The Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy and is like a picture framed by the highest mountains in our nation.
It has a gastronomic past founded on simple, rustic dishes made from local resources.
Dishes that have become famous for their authenticity and goodness.
Thanks to its cold climate, in addition to potatoes, turnips, leeks, and onions, cabbage and savoy cabbage crops are widespread and used for delicious soups and stews.
From the earliest times in the Aosta Valley, livestock farms have been essential for the production of milk, from which the famous local cattle and goat cheeses have been created, and in particular Fontina, which has become a symbol of the region and has won the PDO label.
Among the typical dishes is definitely the Valdostan soup, a succulent, rich and nutritious recipe for cold winter days, in which both cabbage and Fontina are the main ingredients.
To prepare this recipe from Valle d’Aosta there are no particular tips to give, however, it is necessary to use only Fontina dop, which should be inserted between the various layers of the soup with Savoy cabbage.
A cheese that should absolutely not be substituted for any reason in the world, under penalty of completely distorting the flavor of the dish.
ZUPPA ALLA VALDOSTANA
- 1 Cabbage
- 2 Cups Fontina Cheese
- 1.5 oz Stale Bread
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 8 Cups Meat and Vegetable Stock (Made to taste with meat, rosemary, leeks, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ~2.5 liters of water)
- Cut the fontina cheese into thin slices; if the lard is in one slice, cut it into thin slices as well.
- Boil some good meat stock, preferably homemade.
- Now cut the savoy cabbage or kale, sliced fairly coarsely, put a drizzle of evo oil in a large frying pan, heat it, and plunge the washed savoy cabbage drained of excess water, stew it for 15 minutes, without letting it burn.
- It should be cooked but still al dente, not unraveling, salt toward the end of cooking, and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon powder.
- Prepare the broth according to your taste.
- The more flavorful it is, the richer the taste of the soup will be.
- Next slice the savoy cabbage and boil it in salted water until soft.
- Once it is pureed remove it from the water and drain.
- Spread a layer of bread slices about 2 inches high on the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
- Drizzle the bread with the previously prepared broth.
- Spread a layer of boiled cabbage on top, then a layer of slices of fontina cheese cut not too thickly.
- Finished the first layer, start again to build the second, adding another layer of bread slices drizzled with the broth, boiled cabbage and slices of fontina cheese.
- Make a second layer as well, and having finished that as well, all you need to do is to add evenly over the entire surface of your soup some clarified butter flakes.
- When finished, place in the oven and bake at 320 F until the fontina appears melted and golden brown.
- This usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven.
- When finished, the soup, to be perfect, should appear soft, not dry, but not too runny either, with a tasty crust on top given by the combination of Fontina and butter.