Europe’s Forgotten Transalpine Kitchen – BBC Travel

Create itching, a fresh shell-shaped pasta, chef Patrick Teisseir first takes a small piece of dough, rolls it in flour, presses it flat with his thumb, and slides it along a large round wooden board. After pressing along the ridged board, a soft, contoured shell with seven fine folds emerges. It’s a very subtle technique that Teisseir describes as “scullery”. She repeats the process until the dough is gone, replaced by neat rows of pasta shells ready to be served in a deep pot of simmering water.

Sugeli, which consists of flour, water, salt and olive oil, is one of the main dishes white kitchen (white food), the food of pastoral transalpine communities in the high valleys of Piedmont, Liguria, and the Alpe-Maritimes in present-day southeastern France and northwestern Italy. Named for the “colorless” nature of its main ingredients, such as flour, potatoes, onions, turnips, dairy products and legumes, it’s a cuisine that bears little resemblance to the bright reds, greens and yellows of tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins. Coastal Mediterranean cuisine is usually associated with the region. “A lack of color doesn’t mean a lack of flavor,” Teisseir was keen to point out as he deftly manipulated more rinds from a fresh batch of dough in front of me.

After a while, moving his small basement workplace to the dining room above it, I was ready to test his theory. Served next to a juicy osso-baka-style rack of veal and with the meat’s cooking juices, I took a forkful of sugeli. Similar in size and shape to the orecchiette pasta of southern Italy, but with the texture and flavor of a dumpling, the shells were the perfect form for mopping up the salty, flavorful broth-like sauce.

Listed in France intangible cultural heritage (intangible cultural heritage) Since 2009, sugeli has been the most popular dish of cucina bianca. Other “more complete” recipes include green, lasagna-like strips, as described by Teisseire. Lausanne made with wild spinach, eggs, flour, salt and a little potato and olive oil; and so much, a tart filled with potatoes, onions and pumpkin. Of course, the local sheep’s cheese is also special: in addition to the hard tomme-style variety, bushA sharp cream cheese made from whey is a specialty of the local Brigasque breed and is often melted into the sauce along with sugeli.