Regional specialities: Christmas first courses of Piedmont
In Piedmont, Christmas brings two tasty culinary specialities: agnolotti and risotto with radicchio and toma (a kind of cheese).
Christmas first courses of Piedmont: agnolotti
Agnolotti is a dish that comes from the houses of the countryside of Piedmont, where in the past women use the leftovers of meat, rice, vegetables and the sauce of roasted meat to stuff homemade pasta.
Today, the recipe of the stuffing varies according to the area of production. The area of Langhe and Monferrato is characterised by “agnolotti del plin” or “agnolotti al plin” (given by the pinch to close them), small and with the shape of a small boat.
Agnolotti can be served with sauce of roasted meat, with butter, sage and Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, with Piedmont ragu or with meat broth.
They are part of the traditional Italian food and they are protected by a specific code of the Region of Piedmont.
It is not clear where the name comes from: according to the popular tradition, the name has been adapted from the name Angiolino, a chef of Monferrato called Angelot. Another theory says that the name derives from the dialect of Piedmont “anulòt”, a tool used to cut this pasta with the shape of ring.
Agnolotti can be paired both with the red local wines with poor origin and Spumante wines.
Christmas first courses of Piedmont: risotto radicchio and toma of Piedmont
Among the Christmas first courses of Piedmont we want to remind the risotto with radicchio and toma. Toma of Piedmont is a fat or semi-fat cheese, short or medium seasoned, with semi-hard dough. It is produced in Piedmont with cow milk. The seasoning varies from 20 to 45 days.
For a good final result of this dish, it is necessary to toast rice with oil and shallot, and then cover it with broth (the real one, not stock cube). At half of the cooking add radicchio sliced thinly in order to season the rice, whereas the toma (a kind of cheese) has to be added at the end and cook until cream.