PISAREI E FASÒ
“SMALL GNOCCHI WITH BEAN SAUCE”
This recipe is really old and the ingredients are poor; the flour, indeed, was cut with stale bread in order to save on the raw materials. The dish has farming origins and even here are used material deriving from the pig’s butchery (pork rinds, sausage, lard) and from the vegetable garden. Many are the explanations of the word “Pisarei” and the most reliable are two; the first says that it would derive from the corruption of the word “Bissa”, meaning grass snake-serpent as the dough’s shape – a strip – before it is cut. The other theory would derive from the Spanish word Pisar, that means to crush or to flatten; the small gnocchi have to be squashed under the fingers in order to give them the traditional shape.
“As usual the recipe is taken from grandma’s book”.
Pour the breadcrumbs in a bowl and sear it with some hot water, then amalgamate it with the flour until you obtain a quite soft dough. Detach from it some portions big as a lemon and form with your hands some snake-shaped stripes, cut some pieces that are not too big, dust them with flour and squash them one by one with your thumb until you obtain the shape of gnocchi. Inside a saucepan, stir-fry in some oil the lard and the minced vegetables, the sausage cut into pieces and later pour the drained beans and simmer the whole for about an hour. Later add the tomato sauce and keep cooking until it is reduced, if the sauce reduces too much add some hot water. Cook the Pisarei in steaming water, when these come back to the surface, drain them being careful that they remain moist (how we say in our dialect, “Basòtt”) and flavour them inside a bowl with the obtained sauce.
(Translated by Laura Fugazzi)