Saturday, February 1, 2020

Vignola - Italy

The town of Vignola, in the province of Modena, is mostly famous for its cherries, and if you visit in spring all the hills are full of cherry blossom, and with cherries in June. When I was 16 I also picked cherries for a couple of weeks in one of the valleys near Vignola, hard work but what delicious fruits!

Anyway, this time I was there in winter, not a cherry in site so I had to console myself with the town's most famous cake: Torta Barozzi, a bittersweet soft chocolate cake, created in 1907 and named after Vignola's famous architect Jacopo Barozzi.

After breakfast in the famous Pasticceria Gollini it is time to visit Vignola Castle

Such amazing frescos....

... and a ghost???

The city is cute and tranquil, no tourists around, but there are some excellent restaurants, so much as many people from nearby cities and towns come here just to eat. Below just a few suggestions (but you better book first, especially for Trattoria Bolognese!)

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Fried paneer with turmeric and cornflowers

My family love paneer, most of our curries have it, and if they don't I often fry some on the side to add to warm roti or chapati breads. For this recipe I added some spices, including a little turmeric, so the blue cornflower petals looked stunning!

Cut the paneer in slices. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan, add a few coriander seeds and a few cumin seeds and then, when the oil is hot, the paneer slices. Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, then turn, add a pinch of salt and a little turmeric powder and fry on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Turn one last time so the paneer slices are completely coated with turmeric and then turn the element off.  Sprinkle with cornflower petals and serve immediately.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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