Easy Italian food


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Rich cuisine

Thanks to its proximity to France and to its fertile and varied agricultural lands, Piedmontese cuisine guarantees gourmets a rich and most satisfying experience. The area around Asti and Alba is famous for white truffles (though the black and slightly less esteemed variety are also plentiful), and these are used to add their unmistakable aroma to first and main courses. One of the most famous dishes in Piedmontese cuisine is the "bagna cauda," a warm dip made with butter, garlic, anchovies, and extra-virgin olive oil, into which strips of raw vegetables such as celery, fennel, artichokes, and cardoons are dipped. It is a sort of filling antipasto-cum-first course, which is especially popular in wintertime. The first courses obviously include several varieties of risotto as the flat plains of eastern Piedmont are some of the most important rice-growing areas in Italy. However, pasta lovers won't be disappointed: "tajarin," thin tagliatelle topped with a butter and truffle sauce, and "agnolotti," egg pasta stuffed with stewed beef, cabbage, egg, and Parmigiano, are both well worth trying. Thanks to its rivers and forests, game and river fish feature largely in main courses. For those with a healthy appetite, the regional version of "bollito misto" is a hearty combination of beef, pig's head, trotters, and rind, chicken, veal, and turkey. It is served with a variety of boiled vegetables and "salsa verde," a sauce made with Italian parsley and olive oil. The region also produces some fine cheeses: the soft, fresh and slightly acidulous forms of Tomini and the creamy Robiola are among the best. Piedmont's desserts are justly famous: rich zabaione is a native of the region, while "bonet" is a sort of chocolate and Amaretti pudding. The Langhe area uses its abundant and top-quality hazelnuts to make a rich "torta alle nocciole." Piedmontese chocolates are celebrated worldwide, with Turin, the region's capital, being the home to the most famous manufacturers. When its fine wines are taken into consideration (Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbaresco, and Fresia are just some of the varieties produced), it is clear that a trip to Piedmont means you enter a sort of gastronomic heaven on earth.










Liguria Lombardia