Pizzoccheri are a short and flat type of pasta from the Valtellina region in Northern Italy, made from buckwheat and flour. I already posted about preparing store-bought dried pizzoccheri with savoy cabbage. This time I decided to make the pizzoccheri myself, and use chard rather than cabbage. I already liked pizzoccheri the previous time I made them, but the fresh pasta and the chard make it even better.
Did you know that buckwheat, despite its name, is not a wheat? It is also interesting that the word buckwheat has been derived from the Dutch word “boekweit”. In Italian it sounds more fancy though: grano saraceno. In any case, in homemade pizzoccheri you can taste the buckwheat better than in store-bought ones, and they are surprisingly easy to make as they do not need to be rolled out as thinly as for other types of fresh pasta. So even though I did use my pasta roller out of habit, you could easily and quickly make them with a rolling pin. The fresh pizzoccheri also have a nicer texture than the dried ones.
Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese is a substantial dish, so unlike other pasta dishes that are supposed to serve as part of a menu, pizzoccheri are typically served as piatto unico, a full meal consisting of just this done dish. I used the recipe from GialloZafferano, but increased the amount of chard. Pizzoccheri are traditionally served with the cheese from the valley where the dish originated: valtellina casera. This cheese is important to get the authentic taste, but if you can’t find it then fontina can be used as a substitute. Pizzoccheri are traditionally served family style in a large dish, but I prefer to toss them with the cheese and serve on individual plates.
200 grams (1 1/4 cups) buckwheat flour
50 grams (1/4 cup) 00 flour or all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
pinch of salt
50 grams (3 1/2 Tbsp) butter
75 grams (3 oz) freshly grated grana padano or parmigiano reggiano
125 grams (5 oz) freshly grated Valtellina Casera cheese (substitute with Fontina)
175 grams potatoes (about 1 large or 2 medium potatoes)
200 grams (7 oz) chard, leaves only (or savoy cabbage)
1 clove garlic
freshly ground black pepper
Run it through the pasta machine at the widest setting. The dough should be 2-3 mm thick (1/12 – 1/8 inch). In my case, this meant that running it through the pasta machine once at the widest setting was enough.