Buckwheat Pasta Pizzoccheri

Buckwheat Pasta Pizzoccheri: Teglio in the province of Sondrio, Lombardy, and is considered to be the common symbol of pizzocchero, a place where the main agricultural focus is in the cultivation of buckwheat. Buckwheat was introduced to the valley town of Valtellina during the fourteenth century and since then has been used to prepare many local dishes. As well as pizzoccheri other buckwheat dishes include ‘sciatt’ buckwheat pancakes stuffed with cheese, and ‘pizzoccheri of Chiavenna‘, which is Valtellina’s version of gnocchi.

gnocchi alla Valtellina
Cnocchi alla Valtellina with fresh fennel

This traditional cuisine from Valtellina, buckwheat pasta pizzoccheri are ideal to prepare during the cold months. The short, wide noodles, are dark in color between gray and brown, due to the combination of buckwheat flour, which gives the palate a sensation of roughness, white flour and other cereals.

The pasta dough is worked by hand for several minutes. They are then classically cooked in salted water with cabbage or Swiss chard and diced potatoes. Finally, the whole dish is seasoned with butter, Parmesan cheese and Casera DOP – typically Valtellina of course. During the summer, buckwheat pasta pizzoccheri is prepared using vegetables such as green beans, spinach, mushrooms or truffles.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 400 gr buckwheat flour
  • 100 gr white flour
  • 200 gr butter
  • 250 gr fresh cheese
  • 150 gr grated Parmesan cheese
  • 200 gr cabbage or Swiss chard
  • 250 gr potatoes
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

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  1. Combine the two flours, mix with water and work for about 5 minutes.
  2. With a rolling pin roll the dough to a thickness of 2.3 millimeters then cut into ribbons of about 5 mm wide. Now cut the ribbons into lengths of 7-8 centimeters.
  3. Arrange the pizzoccheri on a floured cloth and dust lightly with flour.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the vegetables in lightly salted water that has reached a boil, first add the cabbage and blanch for 3 minutes. Then remove the cabbage and set it aside.
  5. Now add the potato to the water and cook for 5 minutes before adding the pizzoccheri and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.
  6. A few minutes before the end of cooking, add the blanched cabbage. When the cabbage has warmed through, using a slotted spoon, collect the pizzoccheri pour a first layer into a deep oven proof dish. Now sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Continue to alternate pizzoccheri and cheese until it’s all in the dish.
  8. Over a medium heat, fry the butter with the garlic and when it has taken on a beautiful golden colour, pour it over pizzoccheri.
  9. Serve with a nice grating of fresh pepper.

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