TRAVEL CLUB - "An International cook book".... Recipes from Parma (Italy)




Anolini is a stuffed pasta from Parma, where it is served in broth during the holiday season.


The first recipe for Anolini, a direct descendent of ravioli, was published in a book written at the beginning of the 16th century. A famous cook explains that Anolini were created by home cooks and that he only codified the recipe, probably enriching the dish with other ingredients. Even if Anolini started out as a dish of the common people, this stuffed pasta quickly became a favorite of the nobility. Many sources indicate that in the 17th century, Anolini were served at the banquets of the noble people of Parma. In some cases, the nobility not only enjoyed eating Anolini, but also prepared them as well. Duke Ferdinand I of Bourbon was known to make the pasta and the filling himself, then assemble the Anolini with the help of his daughters. Over the centuries, Anolini continued to be served both by the nobility and lower classes during the holidays. This first course became a typical dish of Parma and was even included in Pellegrino Artusi’s famous Italian cookbook published at the end of the 19th century.


(Servings 4)

 For pasta

-400 gr (1 lb) all-purpose flour

-2 eggs

-12 cl (½ cup) water


For filling

-300 gr (⅝lb) beef leg

-75 gr (2 ½ oz) butter

-150 gr (5 oz) breadcrumbs

-150 gr(5 oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

-1 stalk celery

-1 carrot

-1 onion

-1 clove

-1 teaspoon tomato paste

-2 eggs

-salt and pepper to taste

-nutmeg to taste

-5 dl (2 cups) red wine

-2 lt (8 cups) meat broth



1 hour preparation + 5 minutes coking

+ 10 hours braising time



Peel and chop the onion, carrot and celery stalk. Melt the butter in a pot, preferably earthenware, and then add chopped vegetables. Then add the meat and clove. Once the meat begins to brown, cover with red wine and a little warm water. Cook over low heat for about 10 hours, adding the tomato paste halfway through cooking. Once done cooking, the meat will have dissolved into a dense sauce. Then mix together the sauce, breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, eggs and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, make the pasta dough by mixing together the eggs, flour and water. Knead together until the dough is smooth, then roll out with a rolling pin or pasta machine until it is as thin as possible. Stretch out the dough on a flat work surface, then place small balls (about the size of a hazelnut) of the meat filling on the pasta dough about an inch away from one another. Fold the sheet of pasta in half to cover the filling, making sure that the edges stick together well. There should be no air in the Anolini, otherwise they may open during cooking. Then cut the pasta using a circular pasta cutter, so that in the center of each Anolino there is just one ball of filling. Cook Anolini in boiling beef broth for 5 minutes.



This meat dish is a symbol of the city of Parma, home of Lambrusco, Parmigiano Reggiano and prosciutto di Parma.


Lambrusco is a type of light Italian sparkling wine with a ruby red color. One of the symbols of the Emilia region, Lambrusco probably comes from a wild grape variety. In fact, the word “lambrusco” comes from the Latin terms labrum, or edge, and ruscum, or wild plant. The wine also has ancient origins, proven by the fact that both Virgil and Cato both wrote about the wine. It seems as though Lambrusco was very popular in ancient Rome. Although we don’t have precise information about when vitis lambrusca was first grown, we know that in the 3rd century Strabone confirms that, in what is now Emilia, there were huge barrels of Lambrusco, larger than homes. During the Middle Ages, Lambrusco played a part in an interesting story. It seems as though in 1084, Contessa Matilde di Canossa was able to stop the siege of troops of Emperor Henry V who were closing in on the tower of Sorbara, thanks to the Lambrusco that was being produced in the area. The siege took place during the hot July days and, according to the legend, the soldiers started to drink the Lambrusco they found in the homes they entered in order to quench their thirst. After tasting the wine, the soldiers couldn’t resist drinking to the point of drunkenness, and allowing the Contessa and her troops to defend themselves against the siege.



(Servings 4) 

  • 600 gr (1 ¼ lb) beef fillet
  • 50 gr (1 ¾ oz) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sliced
  • 6 slices Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 75 cl (3 cups) Lambrusco
  • 25 cl (1 cup) Marsala wine
  • 100 gr (3 ½ oz) fresh heavy cream
  • 1 dl (½ cup) olive oil
  • 25 gr (1 oz) butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


25 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking


Open the fillet out with a knife like a butterfly and then pound with a meat pounder, to form a large slice. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the slice of fillet with the Prosciutto di Parma slices and Parmigiano Reggiano slivers, roll up and tie like a roast with kitchen string. Let the fillet brown in a pan at medium heat with the butter, a drop of olive oil and the garlic. Add the minced herbs to the fillet and let brown for a few seconds. Add the red wine (Lambrusco) and the Marsala and let cook for about half an hour. Remove the fillet from the casserole and set aside in a warm place; put the cream into the cooking liquid, raise the heat and reduce the sauce for a few minutes. Cut the fillet into thick slices and cover with the sauce before serving.


ZUPPA INGLESE (Traditional Italian Pudding)

Soft and creamy, this ancient Italian dessert will capture all of your senses.


Despite its name, zuppa inglese (English soup) is a traditional Italian dessert invented a long time ago. Zuppa inglese was made for the first time in the 16th century for Dukes of Este, residing in Ferrara. Legend has it that the dessert was created by the court chefs when a diplomat from Ferrara asked for a trifle, a typical British dessert made with a sweet ring cake, cream and wine, after returning from a trip to England.

The court chefs didn’t have access to the ingredients called for in the original recipe and ended up making substitutions. The Italian version is made with sponge cake, custard and Alchermes to give the dessert color. Chocolate was probably added later.

This is how, over time, a typically English sweet was transformed into a traditional Italian dessert and was even included in Artusi’s book “La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene” (p.421), considered the first authoritative text on modern Italian cuisine. This is the version of this recipe in Parma, where people traditionally prepare this dessert during seasonal holidays.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1,5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 50 gr (2 oz) dark chocolate
  • 250 gr (½ lb) sponge cake
  • 5 dl (2 cups) whole milk
  • 1 little glass (half cup) alchermes liqueur
  • lemon zests to taste


 45 minutes


In a bowl, mix together with a fork the egg yolks and sugar to make a custard. Once soft and creamy, add the flour and mix together well. Add the milk and lemon peel to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the milk begins to boil, remove it from the heat. Begin cooking the custard in a bain marie by placing the bowl with the cream in a pot of water. Place the pot on the heat and slowly add the milk while continuing to stir. Keep cooking the custard until it has thickened. Then remove it from the heat and divide it into two bowls. Mix the chocolate into one half. Place a layer of sponge cake (half of what is called for in the list of ingredients) on a plate. Drizzle with Alchermes, then cover with chocolate cream. Place the other layer of sponge cake on top and drizzle with more liquor. Cover this layer with the custard. Place in the refrigerator for a couples of hours, then serve.


TRAVEL CLUB from Parma (ISSIS "P. Giordani")
Kelvin Agyeman, Doina Axenti, Yuri Ferrari, Manjit Kaur, Victoria Kuzina, Paola Petrosino, Rita Scardino

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