Valtellina Pizzoccheri: what are they and how to make them

Pizzoccheri, italian homemade pasta.
Written by EFW Staff

The Academy dedicated to the Valtellina Pizzoccheri

There is a reason if there is even an Academy dedicated to this product: Pizzocchero di Teglio Academy. It means that this dish as an extraordinary value, both for the taste and its historical-traditional importance.

Pizzoccheri are a delicious first course of the tradition of Valtellina; they consist in a sort of tagliatelle, shorter and larger, made with buckwheat flour, which gives a rich consistency and a defined and strong taste.

History of Valtellina Pizzoccheri

An ancient work published in Venice in 1548 and written by Ortensio Landi, talk about them. It enclosed them in the typical dishes cooked by the famous cook of the past Meluzza Comasca, which seasoned this type of pasta with garlic, butter, vegetables and cheese. Thus, she invented the traditional recipe, which has been modified during the years. The main ingredient of Pizzoccheri is the buckwheat flour, an ancient grain used since the XIV century in the area of Como to prepare the cornmeal mush. In the past they were called Pinzocheri, “a serious and pharisaic person” according to the local dialect. From that century to nowadays, the recipe of Pizzoccheri was enriched maintaining the same kind of seasoning that foresees vegetables, cheese and butter.


The Valtellina Pizzoccheri today

These small tagliatelle, not larger than 7 cm, have been enclosed in the Lombardy Typical Food farming Products and the precious local buckwheat flour of the Teglio area is even a Slow Food Presidium. They are produced in the whole Valtellina, and it is difficult to find this kind of fresh pasta in other parts of Italy.

Pizzoccheri Recipe

The traditional seasoning of Pizzoccheri foresees butter, garlic, diced potatoes, chards or Savoy cabbage and grated cheese, the Valtellina Casera DOP is perfect for this dish, but also a savory cacio or Parmiggiano Reggiano. The vegetables and the flavours can vary during the year based on the season: the green beans substitute the chard in summer whereas in autumn there is the version with mushrooms or truffle.

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EFW Staff