Antipasti

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THISTLE FLAN WITH BAGNA CAÔDA
INGREDIENTS
1 kg thistles from Nizza Monferrato, 4 eggs, 200 gr grated Grana Padano cheese, 40 g butter, 0,5 l  milk, 40 g flour
For the bagna caôda (hot garlic dip): 2 garlic heads, 1 glass olive oil, 50 g butter, 12 anchovies, milk as required
DIRECTIONS
Boil the thistles in boiling water and milk; drain and mince; remove any excess water from the puree, add grated Grana Padano cheese, salt, pepper, béchamel and eggs. Grease a mould, sprinkle it with breadcrumbs, pour the mixture and bake in a bain-marie at 180°C.
Prepare the bagna caôda: peel the garlic cloves, boil them in water and milk, then drain and sieve; pour the garlic puree into a terracotta casserole, add oil, butter and anchovies and cook very slowly (do not fry oil and butter), until all the ingredients are well mixed together.
Serve the flan hot and topped by plenty of bagna caôda.


MATO
INGREDIENTS FOR 8 PEOPLE
8 potatoes, 4 leeks,  4 leaves costmary, 6 spoonfuls  grated cheese, 2 handfuls  rice, 2 slices pumpkin,  200 g cream, 120 g butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg
DIRECTIONS
Boil the potatoes without peeling them in salty water. In the meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Peel the pumpkin, slice it, and stew it in a pot together with a knob of butter. Slice the leeks thinly and brown them with 30 g butter, paying attention they do not get dry.Boil rice for 15 minutes, drain it and keep it aside. Peel the boiled potatoes, mash them and pour them out into a bowl, add costmary, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir together with 100 g cream and 30 g butter. Butter a baking tin, lay some potatoes and leeks, add rice, spread cream and lay the pumpkin. Sprinkle with grated cheese and lay the remaining potatoes and leeks. Finally lay down some butter flakes. Bake at 180º for 50 minutes and serve hot.


GREEN PIE FROM ORMEA
INGREDIENTS FOR 8 PEOPLE
For the pastry: 250 g wheat flour, 3 spoonfuls extra-vierge olive oil, 1 glass  water, salt
For the filling: 200 g rice, 500 g beets, 1 onion, 50 g butter, 2 spoonfuls sugar, salt, pepper
DIRECTIONS
Boil the beets in salty hot water, strain, wring and coarsely mince them. Boil rice for 15 minutes, strain it and keep it apart. In the meantime brown the chopped onions with a knob of butter; add rice and beets and let them cook for a few minutes on a high flame. Place the flour on a pastry board, add oil, salt and - little by little - a glass of water and knead it as long as you get an elastic and thick dough. Cut the dough in two and roll out two sheets of pastry of about 1 mm. Oil a baking-pan, place one sheet of pastry and pour in the filling (about 2-3 cm). Cover with the second sheet of pastry and stitch the rims together with your fingers. Cut the pie surface with diagonal crossing lines, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the pie in the oven at 200° for about 50 minutes. It may be served either warm or cold.


PEPPERS WITH BAGNA CAÔDA
INGREDIENTS FOR 6 PEOPLE
3 fleshy peppers, 200 g tuna fish in oil, anchovies, 10 cloves garlic, 12 capers, 2 spoonfuls tomato puree, 1 glass milk, 4 spoonfuls cream, 1 glass white vinegar, 1 glass olive oil, 1 pinch sugar
DIRECTIONS
Wash the peppers, cut them into chunks and seed them. Boil salty water together with a glass of vinegar, add the peppers and simmer for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile prepare the bagna caôda: peel the cloves of garlic, place them in a pot, add milk and simmer for 20 minutes. Crush the cloves of garlic, add the anchovies (after having cleared the fishbone out) and cover with olive oil. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring now and then until the ingredients melt and get creamy. Take the pot away from fire, add cream, the minced tuna fish and capers, three spoonfuls of vinegar, the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar. Stir and keep warm. Drain the peppers, peel them, place them on a dish and cover them with the sauce. Serve immediately.


SNAILS
INGREDIENTS
local snails, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, mountain oregano, rosemary, sage, laurel, mint, marjoram, garlic, hot peppers, lemon, nutmeg, oil, salt, pepper
DIRECTIONS
Carefully wash the snails in cold water. In a large saucepan boil in salted water onion, celery, carrot and a tuft of herbs (sage, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and a pinch of mint), cook the snails for one hour, occasionally skimming the surface. Remove from the heat, drain the nails, change water and vegetables, boil again for another two hours.
For the sauce: chop  parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, laurel, mint, marjoram, garlic and mix with a pinch of chilli, nutmeg to taste, oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
When cooked, carefully drain the snails, serve very hot in their shells. The sauce should be served separately in a sauce bowl.


VITELLO TONNATO
Veal with tuna fish sauce
INGREDIENTS FOR 8 PEOPLE
700 g veal, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1 leaf  laurel, 1 tuft  parsley, 1 clove garlic, 2 glasses white wine, coarse salt
Ingredients for the tuna fish sauce: 2 fresh eggs, 2,5 dl olive oil, the juice of a half lemon, 2 spoonfuls salted capers, 100 g tuna fish in olive oil, salt, white pepper
DIRECTIONS
Boil enough water to cover the meat, add white wine, onion, carrot, the stalk of celery cut into pieces, parsley and salt. At last tie the veal with a string, add it to the water, boil it for one hour and a half and let it cool down in its broth. Cut it into not too thin slices and lay them down on a serving dish.
Whisk the egg yolks with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Add oil drop by drop keeping beating. Add the lemon juice and stir carefully. Wash, dry and mince the capers, crumble the tuna fish and add everything to the sauce. Spread on the slices of veal and serve.