THE FRICIULE OF ROERO, PIEDMONT, ITALY

The Honey and Wine Festival of Montà, Roero

"Friciule", fried sheets of dough served with Parma ham or lard, are a typical dish one can savour at every village festival in Roero. One such event, and one the most popular, is the Honey and Wine Festivasl of Montà, one of the main villages of Roero.

Two historic events are revived in Montà during the month of September. The first event is the trial of the "Masca Fiorina" (a witch, seen from time to time to fly on her broom over the "rocche") by the Inquisition during medieval times. To know more about the “masca” of Roero click here. The second event is about the battles "Montanesi" fought against the French invaders led by General Nicolas Catinat., under the Napoleon rule.

These revivals are performed by more than 500 "Montanesi" dressed and armed as they once must have. The festivities are very well organized, performances are very realistic, and the food is great. The streets of the historic Centre host magic’s, historic plays, costumed corteges, sword’s fights, shoot-outs, and the likes: watch for NATO's drones overhead !!!

The visitor can dine at the Masca Fiorina's porterhouse, or in any of the open air stalls set up on the streets and courtyards of the historic Centre of Montà. Some of the recipes on offer are mostly un-known outside of Piedmont.

One of wich is the “friciule”: here's the recipe follows:

Difficulty: easy to medium (depending on how good you are at making pasta)

Time to prepare: 20 minutes (excluding the time it takes for the dough to rest, taht is about 2-3 hrs)

Ingredients:

· 300 g di of wheat flour ( the label should indicate that the flour is of “type 00”)

· 25 g. of yeast for bread

· 1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil

· 25 g. of butter

· 120 ml of warm water

· 1 pinch of salt

Preparation:

Break the yeast in small lumps, pour it in warm water, add the extra virgin oil, then stir until the yeast is liquefied. Put the flour in a bowl, make a well in the flour, pour in the warm broth of water yeast and oil, and then the butter. Mix with a fork. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, until it becomes homogeneous, then let it rest in a bowl covered with a cloth for approximately 2-3 hours: after that time the dough should double or trebble in size. Roll the dough by hand or with a pasta machine to a thickness of 2 mm (the thinner the better). Cut in small squares, trapezoids, circles, ellipses, triangles, any shape really, but not larger than, say, 15 x 15 with a rolling knife, then pierce the sheets with a fork.

Pour vegetable oil in pan, bring to frying temperature and put the sheets of dough in the pan. Make sure that the oil is very hot before putting the dough in. As the dough fries, it will balloon in size (taking the shape of a balloon fish) and adopt a light golden colour. Fish them out as soon as they are golden in colour, then let them dry on a sheet of blotting paper. If the sheets of dough do not balloon, they are too thick: don’t look elsewhere: they are too tick. Make them thinner and they will balloon, adopt a golden colour, be crispy and delicious to taste, and make you fell really good.

Put a slice of “lardo” (lard) or “prosciutto crudo” (Parma ham) on top of the “friciula”, and serve worm.

This much dough is enough for 30 to 40 servings as an entrée. I am personally un-able to make less than 300 g of dough at the time: so I deep freeze the excess sheets of pasta for later use. And it works.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
To thoroughly mix the dough you nee to break itmore than onceWith 300 g. of flour you’ll make 450 g. of dough: a ball 20 cm in diameterSame ball same diameter, dfferent viewPut the ball of dough in a bowl, cover it, and let rest for 2-3 hrsTwo/three hrs later the ball has grown to 2-3 times its original sizeSince you have to knead the dough before shaping it in sheets, the ball will get small againThis is how small it gets back toA sheet of dough 2 mm thickThe same sheet of dough cut into shapes and pierced with a forkanther view of the sameThe thickness is so important to make the "friciule" that you need to look at this pic tooCan't get better than thisA properly ballooned friciulaSame as before, different viewHow it should be served: topped by a slice of, in this case, Parma HamAnother view of the sameOh!! an this is what a balloon fish looks like!!!
To thoroughly mix the dough you nee to break it
To thoroughly mix the dough you nee to break it
more than once
more than once
With 300 g. of flour you’ll make 450 g. of dough: a ball 20 cm in diameter
With 300 g. of flour you’ll make 450 g. of dough: a ball 20 cm in diameter
Same ball same diameter, dfferent view
Same ball same diameter, dfferent view
Put the ball of dough in a bowl, cover it, and let rest for 2-3 hrs
Put the ball of dough in a bowl, cover it, and let rest for 2-3 hrs
Two/three hrs later the ball has grown to 2-3 times its original size
Two/three hrs later the ball has grown to 2-3 times its original size
Since you have to knead the dough before shaping it in sheets, the ball will get small again
Since you have to knead the dough before shaping it in sheets, the ball will get small again
This is how small it gets back to
This is how small it gets back to
A sheet of dough 2 mm thick
A sheet of dough 2 mm thick
The same sheet of dough cut into shapes and pierced with a fork
The same sheet of dough cut into shapes and pierced with a fork
anther view of the same
anther view of the same
The thickness is so important to make the "friciule" that you need to look at this pic too
The thickness is so important to make the "friciule" that you need to look at this pic too
Can't get better than this
Can't get better than this
A properly ballooned friciula
A properly ballooned friciula
Same as before, different view
Same as before, different view
How it should be served: topped by a slice of, in this case, Parma Ham
How it should be served: topped by a slice of, in this case, Parma Ham
Another view of the same
Another view of the same
Oh!! an this is what a balloon fish looks like!!!
Oh!! an this is what a balloon fish looks like!!!

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