Gastronomica’s tour of italy: Piemonte, land of truffles and cheeses

Piemonte cuisine is rich and savoury and not many people know that some of the most famous Italian dishes come from this fantastic North Italian region. Couple of example above all? Truffle and cheeses, of course!

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Often referred to as ‘the truffle capital of the world’, the town of Alba is the home of the finest white truffles in the world. Whether it’s shaved over a plate of agnolotti or a fried egg, truffles are some of the most expensive and delicious delicacies of this region.

Moving few kilometers away, in Bosia, a little village of Alta Langa area, we find one of the most traditional cheese producers since 1881, the “Caseificio Alta Langa“. This family run business produces some of the most delicious cheeses you can taste in this area, and you can also buy them on our website: Langherino, Robiola Rocchetta, Brunet, Carboncino, La Tur and the super creamy Robiola Bosina.

Not only food, Piemonte region is also famous to have some of the most amazing wine producers in the world. One of them, that you will surely know, is Barolo, the king of red wines.

Here are three of our favourite recipes from Piemonte for a special homemade tasting menu. Why don’t you try some of these delicious Piemontese recipes yourself? It would be like being in Piedmont without leaving your own home.

Risotto al barolo

Ingredients

-320 g of Carnaroli rice

-1/2 l of Barolo wine

-1/2 l of hot vegetable broth

-40 g of butter, plus some extra at the end of the cooking, to taste

-1/2 onion

-grated Parmesan cheese to taste

salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare it

Take a high and capacious pot in which we begin to cook the vegetable broth, which is essential when cooking rice.

Meanwhile, put a pan on a stove to melt the butter. Chop the onion into cubes and, as soon as the butter is melted, pour it into the pan. After two or three minutes, add the rice and toast it for a few minutes.

At this point, pour the Barolo and stir with a wooden ladle, raising the flame. When the wine starts to simmer, lower the heat again while waiting for it to absorb well.

Remove the vegetable broth from the heat and then add it, little by little to the rice, pouring more only when the rice is drying too much. In this way, you avoid finding yourself with a risotto which will be too loose. Season with salt and let it cook for 20 minutes in total.

Once the rice is cooked, turn it off and whisk adding a little pepper and Parmesan to taste. We mix the ingredients well and finally add a little butter.

Wine to pair this recipe with: Dolcetto d’Alba

Vitello tonnato

Ingredients for 6 people

-1.3 kg thick piece boneless veal topside

-1 small onion

-2 bay leaves

-2 celery sticks, halved

-1 small carrot, peeled

-6 black peppercorns

-140 ml dry white wine

For the sauce:

-2 large eggs

-275 ml olive oil

-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

-90 g tuna in a tin, drained

-2 tinned

 

anchovy fillets, drained

-1½ tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and drained

-1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt and ground pepper to taste

To garnish:

-a few extra capers

-2 tinned anchovy fillets, drained and very thinly sliced

How to prepare it

Begin by putting the veal in a medium roasting tin.

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Stud the onion with the cloves and add this to the tin, along with the bay leaves, celery, carrot, peppercorns and wine. Then, roast the veal in the pre-heated oven for 90 minutes. For the sauce, you need to start by making mayonnaise. So, break the whole eggs straight into the goblet of a blender or food processor, add the garlic clove and 1 teaspoon salt.

Then measure the oil into a jug and switch the machine on. To blend everything thoroughly, pour the oil in a thin, very steady trickle with the motor running. You must be very careful here – too much oil in too soon means the sauce will curdle.

When all the oil is in, add the white wine vinegar and blend. Then add the tuna, anchovy fillets and capers, and whiz again till smooth. Now do a bit of tasting and season with lemon juice and pepper. The sauce can be made well ahead and kept in the fridge till needed. When the veal is ready, take it out of the oven and leave everything to get cold.

After that, take the veal out of the tin – you can discard the vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns and any remaining wine now. Slice the meat very thinly and arrange it in a large, shallow serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the meat. Now arrange the anchovy slices on top to decorate it as you like. Scatter over a few extra capers and garnish with the lemon slices.

Wine to pair this recipe with: Barbera d’Alba DOC

Torta di nocciole (Hazelnut cake)

Ingredients for 6 people:

-200 g of flour

-150 g of toasted and chopped hazelnuts

-130 g of butter

-100 g of sugar

-3 eggs

-2 level teaspoons of baking powder

How to prepare it

In a saucepan, melt the butter in a bain-marie, then remove it and let it cool completely.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is swollen and foamy, add the liquefied butter pouring it slowly, the flour sifted together with the yeast, the hazelnuts and, finally, the whipped egg whites.

Grease and flour the inner circumference of a mold (26 cm in diameter), line the bottom with the appropriate paper, pour in the hazelnut mixture, beat the mold on the work surface to eliminate any air gaps.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove, let cool and transfer the cake to a serving plate.

Buon appetito!

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