Piadina with Verdure di Romagna

The national food of Romagna in a veg version

A true symbol of the gastronomic identity of Romagna, piadina, also called piada, is a flat bread without leavening made with flour, water and lard cooked on a plate or on text. Perfect to be stuffed with cheeses, meats, vegetables to be used instead of bread. Piadina has very ancient origins. Born as a poor food for farmers to replace bread, today it is a product of excellence with IGP certification. The term piada entered our vocabulary thanks to the poet Giovanni Pascoli, who dedicated a poem to this pastry, Italianizing the dialect word “piè” and defining piadina the national bread of the Romagna people. After World War II, the Romagna piadina spread both in the countryside and in the city and stopped being considered a substitute for bread to become a greedy alternative.

Like any traditional recipe, there are several versions. The classic Romagna piadina has a diameter between 15 and 25 cm and has a thickness between 4 and 8 mm. The Rimini variant has a diameter ranging from 23 to 30 cm and is thinner, up to a maximum of 3 mm. Furthermore, if you do not want to use lard, you can replace it with extra virgin olive oil. The filling par excellence of the Romagna piadina includes raw ham, squacquerone and rocket. But the versatility and goodness of this pastry allow you to experiment with all kinds of possible combinations and also tradition gives us tasty variants, even vegetarian: herbs and squacquerone and, one of our favorites, piadina with gratinated tomatoes.

LET’S PREPARE THE PIADINA

In a bowl, combine flour, lard (or extra virgin olive oil), baking soda and salt. Add the water a little at a time and knead vigorously, if necessary add a sprinkling of flour. Once you have obtained a soft and homogeneous dough, form a ball, wrap it with cling film and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature. After the resting time, divide the dough into 6 loaves.

Take a rolling pin, rub it with flour and proceed with the drafting, working with a rolling pin until you get wraps of about 25 cm in diameter. Tradition has it that the piada is cooked on a cast iron pan (text from Romagna) or terracotta (Teglia di Montefitti). Alternatively, use a well heated non-stick pan at home. Cook over high heat for two minutes per side. As the cooking proceeds you will notice the formation of the characteristic medium-small bubbles that are more cooked.

Meanwhile, cut the SiPomodoro datterini tomatoes, put them in a bowl and season with oil, salt and a few fresh basil leaves. Let it rest in the fridge for a few minutes so they will take on more flavor. Wash the courgettes and cut them into slices thin enough lengthwise.

Grill them on a non-stick pan or a grill pan with a drop of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once ready, proceed with the filling of your piadina. Start with a layer of fresh squaqquerone, place the grilled courgettes and then the seasoned datterini tomatoes. Close in a crescent and serve hot.

INGREDIENTS

for the Piadina

500 gr flour 00
100 g extra virgin olive oil
150 gr lukewarm water
2 gr baking soda
10 gr salt

for the filling

150 gr SiPomodoro datterini tomatoes
2 courgettes
100 gr squaqquerone
5 basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
salt