Tortelli di zucca
The pumpkin tortelli are a great first course of stuffed pasta. They were made in Mantova in the sixteenth century, and even today, in this area, are prepared for the Christmas Eve evening. The dough is made with egg pasta, from which we obtain the squares similar to ravioli, while the filling has a mixture of pumpkin, mustard, amaretti, Parmesan and nutmeg. Preparing the tortelli of Mantova is not easy because the ingredients must be carefully dosed to obtain the contrast of sweet, salty and spicy that characterizes them. The traditional sauce for these ravioli is made of simple melted butter, sage and a sprinkling of parmesan. But you can also season with sauces.
Risotto alla pilota
The pilot risotto is a typical first course of Mantova. It ‘s a simple recipe with humble origins, its name “Pilot”, comes directly from the rice mills where pilots were those involved in the stack, the place where the rice was cleaned. In this recipe the rice is cooked simply in boiling water and seasoned with butter and minced pork meat.
Luccio in salsa
The Pike in sauce is a recipe of Mantova that dates back to the sixteenth century. It is believed that the Gonzagas brought this dish in Mantova, using the pike caught in Lake Garda, which is near the town. In this recipe, the pike is cooked in boiling water along with herbs and vegetables such as celery, carrots, onion, and vinegar. Boiled pike is seasoned with green sauce, made in a pan with olive oil and chopped capers, parsley, anchovies and onion. The sauce is poured over the fish and served. This dish is often accompanied with polenta.
The Mostarda of Mantova is an ancient recipe that dates back to the fourteenth century. Mostarda can be prepared with different types of fruit but the original recipe uses quinces, sugar and essential oil of mustard. Mustard gives it a rather spicy taste and the apples must be almost unripe. The Mostarda of Mantova is excellent with meat dishes.
Sbrisolona cake is one of the most famous dishes of Mantova. It has humble origins, conquers the palate with its unique texture, which is crisp and fragrant. The main ingredients are corn flour, sugar, almonds and lard. Today butter is used to replace the lard. The almonds are chopped coarsely and added to the rest of the ingredients to create an irregular dough that has to be placed on the pan and baked in the oven. Getting a slice of sbrisolona is almost impossible, because it immediately crumbles (that’s the reason why is called sbrisolona), so you should take the pieces with your hands.