One of the things most of us look forward to when we are on holiday is trying the local food. I was lucky enough to stop for lunch at "La Casina" which translates into "The little house".
This enchanting place is set in the lush vegetation of the countryside near Drena in the province of Trento and it is surrounded by chestnut groves and vineyards. You can dine inside or outside under the shade of the vines. This place felt very peaceful and relaxing.
Giada the lady chef is only 26 years old, so young but such an excellent cook. I loved her broad contagious smile and her passion for cooking. I was served a starter of freshly made local cheeses made with raw milk like Bolumi, Tofino and ricotta, salami, ham with a selection of mustards and chutneys. This was followed by guinea fowl with artichokes (my favourite!), roasted pork and venison stew everything served with rustic wholemeal polenta. Brava Giada!
Giada also made typical bread gnocchi from Trentino called "Strangolapreti" and here is the recipe which you can try at home. They are delicious.
Literally translated strangolapreti means "strangling priests". These gnocchi were said to be too tough for the priests to swallow so that's where the name comes from. The recipe can vary from region to region.
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 8 minutes
- dry white bread ( breadcrumbs) - 500 g - 4 cups + extra if needed
- eggs - 2
- fresh spinach - 250 g - 1 cup
- stock - 200 ml - 7 fluid oz
- grated trentino grana cheese or parmesan - 100 g - 1 cup
- finely chopped onion - 1 small
- grated nutmeg - the tip of a tsp
- salt and pepper
- butter - 100 g
- fresh sage - a few leaves
- olive oil
Our ingredients are on the table.
Stir fry the onion with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the spinach, the nutmeg and cook them until soft for about 5 minutes.
Finely chop the cooked spinach.
Put them in a bowl and add the eggs.
Add the breadcrumbs, the grated Trentino Grana cheese (or Parmesan), salt and pepper and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and slowly the stock.
You want a mixture that is soft enough to be rolled. If you find that it is too soft add some extra breadcrumbs or a little more olive oil if is too dry. Now working with your hands roll them into balls the size of a walnut.
Place them on a board sprinkled with flour or breadcrumbs so they won't stick onto it.
Our gnocchi are now ready to be cooked.
In a sauce pan melt the butter over a medium heat with 4 of 5 sage leaves. Bring to the boil a saucepan of salty water add the gnocchi and when they rise to the top scoop them up with a slotted spoon and serve them with the melted butter and plenty of Grana Trentino or Parmesan.