Winter is coming, bringing with it a bit ‘of laziness, the desire to spend quiet evenings cooking at home with friends or being pampered by the proposals of the chefs in one of the warm and welcoming rooms of our restaurants and taverns. Inevitably with the arrival of winter and the first cold there is always more desire for warm, rich, hearty dishes that warm and cheer after a cold day.
In Parma, winter is synonymous of typicality, of a popular and traditional cuisine that has arrived till today and is still appreciated and present on the tables of the parmigesans and in the restaurant’s proposals. The winter cuisine of Parma is a hymn to simplicity and taste, a riot of strong flavors, authentic, rich and nourishing dishes, to be watered with a nice glass of new wine, tapped during the festivities of San Martino (November 11th), according to tradition.
Here is an idea for a winter menu all made in Parma, from appetizers to desserts, to be prepared at home or to be enjoyed in one of the restaurants of Parma City of Gastronomy
Tender or dried according to the type of meat, the cicciole are a waste of the production of the strutto (pork lard), fried directly in the fat from which they derive. Example of poor cold cut and of the saying that “nothing of the pig can be thrown away”, the ciccioli are ideal as an appetizer, accompanied by bread or torta fritta or, why not, from polenta croutons. The perfect debut for a winter lunch or dinner.
Anolini or Passatelli in broth
With the cold a good plate of hot broth warms and cheers. And in the broth, possibly made with capon, can not miss the anolini or passatelli, two traditional dishes from Emilia and Parma, perfect for the winter.
The anolini of Parma, also called “galleggianti” (floating), provide a stuffing of breadcrumbs cooked with the sauce of the stew meat and Parmigiano Reggiano of three different seasonings, enclosed in a casket of thin egg pasta. Also the passatelli are made with breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano with added eggs. A hard dough that is passed in the potato masher and ends directly in the boiling broth. An unmistakable dish, with a unique shape and consistency, loved by adults but also by children. Two proposals of first dishes unmissable in a winter menu, a prelude to a “royal” second course.
Beef scaramella (obtained from the muscles covering the first five anterior dorsal vertebrae), veal-breasted tip, beef tongue, hen and cotechino: these are the cuts of meat for the bollito misto (boilde meats) of Parma, a sumptuous dish to share with guests. Accompanied by potatoes purè and sauces (the most typical are the red sauce and the green sauce) or mustard, bollito misto is a dish of ancient tradition, typical of the Christmas period but that can be found in restaurants throughout the winter . Rich and succulent, bollito misto is an important dish, the main course of a typically Parmesan menu.
Spongata is a dessert typical of Christmas period, a chest of pastry that holds a filling of honey, bread, raisins, dried fruit (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts), raisins, spices. The spongata is a sweet that can be preserved for a long time, so the “rezdòre” of Parma prepare it in advance during the winter to consume it at Christmas. Strong taste, the spongata is a rich and tasty dessert perfect to be consumed at the end of a meal accompanied by coffee or typical liqueurs such as nocino and bargnolino.
Here are our ideas for a typical winter menu of Parma: a palette of proposals from which to customize your menu!