Valtellina’s Pizzoccheri

 

An example of the variety of Italian culinary heritage, but a peasant and very humble dish can become a famous recipe in the whole world, pizzoccheri are, along with cheeses, one of the treasures of Valtellina, a small paradise for lovers of mountains, and of course, good food. But what exactly is this  beloved winter delicacy?

Pizzoccheri are a type of noodles or tagliatelle, 2/3 mm thick and 7 cm long, obtained from a dough prepared with buckwheat flour, which denotes their grey color, and wheat flour. Born in 1500, they were the daily bread of the inhabitants of Valtellina – one of the most famous valleys of Lombardy - until they crossed the boundaries of Valtellina in the second half of 1900 to depopulate throughout Italy. It is a tasty dish and of easy execution, as we can easily buy the buckwheat pasta ready for baking, but we know that if it’s homemade, it’s a totally different story. Lets see the true recipe of the Valtellina pizzoccheri.

INGREDIENTS

For pizzoccheri

200 g buckwheat flour

200 g flour 00

Warm water

For the seasoning

1/2 savoy cabbage

3 potatoes

200 g Valtellina Casera  (local cheese)

100 g Bitto  or Scimud  (local cheeses)

50 g grated Parmesan cheese

150 g butter

3 garlic cloves

10 sage leaves

Salt & peper

PROCEEDING

Mix the two flours, then pour on a work surface and place them in a heap. Pour the warm water slowly and in the meanwhile mix with one hand. When the whole water has been absorbed work the dough vigorously until the mixture is solid, not very humid. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for an hour. Next, roll it out with a rolling pin, shed some flour in case it sticks. The phyllo dough should have a thickness of 3-4 mm, thus not too thin. Roll up the phyllo dough and cut   some pizzoccheri 6-7 cm long. In the meantime, put the water to boil in a very large pot. Wash and cut the potatoes in dices and the savoy cabbage in strips, when the water boils throw in and cook for 10 minutes. Thus add also the pizzoccheri and stir. At the same time prepare the dressing. Melt the butter in a frying pan and flavor with sage leaves and the garlic without crushing it. Then move to the Cheeses, cutting them into thin slices. When the pizzoccheri are ready, drain and season them layer by layer alternating the pizzoccheri, the cheese and the fused butter, put everything in a baking tray which will be quickly put in the oven for 2 minutes to adequately melt the cheese.