Torcetti – Tourcett

Torcetti – Tourcett

The torcetti (torcèt in Piedmontese), torcets in French, formerly torchietti, are traditional cookies recognized as a Traditional Food Product (P.A.T.) Italian.


Torcetti was once more prominent than those currently sold and were baked in the town’s communal oven while waiting for the range to reach a high enough temperature to bake the bread. The name comes from the twisted shape of the cookies, which represent a sweet variant of breadsticks.


They are produced in Piedmont, particularly in the Lanzo Valleys, in the Turin area, in Canavese and Biella.
Also well known are the torcetti of Saint-Vincent, produced in the Aosta Valley.


Torcetti produced in the Lanzo valleys and western Canavese are thinner. They have a caramelized surface, a whiter paste, and a relatively low butter content; those made in the Biellese area and near the Serra di Ivrea are thicker, with a darker paste and richer in butter but with a lighter exterior color.


The ingredients are mixed to obtain a homogeneous whole rolled into sticks about 10 centimeters long. The rod’s two ends are joined together. The cookies are brushed with water and sprinkled with sugar. This operation leaf follows for about two hours, after which they are baked in the oven for about twenty minutes. Torcetti is finally packaged in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.


Torcetti can be accompanied by sparkling wines such as Asti or passito wine, such as passito di Caluso.

Torcetti – Tourcett is a regional recipe from Piedmont


The peppers in the Giardiniera prepared in the USA by Silviadc

conserve di verdura – vegetable preserves

Zia Rina was the sister of my mother-in-law. She grew up and lived on a farm in Piedmont, in Northern Italy, where the harvests of the land, particularly the vegetable garden, were abundant during the summer season.

She used a traditional recipe to preserve the summer crops for consumption during the hard and cold winter.

The farm in Piedmont –Paolo Monti  CC BY-SA 4.0


  • 300 Grams green beans
  • 300 Grams carrots
  • 300 Grams celery
  • 3 Peppers
  • 3 Small flat onions
  • 150 Grams of olive oil
  • 150 Grams of sugar
  • Salt 3 Quarts vinegar


  1. Boil the green beans, carrots, and celery in vinegar for half an hour.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and boil for 10 minutes all together.

How to do it in the USA

You should buy the vegetables at a Farmer’s Market; unless you have your vegetable garden where you grow the vegetables, they are usually much better than the ones you can find at a supermarket.

Use a Stainless Steel Canning Funnel from to put it in the can.


Zia Rina era la sorella di mia suocera. È cresciuta e ha vissuto in una fattoria in Piemonte, nel Nord Italia, dove i raccolti della terra, in particolare l’orto, erano abbondanti nella stagione estiva.

Usava una ricetta tradizionale per conservare i raccolti estivi per il consumo durante la fredda stagione invernale.


  • 300 Grammi Fagiolini
  • 300 Grammi Carote
  • 300 Grammi Sedano
  • 3 Peperoni
  • 3 Cipolline piatte
  • 150 Grammi olio
  • 150 Grammi zucchero
  • Sale 3 Quarti d’aceto


  1. Fare bollire con l’aceto I fagiolini, carote e sedano per mezzora.
  2. Aggiungi il resto e far bollire per dieci minuti tutto insieme.

Come farlo negli USA

Comprate le verdure in un Farmer’s Market nel caso in cui non abbiate il vostro orto dove coltivate le verdure. Di solito sono molto migliori di quelle che potete trovare nel locale supermercato.


Risotto alla zucca – Pumpkin risotto

Risotto with pumpkin and star anise – Luca Nebuloni Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Risotto alla zucca – Pumpkin risotto

Pumpkin risotto is a traditional dish of northern Italy; particularly, it is very appreciated in Lombardy. Mantua boasts a perfect quality pumpkin. There are many variants of the procedure for this traditional recipe, in a special mode for what concerns the cooking of the pumpkin itself. Below, we suggest the formula that seems to be the closest to the traditional one.

Risotto with pumpkin is a fundamental institution of Italian cuisine: a first course based on the pumpkin that has all the warmth of slow cooking, genuine flavors, good smells of home. A dish of peasant origins, like many of the best words of our tradition: only intuition, practice and imagination were able to transform pumpkin and rice into a dish today celebrated by gastronomes and loved by connoisseurs. What is so special about pumpkin risotto? What makes it irresistible? We want to answer; a simplicity which contains wisdom, care, immutable gestures, necessary, without any pompous frivolity: the toasting of rice, which waterproofs the grains and gives them an extraordinary cooking resistance. The cooking is followed by broth one ladle because boiled rice is different from risotto. The mantecatura transforms the leftover broth into a cream that the butter makes shiny and melting. So many small gestures of yesteryear make this dish a delight capable of conquering both the most refined palates and lovers of simple and genuine flavors. It’s a perfect dish for all occasions, from dinner for two to the Halloween party, excellent to enrich with speck, gorgonzola, or sausage. Follow our step-by-step guide: pumpkin risotto will have no more secrets for you either!


 Carnaroli rice 320 g 
Pumpkin 600 g 
Coppered onions 100 g 
Vegetable stock 1,5 l 
Parmesan cheese DOP 80 g 
White wine 60 g 
Butter 50 g 
Black pepper to taste 
Fine salt to taste 
Extra virgin olive oil 20 g 

How to make Risotto alla zucca – Pumpkin risotto

To cook pumpkin risotto, start by preparing a light vegetable stock, which you will cook the rice. Cut up the vegetables, place them in a large saucepan, cover with water, and season with salt. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil and cook for about 1 hour. Strain the broth and keep warm.

Move on to the pumpkin: clean it, cut it into slices and make small cubes from them. Next, finely chop the onion and place it in a large pan in which you have heated the oil. Sauté the onion over shallow heat for about 10 minutes until it is so tender that it melts. At that point, add the pumpkin and brown it for a few minutes, stirring to prevent it from sticking.

Then start adding a ladle of broth, and add more broth, little by little, until the pumpkin is cooked (about 20 minutes): it should be very tender and creamy. Next, heat a large frying pan and throw in the rice to toast it separately. We use the dry method because the toasting of the rice, indispensable for the grains to keep cooking, cannot occur in a humid environment such as the one created in the pan with the pumpkin.

Then toast the rice over high heat until opalescent, often turning, so it doesn’t burn. It should take 2-3 minutes. Then deglaze with the white wine and stir immediately to avoid letting it stick. As soon as the wine has completely evaporated, pour the rice into the pan with the pumpkin. Stir well to amalgamate the flavors and prevent the rice from sticking.

As soon as the risotto begins to dry out, add a ladleful of hot broth 16, and continue adding the next one little by little only when the previous one has been absorbed until the right degree of cooking has been reached. It will take 15-20 minutes, depending on the rice used. Towards the end of cooking, adjust the pepper and salt. Finally, stir in the butter and grated Parmesan cheese with the heat off. Stir carefully, then add a last ladleful of stock if you prefer a creamier risotto (“all’onda”). Let it sit for a minute before serving, and enjoy!

Risotto alla Zucca – Pumpkin risotto is a regional recipe from Lombardia.

Risotto – Rice

Risotto giallo alla Milanese – Michele Ursino CC BY-SA 2.0

Risotto – Rice

Risotto (/rɪˈzɒtoʊ/, Italian: [riˈzɔtto], from riso meaning “rice” is a northern Italian rice dish cooked with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetables. Many types of risotto contain butter, onion, white wine, and parmesan cheese. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Saffron was used initially for flavor and its signature yellow color.


  • Rice,
  • broth,
  • butter,
  • onion,
  • white wine,
  • parmesan cheese

Place of origins


Usually, Risotto in Italy is the first course served before the main course, but risotto alla Milanese is often filled with ossobuco alla Milanese as the main course.

ossobuco with risotto milanese style – pier CC BY-SA 4.0

Risotto alla Milanese (ris sgiald or risot a la Milanese in Lombard language), is, together with cotoletta alla Milanese and panettone, the most typical and famous dish of Milan. It is a risotto whose main ingredients, in addition to those necessary to prepare a risotto in white, are saffron, from which it derives its characteristic yellow color, and ox marrow. It can also be served as a side dish of ossobuco, another typical Milanese dish.


The origins of risotto alla Milanese date back to the Middle Ages and are connected to a similar Arab and Jewish cuisine recipe. In the Middle Ages, in Italy, this dish was known as riso col zafran.

Risotto alla Milanese was born in 1574 at the table of the Belgian glassmaker Valerio di Fiandra, who was living in Milan because he was working on the windows of Milan Cathedral. For his daughter’s wedding, his colleague’s glassmakers added saffron to a white risotto with butter: this spice was used by glassmakers to obtain a particular yellow coloration of glass. The new dish was immediately successful, both for its taste and its yellow tonality, which recalled gold, a synonym of richness. Saffron also has pharmacological properties, and therefore yellow risotto soon spread in Milan’s taverns and inns.

Risotto alla Milanese immediately disappeared from the chronicles to reappear on documents in 1809, when it was defined as “yellow rice in the pan.” Later on, in 1829, in another recipe book, the famous Milanese dish is described as “risotto alla Milanese Giallo” (yellow risotto Milanese style), taking the name with which it is universally known still today.

Risotto alla Milanese in the Fascist Regime

Risotto alla Milanese was present in various versions in cookbooks that began to be written by women from the beginning of the 20th century, even though they only contained a list of ingredients, without any other indications about the doses or the cooking method. In 1917 the National Association of Cooks published Cucina di Guerra (War Cookery), which gathered economical and practical recipes by including the necessary quantities in every recipe.
Grains of rice – Carnaroli quality

One of the cornerstones of the Regime was the return to traditional values, which saw in culinary ability an indispensable dowry for young brides. For this reason, the first editions of cookbooks such as Cucina pratica (Practical Cooking) of 1936 were written by the anonymous Aunt Carolina.

The exportation of the recipe

In 1984 wrote Gualtiero Marchesi’s modern interpretation, one of the most famous, “oro e zafferano” (gold and saffron), which, besides specifying the quality of rice (Carnaroli), adds, at the last moment, four excellent gold leaflets.

At the beginning of the 1980s, in Italian restaurants in the United States of America, risotto became the most popular dish, so much so that in 1993 Florence Fabricant, an American food critic and writer, published an article on risotto in the American newspaper Nation’s Restaurant News, entitled Mystique of Risotto.

Grains of Carnaroli rice, produced in Italy. – Badagnani CC BY 3.0

The recipe that was deposited at the Municipality of Milan

By resolving the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Milan, on December 14th, 2007, the following recipe received the recognition of Denominazione Comunale (De.Co.) of Risotto alla Milanese. The acronym De.Co. in Italy indicates the belonging of a dish to a territory, and the Municipalities recognize it to the gastronomic products more connected to the region and the local community.

Ingredients: for 6 people

30 g of minced beef or ox marrow
2-3 l of reduced boiling broth: it should not be "stock cube".
Two tablespoons of light and dark beef roast fat (if missing, increase the marrow to 60 g)
One small finely chopped onion
A tuft of saffron pistils or a sachet of saffron
Plenty of grated parmesan cheese
50 g of butter

How to make Risotto alla Milanese

Here is the preparation
Place the marrow, butter, roast fat, and onion in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until the onion is golden brown. Add the rice and stir well to allow it to absorb the seasoning. At this point, turn up the heat and start pouring the boiling broth over the rice in ladles, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. As the broth evaporates and is absorbed, continue to cook over high heat, adding more broth in ladles until the rice is cooked, making sure the rice remains al dente (cooking time from 14 to 18 minutes approximately, depending on the quality of rice used). When the rice is two-thirds cooked, add the saffron pistils previously dissolved in the broth: however, if powdered saffron is used, it must be added at the end of cooking not to lose its aroma. When cooked, add the butter and Parmesan cheese and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. The risotto should be pretty liquid (“all’onda”), with the grains well divided but bound together by a creamy mixture. It is essential never to add wine, which would kill the aroma of the saffron. Do not cook more than seven/eight portions at a time.

Risotto – Rice is a regional recipe from Lombardia.

Riso in cagnone – Doggy rice

Riso in Cagnone – da

Riso in cagnone – Doggy rice

Il riso in cagnone è un primo piatto tipico del Piemonte e della Lombardia. Come suggerisce il nome, non è un risotto, dato che i chicchi di riso, durante la cottura, vengono lessati e non mantecati.

Origine del nome

Il nome di questa pietanza ha origine dal termine cagnun, che nei dialetti delle zone di origine del piatto significa “larva d’insetto”: questa denominazione deriva dall’aspetto che i chicchi di riso prendono dopo la fase di lessatura, ovvero una forma tozza e irregolare.

Come Preparare due versioni

Il riso viene prima bollito in acqua salata e poi scolato e versato in un tegame con dell’aglio schiacciato e soffritto in abbondante burro per completarne la cottura. In seguito si unisce una cospicua quantità di formaggio. In alcuni paesini del Piemonte esempio a Balzola (ris al cagnun in dialetto Balzolese) tra Casale Monferrato e Vercelli esiste una variante del riso in cagnone con una specie di ragù veloce che si chiama appunto sugo al cagnun. Esempio per condire due porzioni di riso : sciogliere una noce di burro in un tegame preferibilmente antiaderente nel quale poi si devono rosolare 120/130 gr. di carne un po’ grassa di manzo tritata (o in alternativa metà carne e metà salsiccia di suino) assieme ad uno spicchio di aglio e una decina di foglie di rosmarino . Quando la carne sarà ben rosolata si aggiungono 50/60 gr. di pomodoro concentrato (doppio o triplo concentrato), mezzo dado e un bicchiere di acqua. Cuocere il tutto per circa 15/20 minuti a fuco medio ,e comunque fino a che il sugo abbia raggiunto un consistenza più densa. Nel frattempo lessare al dente le due porzioni di riso in abbondante acqua salata. A cottura ultimata si scola bene il riso e poi si condisce con il sugo saltandolo un paio di minuti . A questo punto si possono aggiungere a piacere pepe nero macinato e del parmigiano o del grana. Lo stesso sugo, volendo, si può anche usare per condire la pasta seppure in realtà è molto più adatto al riso.


Il riso in cagnone è una pietanza invernale caratterizzata da un cospicuo apporto calorico, che è adatto per i climi freddi rigidi. Per tale peculiarità, era ideale per i pastori che portavano il bestiame a pascolare in zone di montagna. Avendo origini contadine, è basato su quegli ingredienti poveri che sono comuni nei territori dov’è diffusa la pietanza, ovvero riso, aglio formaggio e burro. Il primo documento che cita la sua ricetta risale al 1658.


  • riso,
  • aglio
  • formaggio
  • burro

Il riso in cagnone è una Ricetta regionale del Piemonte e Lombardia

Agnolotti Verdi – Green Agnolotti pasta

H. Alexander Talbot CC BY 2.0

Agnolotti Verdi – Green Agnolotti pasta


  • For the pasta (about 10 dozen agnolotti):
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. steamed spinach (press out the moisture)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • salt
  • For the filling:
  • 18 oz. Castelmagno cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • For the sauce:
  • 4 oz. butter, melted
  • 1 small truffle

How to make Agnolotti Verdi – Green Agnolotti pasta:

The pasta:
Work all the ingredients together until you get a nice dough. Then, let rest for an hour.

The filling:
Soak the crumbled Castelmagno cheese in the milk for an hour. Then, melt the cheese, milk, and flour in a double boiler, stirring continuously. Add the butter and the egg yolks. Stir until the fondue is thick.

Roll 1/3 of the dough into a thin sheet and divide in half. Brush one half with the lightly beaten egg white you had set aside earlier. Place small nutshell-sized dollops of the fondue about 1 inch apart on the sheet with a teaspoon. Cover with the other half sheet of dough and press around each blob. With a ravioli cutter, cut the dough into round shapes along the pressed edges. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and fondue.

Cook the agnolotti in plenty of boiling water, remove with a slotted spoon after 10 minutes, and place on a heated serving platter. Pour the hot melted butter over the agnolotti and slice the truffle on top.

Serves 8-10

Agnolotti Verdi – Green Agnolotti pasta is a Regional recipe from Piedmont

Bresaola in the USA – Be careful! – Bresaola negli USA – Attenzione!

Bresaola in the USA – Be careful! – Bresaola negli USA – Attenzione!

Bresaola is an excellent product of the mountains of Lombardia, of the province of Sondrio. Here you find a description.

Original Bresaola della Valtellina is NOT available in the USA. Outdated regulations still prevent its importation from the province of Sondrio, Italy, where it is made and perfected.

Even in this case, you can find very good bresaola, made in Uruguay, or with meat from Uruguay, usually by mountain pastors that emigrated from Valtellina to South America several decades ago searching for better pastures to breed cows and settled in Uruguay and Brazil.

They are now providing beef meat to the Italian manufacturers of bresaola in Sondrio and manufacture their bresaola.

Where and how to buy bresaola in the USA

Bresaola is available in specialty Italian stores, and they slice it for you when you buy it. Be careful: it’s not a product in high demand and could be sitting for months on the shelves, making its taste bitter.

A better choice is buying a pre-packaged confection such as the one sold by Citterio and available at the store or online at Wegmans, among other chain stores. Experienced people do the slicing at a central location, and the packaging is in a nitrogen neutralized atmosphere that guarantees freshness until you open the package. One of the problems with small stores slicing the whole product for you – being bresaola, prosciutto, or salami, is that in the USA, there are few store clerks able to cut the products properly. So other companies prepare and sell bresaola similarly.

Should you be ordering online from Wegmans, be careful to specify “no substitutes” in your order for bresaola. Once I did not, I received a lower quality anonymous product, not wrong, but not as good as the original I expected.

Other online sellers of presliced bresaola include Brooklyn Cured, Marky’s, and Gourmet Food Store. Unfortunately, I can’t testify about the quality of this bresaola because I never tasted them. Salumeria Italiana in Boston instead slices the bresaola for you at the moment when you place your order and ship it 2-day air in one-pound packages.

How to best enjoy bresaola in the USA

Bresaola is the best way to enjoy the taste of a beautiful extra virgin olive oil. Don’t spare the quality of the oil you are using; exceptional flavors will reveal when you eat a simple dish of bresaola with lemon and olive oil. I used Vicopisano Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the photo above; it’s available at a reasonable price in North America from

The drying process in the cold air coming to Valtellina from Switzerland across the Alps

The drying process in mountain locations in Valtellina, generally at 1,000 meters high sites, is what makes generic bresaola “Bresaola della Valtellina.”

Bresaola produced elsewhere can be equally good, but it usually lacks the unique taste.

Bresaola della Valtellina P.G.I. – The regulations governing its manufacturing

From 1996 the original Bresaola della Valtellina is a product guaranteed by the PGI community trademark, exclusively used by certified producers of Provincia di Sondrio that strictly follow the disciplinary code of production.
Consorzio di Tutela Bresaola della Valtellina guarantees the origin of this tasteful product, promotes the original trademark, and protects it from imitations and falsifications.

Production Regulations for the “Bresaola della Valtellina” Protected Geographical Indication.

Art. 3 | Raw materials
“Bresaola della Valtellina” is produced exclusively from meat obtained from cattle between 18 months and four years of age. “Bresaola della Valtellina,” in its different cuts, is obtained starting from boneless bovine thighs and, more specifically, from the next meat cuts and muscles:

  •  Topside
    which corresponds to the posteromedial portion of the thigh muscles and includes the internal rectus, the adductor, and semimembranosus muscles;
  •  Topside Without Cap
    which corresponds to the topside without the adductor muscle;
  • Silverside
    which corresponds to the posterolateral portion of the thigh, the muscle involved is the vastus longuus;
  • Eye round
    which corresponds to the posterolateral portion of the thigh muscles, the muscle involved is the semitendinosus muscle;
  • Knuckle
    which corresponds to the front of the thigh and is composed of the rectus, the vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius muscles.

Only top-quality, safe and controlled meat, chosen all around the world as an excellent product

For Bresaola della Valtellina PGI, certified producers select and use the best bovine meat, a top-quality choice that makes it a unique product globally and one of the Italian excellence products. Credit goes to the experience acquired over a centuries-old tradition and to the safety guaranteed by the PGI Regulations.

Only top-category cuts are used for the production of Bresaola della Valtellina PGI. It is because the selected cuts are precious and tender. Furthermore, they are only cut from the beef round of selected breeds of cattle, preferably free-range cattle fed with chosen feeds. It’s 18 months to 4 years of age, as outlined in the Regulations. It, therefore, excludes cow meat, which is dark and does not reach the required level of consistency).

It is a top-quality choice because of all these factors. In addition, the cattle breed and age, breeding system and feeds, selection of high-value cuts of the beef round, such as topside without the cup, contribute to ensuring better meat, both in terms of organoleptic characteristics. They have consistency, tenderness, taste, color, leanness, absence of nerves, and nutritional properties (e.g., lower fat content).

Producers joining the Consortium use meat from European and South American farms, where breeding systems and supervision of all phases of the supply chain guarantee a raw material that meets the high-quality standards required for the production of Bresaola della Valtellina PGI. According to the Regulations and the centuries-old tradition, the best bovine breeds are used to obtain lean and high-consistency cuts. Among European breeds, we favor Charolaise, Limousine, Blonde d’Aquitaine and Garonnesi. Among Italian species, the Piedmontese.
Pure zebu breeds come from South America. Among them, the Zebu Nellore is outstanding for its very lean meat. As a result, it is the most common breed in large Brazilian farms. But, then, there are the Zebu Guzerat and the Brahman, accounting for a minimum of South American cattle.

PGI guarantees a product that is controlled and verified throughout its processing. During the processing of Bresaola della Valtellina PGI, numerous checks are performed on the various steps of the supply chain to guarantee consumers a safe and top-quality product. Furthermore, a third-party inspection body verifies compliance with the Production Regulations (CSQA Certificazioni), authorized by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies. Therefore, when we taste Bresaola della Valtellina PGI, we know that it results from the best raw materials, guaranteed by full traceability of the production chain and a processing protocol approved by the supervisory authority. Furthermore, its implementation is verified by a third-party certification body.

Bresaola in the USA – Be careful! – Bresaola negli USA – Attenzione! It is a product of Lombardia.

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste

Pasta d’acciughe – Roger469 CC BY-SA 3.0

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste

Anchovy paste is a sauce made from desalted anchovies and pounded in a mortar until they are crushed and form a paste.

Anchovy paste is a rudimentary condiment, dating back to ancient traditions, refined in the 1800s when publishers published cookware in many countries. In 1885 famous was the anchovy paste made by Burgess, packaged in Victorian-style jars, recognized and sought after by collectors of trinkets.

The preparation varies according to whether the product is consumed immediately or kept for months. For immediate consumption, take one hundred grams of salted anchovies, desalt them, clean them, and remove the bones, dorsal and ventral fins, and tail. They are put in the mortar and pounded until a homogeneous paste is obtained. This preparation is not very salty and therefore does not last long. If the product is to be kept for some months, salted anchovies are not desalted. Instead, they are salted to remove as much salt as possible without wetting them. They are cleaned, the bones are removed, the dorsal and ventral fins and the tail, and then crushed in a mortar until a homogeneous paste is obtained. This preparation is very salty. It should be put in a jar with a veil of oil and placed in the refrigerator. You can do the same practice in a blender. The most common anchovy paste is the pure and straightforward beating of anchovies in a mortar, but you can make many variants.

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste – Piedmontese variant

Anchovy paste can be enriched by adding a hard-boiled egg yolk, capers, and vinegary bread crumbs. This variant is typical of the Piedmont region and is the basis of bagnet verd, in which a good amount of garlic and parsley are also added. Some add garlic, however minor, and others add pine nuts. Pass all the ingredients in the mortar until a homogeneous paste is obtained and served in a small bowl.

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste – Other variants – Patum Peperium

Patum Peperium is an English specialty. It is an anchovy paste with butter, spicy, exotic spices, and herbs.

Anchovies from Provence is a creamy anchovy paste with black olives, oil, and herbs from Provence, which are 19% thyme, 26% rosemary, 3% basil, 26% oregano, and 26% savory and fennel, sage, marjoram, mint.

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste – Commercial product

Anchovy paste in tubes was produced for the first time around 1850 by Cesare Balena in Peretola.


Anchovy paste can be an appetizer or a snack. Every region has its variation: it is spread on bread with a bit of butter, on croutons, or with breadsticks. You can also use anchovy paste to season baked peppers, tomatoes stuffed with rice and fish, flavor raw or cooked fennel, and generally vegetables in pinzimonio or other natural or cooked vegetables.

Pasta d’acciughe – Anchovy paste is a Regional Recipe from Liguria and Piedmont


La pasta d’acciughe è una salsa a base di acciughe desalate e pestate al mortaio, fino a spappolarle e formare un impasto.

La pasta d’acciughe è un condimento molto rudimentale, risalente a tradizioni molto antiche, che si è raffinato nel 1800, quando sono cominciate ad essere pubblicate le cuciniere in vari paesi. Nel 1885 famosa fu la pasta d’acciughe fatta da Burgess, confezionata in vasetti in stile vittoriano, famosi e ricercati dai collezionisti di chincaglieria.

Preparazione tradizionale

La preparazione varia a seconda che il prodotto venga consumato subito oppure lo si voglia mantenere qualche mese. Per il consumo immediato si prende un etto di acciughe sotto sale e si desalano, poi si puliscono, si toglie la lisca, le pinne dorsali e ventrali e la coda. Si mettono nel mortaio e si pestano fino ad ottenere una pasta omogenea. Questa preparazione non è molto salata e quindi dura poco. Se si vuole conservare il prodotto per qualche mese, le acciughe sotto sale non si desalano. Si cerca di togliere più sale possibile ma senza bagnarle. Si puliscono, si toglie la lisca, le pinne dorsali e ventrali e la coda e poi si pesta nel mortaio fino ad ottenere una pasta omogenea. Questa preparazione è molto salata, va messa in un vasetto, con un velo d’olio e posta in frigorifero. La stessa preparazione si può fare nel frullatore. La pasta d’acciuga più comune è pura e semplice battitura delle acciughe in un mortaio ma si possono produrre numerose varianti.

Variante piemontese

La pasta di acciughe si può arricchire aggiungendo un tuorlo d’uovo sodo, capperi e mollica acetosa di pane. Questa variante è tipica della regione Piemonte ed è alla base del bagnet verd, nel quale entra anche una buona quantità di aglio e prezzemolo. Alcuni aggiungono l’aglio, comunque poco, altri i pinoli. Si passano tutti gli ingredienti nel mortaio, fino ad ottenere una pasta omogenea che si serve in una ciotolina.

Altre varianti

Il Patum Peperium è una specialità inglese, è un paté di pasta d’acciughe con burro, spezie esotiche piccanti ed erbe aromatiche.

L’acciugata provenzale è una crema di pasta d’acciughe con olive nere, olio ed erbe aromatiche provenzali che sono 19% di timo, 26% di rosmarino, 3% di basilico, 26% di origano, e 26% di santoreggia e/o finocchio, salvia, maggiorana, menta.

La pasta d’acciughe è una ricetta regionale della Liguria e del Piemonte

Recipe Acciughe Sotto Sale – Recipe Anchovies in Salt

Acciughe Sotto Sale sold by in North America, they come from Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

How to put the Acciughe Sotto Sale:

Gut the anchovies.
Cover the bottom of a terracotta jar with rock salt, and then arrange a layer of anchovies and a salt layer again.
Repeat until you use all the anchovies.
Finish with a layer of salt.
Put a wood disk on top of the jar’s last layer; place something to act as a weight on top of the disk.
The weight will cause the excess liquids to surface to the top.
Remove it with a clean cloth.

The anchovies will be ready after 2 to 3 weeks.


  • 5 lbs. anchovies
  • 5 lbs. rock salt
Salted anchovies from Cetara, Amalfi Coast, sold in North America by

How to eat the Acciughe Sotto Sale

Clean the Anchovies from the salt, and de-bone them under running water.
Put the Anchovies fillets to dry on a clean paper towel.
Put the Anchovies fillets in a jar – you can use the same pot they came with after washing it.
Cover with good Italian olive oil.

I cleaned the Anchovies from the salt and de-boned them under running water.
I am putting the Anchovies fillets to dry on a clean paper towel.
Putting the Anchovies fillets in a jar – you can use the same pot they came with after washing it.
I was covered with good Italian olive oil.

How to serve the Acciughe Sotto Sale

Serve the Acciughe fillet on a slice of bread, with good butter, possibly Irish butter.

The Acciughe fillets are served on a slice of bread, with Irish Butter and Italian Felino Salami.

You can et the anchovies on toasted bread, croutons, spread with butter, and in combination with a dry white wine from Liguria (Pigato, Lumassina, Cinque Terre) or the surroundings (Cortese di Gavi, Oltrepò Pavese Chardonnay). A Piedmontese specialty is a sandwich stuffed with bagnet verd and desalted anchovies in oil. You can also eat Anchovies in salads with hard-boiled eggs. Finally, they are the main ingredient of Bagna càuda.
If used to garnish a pizza, it is unnecessary to dry the anchovies or dip them in oil.
A delicious recipe calls for stuffing with a cleaned anchovy and some capers, a slice of bell pepper just greased and then cooked in the oven.
With desalted anchovies are also prepared many types of anchovy paste, of which every region has its variant.

Regional Recipe from Campania, Liguria, Piedmont

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at