Piadina is a traditional unleavened flatbread which is mostly a specialty of two provinces of Italy – Romagna and its’ neighbor Le Marche. LeMarche is the base of John’s Italian family who have lived there for hundreds of years. Piadina goes back perhaps to the Middle Ages, but can be found today at bakeries, outdoor markets, corner snack bars and of course in homes of most Romagnoli and Marchegiani in the provinces who love to argue about who really invented it. I choose to call it Marchegiana because of the family connection.
Piadina can be stuffed with many delicious fillings such as salumi, a variety of cheeses, roasted vegetables, meats or fruits. I encourage you to vary the stuffings, experiment with various cheeses, fish and anything else that may appeal to you. They can be sweet or savory. This recipe is probably the most traditional one, using prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula. The important thing is to use the very best ingredients due to the simplicity of the dish.
What you need:
2 cups 00 (double zero) Italian flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup manteca (soft lard)
3 ounces warm water (approx 105 degrees)
2 ounces warm milk (approx 105 degrees)
12 slices Prosciutto
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese
A couple of handfuls of baby arugula
What you do:
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, manteca, warm water and warm milk into a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Shape into a smooth ball, cover with a dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and shape into balls, cover with a dish towel and let rest for another 30 minutes.
Lightly dust the counter with flour and roll each piece into a thin circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place one of the circles of dough in the pan and cook until golden brown, with some lightly charred spots, approximately 2 minutes per side. Continue with the remainder of the circles.
Lay the piadina out flat. Cover each circle with 3 slices of prosciutto and one-fourth of the cheese. Fold the piadina in half, forming a half-moon shape. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese is warm.
Drizzle the arugula with olive oil, to lightly coat.
Remove the piadine from the oven. Open each one and add a small amount of arugula, then fold over again. Cut each piadina into 4 wedges and serve warm.
John’s Wine Pairing:
There are many possibilities for delicious paring whether it be traditional wines from the area such as the famous Verdicchio from the region of Le Marche or California wines, red, white or especially Rosé. We drink several different varietals with these marvelous delights, but the wines should be fruity, crisp and a bit acidy. We recently had Piadine from this recipe for a delightful al fresco lunch and chose a Zaca Mesa 2020 Rosé of Grenache. This Rosé has a beautiful salmon color, lots of fruit, acidity and a long lasting finish with a slight mineral/chalky flavor which was perfect with the prosciutto, cheese and the Arugula in the stuffing.