Delicious Lake Como Recipes
On this page we’ll share with you our favorite Lake Como recipes.
Lake Como food and cuisine is roughly divided by the 3 geographic areas that make up the Como area – the lake, the mountains with their valleys and the hills of Brianza (the area between Milan and Como)
Those living by the lake, have many dishes using freshwater fish. Lavarello is one fine example of a delicious fish from the lake, usually served fried and with a squeeze of lemon. Misultitt (a type of Shad fish) is another example, but is usually dried using a traditional method and preserved with bay leaves in special tin containers.
The mountain communities’ cuisine is based around the tiny fish called alborelle, a bite-sized type of perch, usually served deep-fried as well as smoked trout. These can be added to a risotto or a pasta, or they can be combined in many other creative ways.
In many small, rural valleys and up in the mountains, you are bound to come accross polenta – which is perhaps the most famous dish of these areas. Polenta is basically a dish made with cornmeal often served with wild game. The original is called maize polenta, but it can also be cooked with a combination of buckwheat flour, butter and cheese (taragna polenta) or sautéed in butter with garlic and sage (polenta cunscia). We tried an amazing polenta at Val di Mello just north of Lake Como but be warned that the portions are huge!
South of Como, the food becomes more Milanese. Popular to this region are the polenta e osei (polenta served with poultry), cassoela (a stew with pork ribs and cabbage), cotechino sausage with beans and many different kinds of cooked meats, salamis and cheeses.
As far as traditional sweets and cakes are concerned, in Lake Como you can find cutizza (fritters made with flour, milk, sugar and lemon peel and often filled with apple) and the Resca de Comm, a sort of elongated panettone (type of bread made with raisins, citron, pine nuts and anise, which is baked in a cylindrical tube) containing a rather unusual olive twig that was originally eaten at Easter.
Popular Lake Como Recipes
We kindly thank Maria from tasty-italian-cooking.com for sharing the following two regional Lake Como recipes with us. Visit her site for more mouth-watering Italian dishes!
Nothing is a sweeter, more authentic Italian dessert than apple fritters, in Italian called "frittelle di mele". Extremely popular, especially in Northern Italy, this treat is easy to create and makes an appearance at festivals across the country. Make some for your sweetie and they will love you for it!
1 tbsp active dry yeast
¾ cups warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
2 cups vegetable or olive oil
3 large apples
1 tsp of grappa or rum (optional)
granulated or powdered sugar for dusting
Begin by preparing the batter. In a bowl, dissolve the dry yeast into the warm water. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and egg yolk. (Here is where you would add the alcohol if you plan on using it!) Mix together until it is smooth. Let this batter rest for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the apples by peeling, coring and slicing them into thin rings.
When it’s time, heat a pan with oil until a drop of batter sizzles on contact. Then take each ring and dip it quickly in the batter, coating each side. Drop them into the hot oil and let each side cook until golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon, and let them rest on a paper towel covered plate to drain them of any excess oil. While they are still warm, toss them in a bowl gently with whichever sugar you prefer. Serve the apple fritters immediately – as a special occasion dessert or just an everyday sweet treat your family is guaranteed to love!
Risotto with Perch Fillets
This risotto with perch fillets is a specialty of the Northern Lombardy
region of Italy. It uses the freshwater fish, perch, in the starring role.
If you like risotto, this dish is certain to be a treat!
In a heavy saucepan, heat up the butter until it melts. Toss in the chopped
onion and cook until it is tender. When the onion has become transparent,
add the rice to the pot and mix it well. Let it cook for a couple of
minutes. Then, before the rice gets limp, add the wine to the pot. Mix the
rice until the liquid has evaporated, and then add the broth, a small amount
at a time, stirring it constantly to allow even absorption of the liquid.
When the rice is just about tender, add the salt, pepper and parmiggiano and
allow to melt.
Meanwhile, to cook the fish – batter the fillets in the flour or bread
crumbs and then cook in a hot skillet of butter or oil turning over once
until each side is golden brown.
Spoon the rice onto each dish, and top with a few fish fillets. Buon
**Just a note, to add an additional Italian twist to this risotto, heat some
butter in a pan and add a handful of bay leaves. Let the butter melt and
become infused with the herbs. When the meal is ready to be served pour the
butter sauce over your fish and enjoy!
Pasta Fontina (Video recipe!)
One chef described in vivid detail how to make Pasta Fontina cheese sauce, tossed with crispy Proscuitto, tomatoes, onions and fresh basil – a Lake Como speciality in the following video. Click on the link below to access it!