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Traditional gnocchi and delicious desserts in the typical cuisine of the Ossola

Gnocchi all’ossolana

Gnocchi all’ossolana are a first dish of pasta perfect for the autumn. This rustic recipe brings with it all the flavor of the mountains with fresh chestnuts and pumpkins. Its preparation dates back to the 16th century and includes a mixture of pumpkin, potatoes and chestnuts. The preparation is fairly elaborate as the three main ingredients must be cooked separately, then mixed together with egg yolks and breadcrumbs. The proportion of ingredients may vary as many years ago they used to prepare  gnocchi  with the ingredients available at home. The consistency of gnocchi is very soft, they are boiled in salt water and seasoned with simple butter and sage. Delicious!

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi, photo mangiarebuono

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi are a traditional Piedmont recipe. They are also called “Rabaton”. Their dough can include spinach or chard, although in the past they were prepared with the wild herbs found in the mountains. In fact, the shepherds, caming home from the mountain, used to pick up  wild herbs to use with ricotta cheese.  Today, chard and spinach give the dish a  more delicate flavor than it could have had in the past. The finely chopped vegetables are mixed with ricotta cheese and breadcrumbs. Gnocchi are boiled  in the meat broth  for a few minutes, then drained and seasoned with butter and sage. They are placed on a tray and sprinkle with grated cheese, cooked in the oven and served hot.

Fiocca della Val Formazza

Fiocca della Val Formazza  is a Piedmontese dessert. The ingredients are very simple such as eggs, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla. They prepare a thick cream  with the help of the fish gelatin and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours. Then the sweet  will have the consistency of a pudding and can be accompanied  with fruits or  ice cream. You can also garnish with chocolate or other ingredients. Even in this case the simple base of the sweet, with milk and eggs, recalls the simplicity of the mountain recipes. Years ago, when there was no fridge to use, the dessert was cooled under the snow until it was thickened. Thus is name  “Fiocca” (Snowflake).


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