Regional Italian Spotlight: Veneto
In this series, we look more closely at lesser-known region of Italy in every issue. As consumers continue to clamor for authentic, regional foods from Italy, it pays to be in the know! This month, we travel to Northern Italy and to Veneto.
Veneto is located in Northern Italy, from the Dolomite Alps to Lake Garda. The geography varies widely, from ski resorts to villas in rolling hill country to the canals of Venice.
The cuisine varies accordingly, and often features the region’s abundant fish (especially salt cod), rice in the region’s famous risottos, and polenta. In the US, we know treviso as a kind of chicory (a cousin of radicchio and Belgian endive) – Treviso in Veneto is actually a place, and the home of many varieties of the chicory family. Other local and seasonal vegetables include asparagus, peas and celery root.
You see these ingredients and flavors on display in restaurants invoking the cuisine of Veneto here in the US, like the eponymous restaurant in Salt Lake City or Veneto Trattoria in Scottsdale, AZ. Veneto in Salt Lake City features the radicchio and the region’s famous beef “tagliata,” or sliced steak, on their Tagliata di Manzo. And any restaurant purporting to offer the cuisine of Veneto simply must have polenta and risotto! Al Di La in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood pairs their creamy polenta with braised rabbit and olives; and also tagliatelle pasta, served the traditional Veneto way with a slow-braised beef ragout.
Here chef Lorenzo Boni highlights the seasonal vegetables of Veneto with the white asparagus, peas and celery root in this pasta dish. The finishing touch is D.O.P. asiago from Veneto – a rare and superior aged cow’s milk cheese.