Today I’ll write about my favourit confort food. The smell of this piadina means childhood, grandmother, family, friends, in a word, it means home. Last year I was in my home town, Rimini, for summer holiday. I was riding my bike home from the beach, in a late afternoon, in the small streets were people started making dinner, and that familiar smell pervaded the air, and my heart. Pure joy. We think it’s heavenly food, and wonder how the rest of the world can survive without it. Of course, they do. They have their own. But if you want to try the taste of Italy, declinated in a beach lazy holiday, and imagine of grandmothers making it for you and eating all together in a garden, give it a try.
The original recipe calls for lard in the dough, but it’s not so popular to use it anymore. I’ve always used oil and it comes great. And, you can decide how much oil you want. The more you put, the better it tastes, putting too little makes it taste like a tortilla (wich is good, but another thing), and it dries very fast. So, I’ll give a basic recipe, but feel free to try different, it will be good anyway.
Ingredients for the piadina:
- 1 Kg flour (normal wheat bread flour, but you can play with it: wholemeal, different grains, even glutenfree)
- 3,5 dl vegetable oil (you know the best ones)
- 1 Tsp soda
- 1 Tsp salt
- warm water
Filling for cassoni:
- tomato sauce (I use Mutti)
- salt and pepper
- spinach / chard / wild spontaneous herbs
Mix flour and soda, then add oil. Warm the water, just so that you feel it a little warmer than your hands. Add the water little by little, it will be around 6 dl but it depends much on the flour you use. The dough must be soft but not sticky, thanks to the oil, and easy to roll. better to use a little oil on the surface or the rolling pinthan flour, because that would make it too dry. 1 kg flous makes about 10 piadine or cassoni. Divide the dough in 10, make small balls and start rolling. If you want a piadina, just pierce it with a fork and cook on a warm pan. We use a ghisa one, but a ceramic or nonstick pan can be used. What is important, is that it’s big enough for the piadina not to fold on itself.
If you want to make cassoni, a classic is with herbs (chard, spinach or wild herbs we gather) or mazzarella and tomato sauce. For the “green” version,, chop the herbs and dress with salt, pepper, oil and little garlic. let them rest the time you make and roll the piadina, then fill it. Remember that they will take much less volume when you cook your cassone, so put more than you would think.
For the “red” version, prepare your tomato sauce with salt, pepper and origano, put 3-4 table spoon on the half piadina and add the mozzarella.
Put the filling on half a piadina, then top with the other half and seal the borders well, with your fingers and then with a fork. Warm the pan and cook them, one side, then the other side, then the folded side (you’ll need to hold it with a knife for the last one). If you don’t eat all of them right away, just pre-cook them, and finish when you want to warm them up next time. Never use the microwave to warm piadina and cassoni, it will ruine them! The dough keeps in the fridge for a week.
Other suggestions for the filling: potatoes and cheese, cheese and vegan sausage, herbes and vegan cheese, ricotta and nettle (yes, I eat it), what you like the most! Even chocolate or jam, if you want it for breakfast.
PS That’s my cute husband happy with his piadina in Gradara, Italy…