Italian Travel

Italian Travel
Italian Travel

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Piadina con Sardoncini and my Piadina Recipe


When you dine with a local no matter where you are in the world, you have to take their suggestion to try a local speciality. Like this very hot summer day last summer in Rimini on the Adriatic Sea, the piadina with con sardoncini (a local fish) was suggested.

I was with my friend Jules who has lived in Rimini for 20 years and Davide who is a Rimini local and Davide was doing the ordering. I could have been easily tempted by the usual piadina with prosciutto crudo, rucola and the most amazing cheese called squacquerone. Squaquerone is a DOP cheese from the Romagna region where Rimini is and it is super soft and spreadable and super delicious!


But back to this steamy afternoon at NudeCrud with Jules and Davide. It's funny how with some friends years could pass and it seems you reunite and you've left off when you last were together. That's how it was this summer day with Davide. Davide is quite a story teller (as many of my Italian friends are)and this particular day he had quite a story to tell. It was a story that just tumbled out effortlessly and without fear. As the story commenced I wasn't prepared for the secrets that were being divulged. As he started talking and eating it just seemed to make sense to continue until the end and the only way to describe the story was juicy and maybe even sordid. I have heard stories that were maybe even more sordid but somehow in the middle of the afternoon  in Italy with old friends and a fantastic piadina, it all seemed like a scene from a  Fellini movie. I am not at liberty to get into any details of the secret, but I am free to talk about this delightful piadina. 



Davide explained that I MUST (yes, he was that enthusiastic) try this piadina with the sardoncini. He actually was in disbelief that in the 20 years I have visited and even lived for a short time in Rimini that I never tried it. I wasn't adverse to the fish, maybe it was just the combination of the onions and maybe it's also I'm so partial to the prosciutto. But the waitress explained the onions are marinated and there isn't a strong flavor. They make the piadina fresh at the restaurant. They were flaky and just perfect. The piadina has the fish, the onions, salad and radicchio. It is actually very light and is the perfect lunch to eat at a seaside town in Italy on a hot summer day in great company. 



So all this talk about piadina has inspired me to share my recipe again here with all of you. It's really quite simple to put together. It's just flour, yeast, water and some sort of a fat. I use vegetable shortening but my mother-in-law uses strutto (pork fat).


Some notes on this recipe: As I mentioned, piadina is made with a handful of ingredients. There are some recipes that use yeast (like this one I'm sharing)and there are some that use baking powder and even some that use baking soda. Some even use milk instead of water. I've made the piadina with vegetable shortening and olive oil and find that using the shortening makes it very soft. And no matter where you are in the region, there will be fans for the different versions. There are even some that are very thick. I personally prefer the thinner and crispier piadina. This is the one Teresa my mother-in-law showed me and it's the recipe I always make.

The piadina in Rimini are served at the table instead of bread in restaurants (and at home). They are cut into 4 triangles and placed in a basket. You could add whatever filling you like. Even Nutella is quite fabulous! They store nicely in a zip locked bag in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Yield: 6

Piadina-Italian Flatbread

Piadina is a typical flatbread from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy that is soft and crispy. It is oftentimes filled with prosciutto crudo and a local cheese from the region called squaquerone, but it can be filled with whatever you like to make the most perfect sandwich.
prep time: 60 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 80 mins

ingredients:

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (or pork fat or extra-virgin olive oil)

instructions

Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl and let stand 5 mins.

Place the flour and salt together on the counter (or use your mixer) and mix together. Add the shortening and mix together with your hands (or the mixer). Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly add in the water with the yeast.

Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Add the dough to a bowl and cover and let it rest about 1/2 an hour.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, with a rolling pin roll out each piece to form a round, 6 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. If the dough resists rolling out, let it rest for 1-2 minutes, then continue.

Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat until very hot, about 10 minutes.
Place one of the dough rounds in the hot pan and prick all over with a fork to prevent air bubbles. 

Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping it over frequently to avoid scorching and to aid even cooking, about 5 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining dough rounds as directed in step 7. Stack the rounds on top of one another and cover with a dish towel to keep soft and warm.

Fill with your choice of ingredients, fold in half and serve. Or enjoy them as they are.
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