As the crisp air of the holiday season embraces us, we embarked on a delightful culinary adventure, capturing the essence of Como's rich history and culinary traditions. Join us as we step into the time-honored Osteria del Gallo, the only historical restaurant in Como, to uncover the magic of "mamma style" cuisine and indulge in the creation of a festive treat that transcends time.
Nestled in the heart of Como, Osteria del Gallo is a culinary rarity for the region that beckons with the warmth of tradition. Known for its "mamma style" cuisine, this historical restaurant takes diners on a gastronomic journey, offering a taste of authentic Italian flavors passed down through generations. The menu changes daily even between lunch and dinner, according to the ingredients available, and it is never displayed in advance.
As we entered the charming setting of Osteria del Gallo, we were greeted by the passionate Giuseppe, the 80+ years old maestro behind the scenes. His dedication is unique preserving the tradition in every facets of his activity, like sourcing his wine only directly from small Italians producers or producing his amaros from old recipes up to the roman days.
In the spirit of the season, we decided to follow Agnese, the chef (@dibagnese), to craft a holiday cake that reflects the local culinary heritage. Agnese suggested a Torta di Pane, a traditional delight that has evolved from humble beginnings into a more sophisticated treat, all while retaining its rustic charm.
Originally born from the frugality of using leftover bread, the Torta di Pane now stands as a testament to Italian's culinary ingenuity. Agnese's version elevates this classic with seasonal ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and personal flair.
The Recipe - Torta di Pane Osteria del Gallo (10 people)
The night before, soak the stale bread in milk in a bowl along with amaretti cookies, raisins, and pine nuts.
Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F).
Squeeze out excess milk from the soaked bread and place it in a mixing bowl.
Add eggs, cocoa powder, and melted butter to the soaked bread. Mix everything thoroughly to form a batter.
Butter a cake pan and dust it with flour to prevent sticking.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
To check for doneness, perform the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; it should come out dry when the pudding is cooked at the right level.
What we love about the Torta di Pane is its semplicity and versatility. A slice of this delightful creation serves as an excellent breakfast companion, pairing perfectly with a cup of rich cappuccino. As a post-meal treat, it captivates the palate with its subtly sweet notes, leaving a lingering warmth that resonates with the festive spirit.
Whether you're in Como or in the comfort of your own home, the Torta di Pane serves as a delectable reminder of the timeless traditions that bind us together during the holiday season. Cheers to celebrating the festive spirit Como-style, where every bite tells a story, and every moment is a celebration of culinary passion.
PS: If you wonder how to pair it, our favorite sommellier Cristiana Barchiesi is recommending to try something sweet and bubbly like a Moscato based Regina di Felicità di Cascina Baricchi.