About this recipe:Pizzoccheri is a typical dish from Valtellina, the alpine region where my grandparents are from. It is made with a special type of pasta made with buckwheat, the "pizzoccheri", shaped as a short tagliatelle, about 7-8cm long and a bit thicker, cooked together with potatoes and cabbage or chard leaves. It is simple to make and goes down like a storm!!
bitto cheese to taste (I like it with at least 300g)
3-4 garlic cloves
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:35min › Ready in:45min
Bring to the boil 4 litres of water in the largest pot you can find with a tablespoon of rock salt.
Roughly chop the cabbage and peel and dice the potatoes, or if you are using baby potatoes just cut in half the bigger ones, there is no need to peel those. Throw into the pot of boiling water. When the veg are half cooked (you don't want them too sloppy by the end of it all) add the pizzoccheri and allow to boil for about 10 min, or until they look ready. Different from the usual way with pasta, you want them more cooked than "al dente"
Meanwhile cut the cheese into cubes and leave it at the bottom of a deep terracotta or glass bowl.
Drain the pizzoccheri and veg and throw on top of the cheese. Do not mix them at this stage, let them sit and the heat will melt the cheese on the bottom.
In a small shallow pan melt the butter on low heat with the sage and the unpeeled garlic crushed under a knife until sage and garlic are golden.
Now mix the pizzoccheri with the cheese and pour the butter over them, and serve straight away.
Leftovers are amazing simply re-heated in a pan with a little butter or olive oil, to make them slightly crispy.
A key ingredient is the "bitto" - a cheese tipically produced in high altitude pastures, very hard to get here, but try italian shops for something similar.
I remember this dish so well from when we lived in Nortern Italy. I used Fontina cheese. Could you use wheaten pasta - would it work? Great to see a recipe for it - thank you! I'll let you know when I try it. - 21 Nov 2008