Local productsSunday 03 September 2017

Castelmagno cheese: let’s make some gnocchi

The most popular recipe that features Castelmagno among its ingredients is probably the Gnocchi al Castelmagno, a type of pasta made with potatoes.

Castelmagno is a DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese typical of Piedmont and in particular of the province of Cuneo.

It is produced in Valle Grana (Grana valley), located in the south-west of the province, in the following comuni (municipalities): Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana.

The famous cheese has a many centuries long story. Even though its origins are likely to be much earlier, the first mention of it dates back to 1277.

It is made with half-fat, semi-hard cheese taken from whole cows milk (cattle of the Piedmontese breed).

The most popular recipe that features Castelmagno among its ingredients is probably the Gnocchi al Castelmagno, a type of pasta made with potatoes.

Ingredients for 4 people (and recipe): 

1 kg of potatoes

2 yolks

1 spoon of Olive oil

250 g of flour

50 g of butter

150 g of Castelmagno

3 spoons of milk or cream

4 kernels of walnut

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes without peeling them, put them in a pot, then add the water until it covers them completely. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

When they are ready, drain them dry, peel them when they are still piping hot, and mash them with a potato masher and finally spread them on a pastry board.

Let them cool down a little bit.

Sprinkle the potatoes with two pinches of salt and some pepper, add the oil, the yolks and 200g circa of flour, then kneed together, but not too much. Let it rest for 3-4 minutes.

Now divide the mixture into pieces, and put them on the flowered pastry board in order to obtain many small stick of 1.5 cm in diameter, thus cut them into small sections and press a bit on them with the thumb on the back of a grater or the prongs of a fork so that they will be marked.

Boil abundant water in a pot. Crumble the Castelmagno, put it in a large pan with the butter and the milk or the cream and make it melt using a very low flame (heat), mixing with a wooden spoon.

In the meantime, put the gnocchi into the salty water, strain them with a pierced ladle as soon as they will come to the surface, then put them in the pan containing the melted cheese and pan-fry. Serve them immediately on hot dishes with some pepper or sprinkling them with some ground nuts.

Gianluca Avagnina

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