Pisarei e fasò is the symbol of Piacenza cuisine. You will find this delicious gnocchi made with stale bread and flour in every restaurant in the Piacenza area, from the starred restaurant to the most humble trattoria.
What is Pisarei e Fasò?
The recipe of Pisarei e Fasò is a masterpiece of “peasant art,” with a unique, warm, and enveloping flavor that comes from the very rich sauce thanks to the presence of pounded lard (pistà ‘d grass) and borlotti beans. Simple ingredients for an immortal recipe. So, synthesizing, they are nothing more than bread dumplings seasoned with tomato sauce, lard, and beans.
The traditional recipe of pisarei and fasò wanted the dry bread to be cooked in water until it became a kind of puree, but to make the recipe faster, use some breadcrumbs and then add boiling water result will be the same.
The secret to making excellent pisarei and fasò dumplings is to make small gnocchetti so that they can be submerged by the sauce, which can also be made with lamb, but in any case, always abundant.
Today we want to offer you the original recipe of Pisarei e Fasò dumplings of a historic restaurant, the Antica Trattoria Cattivelli, which has been handed down for generations and for this, we are immensely happy!
Ingredients and doses for making the Italia pisarei and fasò dumplings
- 300 grams of grated stale bread
- 100 grams of fine white flour
- 40 grams of butter
- 450 grams of dried borlotti beans
- 50 grams of tomato sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 20 grams of pounded lard (pistà ‘d grass)
- 6 spoons of EVOO
- an onion
- 40 grams of grated Grana Padano cheese
An hour and a quarter (in addition to the 12 hours of soaking the beans)
How to make Pisarei e Fasò
Let’s start with the dough. Gradually mix the flour with the breadcrumbs in a bowl, adding boiling water as much as is enough to have an elastic and soft dough. From this, cut off pieces that you will roll with the palms of your hands until they are shaped like biscuits, similar to a breadstick.
A small note on the etymology of pisarei: it seems that the name comes from bissarei, bissa, or biscia, due to the shape of these bisce (snakes) of pasta.
Take a “dough snake” and cut it into tiny pieces that will acquire the hollow shape of “gnocchetti” when crushed with the thumb.
There are legends of the “good old days” about some mother-in-law who was only controlling the thumbs of their daughter-in-law could understand if they would be good wives for their sons!
The beans must be soaked in water for a whole night.
Then boil them in water seasoned with oil and a slice of fresh onion.
In the meantime, we are going to make soffritto. In a pan, melt the butter, add a couple of EVOO spoons, and gently fry the chopped onion, garlic, and pounded lard (pistà ‘d grass).
When everything is well browned, add the beans and let them cook on low heat after sprinkling them with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and continue cooking over very low heat.
Meanwhile, cook the pisarei dumplings in abundant salted boiling water. After a few minutes, they will come to the surface, drain and pour into the sauce.
Add grated Grana Padano or Parmgiano Reggiano.
Which wine goes well with pisarei and fasò?
The Piacenza tradition wants a dish so rich to have a Gutturnio as a companion (also sparkling), fragrant and fresh, able to clean the mouth for the new bite: the Gutturnio Tomà of the Cardinali cellar is perfect. Sparkling wines like Prosecco or Champagne are excellent too.
Recipe by courtesy of the Cattivelli restaurant
Via Chiesa di Isola Serafini, 2 – 29010 Monticelli d’Ongina (PC)
Telephone: 0523 829418