I never heard of the little town of Pieve in Centro, about 45 minutes from Bologna, nestled in the countryside, and it was more of a surprise to learn that a one-star Michelin restaurant, Buriani, was located there.
It is a family run trattoria, beautifully appointed with warm wood and interesting paintings on the walls. Gilberto Buriani, the owner, explained that his sister, Alessandra, was the chef and they were trying to maintain the old traditions of Emilia-Romagna cooking, with little twists of their own thrown in as “fantasia”.
The first course of a spuma di mortadella set the tone for their goals. It was a light whipped concoction of mortadella, heavy cream, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. A nice diversion from mortadella thought of as a part of an antipasto or stuffed into bread for a panino.
½ pound mortadella, sliced
½ cup heavy cream, whipped
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons toasted natural pistachio nuts
8 cooked asparagus spears, cut in half on the diagonal
Reduce the mortadella to a paste in a food processor. Transfer the paste to a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff. Fold the cream into the mortadella along with the cheese.
Divide the mixture between 4 salad dished lined with radicchio. Place a mound in the center of each. Add two asparagus spears and sprinkle the dish with the pistachio nuts. Serve.
Or make the Cannoli di Parmigiano-Reggiano and put the spuma in a pastry tube to stuff the cannoli.
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