Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Pizzoccheri, Buckwheat Pasta from Lombardy

Pizzoccheri, a flat kind of pasta somewhat alike to short Tagliatelle made with buckwheat flour, is a traditional recipe from Valtellina, a Northern mountain area of Lombardy region, and along with the Polenta Taragna, Pizzoccheri is one of the best-known Lombard dishes where buckwheat flour is used. This dish is mostly eaten during winter as it is quite rich in Bitto (a locally produced cheese which can, however, be replaced by Fontina cheese), a lot of butter, potato and savoy cabbage, very fullfilling.

We made Pizzoccheri from scratch, although is pretty easy to find them at superstore and online or in a specialised delicacy shop.


Serves: 4 | Preparation : 1 h | Cooking : 30 mins

  • Buckwheat flour: 200 g
  • White flour / plain flour: 50 g
  • Bitto or Fontina Italian Cheese, grated: 200 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 150 g
  • Water, at room temperature: 150 ml
  • Potato, medium-sized, cut into chunks: 3
  • Garlic cloves: 4
  • Savoy Cabbage. 1, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Method

On a work surface, make a well with the two sifted flours.

In the centre of the well, pour in the water a little at a time, starting to mix with a fork. Gradually add all the water and start to knead it by hand until you get a firm and homogeneous dough.

Now roll it out with a rolling pin, cut out strips of dough about 8cm long.
Overlap the strips and cut them into 1 cm wide strips.

In a pot of boiling water, boil potato chunks and savoy cabbage strips together and allow them to soften.
When it’s 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add Pizzoccheri and salt to taste.

Meantime, melt the butter and add the garlic cloves, browning them well.
Drain Pizzoccheri and vegetables with a skimmer, and place them in a baking dish, alternating layers of pizzoccheri and vegetables, cheese, melted butter and garlic cloves.
If you wish, you can also put Pizzoccheri in the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4 for 10 minutes so the cheese melts evenly.

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