Pizzoccheri, in their springtime dress

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If we have to choose a cereal suitable for spring time that would definitely be buckwheat. Don’t be misled by the name, it doesn’t have anything in common with wheat and actually to be precise it is not even 100% correct to name it cereal for the general (non-botanical) convention of cereals being just the monocotyledons plants of the Graminaceae family. Buckwheat belongs instead to dicotyledons, to the family of Polygonaceae (like rhubarb) and moreover it doesn’t contain gluten.

But why is buckwheat good in spring-time? Apart from being cool in energy it drains Dampness and purifies Fire giving relief to Heat-Dampness syndrome. Acting mainly on Spleen and Stomach, and on Large Intestine and Heart, it can help in case of digestive disorders and strengthen blood-vessels.

As a dressing of this Italian traditional pasta we have chosen the most typical one, which goes in the same energetic direction as buckwheat. Swiss chards (cool in energy and sweet/ bitter in taste) fight against Heat-Dampness and potatoes (neutral in energy and sweet in taste) tone up Spleen and QI. The final touch of Parmigiano and onions, which are warm in energy, enhances the flavors of this dish, but remember not to exceed with them otherwise you may “lose” the over-listed properties of the dish.

Final remark: this recipe contain also wheat flour so it is not suitable for people with gluten intolerance…

PS: by experience, we can tell you that this is also not indicated for “not patient” people, as kneading this pasta can be a challenge, due to the low amount of gluten  😉

Serves 6 –Medium –Prep time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

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You will need:

  • 400 g buckwheat flour;
  • 100 g white flour;
  • 350 ml water;
  • 4 potatoes;
  • a head of Swiss chard;
  • 1 onion;
  • extra virgin olive oil;
  • parmigiano;
  • salt.

How to:

  1. Mix the two flours in a bowl with a pinch of salt;
  2. add the water and start kneading with your hands until you get a smooth dough. If you feel it crumbling or too dry, just add more water;
  3. transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of 3-4 mm;
  4. cut the dough into strips and then into smaller pieces, to obtain pasta of a size about 4×1 cm;
  5. bring water to boll in a large pot;
  6. peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes;
  7. Clean the chard, cut the stems into pieces about 1 cm and the leaves a little bigger;
  8. add salt to the boiling water, then throw in the potatoes and the Swiss chard;
  9. after 10 minutes,  add the pizzocheri to the water with vegetables and let cook for 10 more minutes;
  10. Meanwhile, cut the onion and cook it on a low fire for about 5 minutes in a large pan, until transparent;
  11. drain the pizzocheri and the vegetables, then pass them in the pan with the onion for couple of minutes on a high fire;
  12. serve hot, finshing off with some greated parmigiano.


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