Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emilia Romagna piadina

Emilia Romagna piadina is known and appreciated throughout Italy and in the rest of the world. It has ancient origins, it was prepared since Roman times, but at that time it was only found on the tables of peasant houses instead of bread.
Only during the twenties, with the addition of lard and baking soda in the dough, they got the flatbread (piadina) that we know today, that fits in traditional local cuisine among the typical gastronomical products and that wins all Romagna tourists. It can be eaten hot or cold, it is delicious itself or stuffed with salami, cured ham, sausage, cheese, cooked vegetables au gratin or with rocket (arugula) and Stracchino (soft fresh cheese produced in Lombardy). There are also those who prefer it with a sweet filling, and that is with Nutella chocolate spread, honey or jam. I prefer it with cured ham and brie cheese, also I have pleasure in serving it with an excellent glass of Romagna Trebbiano wine.
Waiting for the summer to arrive, in order to visit the Emilia Romagna riviera and to enjoy it in the classic version or with different fillings, that’s how I prepare it at home:

Ingredients for 5 Piadina:
Flour 200 g (7.05 oz)
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tblsp
Milk 125 ml (4 fl oz)
Honey ½ teaspoon
A pinch of salt
Instant yeast (or baking soda) 7 g (0.25 oz)
Pepper to taste

For the filling
Cured ham 200 g (7.05 oz)
Soft cheese or brie cheese 200 g (7.05 oz)
Rocket (arugula) 30 g (1.05 oz)
In a bowl mix the flour with salt and the yeast, make a wheel and put in the center  the oil, pepper if you like it (pic. 1), and gradually the milk, in which you have previously melted the honey, then blend everything with the aid of a fork (pic. 2). Once you have mixed in all the milk knead the dough with your hands until you will obtain a well mixed ball, then divide into 5 equal balls (pic. 3) and let them rest for about a quarter of an hour.
With the aid of a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a thin disk of  26 cm (10.24 inches) in diameter (pic.4). Pre-heat a pan of the same diameter and cook the piadinas:
over medium heat cook one side for a minute, then turn it over, fill it in the pan with cured ham, soft cheese (or brie) and rocket salad (pic. 5), then fold in on itself and let it cook for another 30 seconds.
Bon appetit!

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