Friday, February 11, 2011

Food Of Italy: Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, and Liguria.


Welcome to the first installment of a brand spanking new section of my blog. This is all about the different kinds of food found in each region of Italy. Every week in class, we learn about a different region and then cook a small meal pertaining to the region. This week we did Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, and Liguria, all northern regions. The foods that we cooked were Trenette alle Noci and Crepes Suzette.

Trenette alle noci is fresh pasta with walnut sauce. We prepared by measuring 300 grams of flour, placing it on the table, and  making a hole in the middle. We cracked three eggs into the hole using 1 egg per 100 grams of flour. A few drops of oil and a pinch of salt was added and then we mixed the eggs with our fingers, slowly working the flour in. We had to kneed the dough for about ten minutes until it became smooth and elastic. The dough was wrapped in plastic wrap and rested while we began to make Crepes Suzette.

To begin making the crepes, you need to mix two eggs with 20 grams of sugar and then add 75 grams of flour, 130 grams of milk, and 20 grams of melted butter. Grease a frying pan with butter letting it become very hot. Pour in only a little batter and swirl it around, waiting for it to cook. Once it is cooked, you toss it into the air to flip it onto it's other side. This part was so much fun! To make the sauce, melt 80 grams of butter in a big frying pan and add 60 grams powdered sugar and the zest of both a lemon and an orange. Add the crepes, folded in fourths to look like triangles, the juice from the orange, and four tablespoons of cointreau into the frying pan. Saute for a minute. Add four tablespoons of cognac, and fire it.

 With the fresh pasta made and the crepes made, it was time to start on the walnut sauce. you need to take two slices of country bread, remove the crusts, and soak it in milk. Then, in a blender, you put 300g (10oz) of shelled walnuts, 1 clove garlic, 300ml (1/2 pint) milk, 50g (2oz) freshly grated parmesan, 5-6 tablespoons light olive oil, salt and pepper, and the milky bread. Blend until smooth.With the fresh pasta, take it out of the wrapping, cut it into four smaller sections and flatten it with a rolling pin. Then flatten it even more with the pasta press, making it extremely thin. Switch seetings on the pasta press so that it shreds the pasta into strips of linguini. Place the noodles in boiling, salted water for just a few minutes. Once cooked, remove from water and place in a bowl and add the walnut sauce, mixing it in so that each noodle is covered.

Now, we are all set to eat! The crepes had a sugary sweet and citrus taste to it and were something I've never had before. I really liked the flavor and ultimately enjoyed them although I'm not a big fan of how the crepes get soggy before the sauce is added to them. The Trenette alla Noci was soooo good! The pasta was a little clumpy and it was really heavy (it sat in my stomach during my ballet class which was right after it) but the sauce was delicious and a new flavor that I've never tried before either.

 Boun Appetitio!

Eternally yours,

Photo source:
Katie S. blogspot

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