Many typical dishes that hail from the Valtellina Valley — situated in northern Italy among the Alps — feature vegetables grown in the lush area. Taroz, pronounced tarozch, is one such dish. While not as well-known as the Valtellina’s prized pizzoccheri, a buckwheat flour noodle for which the region is famous, this antipasto dish highlights everything wonderful about the area, from the potatoes grown in the mountain village of Sacco to the locally-produced traditional cheese.
The dish is basically a form of mashed potato served with cured meats. Here we’ve used the addition of pancetta (or bacon if you can’t find it), but many traditional recipes are naturally vegetarian. Because there are so few ingredients, it’s imperative that they be of the highest quality, in particular the potatoes and the cheese, which should be a Casera DOP.
This is hearty mountain fare but with rich flavor profiles. You can make it during our wonderful Cooking in the Valtellina Valley culinary vacation, and pair it with excellent Lombardy wines.
Taroz with Valtellina Casera DOP-Cheese
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Cook method: Boil, Sauté
- 350 grams (12 1/4 oz) potatoes
- 250 grams (8 3/4 oz) green beans
- 180 grams (6 1/2 oz) Valtellina Casera DOP
- 1 onion
- 100 grams (3 1/2 oz) butter
- 200 grams (7 oz) pancetta (or bacon)
1. Boil the potatoes and green beans separately.
2. Cut the Valtellina Casera DOP into pieces.
3. Sauté the chopped onion and bacon into thin strips.
4. Mash the potatoes.
5. Cut the green beans into small pieces and add to the potatoes, along with the butter and Valtellina Casera DOP. Mix all of this together for about five minutes. Add salt, pepper, and sage to taste.
6. Serve while still hot. This appetizer is wonderful alongside an array of cold cuts such as salami, bresaola, or other regional Italian cured meats.
By Peg Kern
Read more about the Lombardy region:
- Foods of Lombardy
- Lombardy Sparkling Wines
- Pizzoccheri recipe
- 3 Reasons to Visit the Valtellina Valley
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best cooking vacations.