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Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and that with olive oil

Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and olive oil

After years of absence, I found myself drawn back to the familiar streets of Rimini.

I chose a day of sunshine and rain. I strolled through the picturesque streets of sunlit Borgo San Giuliano and among the stately downtown buildings made shiny by the rain. It must not happen again to let so much time pass without returning.

For many, Rimini means the beach and piadina.

For me, Rimini is the Tiberius Bridge, the Malatesta Temple, the old fish market in Piazza Cavour, Piazza Malatesta with its beautiful fortress, Castello Sismondo, now home to the museum dedicated to film director Federico Fellini.

Of course, Rimini also includes Borgo San Giuliano, which today is a city district but was once a village where fishermen lived, and Lella’s piada, an institution in town.

I walk along, observing the people sitting at cafe tables, the people of Rimini on bicycles, and the slow pace of life, which reminds me how well people live in the quiet, small cities of Emilia-Romagna.

Amarcord

Over the years, I have fully understood the value of amarcord, a Romagnolo dialect term that became famous after Federico Fellini, born in Rimini, used it as a film title.

Amarcord means I remember, am arcord. It may be a word that gains importance as the years go by.

Life is a journey, and baggage is made up of memories. How many facts, events, and people have slipped away like sand between our fingers.

Amarcord enshrines the unforgettable, regardless of whether the memory is pleasant or painful.

 

Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and olive oil
Piadina with lard
Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and olive oil
Piadina with olive oil

Piadina from Rimini: a recipe from Fellini’s home

I returned to Rimini for a memory: the piadina of Maddalena Maria Fellini, Federico’s younger sister. When I got home, I made piadina from Rimini with her recipe, which she wrote in the book Romagna in cucina. Finally, after weighing the ingredients she indicated by writing a pinch, I decided to share it here on the blog.

Fellini was a foodie and greatly appreciated his mother’s and sister’s cooking. Of the latter, I read that she loved her sister-in-law, the Italian actress Giulietta Masina, to cook for her brother Federico and laugh. 

I thought it was a pleasant memory to share, along with the recipe for piadina romagnola, the kind you find thin from Rimini to Pesaro.

Piadina is a convivial food that reminds me of many lunches with family or friends. Occasionally, however, I eat it alone on the beach. When the hot sun and hunger drive tourists back to the hotel for lunch, I sit in the shade of an empty beach umbrella, looking out at the sea, my sea, as the smell of bread rises from my hands to my nose. Piadina is family, home, and happy moments.

From the Vocabolario Romagnolo Italiano (Bologna, Zanichelli, 1996) by Adelmo Masotti:

“Piada. It is a thin flatbread made of unleavened bread, baked in a red-hot testo (pan), typical of Romagna. For the people of Romagna, it has risen to symbolize the Family, their Land, and the social life the community has established there. Its fragrance spreads cheerfulness and feelings of friendship and love.”

 

Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and olive oil

Piadina from Rimini: cooking notes

I leave you with two recipes for piadina from Rimini:

  • the first is by Maddalena Fellini. In this one, the lard is abundant and must be melted in a bain-marie; there is little salt. Lard makes the piadina very tasty but tends to dry out once cooled. So my advice, as they say, is to make and eat them. At the bottom of the recipe text, I leave you my trick for getting them to regain their elasticity (at least to some extent).
  • And then I leave you with another recipe and a tip. You can choose whether to use lard or olive oil in this recipe. Over the years, you can’t count the number of times I have kneaded, rolled out, and baked piadina romagnola, the Rimini and Bertinoro model, the leavened one. My experience has taught me that baking soda is better than yeast; it leaves them softer. But I am just a home cook, not a piadina queen like Miss Lella of Rimini.

Buona cucina, Monica

Leavened piadina, Bertinoro’s version

This is the piadina I grew up with. On the blog, you can find the recipe from my home and the story of the origins of piadina romagnola.


You can read about my day in Rimini and my vacation in Romagna HERE.

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Piadina from Rimini recipes: classic with lard and olive oil

Piadina from Rimini with lard (Fellini recipe)

Recipe of the piadina romagnola from Rimini, thin and fragrant
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Emilia-Romagna
Keyword Piadina from Rimini
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • You need one flat aluminum pan, 28 cm in diameter, for piadina, tortillas, and crepes, and a short rolling pin

Ingredients

  • 120 g of lard
  • 500 g of 00 flour
  • 3 g of salt
  • 1 g of baking soda powder
  • 250 ml of warm water
  • 40 g of olive oil

Instructions

  • Melt lard in a double boiler.
  • Stirring, dissolve salt and yeast in 100 ml warm water.
  • Place the flour on a cutting board. With your fist, make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the lard into the well. Also, add the hot water where you dissolved with salt and baking soda, keeping another 150/200 ml of warm water on hand (depending on how much liquid the flour will absorb).
  • Bring the flour toward the center and start kneading, pouring the rest of the water a little at a time. Knead the dough for a long time, even 10-12 minutes, until it is soft and elastic. After 6 minutes of kneading, add the oil and knead quickly to absorb it. 
  • Cut out 6 or 8 balls of dough. Roll out the piadina with a rolling pin one at a time. Place the small rolling pin in the center of the ball and start spreading it out. Then, roll the piadina by pushing the rolling pin from the center outward. Gradually cook on the hot aluminum pan for 3-4 minutes per side. When the pan is hot, you may need less time.
  • Keep the cooked piadina sealed in a clean dish towel to keep them warm while you cook the others; serve immediately.

Food tips

  • Piadina will be fragrant when just cooked, but it will be crispy if you eat it later. Do it this way: brush each piadina with warm water on both sides before heating them on the pan or in the oven. They won't return as fragrant as when made but will regain some elasticity.
  • Store in the freezer for one month.

Piadina from Rimini with olive oil

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Emilia-Romagna
Keyword Piadina from Rimini with olive oil
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • You need one flat aluminum pan, 28 cm in diameter, for piadina, tortillas, and crepes, and a short rolling pin

Ingredients

  • 500 g of 00 flour
  • 10 g of salt
  • 2 g of baking soda powder
  • 70 ml of olive oil
  • 100 ml of room temperature milk 
  • 150/200 ml of lukewarm water  you can use only water

Instructions

  • Place the flour on a cutting board. With your fist, make a well in the center of the flour. 
  • In the center, pour the milk, olive oil, and half the hot water. Then, start bringing the flour toward the center and kneading, flowing in all the water as you go.
  • Knead the dough for a long time, even 10-12 minutes, until it is soft and elastic.
  • Cut out 6 or 8 balls of dough. Roll out the piadina with a rolling pin one at a time. Place the small rolling pin in the center of the ball and start spreading it out. Then, roll the piadina by pushing the rolling pin from the center outward. 
  • Cook one piadina at a time on the hot aluminum pan for 3-4 minutes per side. When the pan is hot, you may need less time.
  • Keep the cooked piadina sealed in a clean dish towel to keep them warm while you cook the others; serve immediately.

Tip

  • Store in the freezer for two months.

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