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Pizzoccheri

  • 45 minutes
  • Medium
  • First Courses
This Italian pasta dish is simply irresistible.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour, black
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 ½ oz butter
  • 12 oz cabbage
  • ½ lb Casera cheese, (or a whole cow's milk cheese)
  • 3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Preparation:

Mix the flours together on a cutting board or a flat work surface, then knead with the water: work the dough with your hands or with the mixer for at least 15 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and velvety to the touch.
Roll the dough into very thin sheets, less than 1/10 inch thick, using a rolling pin or with the aid of a pasta machine: then cut the dough into 3-inch wide strips.

Stack the strips of dough on top of one another and cut across the width, to obtain large rectangular pizzoccheri 1/5 inch wide and 3 inches long.
Cut the cheese into very thin slices Casera and set aside (to toss with the pizzoccheri).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add cabbage cut into pieces.

After five minutes, salt the water and also add the pizzoccheri, which should cook - with the water at a full boil - for 7 to 10 minutes.
Before you drain the pasta, check to make sure it is al dente.
Remove some of the pizzoccheri and cabbage from the pot using a slotted spoon and and place them in a baking dish: sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and Casera cheese.
Continue alternating layers of pizzoccheri and cheese, until you have used all the ingredients.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat in a pan with peeled garlic cloves.
When butter has melted remove the garlic, pour it over the pizzoccheri.
Serve immediately.

Food History

Pizzoccheri are a kind of short noodle made of buckwheat flour. This pasta is typical of the Valtellina, a beautiful alpine region of Lombardy.
Much loved and widespread, especially in the winter months due to the strong flavors of the dish, pizzoccheri can easily be found premade at the market.
It seems that the name pizzoccheri comes from "pit" or "piz," which means piece, or from the word “pinzare” to crush, probably referring to the flat shape of the pasta.
The pizzoccheri are recognized as a traditional food product from Valtellina, originally from the town of Teglio. To prepare this dish in a traditional way, you must use Valtellina Casera DOP cheese, also used to prepare the delicious cheese fritters called “sciatt.”

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