Here some recipes of typical Bergamask dishes:
- Recipes - Province
The symbol of Bergamask cooking and a simple dish that is easily prepared, casoncelli were created as a way of using leftover pork and beef, and over the years other ingredients have been added. By the nineteenth century these ravioli were made all the more unusual with the addition of amaretti biscuits, sultanas and lemon peel!
Ingredients for 6/8 people
Pasta:- 400 g flour;
- 100 g durum wheat semolina;
- 2 eggs.
Filling:- 125 g bread crumbs;
- 1 egg, 70 g grated grana (or Parmesan) cheese;
- 150 g sausage meat;
- 100 g roast beef;
- 5 g amaretti biscuits;
- 10 g sultanas;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- 1 dessertspoon of chopped parsley;
- salt, pepper.
- 80 g butter;
- 100 g bacon cut into strips;
- 100 g of grated grana (or Parmesan) cheese;
- a few sage leaves.
Mix the flour together with the semolina, eggs and a pinch of salt and add enough water to make a smooth dough, then leave to rest for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Brown the sausage meat with a knob of butter, then add the roast beef, garlic, parsley and mix for a few minutes to amalgamate the flavours. Pour everything into a bowl, add the grana or Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, crumbled amaretti biscuits, chopped sultanas, some pepper and a pinch of salt.
If it seems too dry, add a drop of broth or water.
Roll out the pasta, cut into 6/8 cm disks and place a spoonful of filling in the centre.
Cook the casoncelli in plenty of salted water.
After draining, pour over the melted butter flavoured with sage, bacon and grated Parmesan.
Enjoy with a glass of red Valcalepio wine!
Some brief historic information
The name « polenta » derives from the Latin, puls, and the Greek poltos, the terms given to meals made of flour eaten by both the Greeks and Romans. An ancient food originally considered a peasant dish, polenta has been handed down over the years to the present day. We can even find it mentioned in literature by various writers: a famous passage in the VI chapter of Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Manzoni describes the «polenta» prepared by Tonio for Renzo.
Recipe: Traditional Polenta
Ingredients for 6 people- 600 g maize flour;
- 2 l water; coarse salt.
put 2 litres of water on to boil. Add approximately one tablespoon of coarse salt.
When the water starts to boil, sprinkle the maize flour in slowly and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps forming.
When all the flour has been added, keep stirring in the same direction and from below upwards.
Lower the flame and stir until the polenta is cooked.
How long does polenta take to cook?
One hour, even though some say forty-five minutes are enough.
N.B.: Polenta is cooked when it comes away from the sides of the pot!
Upturn directly from the pot onto a wooden board and serve.
Scarpinocc de Par
Scarpinòcc are a cookery speciality of the inhabitants of Parre, a village of Upper Val Seriana. The name refers to their shape, which recalls vaguely the one of the homonymous artisan cloth shoes used till a few years ago in this village. In the dialect of the shepherds, Scarpinòcc are also called “Orecchi” (ears) because of their particular shape. This dish, native of the popular cuisine, in the course of time was extremely refined and can be tasted in characteristic restaurants and in high-level restaurants as well.
For the pastry (1 kg pastry)
• 800 gr white flour
• 2 eggs
• 40 gr butter at room temperature
• milk as needed
For the stuffing (1 kg stuffing)
• 700 gr Parmesan cheese
• 350 gr dry grated bread
• a clove of minced garlic
• 40 gr minced parsley
• 30 gr butter
• a pinch of mixed spices (coriander seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace, aniseed)
Preparation of the stuffing
Mix Parmesan cheese and bread with spices in a bowl. Melt butter in a pan and add garlic and parsley thinly minced. Pour all in a basin and add milk and eggs until you get a soft, homogeneous mixture.
Preparation of the Scarpinocc
Roll out the dough and make disks of a diameter of 6-8cm. Put a bit of stuffing on every disk and fold up the little disk so that it’s half-moon shaped. Close well the borders pressing with your fingers, lift them vertically with the round part below and press in the middle with your forefinger so to have a shape resembling a candy. Cook in abounding salted water, drain, lay on a plate, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and season with melted butter and sage well cooked. When put on the market Scarpinòcc de Parr must bear a specific countermark approved by the Committee that guarantees the conformity of the product to specific prescriptions established by the law.
- Recipes - Lakes and rivers
Lake bass filets with Bergamasque mountain cheese (formai de mut)
Ingredients (for 6 persone)
- 18 bass or perch filets
- 150 grams of fresh Formai de Mut (aged for less than 60 days, available from cheesemongers near Bergamo)
- 150 grams of tomato sauce
- 100 grams of white flour
- one garlic clove
- one glass of juniper-infused grappa
- salt, butter, olive oil, thyme
Spread the fish filets on a cutting board and salt them lighlty. Put a small slice of cheese on each filet, roll it up, and pin insert a toothpick to keep it from unraveling. Dredge in flour. In a pan, bring the oil and butter to medium-high heat, and brown the fish rolls, flambéing them at the end with the grappa. Finally add the tomato sauce and thyme. Serve with polenta cut into medallions. Recommended wine: Valcalepio Bianco D.O.C.
- Recipes - Mountain
Val Seriana hare Salmì
- one hare
- Barbera wine (red)
- bay leaves
- juniper berries
- olive oil
- white flour
Cut the hare into pieces being careful to keep the blood that is found between the neck and the stomach. Place the meat into a earthenware dish with some Barbera wine, the liver, thyme, sage, basil, marjoram, a bay leaf, a few juniper berries, cloves, one onion, some celery, some garlic, and a little bit of salt. All the ingredients of the marinade should be finely chopped, and the hare should marinate for about two days.
Remove the pieces of meat from the marinade and let the liquid of the marinade drip off. Then brown them in a stewpan in melted butter. After half and hour, add the rest of the marinade. A few minutes later, add the blood from the carcass too. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and pour the gravy through a sieve. Then put the meat and strained gravy back on the burner. Add some butter, kneaded through with a bit of flour, and continue cooking.
Serve after about one hour.
Valepio Rosso Doc Riserva.
- Recipes - Bergamo city
Polenta e osèi
It’s the most renowned sweet specialty of Bergamo’s cuisine. Made from sponge cake, chocolate, butter, hazelnut creams and rum. The sponge cake is covered with yellow marzipan, then dusted with crystals of yellow sugar. The little birds then placed on polenta are made from marzipan covered with a layer of chocolate.
INGREDIENTS: (about 2 kg when finished):
For the sponge cake:
• 390 gr sugar
• 15 gr Honey
• 320 gr eggs
• 150 gr volks
• 320 gr flour
• 130 gr potato-flour
• 1/2 teaspon of leaven
Chocolate and hazelnut butter cream (for the stuffing):
• 500 gr butter
• 200 gr white chocolate
• 50 gr rum
• 50 gr hazelnut paste
Butter cream (for the covering):
• 200 gr egg whites
• 50 gr sugar
• 600 gr butter
• 100 cl. alcohol
Baked sugar (made with 1kg sugar, 50gr glucose, 75gr water), Curacao, yellow marzipan, chocolate marzipan (for the birds), yellow sugar in crystals, apricot jam, little cubes of candied citron and cocoa.
Whip sugar with honey, eggs and yolks and add slowly flour, potato flour and leaven, previously mixed. When all the mixture is homogeneous, pour in greased moulds in the shape of a semi-sphere. Bake for 20/30 minutes at 200°. To have 1kg of finished product, the mould shall have a diameter of about 12/14cm. Chocolate and hazelnut butter cream (for the stuffing): whip butter with white chocolate previously melted and then add hazelnut paste and rum.
Moisten sugar with water and add glucose and bake until it reaches 120°.
Butter cream (for the covering):
Beat egg whites stiff, add the baked sugar and let cool down the mixture. Add to butter previously whipped.
Arrangement of polenta:
Halve the sponge-cake semi-sphere and moisten with a bit of Curacao, stuff with the chocolate and hazelnut butter cream. Replace the half-sphere, spread the upper part with the butter cream and cover with a yellow marzipan pastry 4/5mm thick.
Sprinkle polenta with crystals of yellow sugar. In the middle of polenta spread apricot jam and add the little cubes of candied citron alternating them with the chocolate marzipan little birds (their little paws shall always be turned upwards), spread with the remaining apricot jam and sprinkle with cocoa.
La Torta Donizetti
Dedicated to Bergamo’s great musician Gaetano Donizetti, it is made from flour, potato starch, butter, sugar, eggs, candied pineapple and apricots, maraschino liqueur, and vanilla. It is a ring-shaped cake and is dusted with powdered sugar.
Ingredients (for 6-8 people)
• butter 320 gr.
• sugar 135 gr.
• 8 egg yolks
• 4 egg whites
• white flour 50 gr.
• potato starch 120 gr.
• candied apricots (diced) 100 gr.
• candied pineapple (diced) 100 gr.
• maraschino 1 tsp.
• 1 vanilla bean
Whip the butter with 120 grams of sugar, slowly adding an egg yolk, until all ingredients are well blended.
Whip the four egg whites into peaks with the remaining sugar (15-20 grams) and add this to the whipped butter mix.
Slowly add the flour, the starch, and finally the candied fruit along with the maraschino and vanilla.
Butter a 24- to 26-cm ring-shaped cake pan and pour in the prepared ingredients. Place in a pre-heated oven at
180°C for forty minutes.
Restaurants of the thousand flavours guide