The pizzoccheri is a traditional dish of Valtellina cuisine, northern Italy, worldwide known and much appreciated in the cold season!
For the dough
• 3 1/3 cups (400 g) of buckwheat flour
• less than 1 cup (100 g) of all-purpose flour
• about 1 cup (250 ml) of water
• 2 big pinches of salt For the sauce
• ½ lb (250 g) of chard
• ½ lb (250 g) of valtellina casera (or fontina) cheese
• 1 ½ cups (150 g) of grated grana (or parmesan) cheese
• ¾ lb (350 g) of potatoes
• 3,5 oz (100 g) of butter
• 1 clove of garlic
• salt and pepper
It’s bitterly cold outside today, so I want to make the pizzoccheri, a rich and very substantial meal, let’s see how to do!
In a large bowl, mix the 2 types of flour together, dissolve the salt in water, then combine the ingredients; once blended, transfer to a work surface and knead.
That’s it, when you have a smooth and even dough, wrap in cling film and let it rest in a fresh place for at least half an hour.
While the dough is resting, move on to the vegetables: peel and cut the potatoes into cubes, then take the chard, or if you don’t have it you can use Savoy cabbage instead, strip the leaves from the stem, rinse and do this operation, that is remove the leaf from the stem, since the latter is tough and takes longer to cook than the leaf, so make a v-cut like this to separate it from the leaf… cut the leaves in this way, then cut the stems into sticks, about ½ inch (1 cm) wide, so they’ll cook evenly.
Now take the dough and, on a floured surface, roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/10 inch (2-3 mm).
Once the dough is the right thickness, cut into stripes, about 3 inches (7-8 cm) wide. You can re-roll the dough scraps or use them as they are. Now overlap the stripes, that have been dusted with flour to prevent sticking, and, with a knife, cut into ribbons, about ¼ inch (½ cm) wide.
Place the floured pizzoccheri on a tray, then grate the casera (or fontina) cheese, and the grana (or parmesan) cheese; at this point, since the cheese will melt from the hot ingredients, heat an oven dish, or a baking pan, in the oven at 350°F, until nice and hot. Then bring a large pot with salted water to a boil, drop in the potatoes… and the chard. As soon as it returns to a boil, wait 5 minutes… after that, add the pizzoccheri.
After the water has boiled for 5 minutes, we can drop in the pizzoccheri… they should cook for about 10 minutes… after the water returns to a boil. Now take a small pan, melt the butter… and slice the garlic; sauté the garlic in butter until golden brown, then turn off the heat, remove the garlic and set the butter aside to be used later for dressing.
The pizzoccheri are cooked, so turn off the heat, take the oven dish, that is hot… here it is… and arrange the layers: drain the pizzoccheri along with the chard, a little at a time, and place on the bottom… then sprinkle plenty of grated cheese, both of them… and repeat another layer.
Finish by sprinkling the grated cheese on top and finally drizzle the melted butter… all over… the pizzoccheri are ready to be served, buon appetito everybody and enjoy!