Monday, March 29, 2010

Vegan Pizzoccheri

Pizzoccheri is a traditional pasta from Valtellina, in the North of Italy, made with a percentage of buckwheat flour. The taste is similar to the Japanese buckwheat noodles (soba).

The traditional recipe for pizzoccheri, born in the village of Teglio, is to boil them together with pieces of potatoes and green cabbage (put the potatoes in the biling water first, then the cabbage and the pizzoccheri (which take about 15 minutes to cook). Pick up everything with a slotted spoon and mix with casera cheese and butter melted with garlic. Very filling! A vegan could stop at the cheese and butter steps, adding a little tamari sauce instead, and the stock from the pizzoccheri can also be recycled in real Zen style as it is full of proteins. But I didn’t feel like going for Asian flavours.

So I made mine with onion, potatoes, spinach and walnuts.


500 g pizzoccheri

1 small white onion

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 big boiled potato, peeled

1 bunch spinach leaves, washed

1 handful freshly shelled walnut kernels

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pizzoccheri in plenty of salted boiling water according to packet instructions. Finely chop a white onion and sauté with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the boiled potato, cubed, and after a few minutes the spinach leaves and the walnut kernels. Add a couple of ladles of the water from the pizzoccheri and cook until the potato pieces start to mush. Add salt and pepper to taste. By this time your pizzoccheri should also be ready, drain them (keep the water if you like for later use as a stock), and place in the pot with the potatoes. Add two more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, stir and serve.

Serve 4 as a complete meal, very filling!!!

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Lots of buckwheat! I love it, having been brought up on soba. Have you tried Torta di Grano Saraceno? Buckwheat cake, very subtle and delicious.

  2. I have had it during my ski-tours in Valfurva, it is really nice!!!

  3. ale non ce la posso fare...vegani no ti prego :)

  4. Enza, basta che c gratti sopra un po' di parmigiano e sei a posto :-) In fondo la base e' sempre vegan, il formaggio e butto si aggiungono dopo.

    Sasa, the torta di grano saraceno is fantastic, and so is the polenta, and everything else made with it :-)

  5. Con questi non scatta l'abiocco a fie pasto, slurp!;)
    Piaciuta Brescia?

  6. mi piace molto "pizzoccheri vegani"

  7. Where did you find that beautiful looking pizzoccheri. I just made Marcella Hazan's version of it using potatoes and rainbow chard. I loved it, but in the absence of making my own buckwheat pasta the closest I could get was some buckwheat fusilli which wasn't exactly what I wanted.

  8. Saretta, in effetti dopo un piatto di pizzoccheri con casera io non ho bisongo di secondo :-)!!!

    Welcome Gunther and Couscous! I got the pizzoccheri in Bormio, but I found them also in my local supermarket in Boario (both on Lombardia, Italy). I never seen buckwheat fusilli, maybe some Japanese soba, broken into pieces would be Ok....

  9. Your pizzoccheri looks delicious, Alessandra. What lovely blogs you have.

  10. Thank you Barbara, and welcome!



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