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  • Italy_Pappa Al Pomodoro - Homemade Italian Pasta Bake Recipe

PIZZOCCHERI (BUCKWHEAT PASTA BAKE WITH BITTO CHEESE)

  • Italy_Pappa Al Pomodoro - Homemade Italian Pasta Bake Recipe

This is mac 'n' cheese's cooler older Italian cousin and I can't find words to describe how delicious it is, just trust me (and Cosmin and Chloe on this one).  The clever chaps of Valtellina in northern Italy (so far north you're practically in Switzerland), did very very well with the invention of pizzoccheri. You might think that pasta + cheese + potatoes + cabbage = stodge, but it does not, at least it doesn't for this recipe.  Perhaps it's the buckwheat flour in the pasta, perhaps it's the bitto cheese, perhaps it's the divine sage and garlic infused butter drizzled all over, I don't know, I don't care.  All I know is that I am so full that my tummy hurts, but there is half a bowl left in the kitchen downstairs and I will definitely go and get it after I've finished this post.

Pizzoccheri is a sort of short-arse tagliatelle made with 80% buckwheat, 20% pasta flour.  It is possible to buy it online, but as regular TheTasteTrail readers know I use any opportunity, every opportunity, to dust off my pasta machine.  Homemade just tastes better and making it yourself is so easy ...but if you don't have a pasta machine, or the time or inclination then shop brought is an absolutely fine substitute.

Bitto cheese is not easy to find outside of Italy, again you can find it online.  Or just substitute with comté.

Buckwheat despite the name is not a type of wheat, it is actually part of the same family as knotweed and rhubarb.  On it's own it is suitable for those with gluten allergies or celiac disease, however this recipe does involve 20% wheat flour (sorry).  It has a tendancy to stick to everything so be sure to dust with flour regularly when running it through your pasta machine.

Final note, I sliced my potatoes and served our pizzoccheri with lemon.  If you want 100% authentic then peel and dice the pots and do away with the citrus.

It does taste good with lemon though.

Yeah, I'm going to get that last bowl of it now.

Makes Dulcie's List   Makes Cosmin's List   Makes Chloe's List
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ingredients

  •  240g buckwheat flour
  •  60g pasta flour
  •  3 large eggs
  •  1/2 a savoy cabbage sliced finely (appx 300g)
  •  200g new potatoes sliced into 1cm rounds
  •  250g bitto cheese finely grated (can be substituted with comte)
  • 100g butter
  •  4 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  8 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper
to serve
  •  Lemon wedges ...not strictly the Italian way, but it tastes gooood

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION

  • Calories | 528
  • Fat | 31g

Serves | 6

Prep Time | 20 minutes (plus one hour chilling)

Cooking Time | 30 minutes

method

preparing the pasta
  • Mix the flours together in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs.
  • Mix from the inside out with a fork until the liquids are fully incorporated and then knead until you have a smooth dough.  Wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Cut your dough into two pieces.  The following instructions should be carried out for all the dough, it is just easier to do it in two batches.
  • Roll out your dough until it is the same thickness as the lasagne slot on your pasta machine.
  • Dust with pasta flour and run it through the lasagne slot of your pasta machine at its thickest setting.  Fold into three and pass through the pasta machine again.
  • Continue passing through the machine decreasing the size each time until your pasta is approximately 1.4mm thick, on my machine this is setting five.  Be sure to dust your pasta with flour if it looks like it is going to stick.
  • Once you have a lasagne sheet, pass it through the tagliatelle slot of your pasta machine.  Slice the pasta into 5cm pieces (I used scissors) and dust liberally in more flour to prevent it from sticking.
  • Continue in this fashion until you have used up all your dough.
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Sauce, assembly & cooking
  • Preheat the oven to 200°c.
  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the cabbage and potatoes and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender, then drain.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for about 2.5 minutes until al dente, then drain.
  • Toss the cabbage, potatoes and pasta together and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the garlic and sage leaves until browned.
  • Add a third of the pasta mix into a casserole dish in an even layer, then a third of the grated cheese, continue layering in this fashion and then drizzle over the butter/sage/garlic mix on top.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
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