As I mentioned in my last post, the best part of spending a snowy day in the mountains, is eating in a Baita! In Bellino, Val Varaita, they are famous for their RAVIOLES. Despite their similar name, they have nothing to do with RAVIOLIS. This occitana local dish is a symbol of the tasty cuisine of the valley but you can only eat these once or twice a year…and here’s why…Ravioles are just like gnocchi which we are all familiar with by now. The only difference is that the potatoes should be mixed together with local TUMA and smashed together. After they are cooled you mix flour and eggs in the dough and proceed as you do with regular gnocchi. When you have boiled these typically longer shaped pointed gnocchi you add them in a pan and serve with melted browned butter. It is normal to see a huge puddle of it in the bottom of your plate! Sometimes the butter is also mixed with heavy cream…talk about a caloric BOMB!

The other vegetarian dish offered was POLENTA CONCIA. I asked the waitress what it was and she said polenta with cheese. However she did not mention that it was a polenta mixed with various cheeses and bathed in melted butter! So who says Italians don’t eat butter! Forget your diet for a day!

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