Emilia-Romagna is a region of Italy, particularly rich in terms of food and wine and renowned throughout the world for its rich culinary tradition. Two of its most famous delicacies are “gnocco fritto” and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Separately, these two preparations are very tasty: on the one hand, a delicious fry normally accompanied by a platter of cheese and cold cuts, on the other, a versatile condiment, which adapts to hot dishes in its DOP version (releasing intense balsamic notes) or to fresh salads and grilled vegetables when instead we talk about the IGP product. But when fried gnocco and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena come together, they create an explosion of flavors that you will hardly be able to forget.
If we have made your mouth water and you can already imagine yourself sitting at the table, you are the perfect audience to get to know our super combination! But before revealing the recipe, let’s quickly analyze the protagonists of this unprecedented gastronomic experience.
Golden delight adorned with a dark and sweet treasure
Fried gnocco or, better, “gnocco fritto” (as it is called by the inhabitants of Modena and surrounding areas and as we will call it in this article) is a specialty of the Emilian cuisine that has its distant roots in the 1600s. It is made by frying a simple but delicious dough, made of flour and sparkling water with lard and a pinch of salt. Once the dough has been left to rest and rolled out, it gets cut into the typical rectangular or rhomboidal pieces with a cutter wheel and each piece gets then gradually thrown into the boiling oil, turning gradually to make it swell and brown at the right point. The result is a hot gnocco fritto, soft and crunchy at the same time, perfect to be enjoyed alone or accompanied by a nice platter of cheese and salami. A curiosity? In Modena the tradition of eating it for breakfast with latte is still alive!
We have already talked a lot about the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena on our blog: it is a fine condiment that has its roots right in the heart of the city of Modena. Obtained from cooked grape must and aged in wooden barrels, it has a unique flavor with complex notes. The aging process gives the Balsamic Vinegar a dark color and often a thick consistency, perfectly balanced between the right acidity and the sweetness that such a versatile condiment should possess.
Gnocco fritto with mortadella, ricotta and Balsamic Vinegar
For a surprising taste experience, we suggest combining the hot gnocco fritto with the traditional ingredients of our area. Start by gently placing a thin slice of Mortadella Bologna PGI on top of the gnocco: the softness of the famous sausage goes perfectly with the crunchiness of the freshly fried gnocco.
To give a touch of freshness to the combination, add a generous spoonful of Ricotta di Bianca Modenese: its delicacy will blend beautifully with the more intense flavor of mortadella and the typical taste of gnocco, creating a pleasant contrast of textures and flavors.
Icing on the cake, to complete this extraordinary taste, drop a drizzle of our Gold Label high density Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP: it will be all you need. In fact, this vinegar brings a full and sweet taste with the hints of cooked fruit, ideal for enhancing the salty flavors of the rest of the ingredients.
A starter or a complete meal? To you the choice!
The crunchiness of the gnocco, the softness of the mortadella, the creaminess of the ricotta and the sweet and sour taste of our Balsamic Vinegar of Modena create a mix of flavors and textures capable to delight any palate. If you have the opportunity to try this Emilian delicacy, we have no doubts that you will make it one of your strong points for aperitifs with friends or entire family dinners! What are you waiting for? Fasten your aprons and prepare the gnocco fritto with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to bring a surprising and delicious combination to your kitchen!