Rustichella d'Abruzzo Pizzoccheri Pasta
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Rustichella d'Abruzzo Pizzoccheri is a northern Italian type of short tagliatelle made with whole-wheat durum semolina, buckwheat flour and durum wheat semolina. It originates in Valtellina, a valley at the very top of Lombardy. The distinguished hearty flavor and coarse texture of this buckwheat pasta marries perfectly with potatoes, cabbage and butter to make a rich and satisfying dish.
Not far from Lake Como are the steep valleys of the Valtellina. Just north of Milan you can find this beautiful, mountainous area where the food is hearty and strictly local. Pizzoccheri is an old-fashioned dish classically served with potatoes and savoy cabbage. Depending on the season and availability, ether Swiss chard or green beans can be used as an alternative. Vegetables and pasta are cooked together in one pot. The pasta is then sautéed in butter with garlic and sage, and then topped with abundant shavings of Valtellina Casera cheese and grated Grana Padano cheese.
The origins of macaroni, and therefore of pasta, date back in time to the historic period of ancient Romans. Apicio, Roman writer of the first century A.D., writes about a pasta prepared “to enclose pasta timbales and pies” named “Lagana”. The first historical quote concerning the cooking of pasta boiling in in water belongs to the Arabs, that probably introduced the dry pasta during the conquest of Sicily.