband Andrew. He borrowed from Domenica Marchetti’s recipe and the Silver Spoon cook book and served with the crepes rolled up whole and the broth clear and piping hot. And with a generous pinch of love. Grazie Andrea.

13 Comments

  1. You are so right. Of all the wonderful dishes my grandmothers have prepared for me as a child (and even now – i am luck y enough to still have one nonna and one bisnonna) soups are the ones i cherish the most, although so “simple” apparently when compared to most elaborate or ‘juicy’ foods. My husband’s nonna prepares a very traditional “brodo di cardone” every winter here in Sulmona, you should taste it once! Do you ever travel to Abruzzo during the winter months?

    • Ciao Susanna, I have never had brodo di cardone but I have heard of it. I usually come in the spring or autumn to Italy and rarely winter (so I don’t miss Aussie summer) however once I retire I can do what I like! These yummy soups are deceptive – as you say ‘apparently simple’ but each individual ingredient has been given a lot of attention! I look forward to visiting at any time…planning for 2015. MLT

  2. Denise Savino says:

    My grandfather was from Morro D’Oro in Teramo, Abruzzo. He taught my grandmother many of his traditional foods. One of them, and my absolute favorite, was scripelle m’busse. I can still smell the broth and the cinnamon and we couldn’t wait to eat them. She only made them a couple of times a year, and the excitement we felt when my Dad told us that she made them is indescribable. My grandmother did not write her recipes down, nor did she ever like to share them. After she passed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she told my Aunt Fran the recipe many, many years ago. Needless to say, I have learned to make them and they are fabulous. Probably not as good as Grandma’s, but a close second. : ) My Dad would I agree. I make them more for him than anyone. It takes him back…..it takes us all back. Wonderful memories……

    If anyone would like my rGrandma’s ecipe, please post a message. I will be sure to check back soon. Buona notte.

    • Denise,

      I am so glad this brings back nice memories for your family too!

      Morro d’Oro is a small place. My grandmother Anna Mezzacappa was from there. Her parents were Nicola Mezzacappa and Maria Antoinetta Di Rocco. There are still some DiRocco’s in Morro D’Oro but no Mezzacappa’s.

      My grandparents migrated separately in 1909 and met in Philadelphia. My grandfather, John Pergolini came from Montepagano/Roseto Degli Abruzzi, on the coast not far from Morro D’Oro.

      What is your grandfather’s family name? We might just be related.

      Ciao for now,

      Mary Louise

  3. Ciao Mary Louise, my boyfriend’s family lives in Abruzzo (Montorio al Vomano). In winter I can usually taste the scrippelle m’busse made by my lovely suocera. I think it’s an amazing recipe. I have also received a cooking book featuring local recipes written by an old lady of the place!

    • Ciao Laura, i am researching family and just yesterday found we have a connection to Montorio al Vomano. Mezzacappa families as well as others! Small world. If it weren’t so hot here in the Australian summer I could eat a bowl of that deliciousness right now. Thanks for the follow. I found you via a search for teaching English in Italy. I hope to teach there as a semi-retirement career in a few years. We shall see. In any event, I will be in Abruzzo from Aug 2015 for a few months. Cheers, MLT

    • Hi again Laura,

      I hope you are well. I can’t believe we are a month into 2015 already and this year I come back to Italy!

      You mentioned in your comment, a cookbook of local recipes. Is this a commercially available cookbook? I am interested in looking at old recipes.

      Cheers,
      MLT

  4. Pingback: Abruzzo and my mother | With my heart in Abruzzo

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