Saturday, 25 September 2010

Pizzoccheri valtellinesi

I haven't updated in several months, but yes I'm still here! I was so surprised when I looked at my blog after a long break and spotted some new followers!
I had a really chaotic stage in life - depression, long work days, trying to decide for good whether to stay in the Netherlands or move back home, and then one day in July I finally decided to leave everything and get back to my old studies here in Turku, Finland. It was tough, but I'm happy with being back in my dear home country again and I really don't regret a second.

I just made pizzoccheri for dinner. That is a traditional potato-based dish from the region Valtellina in the Italian Alps. It is quite a beloved dish in Lombardia, often enjoyed in wintertime. It is quite heavy, but to make it lighter you can retain a bit of the cooking water and use a bit less of butter instead (or use olive oil). The pasta used in it should actually be made of bucketwheat. In Northern Italy they sell such ready pieces of bucketwheat pasta meant for this dish. I don't have any left and I didn't have time to make them by myself either, so I went looking at Stockmann's if they had any but I wasn't lucky, so I used more generic whole-wheat pasta instead.

Ingredients (x2):
150 g of pizzoccheri (or alternatively dark pasta)
70 g parmesan
130 g potatoes
1 clove of garlic
150 g soft cheese (Fontina is the one you can get anyhwere in Italy, in Finland I use Koskenlaskija, in the Netherlands I used Port-Salut... Something soft with some taste!)
25 g butter
100 g cabbage
black pepper

Cut the potatoes in cubes and the cabbage in slices. Put them into abundant slated water in a pan and add maximum heat. When the water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook the ingredients altogether for 10 minutes. Then pour the water off them.
Put the butter into a pan with minced garlic, pepper, some salt and salvia. Let it melt.
Take a vase or pot that is oven-resistant. Set a layer of the vegetables on the bottom of the pot. Pour a small part of the melted butter on the ingredients. Add some pieces of soft cheese and parmesan. Repeat this scheme some 3-4 times.
It is a good idea to take the dish into the oven at 200'c for around 10-15 minutes, although not obligatory. I like the consistency and the taste the best when the dish has been baked in the oven!