MARTA CHIATTONE, mountain lover.
The proximity to the mountains of Moncalieri, the city where I was born, has meant that most of the weekends as a child passed on the slopes in winter and on the paths in summer. At twenty-three, next to the master’s degree in Economics, I am aware of how much serenity these places are still able to give me today. I have always appreciated the beauty of simple things without neglecting the details; I like to always have something new to learn, traditions to know and experiences to live: I believe that Italy has a lot to offer in this sense.
Friends and good food to complement it all.
“More than hunting”. That’s my motto.
Being a huntress means I am an all–round nature lover. It’s thanks to this great passion that I rediscovered my love for cooking, dogs, photography, mountain trekking and travelling.
These last years I have had the opportunity to meet many people from all around the world, people who share my ideals and, just like me, have turned their passion into a lifestyle.
From now on, I am going to share with you the stories of my next adventures that will take me to discover new and magical places… Giulia
“When choosing a dog, we must not forget that he won’t be just our hunting companion but also a life partner.
We must not neglect him during closed season but give him all the attention he needs… because he will always be there to make us happy.”
Roe deer in oil
I start by saying that this recipe adapts at any kind of game meat from wood pigeon breast to hare meat. In this case we choose the roe deer one.
1 celery stalk
roe deer thigh
some laurel leaves
Take a big pot and pour 50% of water, 25% of white wine and 25% of white vinegar, add celery, carrots, onion, laurel leaves, salt and the meat (you can also put the meat when is still frozen). Let it boil until it’s overcooked. Once cooked leave everything in the pot and wait until it’s cold. Then remove the meat, fray it and let it drain in the colander. When it’s dry put it in glass jars with a whole clove of garlic, laurel, pepper, mustard seeds and cover it with olive oil. Sterilze the jars and wait two weeks before eating it. Ideal to be consumed in salads and with various pickles. In the picture pickles and mushrooms.
By Sara Chiarlone
Potato Gnocchi with Porcini Mushrooms
This traditional Roman dish dates back to the 19th century and was passed down from generation to generation with the old sayings “Gnocchi on Thursdays” and “Have fun, that mummy has prepared gnocchi”. The recipe was introduced in Piedmont and revisited using local products to prepare “Gnocchi with Castelmagno”, with a typical cheese of Cuneo and “Raviole of Val Varaita” with a mixture of toma cheese. My favourite sauce is made with just sage and butter; it is quick to prepare, doesn’t cover the taste of the potatoes but still allows you to be creative as it can be combined with many different ingredients. This is my personal autumn version of the recipe and it can be prepared with porcini mushrooms picked in the woods.
I think it’s the first recipe I ever learnt, taught to me by my two grandmothers who, knowing how much I liked mushrooms, gave them to me at least once a week. They told me that during the war mushrooms were one of the few alternatives to soup due to the simplicity of the ingredients and their availability… peasant food.
INGREDIENTS for the pasta (for 3/4 people)
1 Kg of potatoes, better if old
300g of all–purpose flour
INGREDIENTS for the sauce
Method for the pasta:
Boil the potatoes with their skins without salting the water; peel them while they’re still warm and mash them with a potato masher on a worktop that has been dusted with flour.
Create a “cone” shape with the potatoes with a hole on top and add the egg;
Cover the mixture with 150 grams of flour, a pinch of salt and mix. The amount of flour to be used in this stage is not absolute: you need to add flour until the dough becomes firm and you can create a big ball of dough. If you use “new” potatoes, the dough will absorb a lot more flour and it will be harder in the end; that’s why I suggest using “old” potatoes.
Create small balls of dough and shape them into sausages with a diameter of about an inch using the palm of your hand.
Cut the dough sausages into pieces according to the size of the gnocchi you want to prepare. Remember to constantly dust the worktop and the dough with flour.
To allow the sauce to better stick to the dough, the gnocchi should be grooved by sliding them on a fork so that they become ridged. This step is optional, you can leave the gnocchi smooth if you prefer.
Boil the gnocchi in plenty of water and add salt. Drain them as soon as they rise to the surface; it’s important to use a skimmer instead of the colander to prevent them from sticking.
Method for the sauce:
Clean the mushrooms gently using a knife to remove the soil. Never put the mushroom under water as they would lose their flavour.
Separate the stem from the cap. Cut the cap into slices and the stem into small cubes or sticks.
Meanwhile slice the onions and brown them in a pan with a little oil. Once the onions are brown, add the mushrooms together with 2/3 tablespoons of tomato sauce. Cook for 7/8 minutes being careful not to burn them. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of parsley.
By Marta Chiattone
Linguine with Wild Garlic
Most probably, the origin of the name “bear’s" garlic is that bears eat large quantities of this plant after a long period of winter hibernation to quickly recover their strength, reactivate their metabolism and their vital functions. It is very common in the woods and the mountains of the place where I was born, in Friuli Venezia Giulia. “Bear’s" garlic, Allium Ursinum, has antibiotic, purifying, antiseptic, antiasthmatic and diuretic qualities, it’s good against hypotension and reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood… in short, it is great for your health! I heard about this plant the first time about fifteen years ago thanks to an old lady from a remote mountain village and since then, harvesting it in April has become kind of a ritual for me. Here is a recipe containing this delicacy that only grows in shady and moist woods: Linguine with wild garlic.
Ingredients for 4 people:
320g of linguine pasta
120g of mountain ricotta cheese
1 large bunch of wild garlic leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
Grana Padano cheese
some flowers to garnish
Blend the wild garlic leaves in a bowl with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
Add the ricotta to the mixture and cook it in a pan using some of the pasta water to better blend the ingredients. Add more salt if needed.
Drain the pasta one minute earlier than it says on the package, add it to the sauce and sauté it until it reaches the desired creaminess.
Add grated Grana cheese to taste and garnish with some flowers.