Not that it’s raining NOW, but with the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing this month, today’s sunny skies and 85°F could just as well go back to last week’s wet and 60°. The first 10 days of May felt very much like early spring – a lot of showers to bring on the flowers. During that period we opened the last bag of heat ‘n serve cassoeula from La Cassoeula del Togn. It’s a new start-up business that takes an old family recipe and markets it with home delivery service. Brilliant!
We didn’t actually get delivery since we wanted to check out the restaurant and pick up our order at the same time. We left with 5 bags at 10€ each which is a great value considering how much work goes into making this traditional winter dish of pork ribs, skin and cabbage. Each vacuum-packed portion is a generous 500 grams and wrapped in a jute bag. Add to a pot along with a small amount of water, heat, and serve!
We’re a bit critical when it comes to the quality of any cassoeula other than my late mother-in-law’s, but I have to say that La Cassoeula del Togn’s is really, really good. I mean, just look at how gorgeous it is. Makes me wish that it would rain some more.
As I mentioned earlier, the temps were chilly in early May but the dogs had their own way of keeping toasty. Place a pillow on the dachshund and the westie will climb right on top like it’s her damn right.
Our favorite pick this year: cazoeùla at Le Querce.
…not who we were rooting for. Well, there’s always next year. La Cascina di Mattia took the trophy, bringing the 5th Festival della Cazoeùla to an end. Like last year, we had lunch at 3 (first time visits) of the 9 participating restaurants and our vote went to Le Querce. That’s a plate of their cazoeùla above. It was perfect: fork-tender pork rib, melt-in-your-mouth pork skin (cotenne), both green and white parts of the cabbage, excellent balance of flavors and not too salty. It was so good that it even warranted another photo after attacking the rib.
Coming in 2nd: Osteria del Km Zero. The odd thing about this place is that our plates came out less than 10 minutes after we ordered. Assembly line in the kitchen? The cazoeùla was good, but the experience was far from memorable.
Wiki wiki cazoeùla for quick eaters
And bringing up the rear: La Nuvoa Rustica. Pork rib so tough that I had to chew forever but it wasn’t enough, which made it impossible to get a balanced mouthful of cabbage and pork going down the hatch at the same time. I felt like one of those jaw-grinding dieters who chew in order to trick their minds (and stomachs) into thinking that it has had enough.
I am not full, I am not full, I have been tricked!
More cold days on the horizon? Bring it on! The 5th Cazoeùla Festival in Cantù is back in a contest of the best cazoeùla in the city. For those who may have never heard of this northern italian dish, one way to describe it is basically this: a casserole of pork ribs and sausages, pork skin, cabbage and seasonings. Variations go according to the town or area, for instance, cazoeùla in Cantù does not include the verzini or pork sausages.
At Osteria del KM Zero – excellent flavor, texture (tender pork ribs, cabbage not overcooked), and quick service.
The price of the basic menu remains at 13€ per person and includes cazoeùla, polenta, and cover charge. Beverages not included.