03.22.09: dinner.

Piadini con funghi, ricotta, arugula e parmagiano-reggiano

Piadini con funghi, ricotta, arugula e parmagiano-reggiano

Wild mushrooms, pre-saute.
Wild mushrooms, pre-saute.
Mushroom saute time...

Mushroom saute time...

Apparently, Piadina is actually a foldable Italian flatbread (traditionally made with lard).   Undoubtedly, there’s some kind of connection between it and modern pizza.  We found a recipe in Food and Wine a few years back for some regio-centric Piadina combinations, but they all are based on the same bread/crust.

Until Elizabeth begins her portended forays into homemade pizza dough, this prep will work on a store-bought dough (and for all I know, homemade as well).  You can buy the dough in the refrigerated cases of most supermarkets– it’s in the section next to the deli counter in ours near the rotisserie chicken.  Just ask if you can’t find it.  Leave the dough sit out of refrigeration for 2 hours to make it more pliable.  Roll it out, typically a single wad can make 3 big or 4 small piadinas.  Once they are rolled out, poke them with a fork to prevent puffing and bubbles and brush with olive oil.   Next, bake at 450 F  for about 10 minutes until almost done.  I like mine crispy; for a more chewy flatbread, bake for 5 minutes.

For the toppings, go nuts.  Elizabeth likes to use ricotta as the base for additions because it takes the high-heat well and, well, she likes the stuff.  It is a tasty base for the other ingredients, but it’s not a necessity.  I like to add something leafy, something meaty and some kind of hard cheese on top, but again, this is just personal preference.   Here, we added sliced garlic, arugula and a mess of sauteed wild mushrooms.  A worthwhile point to make is that you can’t co0unt on the oven to do your cooking for you for the toppings.  It will melt cheese, but that’s about it.  Just like making risotto, cook the additions separately and think of the oven as more of a re-heater.

A final thought: Piadinas are not a recipe per se, but more a platform for many different flavor and texture combinations.  I recommend starting with more conventional toppings like onions, mushrooms, cheese, sardines/anchovies, arugula, prosciutto, etc.  Once you get a feel for it, you can go very experimental or stay super-traditional, all on the same culinary canvas.  Pretty neat, huh?

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2 comments
  1. Exactly. You are right. Piadine are very versatile and serve the small hunger very well. They are our Italian version of the wrap. I also like using ricotta — I have recently taken to buying slices of sheep milk ricotta, but I will not torture you with any descriptions.

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