A strange name, but a very good taste….. Many of my favorites dishes probably are comfort food, and here is one more, Pizzoccheri della Valtellina.
The pasta’s origin lies in Valtellina, a part of the Lombardy region in northern Italy and while some people may immediately be intimidated by this recipe’s amount of butter and cheese, don’t be, it’s worth every bit of it. The traditional recipe calls for buckwheat pasta, which provides a completely different mouth feel than the conventional pasta we normally use and therefor is key for this dish. It isn’t easy probably to track down this kind of pasta outside of Italy, but you can try this recipe by Giorgio Locatelli for homemade buckwheat pasta.
For the pasta:
- 250 g buckwheat or wholemeal flour
- 200 g ’00’ flour, or unbleached flour
- 200 ml warm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
1. In a large bowl, mix the two types of flour together. Make a well in the middle and pour the water and olive oil into the well. Stir, gradually drawing in the flour from around the edge, to form a dough.
2. Knead the dough vigorously for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and springy. If the dough is too dry, wet your hands. Don’t wet the dough.
3. Cut into pieces wide enough for your pasta machine. Pass each piece through the rollers, starting on the highest setting, and continuing down to setting 3. This dough is quite dry and brittle, so you don’t want it too thin.
4. Cut the dough into 1cm thick strips and set aside.
- 1 potato, cut into small cubes
- 2 leeks, shredded
- 1 small Savoy cabbage, (inner leaves only) diced
- 2 sage leaves
- 125 g butter
- 100 g finely grated parmesan
- 175 g fontina cheese, diced
- black pepper
5. Put the potato into a large saucepan of boiling salted water (at least 3 litres). Cook for a few minutes until ‘al dente’.
6. Add the pasta to the pan along with the leeks, cabbage and sage leaves. Bring back to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes until the pasta is ‘al dente’.
7. Drain, then tip into a warm serving dish. Add the butter and both the cheeses. Mix well, then season to taste and serve.
I can tell you, you never tasted something soooo delicious!