Pizzoccheri della Valtellina – How to Make it
“Pizzoccheri pasta” with potatoes, cabbage and cheese
For the preparation of Pizzoccheri, Valtellina Casera is used when just it reaches just over its minimum aging process of 70 days, while its flavor is delicate and milky and before it turns more intense.
Valtellina Casera is a medium-ripening, semi-cooked PDO cheese exclusively produced in Valtellina and made with partly skimmed cow milk. In Italy, dried buckwheat pasta specifically cut for use in Pizzoccheri can be bought in stores. However, it can also be easily made from scratch without particular equipment.
Ingredients for 200 g of Pizzoccheri
Serves 4 people
A vegetable mincer can be used to make parallel cuts.
Mix 150g of buckwheat flour with 75g of white flour and a pinch of salt. Work in about ½ cup of water until an elastic dough is
formed. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a sheet 2-3 millimetres thick. Cut the sheet into small rectangles of about 0.5 by 5 cm. Using a spatula, separate the rectangles from the cutting board. Place the pieces on a floured plate (sprinkling with more flour before overlapping them). Now continue with the second part of the recipe.
• 250g fresh Pizzoccheri pasta (or 175/200g of dried Pinzzoccheri can also be used)
• 250g potatoes (2 small, diced)
• 150g Savoy cabbage (sliced), for a more delicate flavour, it can be replaced or mixed with spinach
• 100g Valtellina Casera cheese (thinly sliced)
• 20g Parmigiano cheese (grated)
• 50g unsalted butter
• 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
• 2 or 3 leaves of fresh sage
• black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (using ½ tablespoon of salt per litre of water). Add the potatoes and the cabbage to the
boiling water. Let the vegetables cook for 10 minutes (or only for 5 minutes if using dried pasta). Toss the (uncooked) pasta into the
boiling water and keep cooking for another 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if using dried pasta). Meanwhile, melt the butter with the garlic and the sage in it; roast until the garlic is golden, then discard both. Drain the pasta and vegetables mix. At this point start assembling the dish directly into each individual bowl. To ensure that the cheese will melt, start layering the ingredients alternating some of the pasta and vegetables with a sprinkle of Parmigiano, a few cheese slices and some melted butter. Repeat 2 or 3 times using up all of the ingredients, ending with a layer of pasta and vegetables, with a sprinkle of Parmigiano. Add some black pepper and serve immediately without stirring.