This is region, where you can really enjoy the excellent cooking: even the names of famous dishes are coming from here, specially from Milan area: the saffron-tinted risotto alla Milanese, which is served with ossobucco, braised veal shank and cotoletta alla Milanese Other famous meat dishes from area are casoeűla, pork stew and mondeghili, meat croquettes. Milan is known for fine-grained pork salame Milano, that was traditionally made in the city, as well as in the nearby Brianza hills, where it rates a DOP. Panettone, a fluffy fruit cake, is a national Christmas institution all over Italy.

To the south lies Pavia and the rice paddies near where the intricate risotto alla certosina was created at a Carthusian monastery. Pavia is known for ris˛tt rustý, rice with pork and beans, dishes with frogs, crayfish and snails, and the original colomba pasquale, the Easter cake in the form of a dove. Fine salume is made in the hills of Oltrep˛ Pavese, notably the Salame di Varzi, which rates a DOP. The town of Mortara is noted for goose salame and fegato grasso, foie gras.

Cremona, on the Po, is renowned for mostarda, mustard-flavored candied fruits, served with platters of bollito misto, boiled meats, but also delicious with cheeses. Although the city may have been the birthplace of ravioli, its most noted pasta today is marubini, disks filled with meat and cheese and eaten in broth. A local sweet is torrone, nougat based on almonds.

Como's Alpine lake supplies prized persico, perch, tiny fish called alborelle, which are fried and eaten whole, and agoni, dried and preserved with bay leaf as missultitt, eaten like sardines. Other delicacies are fitascetta, pastry with red onions, polenta vűncia with garlic, butter and Grana Padano and miascia, bread pudding with apples, pears, raisins and rosemary.

The Valtellina, near the Alpine border of Switzerland, is the home of bresaola, air dried beef and violino, smoked goat prosciutto. Buckwheat, grano saraceno is used for a cheese and grappa fritter called sciatt, noodles called pizzoccheri, for polenta in fiur, cooked with milk and polenta taragna with butter and the rare scimudin cheese. The valley's legendary cheese is the rustic Bitto DOP, though Valtellina Casera is also protected.

In the Taleggio valley near Bergamo the finest cheese of the name is ripened in caves. Robiola cheese, lightly brushed with olive oil, or Salva and Silter, delicious eaten with honey or sweet mustards. Other cheeses are Provolone Valpadana dop, Quartirolo dop and Gorgonzola dop.

Formai de Mut dell'Alta Val Brembana comes from the Alpine valley north of Bergamo. Brescia's menus offer riso alla pitocca, rice boiled with chicken and pike, tench and eel from the lakes of Garda and Iseo. Bagoss is an artisanal grana cheese from the village of Bagolino.

Mantua in the eastern flatlands is noted for pasta called agnolini, cooked with a rich beef-pork filling and tortelli envelopes with squash. Vialone Nano rice is grown locally for risotto alla pilota, with sausages. Polenta is topped with ground salt pork as gras pistÓ. Mantua's many desserts include crescent pastries called offelle and cakes called bussolano with potatoes and lemon and the crumbly torta sbrisolona. Pears from Mantova are protected by an IGP. Part of the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP zone is in the province of Mantova.

Franciacorta is one of the few areas north of the Apennines that enjoys an adequately mild climate propitious for the cultivation of the olive tree to produce the Laghi Lombardi extra virgin olive oil - Sebino. Polenta made with stone ground maize is a staple of the local diet and is traditionally eaten with meat, fish or cheese. Butter and cheese can be melted into it or it can be mixed with a rag¨ sauce or cut into fine slices and fried or grilled.

Wild mushrooms, including porcini and chanterelles that proliferate on the spurs of the Alps, are delicious in frittate, risotti, and pasta dishes and stews. Lombardy

  • Tortelli di zucca - ravioli with a pumpkin filling
  • Risotto alla milanese - A stirred rice dish made with Vialone or Carnaroli rice flavored with saffron
  • Panettone - a Milanese Christmas traditional bread made with a yeast dough along with candied citrus peel, raisins and candied fruits
  • Torrone - nougat bar made with egg whites, toasted almonds and honey and flavored with essences, spices or liqueurs.
  • Mostarda di Cremona - boiled fruits seasoned with mustard
  • Pizzoccheri - buckwheat tagliatelle.

  • 350 g peeled pumpkin
  • 30 g chopped onions
  • 30 g butter
  • 4 dl vegetal stock
  • 4 dl cream
  • 8 amaretti
  • Sugar, salt

Cut the pumpkin in small cubes. Brown the onion in butter and add the pumpkin. Let dry and add the stock. Let boil until the pumpkin is soft. Mix with mixer in soft soup. Add cream and spices. Heat to boil. Serve in deep plates. Just before serving crush the amaretti top of the soup.

  • 400 gr arborio rice
  • 1 liter of stock
  • 2 sachets of saffron
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 75gr butter
  • half an onion
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Brown the chopped onion in 50 gr of butter. Spice the result with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the white wine and allow the liquid to reduce, then add the rice and a sachet of saffron. Let the mixture cook a bit then add the stock ladle by ladle, each time allowing the rice to cook that little bit more as the liquid reduces. Once the rice is cooked three quarters of the way, add the milk and continue to cook until done. Also at this point add the rest of the butter and as much grated cheese as you like.

  • 300 g grano saraceno flour
  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Oil, salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • water
  • salt
  • sage
  • 200g parmigiano reggiano or grated pecorino
  • extra virgin olive oil.

Prepare the tagliatelle with the pasta ingredients. Clean the garlic cloves by removing the outer layer and flatten then into a pan lined with olive oil. Add the various sage leaves into the oil as it starts to heat up. Cook the garlic until it becomes a light brown. When the pizzoccheri has been boiled adequately in salty water, drain then add it to the olive oil and sprinkle on the cheese. Transfer the lot into an oven pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and serve with meat dish.

  • 250 g white flour
  • 250 g corn flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 250g chopped almonds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 sachet of vanilla.

Mix together the two types of flour, then add the almonds, sugar and vanilla powder. Add the butter in such a way as to arrive at a very granular mixture. This requires time and patience. Grease a cake tray and add the mixture and level off. Cook in a hot oven (180░ C) for around 45 mins. Serve with good grappa.