- 250 gr of filoni (calf giblets)
- 250 gr of lacetto (pork giblets)
- 250 gr of sausage paste
- 50 gr of pork gland
- 600 gr of hand made lasagne
- 3/4 liter pork blood
- a glass of milk
- grated parmesan cheese
What to prepare
- a large casserole
- a pot
- a large and tall casserole
- a big spoon
In a big pot brown the onion, rosemary and some parsley, all finely minced. Add: 250 grams of filoni (calf giblets), 250 grams of lacetto (pork giblets) (boiler beforehand), 250 grams of sausage paste, 50 grams of pork gland and let them become golden brown. In another pot on the side, cook 600 grams of hand made lasagne (wide, flat and long pasta). Drain the pasta and put it in a pan with 3/4 liter of pork blood and a glass of milk. Cook at low heat mixing continuously, add the seasoning, letting it become creamy (it becomes brownish). Serve very hot immediately, after having added a good amount of grated parmesan cheese.
Many dishes of the “poor” cuisine of Alba and the Alba region go back to the seventeenth century, century were art and tradition had the apex of its success, but it is also remembered as a century of great poverty often aggravated by disease diffusion that made lives even harder for the lower classes, work in gardens and fields wasn’t as regular as once, and people were therefore in a need of alternative food, nourishing dishes, but using only ingredients otherwise refused or unknown. This is the origin of a gastronomy that, at least partially, doesn’t fade with time and repeats itself with maybe only a few changes or improvements. The lasagne with pork blood and Orion surely has a seventeenth-century origin. Lasagne with pork blood is a typical dish of the Alba region, because its memory and tradition can be found only in Alba, while the blood cake is a custom still widely diffused on the Langa region’s hills, a dish that again has pork blood as its main ingredient, but surely differs in consistency and taste from the Alba region’s dish, that in time has been enriched with the introduction of filoni (calf giblets), lacetto (pork giblets), sausage paste and pork glands.
It is easy to think that, in times of distinct aristocracy when a pork was killed in the houses of rich families, it was tradition to let the servants use all the discarded parts, together with a small quantity of giblets and blood. So, necessarily these poor ingredients, combined in various ways such as described above, turned into dishes and tastes having an enjoyable variety. For this very reason, lasagne with pork blood represents a harmonic dish, rich, tender in its balanced blend of home made lasagne, blood and other ingredients that is moreover so tasty.
The origin of Orion is identical in time, a product that developed during the years by combining pork cheek and ears together with other simple ingredients (garlic, anchovies, parsley, rosemary, onion, vinegar, sweet peppers), resulting to be a spicy, tasty, bursting dish, made for strong stomachs so unique in its fragrance. Today we serve this dish warm, because it’s the only way to appreciate its strong fragrance, while in the past, especially in economically restricted periods, this dish could be prepared only when there was a pork’s head available and had to last as long as possible and was therefore stored in a grilèt (salad bowl), between layers of sweet peppers. When the dish cooled off and finally hardened, it could be easily sliced, even after a few days, still appearing pleasant at sight due to the variety of the sweet peppers’ colours. I often relive similar experiences sitting together with the old country families of our hillsides, bringing the past back to memory.