Tag: history

Bitter tortelli of Castel Goffredo, history and recipe of a single dish – Italian Cuisine

Bitter tortelli of Castel Goffredo, history and recipe of a single dish

The bitter tortelli are a typical dish of Castel Goffredo, in the province of Mantua. They are called so because of the particular grass that is put in the filling

The Italian culinary tradition is so rich that sometimes there are recipes that do not exceed the limits of a municipality. This is the case of the bitter tortelli of Castel Goffredo, an ancient dish and very "cooked" by the castellans, but until recently not very well known outside the home. The recent history of this small town in the province of Mantua is closely linked to that of stockings. Even today, most of the yarns and tights that cover the legs of thousands of women come right from here. However, the industrial dimension is relegated to the periphery. Crossing the narrow streets of the historic center, from the mouths of its inhabitants and from the menus of its trattorias, one realizes that it is rather this that dominates the scene. particular stuffed pasta.

Tortelli bitters, the origin of the name

They are called that for the presence in the filling of St. Peter's grass, also commonly known as "Bitter herb". The scientific name is Balsamita major, it blooms around the end of June, when the Saint's anniversary falls (June 29th). The plant is part of the family of aromatic-balsamic and has, as you may have guessed, a pleasant bitter aftertaste. The recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, but mostly orally. There is very little literature on this subject, apart from a few cookbooks preserved in the beliefs of older housewives who, they assure, have always made these tortelli.

It's a short step from pumpkin to bitter grass

In the nearby Mantova, the dough is filled with pumpkin and their tortelli are famous throughout Italy. Here, in Castel Goffredo, instead we put this particular grass that still grows spontaneously in the gardens and in the vegetable gardens of the houses. The idea of replace the cucurbitaceae with the aromatic plant it must have come to some housewife who, in times of thin, with the little she had, will have worked to create a new dish. The fame is not comparable to that of the Mantuan tortelli, but lately also bitter ravioli are starting to come out.

In the recipe "publishes" all the ingredients

Only some of the "risidure" (dialectal term to define the women who run the house) know the original recipe, which, however, they keep jealously secret to reserve the true dish to friends and relatives. The following is the public version. For the pastry it takes 300 grams of 00 flour, three eggs and one yolk. The ingredients for the stuffing are: 600 grams of herbs, 80 grams of butter, 50 grams of sage, an egg, an onion, a clove of garlic, 20 leaves of bitter herb, 40 grams of grated bread, 80 grams of grana padano, salt pepper and nutmeg.

Here's how to prepare the filling

First clean and blanch the herbs in salt water. Then drain them, trying to remove all the excess liquid, and cut them – not too fine – with the knife. Fry in butter the sage, onion and garlic. Once the herbs have also been seasoned, combine them in a bowl with the eggs, Grana Padano cheese, breadcrumbs, sage, onion and garlic, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Mix everything and finally add the raw chopped bitter herb. Prepare the dough of egg pasta cut into squares, fill with a teaspoon of filling and fold into a triangle. Cook in salted water and serve with a sprinkling of good grated cheese and a tablespoon of melted butter and crisp sage.

At the Tortello Amaro Festival in Castel Goffredo to eat the real ones

Foreigners have a single chance to be able to taste the truly original and is the Bitter Tortello Festival, scheduled this year from 13 to 16 June at the Parco la Fontanella. On this occasion the housewives themselves will get to work, offering those who are not local the chance to taste the real Tortelli Amari of Castel Goffredo or the Tortelli Amarissi, "Just like the castellans like". The rest of the menu will also be based on dishes cooked with this herb: braised pork with pork bitter polenta, bitter polenta with straccone cheese, Amarburgher with fries, Buon Umore cake, Bitter ice cream is GranitinAmara. For those who could not go to the party can always try them in some country restaurants, such as La Viola, La Pialla, Il Roccolo, or in neighboring towns such as the Selvole which is located in the hamlet of the same name, at the trattoria Da Laura in the Perosso hamlet, at the Agriturismo San Lorenzo in the hamlet of Casalpoglio.

The pan de mej recipe from the history of Besuschio pastry – Italian Cuisine

Among the 10 best patisseries in Italy, six generations and all the historic Milanese recipes (panettone, which was born right here). Here is their recipe for making pan de meino, to be puccia strictly in a cup of cream

The pan meino, alias Pan De Mej in Milanese dialect, it is a poor dessert, which is based on millet flour and flavored with elderflower. Today few people prepare it, less and less, and finding it in the historic pastry shops of Milan and its province is not easy. At the Pasticceria Besuschio of Abbiategrasso they still do it, since 1845.

Here the panettone was born

Six generations of patisseries a predisposition for traditional recipes, which proudly offer in the shop alongside creations of more innovative pastries and (much) chocolate – in the over 10 meters of space counter there is so much and it is all full. The pan de mej, of course, but also the rice flour and corn biscuits, the Pagnotta di Fraa, a typical abbiatese sweet made from corn flour and dried fruit, the Tegola with almonds and hazelnuts. Not only tradition, because among their classics there is also Porphyry, a chocolate plumcake.
At Christmas, of course, the panettone (multi-award winning) is made, both classic and the inevitable chocolate and Crakelè, with brown and super crunchy cover. Obviously not because I'm from Milan, but because here, according to tradition, the panettone was born: in fact, in the Besuschio oven Cavalier Motta and Mr. Alemagna came in person to do tests with Andrea's grandfather to launch their product on large scale.

Worth the journey (there is also a bed & breakfast)

The historic venue under the arcades of Piazza Marconi, however, no longer has the old vintage look, because the Pasticceria Besuschio has remade its look, with a restyling of production spaces as well as those for sale. Too bad, but worth the trip.
Three cakes according to the Gambero Rosso Patisserie Guide, in 2019 but to confirm the consistently high score, they are among the top clubs in Italy, with 92/100 of vote and among the top 10. In 2018 it was the most voted pastry of Barawards and the sweet Slim Sweetness won the first international prize "The sweet of the future". They are also friends of Carlo Cracco, who has collaborated with them several times. Far? They even have the bed & breakast, named Sweet Dream and breakfast included.

Ingredients for a full tray
450g type 1 flour
450g corn flour (comic)
435g granulated sugar
400g butter
300g milk
65g honey
3 egg yolks
15g baking powder (two sachets)
natural vanilla extract


Mix the lightly softened butter with the egg yolks, honey, vanilla and granulated sugar in a planetary mixer or in a mixer.
Once obtained a homogeneous mass, add the flour, in two times.
When the mixture is homogeneous pour the milk and knead until obtaining a paste that is easily detached from the planetary walls.
Make loaves as big as a fist, sprinkle with water and cover with granulated sugar and icing sugar.
Cook at 170 ° C without steam for about an hour.

"Fuori Porta", the journey to discover the history of Italian taste and style – Italian Cuisine

"Fuori Porta", the journey to discover the history of Italian taste and style

An exhibition-journey to rediscover Italian gastronomy and style, in the name of Vespa, that stroke of genius that has revolutionized our way of moving for more than seventy years, and The Italian kitchen in an original combination of the iconic scooter and the historic food and wine culture magazine, directed today by Maddalena Fossati Dondero, which has ferried Italy from the thirties to the present day through war, reconstruction, boom, Sixty-eight and all the great stages of our history, up to a day of conscious homage to a happy tradition that serves good humor in the table.

"Fuori Porta", inside the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, from May 15th to September 8th, retraces moments of our country's history when "our parents and our grandparents jumped on a Vespa to go on a trip with a copy of La Cucina Italiana fluttering in the luggage rack, the right sandwiches in the basket, a smile on the lips and a great desire to 'make' the Italy of yesterday, today and tomorrow ".

A light and agile exhibition, like the Vespa, but also fragrant, interactive, unpredictable and always shared, like the recipes that for almost a century La Cucina Italiana experimented with care on its stoves. The thematic areas set up along the exhibition route are like windows opening onto a character, an era, a fashion, a curiosity: "Ladies and young ladies", "Outdoor", "Italia Fuori Porta", "A window on the world "," A question of style "and" Today ".

Each has a supporting element Wasp and, as a testimonial, a cooking recipe identified by La Cucina Italiana which characterizes that period or that topic: from the “stuffed with optimism” rolls, to the light lasagne with ragù, from the “czarist” version of the stuffed eggs, to the Ungaretti spaghetti, from the truffles to the champagne to the “quick toast” and refined ”.

An exhibition that retraces and revives a story that belongs to everyone, offering an opportunity for current events, a reflection of the image of Vespa and La Cucina Italiana, always modern, contemporary and cool performers, despite their long tradition.

Outside the Door – Piaggio Museum in Pontedera
from 15 May to 8 September 2019
Free admission
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm / Monday: closed
May, June and September: second and fourth Sunday of the month 10.00-18.00 July and August: every Sunday 10.00-18.00
Open 2 June and 15 August 10.00-18.00

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