A piadina is an Italian bread pocket that comes in a variety of flavours and fillings. They're surprisingly easy to make at home from scratch.
- 300 g (10½ oz) potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 300 g (10½ oz) butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
- olive oil, for pan-frying
- 250 g (9 oz) pork sausages, skins removed, broken into small chunks
- 50 g (1¾ oz) parmesan, grated
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) milk
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 30 minutes
- To make the dough, place the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. Gradually add the milk and then the olive oil, mixing by hand as you go. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the potato in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–20 minutes until fork-tender (the cooking time will depend on the size of the chunks). Drain and roughly mash. Repeat this process with the pumpkin, letting it drain well before you mash it.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the sausage meat and cook for 7–8 minutes until cooked through. Set aside.
- Combine the potato and pumpkin mash, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut the dough into quarters. Roll out each piece to a 30-cm (12-in) circle, then cover each circle with a clean tea towel to prevent it from drying out.
- Place a quarter of the potato mixture on one half of a dough circle, leaving a 1-cm (½-in) border. Scatter on a quarter of the sausage, then fold the other half of the dough over the filling, pressing the edges to seal or securing them with a fluted pastry wheel. Repeat with the remaining dough circles.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan with a lid over medium–high heat. Place two of the piadine in the pan, reduce the heat to medium–low and put the lid on. Check after 4–5 minutes – the underside should be nicely coloured and crisp; if not, leave it for another minute or two. Flip them over, then cover and cook for another 3–4 minutes. When the second side is cooked, use your tongs to lift the piadine and hold them upright in the pan for a few minutes to cook the folded edge. Transfer to a chopping board, and cover loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining piadine. Cut the pockets in half and serve warm.
Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00