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  • Writer's pictureFabia

Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese


Valtellina-style pizzoccheri are the dish that symbolises the tradition of this valley. The name is commonly thought to derive from the same root pit or piz from which the terms pizza, pitta, pittula, pinsa and pinza are said to have originated, common a little everywhere in Italy, with a meaning akin to pezzo, small piece, to which the meaning of pinsa may have been superimposed, from pinzare = to crush, in reference to the shape. Less reliable appear the etymologies from the Lombard bizzo = morsel.

Preparation: 45 minutes

Difficulty: easy

Quantity: 6 people


CHEESE SEMIGRASSO DELLA VALTELLINA "CASERA" (180 g), PIZZOCCHERI (420 g), POTATOES (180 g), SAUCE (180 g), BURRO (30 g), SALVIA (n.5 leaves), PEPPER (as needed), SALT (as needed)


1 Peel and chop the potatoes

2 Peel, wash and cut the cabbage into strips

3 Cook the potatoes and cabbage in a pot of salted water

4 Cut the cheese into thin slices

5 When cooked, add the pizzoccheri

6 Cook for 10-15 minutes, drain while still al dente

7 Brown the sage leaves in butter

8 Place the pizzoccheri in a soup tureen

9 Add the cheese, butter and sage and mix thoroughly

Serve, adding pepper on the side


The preparation of pizzoccheri: Today, pizzoccheri are marketed in the form of dried pasta, made from a mixture of wheat flour and buckwheat flour ('fraina flour'), by some companies in Valtellina. They are traditionally presented as fettuccine, although other formats exist. Wanting to make pizzoccheri at home (ingredients for 6 people):

* Mix 12 handfuls of fraina flour and 4 handfuls of white flour

* Add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix with water until the dough is hard and smooth Knead the dough not too long

* Roll it out with a rolling pin into a not too thin sheet (2-3 mm)

* Cut into fettuccine 1 cm wide and 5 cm long

Variations: Savoy cabbage can be replaced by chard. In addition to sage, garlic or onion can be seasoned in butter. Valtellina semi-fat cheese is protected by a typicality mark (Valtellina Casera): for its characteristics, see The Atlas of Typical Products. In its absence, it can be replaced with cheeses such as Latteria or Fontina.

Combinations: Pizzoccheri are a single dish, quite nutritious. In Valtellina it is customary to accompany them with raw remolacci, dipped in salt. They can be conveniently paired with a salad and, for example, with fruit desserts such as a charlotte or a rennet apple mousse. The accompanying wine should be a full-bodied red, especially Valtellina DOC and Valtellina Superiore DOC, an Inferno or a Valgella.


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