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Pizzoccheri is a unique pasta dish popular in some regions of Italy. This pasta is commonly recognized as a shorter and sometimes wider version of the tagliatelli pasta, which is composed of strips of egg and flour noodles. The pizzoccheri pasta also uses a signature ingredient: buckwheat flour.
Typically, Italian pastas are prepared in diverse food environments around the world, as their appeal has spread and become global. Many of these pastas are now mass-manufactured, and made with semolina flour products. Some more locally made pastas incorporate other elements like vegetable fibers or specialty flours. Authentic pizzoccheri uses buckwheat flour and regular flour, mixed.
Italian recipes for pizzoccheri identify other key ingredients. One is cheese, or in the Italian, formaggio. Italian recipes for this dish often reference formaggio ingredients; Parmesan is a commonly used cheese for this kind of classic Italian dish that has inspired many derivative versions of the diminutive tagliatelli-style pieces.
With many presentations of this well-known buckwheat pasta recipe, the pasta is accompanied by other main elements. One is the potato. Spices commonly used for pizzoccheri dishes include garlic and pepper, as well as more exotic spices like sage. Some recipes for this dish also include greens such as kale or chard.
Food scientists recognize that authentic recipes for this particular item often call for quite a lot of butter. With the increased focus on heart healthy foods, modern incarnations of pizzoccheri may use less butter, or substitute certain ingredients in an effort to increase overall nutritional value, or decrease negative health factors associated with this kind of cooking. Nevertheless, aficionados of the classic Italian recipe will hold that the inclusion of up to one stick of butter for a full pot of this dish should still be a common method.
In the regions of Italy that are known for pizzoccheri and similar pastas, this particular dish enjoys its own fame in local festivals, such as the summer event of La Sagra dei Pizzoccheri. In addition to its appeal to classic Italian audiences, this pasta is also widely established as an option for more modern creations, such as those that might be featured on contemporary cooking shows, in world cuisine magazines, or in any restaurants dedicated to the fusion of old-world dishes with new culinary methods or audiences.