*Pizzoccheri della Valtellina*

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Valtellina, a spa and winter holiday  area, is in Lombardia, near Switzerland, and this dish certainly has an alpine feel and taste; it defines comfort food.  If you can buy Pizzoccheri use that instead of the pasta below.

THE PASTA – a recipe stolen from chef Giorgio Locatelli

1 Cup (250 grams) Buckwheat flour

3/4 Cup (200 grams) white flour

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 Cup (200 ml) warm water

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Mix the two flours and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center.

2. Pour the warm water and olive oil into the well and mix together well.

3. Knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic; this may take a while.

4. Roll the dough out on a floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch.  Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long.

5.  Let the dough rest while you carry on with

THE REST OF THE DISH

2 potatoes cut into cubes

1 medium onion

(1 clove garlic finely chopped, at your discretion – it is not required in this dish and is frequently not used.)

1/2 lb. chopped fresh spinach, or 1 cup frozen spinach (or other green of your choosing; reader Valtellinese says that cabbage is frequently used, and I’ve seen recipes that call for bok choy)

1/2 Cup (4 oz) butter

1/2 Cup grated parmigiano cheese

3/4 Cup grated fontina cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Bring a big pot of water to the boil and put in the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add the pasta and onion and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Put the butter in a pan over low heat to melt.

5. Add the spinach (or whatever greens you’ve selected) to the potatoes, onion, garlic if using, and pasta; cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until the pasta is done.

6. Drain the potatoes, etc., and put into a large, flattish oven-proof dish.

7. Stir in the two cheeses, then drizzle the melted butter over everything.

8. Put the dish in the hot oven for 3-5 minutes and serve.

Buon appetito!

6 thoughts on “*Pizzoccheri della Valtellina*”

  1. We just tried your recipie, it was very good. But you forgot the garlic! Pizzoccheri has garlic.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe, and I hope it didn’t disappoint. I checked with our friend Elena, and she confirmed that she does not use garlic when she makes Pizzoccheri, nor does the friend who taught her. It is not, she maintains, a ‘required’ ingredient, although it certainly is not out of place and features in many pizzoccheri recipes. It seems most of the internet recipes for the dish do call for garlic. Your comment has given me a nudge to go back and add garlic at the cook’s discretion.

  2. Valtellinese said:

    Hi, thanks for posting this. A common green used is savoy cabbage too.

  3. Having cousins out from Italy soon and I am going to try your recipe on them. Wish me luck she is a very Italian best cook.

    • I hope the recipe will be a success and that you’ll impress the boots off your cousin! Buon appetito. By the way, there is a web site for Pizzoccheri della Valtellina, believe it or not – the link is in the blog entry of that name. Lots more info available there…

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