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A guided tour into Emilia Romagna’s cuisine

Piadina is a must, but tortellini in brodo, lasagne, passatelli and ciambella cannot be missed, either

A guided tour into Emilia Romagna’s cuisine

Claudia Astarita

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Emilia Romagna as a region is famous all over the world for its delicious food. However, a huge difference in terms of culinary traditions is recognizable not only when comparing Emilia and Romagna, but also when referring to different cities in the region.

The symbol of Emilia cuisine is the tortellino in broodo (in broth), a special pasta filled with meat, while the one of Romagna is piadina, a warm flat bread that can be filled with almost everything, although the most common version of piadina are with prosciutto; arugula and squacquerone cheese (a soft and creamy cheese); and mozzarella and tomato.

Lasagne are also a must for the area, although the traditional ones are usually served in Emilia, while Romagna is used to cook their "green" version, with lasagne sheets coloured and flavoured with spinaches.

Tortelli is another specialty of Emilia. They are bigger than tortellini, and their filling can vary from ricotta and spinach to gorgonzola cheese and walnuts; from mushrooms and potatoes to mixed herbs. Romagna also has tortelli, but their filling is based on meat, and thay have to be served with tomato sauce, never "in brodo".

Passatelli "in brodo", instead, are a must for the whole region. They are made of bread crumbs, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon and nutmeg, and they need to be cooked in chicken broth.

For dessert, it is worth trying a ciambella, a traditional ring-shaped cake that can have today different flavours (carrots; apple; chocolate) and fillings (jam, raisins, and chocolate again), although its most traditional version is plain, with a few drops of vanilla and some sugar on top.

All these plates can match very well with high quality and locally produced wines. The most famous are Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Pagadebit for Romagna, and Lambrusco for Emilia.

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