I must say I’d never heard of this dish before a G plusser friend, Remi, pointed me in the direction. I’m not really suprised, as Italy is home to so many different types of cuisine it’d be weird if I HAD heard of it. This is a first on a few levels for me, I’ve never used buckwheat pasta before, and I’ve never added potato to a pasta sauce before. It seems unseemly, but hey – let’s give it a go!
The hardest thing was actually sourcing the pasta. I found it online at an Aussie gourmet Italian store, but it was ‘wish list only’ which means that they don’t really stock it until a few people request it. My local Farmer Jack’s grocery store has about 45 types of dried pasta, but alas not this one. I got mildly angry at all the ‘alternative’ ‘gluten free’ ‘let’s add beetroot to pasta’ styles they had, but omitted this one. Pizzoccheri is part buckwheat, part real wheat, so although it’s not gluten free, it’s very low in gluten, for all you people that… you know who you are… Fun fact, buckwheat seeds are related to the rhubarb plant and have nothing to do with wheat at all.
This recipe could comfortably feed about 4 or 5, but in this case, it was gorged by 3.
400gm Pizzoccheri Pasta (Get it from Re-Store Leederville or Northbridge)
1 large potato, diced
Small handful of sage, about 10 leaves – The official recipe says use 3 leaves. 3?? What is is, the war?
5 cloves of garlic, smooshed – again, the original recipe says 2 cloves. As if.
A handful of Kale, sliced
Grana Padano cheese, grated
Place a saucepan of water on stove to cook pasta. This is hardy pasta, so it takes a few minutes longer than usual – this much took about 20 mins altogether, so adjust your expectations! About 5 mins in, throw in the potato so it will cook at the same time. It’s done when potato and pasta are al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter and add in the garlic and sage, do not brown, just sweat it. Add in the pasta and kale, and stir til coated. At this stage, the potato should have gone a little mooshy as well.
Serve on a big plate, and add it in layers, adding cheese in between each layer. Add salt and pepper to taste!