Friday 29 January 2016


5 minutes to prepare to cookServes 4



Despite the name, Pizzoccheri has nothing to do with pizza.
It is a first course centered around a special pasta hailing from Valtellina area in the Lombardy region of Italy.

They are a type of short tagliatelle, made with mostly buckwheat flour, a type of grain also called Saracen corn.
They are traditionally cooked along with greens and cubed potatoes. Valtellina region is indeed close to Alps and has cold winters, which only hardy vegetables survive. Thus, this simple dish incorporates both, along with butter and cheese for surprisingly delicious results.
In Italy, dried buckwheat pasta specifically cut for this recipe can be bought in stores (this is our case). However, it can also be easily made from scratch without particular equipment; you just need to follow the instructions reported here.

The unique hearty flavor and coarse texture of pizzoccheri pasta is uncommon in Italian cuisine, but, yes, it really works well together with potatoes: just try it and see!

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe:

400 g pizzoccheri pasta
300 g potatoes
200 g savoy cabbage
100 g fresh spinach 
200 g Valtellina Casera cheese (or Fontina cheese, if you are not able to find Casera)
50 g butter
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

  1. Pour 1 l of water in a large pot and bring to boil. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Wash savoy cabbage under running water and cut it into small pieces
  2. As soon as the water boils, dip potatoes, cabbage and spinach in the pot, and go on with the cooking for about 5 minutes
  3. At this point, add pizzoccheri pasta, too. Follow the time instructions reported on the package: usually this kind of pasta is ready in about 15 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, coarsely shred Casera cheese
  5. Drain pizzoccheri and pour one ladle of it in a hot pan, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and Casera cheese, and continue alternating layers of pizzoccheri and cheese
  6. Melt the butter and add the garlic clove. Braise the garlic until it becomes golden, then remove it and pour the melted butter over pizzoccheri. Sprinkle pizzoccheri with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

Meluzza comasca: fu l'inventrice di mangiar lasagne, maccheroni con l'aglio, spetie, et cacio, di costei fu anche l'inventione di mangiar formentini, lasagnuole, pinzocheri.*
(Ortensio Landi, Catalo dell'inventario delle cose che si mangiano, et delle bevande c'heggedì s'usano, 1548)

*Meluzza from Como was the inventor of eating lasagna, macaroni with garlic, herbs and cheese. She also invented eating formentini, lasagnuole, pinzocheri.

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