Roland and I just spent a relaxing week in Ticino, the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Not only is this area known for its almost Mediterranean climate and the great mountains – perfect for hiking or climbing – it is also famous for a few culinary specialties: gnocchi, polenta and risotto.
We tried all of them at various grottos – local, traditional, family-owned restaurants that are more or less charming and serve a few simple dishes. Unless you’re equipped with good recommendations, it’s basically hit or miss. We had a few recommendations, but all were just mediocre. But by coincidence we found a grotto that we unanimously voted “best of Ticino”: Lafranchi at the small village of Coglio. Their gnocchi were out of this word – the most velvety gnocchi I’ve ever had, and their polenta with local cheese (Vallemaggia) full of flavor.
I got inspired to make these three Ticino specialties at home more often. So stay tuned for gnocchi, polenta and risotto recipes!