It was a whirlwind week of almost too much Italian food….almost. ;)  Continuing on our intimate food tour, we sampled and savored prosciutto, culatello, authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, and an array of red wines. At times we were invited into the kitchens to sous (can that be a verb?) and learn first-hand secrets to the impassioned cooking of the Emilia Romagna region.  With an apron tied around your waist and your hands in fresh dough, the pace of a food tour slows to an easy cadence as you appreciate the techniques involved and continue to sip your wine as if to assist the absorption of culinary know-how.

The ever-present wine glass in Italy. At our dinner table at Ca' Matilde.

The ever-present wine glass in Italy. At our dinner table at Ca’ Matilde.

 

We spent an afternoon at Ca’ Matilde, a fine restaurant as well as bed and breakfast in the countryside of Emilia Romagna.

We dabbled in the kitchen of Ristorante Locanda and walked through the surrounding farmland at the golden hour, accompanied by the Innkeepers’ dog. After appetizers on the sunny veranda, we sat down to a many-course meal which included the delicious Erbazzone we had helped create.  It stood out for me enough to beg the recipe and I’m happy to report I successfully converted and translated the recipe sufficiently to make it at home back in the states!

I’ll list it first in its purest form, and then I’ll share my quantity conversions along with some – cough – shortcuts I took liberties with.  Hey, I’m a busy business owner. ;) And I suspect many of you have your plates full as well.  Pun intended.

By all means, go for the original authentic version and enjoy the wonderful, lovingly folded crust.  I know me.  And I know that a recipe may never come to fruition in my home if I plan on insisting on every the painstaking detail. So I went with puff pastry. :}

The veranda at Ca' Matilde

The veranda at Ca’ Matilde

photo

Golden hour at Ca’ Matilde

Original Autentico Erbazzone Recipe

Ingredients for the dough:

A culinary collage of the other dinner courses at Ristorante Locanda.

A culinary collage of the other dinner courses at Ristorante Locanda, Ca’ Matilde

250 grams of flour

50 grams of butter

olive oil

salt

Ingredients for the filling:

80 grams of chopped bacon

1 onion

100 grams of grated parmesan cheese

1 kg chard

1 egg

1 garlic clove

chopped parsley

black pepper

 

I paid my dough dues, in the kitchen at Ristorante Locanda, Ca' Matilde.

I paid my dough dues, in the kitchen at Ristorante Locanda, Ca’ Matilde. (with Chef Angelini and Deb Hopewell)

Preparation

Sieve the flour on a wooden board and place in the center softened butter in small pieces, a spoon of oil and salt.

Knead until you get a soft and smooth dough (eventually add some water). Let it rest for half an hour at room temperature covering with a napkin. Wash the chard and boil it in a little bit of salted water.

Drain, squeeze and chop it into big pieces. Put a little oil in a large Teflon pan with the whole garlic (that you’ll take out later), bacon, chopped green onions, and chards.

Let it sauté nicely so that the flavor comes out, then take the garlic out and add the chopped parsley.

Let it cook for a few more minutes and then take it off the fire. Add the egg, the parmesan cheese and some pepper, mixing very fast. Flatten the dough and make two discs: one that is the diameter of the baking pan and a second one wider.

Oil the baking pan and fill it with the larger disc. Fill with the filling made of chards and cover with the second disc. Seal the side very well and the press the dough with a fork. Spread the chopped bacon on the surface. Bake it at 180° for 45-50 minutes until the surface is of a nice golden brown color

Serve warm.

Bake at 350F

My Corrupted Simplified Amurkin Erbazzone Recipe

Selected short cut ingredients for my "quickie" version recipe.

Selected short cut ingredients for my “quickie” version recipe.

Dough substitute: Puff Pastry (I’m sure other pre-made doughs will work here)

Ingredients for the filling:

Olive oil

3-4 oz of chopped bacon (I used Pancetta and chopped no-nitrates bacon for a nice mix)

1 onion, chopped

1/4 pound or 3.5oz grated Parmesan cheese

2 1/4 pounds chard

1 egg

1 garlic clove (husked but not chopped)

chopped parsley (Italian flat leaf is best)

black pepper (freshly ground – I insist! :) )

 

Wash the chard and blanch it (boil it in a little bit of salted water). Drain, squeeze and chop it into big pieces. Put a little olive oil in a large Teflon pan with the whole garlic (that you’ll take out later), most of the bacon (reserve some to top it), chopped green onions, and chard.

Let it sauté on medium-high heat nicely (8-10 minutes) so that the flavor comes out, then take the garlic out and add the chopped parsley.

Vibrant color and equally vibrant flavor.

Vibrant color and equally vibrant flavor.

Cook for a few more minutes and then take it off the fire. Add the egg, the parmesan cheese and some pepper, mixing very fast. Separate and unfold the puff pastry dough and make two sections; one that is the size of the baking pan and a second one wider.

Ready to bake! (Well, it still gets Pancetta sprinkled on top)

Ready to bake! (Well, it still gets Pancetta sprinkled on top)

Oil the baking dish (glass or ceramic is best) and fill it with the larger section of dough. I used an 8″ x 8″ ceramic casserole dish but I think a 9″x11″ would be fine so long as you check for timing, as the cook time will likely reduce a bit. Fill with the sauteed chard mixture and cover with the second section of dough. Seal the side very well and the press the dough with a fork. Spread the chopped bacon on the surface. Bake it at 350° F  for 45-50 minutes until the surface is of a nice golden brown color.  Serve warm. (Reheat leftovers in an oven or toaster oven rather than a microwave which kills any bread or pastry)

Buon appetito!

Finished product! As yummy as it was easy.

Finished product! As yummy as it was easy.

This was an experimental recipe conversion and any tips or discoveries for improvement are welcome! Feel free to comment with your results and suggestions, and let me know if you ambitiously created the autentico version.

**I’m thrilled to share this Conversion CalculatorIt’s a must for any traveling foodie – or even a domestically adventurous chef seeking fresh ideas from “fern” countries. :)

If you liked this travel recipe post, check out these other offerings:

Travel Recipe: My Spanish Madre’s Gazpacho de Sevilla

Romancing Emilia Romagna – with a Big Bib!

By Popular Demand: My Coveted Fall Recipe for Baked Mini Pumpkins

I was invited to tour the Emilia Romagna region by the Emilia Romagna Tourism board with a small group on a food tour.  All experiences – and photos – are my own, unless I’m in them. :)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

@acooknotmad February 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Nice one! Wish we were there to try some with you!

Reply

Gina SuuperG Stark February 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Thank you! I do hope our paths cross again on this lovely planet of food and friends and travel! Let me know if you give this a go. I imagine you'll create the autentico version. ;) xo

Reply

@SaraFHawkins February 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Gina, this looks soooo good! I'd probably try your 'Merican version first just to see how it comes out. Then I'll tackle the authentic. I'd probably leave out the bacon b/c I don't eat it, but maybe I can substitute some beef or turkey bacon. ::dabs mouth due to drooling::

Reply

Gina "SuuperG" Stark February 7, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Sounds like a guud plan, Sara! Let me know how it goes, and if you have any other tips for refining the recipe. I would like to give it a go with a more hearty dough. Thanks for stopping by the blog! xo G

Reply

ejodway February 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Mmmmmm, it's almost like an Italian Spanakopita! Well, sort of anyway! LOL I think I must try this recipe! Pictures and critique to follow!

Reply

Gina SuuperG Stark February 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Ellie I LUUV the spanakopita idea! Just might give it a go with phyllo dough….hey, that rhymes! Let me know how it turns out for you. But, I mean….bacon…. ;) xoxo

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