As promised from my last post about the San Martino day here in Italy, I am posting a very special antique recipe from a winemaking family in La Morra. I realize that most of you are not going to actually stomp or crush your own Nebbiolo grapes or toast your own hazelnuts, so I left the ingredients in Italian for fun. If any of you DO try to make or modify this Piemontese delicacy which is great for pairing with your cheese, let us know!

  • 5000 g di uva
    o nebbiolo
                      (11 lbs of dolcetto or nebbiolo
  • 2000 g di pere
    martin sec e/o madernassa
         (4.5 lbs of martin sec a/o
    madernassa pears)
  • 500 g di mele
                                          (1 lb pippin apples)
  • 500 g di mele
    (1 lb quince)
  • 500 g di fichi
                                           (1 lb fresh figs cut in halves)
  • 400 g di nocciole
    tostate rotte
    (1 ½ cups of chopped toasted hazelnuts)
  • 100 g di noci
    sgusciate rotte
                               (½ cup of chopped walnuts)
  • 1 pugnetto di scorze
                                (punch of lemon zest)
  • 10 chiodi
    di garofano
                                         (10 cloves)
  • Cannella
    Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 200
    cl di acqua
                                                   (8 ½ cups of water)
  • Sale                                                                 (salt)

Crush/stomp the grapes and strain them. The must (grape juice) must be
completely filtered so that there are absolutely no skins or stems
Pour the juice in a big pot and boil. Keep it simmering over a
medium flame until it subsides to about half the volume, skimming off
the top with a perforated spoon from time to time.
At this point, mix it with the fresh fruit cut into pieces (any
kind of pears or apples and sliced fig halves) with some lemon zest.
Keep it cooking for at least due hours. Towards the end, add
toasted hazelnuts which have been ground into small pieces with a
mortar and pestle along with the chopped walnuts, clove and cinnamon.
Pour the cognà into mason jars while it is till hot and seal
Serve with fresh Piemontese cheeses!