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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)
· 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
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.
- Ca Momplin - ROERO, PIEMONT
Ca Momplin rents charming, fully furnished apartments in the Roero wine district of Piedmont. Guests from all over the world visit Ca' Momplin to sample local gourmet food and wines, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Roero and Arneis. Ca' Momplin