Emilia Romagna is the queen of homemade pasta, from this region typical recipes like cappelletti, tortellini and tortelloni come, to talk about stuffed pasta, but also all the other pasta-like tagliatelle, maltagliati and other types of pasta that in many restaurants and even homes are still prepared by hand.
As far as main courses and appetizers are concerned, the basic element of Romagna cuisine is pork, with its many cold cuts and piadina is consumed instead of bread. Fish also has its importance in traditional Romagna cuisine, of which you can appreciate
its many recipes.
Even for desserts the region offers a wide range of delicacies, in other words the Romagna is to be tried and seen with its coasts and its plains.
Let's start with the appetizers.
As far as the typical Romagnolo appetizer is concerned, there is no specific recipe as a tray or a cutting board with different types of salami and typical cheeses and the classic piadinas that accompany everything instead of bread is usually formed.
The piadine are a typical product of Emilia Romagna where it is consumed instead of bread and are very good stuffed with cold cuts and cheeses. So below I will give the recipe for piadina.
600 grams of flour, 0
grams 300 of water
80 grams of pork lard or if 80 grams of seed oil are not found.
salt up to 1 teaspoon
In a bowl mix the flour with lard or seed oil and salt, adding a little water at a time. As soon as the dough takes on consistency, continue working with your hands on a table or a pastry board. The dough obtained must be firm and homogeneous. Make a dough and put it to rest for about 30 minutes wrapped in a sheet of transparent film.
After this time, work the ball a little more with your hands and form a cylinder cut to obtain about 6 portions, which you will spread with a rolling pin until it forms round sheets.
Put a non-stick pan on the heat and heat it very well. Cook a pastry at a time turning it often and piercing it with a fork if air forms inside. The piadine are ready when they appear slightly golden on both sides. A delicious use of piadinas is also stuffed with chocolate spread or jam, they are delicious.
Let's now pass to the typical first courses of Emilia Romagna.
One of the classic first courses of Christmas cuisine and holidays.
400 grams of pasta flour
3 whole eggs for pasta
200 grams of cow's milk ricotta
50 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
130 grams of minced chicken breast meat, you can also use capon or pork meat
the peel of half grated lemon
2 eggs at room temperature for the filling
salt and pepper just
a pinch of nutmeg
This recipe is divided into two phases, one is the preparation of the puff pastry and the other the preparation of the filling of the cappelletti. First cook the chicken in a pan with a little butter. Usually using the chicken breast, then a slice, it will take a few minutes. When cooked, pass the meat in the blender and finely chop.
In a bowl, add the two eggs, the ricotta and the grated Parmesan cheese to the minced meat. Mix all the ingredients to mix well and add the nutmeg, grated lemon peel, salt and pepper. The dough for the stuffing of Romagna cappelletti is ready. Now we prepare the pasta.Put the flour on a pastry board or on the table and form a central hollow in which you will place the freshly beaten eggs. Mix well and working with your hands to obtain a firm and smooth ball.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until the dough is rather thin. In this sheet you will go about cutting discs of about 6 centimeters using a glass of that diameter. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each disc. Close the disc by folding it in half and then joining the two tips together. This will form the cappelletti in their original form.
The cappelletti are then cooked for a few minutes in a chicken or capon broth.
Another historic recipe from Emilia Romagna that is cooked especially in Bologna but a little in the whole region. This is a poor dish with ancient origins, which is cooked especially in winter. It's a quick and easy recipe.
120 grams of semolina
4 whole eggs
120 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
80 grams of butter
salt, pepper and nutmeg as needed
First let the butter melt very slowly. In a bowl, mix the semolina with the beaten eggs, the grated Parmesan cheese, the butter, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix everything well. Grease and flour a rectangular baking pan and pour the mixture leveling the surface well. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes. The surface must be slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Once cooled remove the solidified mixture and cut it into cubes of about one centimeter. These cubes are then boiled in a chicken or capon broth for 4 - 5 minutes. Season with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.
Let us now turn to the main courses, which in Emilia Romagna are really many and one more tasty than the other. The typical Emilian recipes concern both meat and fish dishes. Its sausages are known in many parts of the world, which in Italy are cooked in winter and mainly during the Christmas period. Let's talk about the famous cotechino and zampone. But there are many other recipes especially of fish such as stewed eels, baked anchovies, fish stew from the Romagna and many others. Let's start with those of meat.
Cotechino is a sausage made with pork, both with rind, with lean meats, with fatty meats seasoned with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, salt herbs and black pepper. It is available on the market ready to cook. It is stuffed into a natural pork gut and is cooked very slowly for about two hours with the warning to wrap it in aluminum foil or in a cloth napkin, this to prevent the gut from breaking and the cotechino coming out.
The ideal side dish is lentils. Tradition has it that the cotechino with lentils is cooked in the New Year's Eve dinner as a good omen for the new year.
a cotechino already prepared of 500/600 grams
500 grams of cooked lentils
1 rib of celery
20 grams of olive oil
20 grams of butter
salt and pepper to taste
The sausage as already mentioned if you take fresh (you can also find packs with the product already precooked) is wrapped in aluminum foil and put to cook in boiling water for at least 2 hours. When cooked remove the skin and cut into slices.
For the lentils prepare a chopped onion, carrot and celery and fry it in olive oil and butter and when they are golden add the lentils without the cooking liquid. Season the whole with a few minutes and serve hot with the slices of cotechino.
The zampone inside is made as the cotechino changes only the external part which instead of the natural pork casing of cotechino, is stuffed into the pig's paw from which the entire interior is removed. Also this is already ready for cooking and also pre-cooked.
This is one of the best second courses of fish in the Romagna regional cuisine. The eel is already clean, then peeled and gutted. The best are those caught in the region in particular in the Comacchio valleys.
about 800 grams of already cleaned eels
400 grams of fresh peas
1 glasses of dry white wine
1 rib of celery
1 clove of garlic
a bunch of parsley, sage and rosemary as needed
grams 400 of peeled tomatoes into small piecespeeled
salt and pepper to taste enough
a little of flour
Cut the already cleaned andpieces of about 5 centimeters and pass it in the flour.
In a large saucepan in abundant olive oil, fry the floured pieces of eel until they have become golden. Prepare a mixture with the parsley, garlic, onion, celery and carrot. When the pieces of eel are golden, add the white wine and let it evaporate completely. Now add the chopped vegetables we had prepared with salt and pepper, rosemary and sage. Put the peeled tomatoes into small pieces and cook with a lid for about half an hour, adding some water if necessary. After this time, remove the pieces of eel and set them aside and add the peas to the cooking mixture and cook for at least 10 minutes. after this time turn off the heat, put the pieces of eel back with the peas, mix well and serve hot.
There are many traditional Emilian desserts, let's start with the rice cake, an original recipe from Bologna.
200 grams of arborio rice
200 grams of sugar
grams 80 of chopped almonds
4 whole eggs at room temperature
the rind of a lemon
1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon
butter and flour enough
1 vanilla pod
1 liter of whole milk
Boil the milk in a large saucepan with the vanilla pod and the lemon peel. When it boils, add the rice and cook it for about 15 minutes until it has absorbed all the milk. Remove the lemon zest and the vanilla pod and let it cool.
Chop the almonds very finely possibly with a kitchen mixer. In a bowl, whip the whole eggs with the sugar until the mixture is frothy, add the chopped almonds and the rice, which will be cold. Also add the teaspoon of powdered cinnamon and put it all in a cake pan of about 26 centimeters buttered and floured. Level the mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for about 60 minutes. If after about 40 minutes you notice that the upper part of the cake tends to be too dark, cover the cake tin with aluminum foil and continue cooking. This will prevent you from overcooking the cake surface.