Swiss Cuisines with an Italian Influence

Swiss Pizzoccheri ©Rooey202/flickr

Pizzoccheri ©Rooey202/flickr

Italian influenced Swiss dishes can be easily found in most of the Italian speaking regions. Almost on every menu, it is dominated today with the usual pizza and pasta dishes. An exception that is added is the Polenta grass which is corn meal and cream fritto misto. That means it ihas a mixed grill of at least three kinds of meat. These Swiss cuisines are usually accompanied by wine, fruit spirits or the local Swiss beer.


Italian influenced dishes like Pizzoccheri are short tagliatelle (the flat ribbon pasta) made of buckwheat flour. Savoy cabbage, potato, leeks, fresh sage leaves. Italian dishes are sure to have cheese added, and in Pizzoccheri, two types of cheese such as grated bitto cheese or parmesan cheese as well as fontina cheese are added. Bitto cheese requires lots of patience to get that explosion in the flavor.  It is produced in Valtellina on the northern slopes of the Orobic Pre-Alps. Its production technique was handed down over the centuries from generation to generations. Whereas, Fontina are semi-soft Italian cow’s-milk cheese with a deep golden-yellow color. It has a reddish-brown rind, firm and springy texture. Finally topped with freshly ground black pepper just makes this dish smells so wonderful.

Polenta and Stewed Rabbit

This Northern Italy dish, rabbit is stewed with herbs and tomatoes until the meat is very tender. The flavor comes from the liver that goes with it. Farm rabbits from the Gruyere are juicy and delicious. The braisé consists of celery stick, onions, air-dried bacon, juniper berries, bay leaves, a large stick of cinnamon and of course, garlic. The herbs used are thyme, oregano, rosemary and marjoram. This dish is so good because it is stewed using half a bottle of Ticino red wine.

The smooth textured Polenta comes from lots of patience in the cooking. This dish sometimes comes with three types of finishing for the sauce: natural, sophisticated or rustic. The signature of this dish is the rabbit’s meat falling off the bones. It simply means this is the right, rich and Alpine comfort food for you!

Saffron Risotto from Ticino

Swiss Saffron Risotto ©davecurry8/flickr

Saffron Risotto ©davecurry8/flickr

Saffron Risotto is a light dish made with Arborio rice from Italy. It is a starchy rounded and medium-grain rice. With its firm and creamy taste, when made with onions, white wine, vegetable stock, saffron soaked in warm milk and olive oil, it just turned out so delicious. And of course, the grated cheese!

Leave a Reply