Enjoy Three of Paola Malpezzi’s
Italian favorite recipes
Parmesan and Radicchio Salad*
Radicchio is a very prevalent Italian winter vegetable (mostly grown October through February in northeastern Italy) and comes in several different shapes and sizes—almost always red and white, but also cream with specks of red or green with red highlights. Any red and white radicchio (Trevigiano, Chioggia, Verona) will work in this recipe. Something delightfully delicious happens when you combine a bitter green with an aged cheese. This recipe modifies another one that we love, which uses arugula (or rocket lettuce) and slices of Parmesan cheese on top of cured beef. Both are an easy way to spruce up a dinner with a colorful new dish!
1 head of radicchio
3 to 4 tbsp of grated Parmigiano Reggiano (you can also cut the parmesan into thin flakes instead of grating it)
1.5 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of high quality Balsamic vinegar (you might want to have another tbsp around to drizzle on top)
Salt to taste
Optional, but highly recommended: 1 to 2 tbsp of ground walnuts or pecans
Wash and chop the radicchio into bite size pieces. Dress with olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste. Sprinkle the grated/flaked Parmesan onto the dressed salad and toss. The cheese should be enough to coat the leaves fairly substantially. Sprinkle the grated walnut or pecans over everything, toss, and drizzle one final coat of balsamic vinegar before serving.
* from ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours website recipe archive.
500 g of unbleached flour
10 g salt
70 g of rendered lard (or 100 ml of olive oil if you prefer)
1 ½ cups of warm water
10 g of baking powder
Make a mound with the flour and scoop a well in it. Place the lard, baking powder and salt in the well and start to mix with the flour. Add water slowly (not all of it) until the dough is homogenous. Mix and knead the dough into a ball until the dough is soft (this may take up to 10 minutes)
Cover the dough and let rest for a bit (20 to 30 minutes, but don’t let it dry out)
Heat up a 12-inch griddle or terracotta griddle (non-stick skillet is fine, too, but it should have 10 to 12 inches of flat on the bottom).
Make little balls of dough about as big as a tennis ball and roll them out into a circle 10 inches or so wide. Thickness varies, but on average they tend to be between one-eighth and one-quarter inch thick.
On the hot griddle (it should be quite warm) place the piadina—each piadina should take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook, with 2 minutes on each side (more or less). Cook each side until you see browning in spots on the surface of the piadina.
Piadina is best served warm with fresh cheese and cold cuts as a sandwich or like pita bread.
* from the cooking school at Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli.
Tagliolini (Thin Fettucine) with Butter and Culatello*
For the pasta:
500 g of flour from soft wheat
40 g curry
6 egg yolks
1 dl of water mixed with 40 g of parsley
For the sauce:
200 g of fine European-style butter
100 g of culatello julienned (other less rare kinds of prosciutto can be substituted)
For the pasta: create a mound with the flour and then make a well in the center large enough to place the curry, yolks, and water. Gently fold everything together until it is a homogenous dough. This may mean kneading the dough for a bit. Roll it out until it is as thin as you can get it without breaking it. Let the flattened dough dry a few minutes and then roll it up and cut the thin strips. Separate the tagliolini (out of their little roll) and set aside for 5 minutes.
Put a large pot of water on the stove and when it is boiling place the tagliolini in gently and cook for just a few minutes until they are very al dente. Immediately after pulling the tagliolini out of the water, place in a bowl with the butter and culatello and stir gently until well coated. Add the Parmesan cheese on top.
*a recipe from the Antica Corte Pallavicina (culatello house)