07.01.2015

The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi

Enjoying a typical 'granny recipe' from Parma, a city of art and great food

  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi
  • The Showcooking Sessions: tortelli d’erbetta by Valerio Brozzi

Parma is a beautiful Italian city where art and cuisine literally rule. On the occasion of our fifth Showcooking Session, we hosted a friend from Parma, Valerio Brozzi, who manages historic menswear boutique Brando. Brando perfectly matches the Slowear spirit, showing a great love for quality and a tendency to revisit trends rather than simply following them.
 
Valerio prepared a typically Parmesan family recipe – his granny’s tortelli d’erbetta (chard dumplings). We asked him to tell us about his hometown and his recipe.
 
SJ: What’s the ‘Slow’ face of Parma? Is there anything you would recommend to see if we were to stay in your hometown for one day?
VB: You definitely should not miss historic Teatro Farnese, a magnificent wooden theatre whose existence most tourists ignore.
And then of course the restaurants. We’ve got plenty of great restaurants; my favourite one is Cocchi, quite well-known and yet far from mainstream, and definitey authentic, focusing on homemade local cuisine. Aperitivo is our evening ritual in Parma – try T Café, a central venue (tucked away in a narrow street close to Piazza Duomo) where they offer an excellent wine list, or Croce di Malta. If you’re looking for a typical Parmesan experience, though, head to Enoteca Fontana for delicious sanwiches and top-notch local cold cuts.
The latest trend is the casual, take-away version of a classic Parmesan dish, tortellini in brodo (in broth), that’s usually consumed on festive Sundays. You can now grab your own serving on the street, which is totally cool.
 
SJ: What are you going to cook for us today, and why?
VB: I only started cooking a couple of years ago, and I usually make sweets so… preparing a first course is quite a whole new world to me! I chose tortelli d’erbetta, a local dish from Parma that can be found in many different variations in the whole Emilia Romagna region. This recipe, which is actually my grandma’s, is usually prepared by Parmesan housewifes (rezdoras) on festive days. It is one of the very few meat-free recipes in a tradition based on on a fest of pork meat cold-cuts, and it’s trulypart of my own culture so I thought it would be nice to share it with you guys!
 
Here’s Valerio’s tortelli d’erbetta recipe:
 
Ingredients (serves 5/6)
500g plain flour
5 eggs + 1 for the filling
200g chard
300g ricotta cheese
125g Mascarpone cheese
200g grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
butter
olive olil
salt
pepper
nutmeg powder
fresh sage leaves
 
First of all, make your dough, placing the flour on a table and making a large hole in the middle of the mound; brake one egg at a time in the hole and delicately whip them with a fork, slowly mixing them with the flour. When everything is amalgamated, add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil and start kneading with your hands. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it up in clingfilm and let it rest in a cool place for 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the filling: stew the chard in a pan with a drizzle of oil, drain well and chop it. Mix it with ricotta and Mascarpone, add grated Parmesan cheese, nutmeg powder, salt, pepper and a raw egg. Let the filling cool down.
Roll out the dough and cut it into squares with sides of approximately 6 centimeters. Place one small knob of filling on each square and fold it into a rectangle, sealing edges with the prongs of a fork. Boil your tortelli in hot salted water, drain them and serve them with sage-flavored melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese

Author : The Slowear Journal

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