In former times there were two kinds of cuisine in the area: THE POOR CUISINE and the RICH CUISINE. The poor one was for everyday life and consisted of simple foodstuffs like POLENTA and MILK and CHESTNUTS. Meat wasn’t usually eaten because the poor couldn’t afford it. Only noble people could afford rich cuisine. It was composed of many more culinary specialities than the poor cuisine. In the local castles lunches included 35-40 portions, all very sophisticated and usually  based on meat.

Today, these differences don’t exist any longer and our traditional courses have mixed up with dishes coming from other Italian regions. Yet we still preserve some local dishes with slow variations from the original ones.

Here are some recipes easy to make:

PANISCIA: it’s the most typical risotto of Novara. It’s a dish with salami, bacon and vegetables.

CASSOLA: with goose meat or pork ribs and Savoy cabbage. You don’t eat anything else with it.

RANE RIPIENE: it’s a typical dish in Novara. There are a lot of paddy fields where the country folk hunt the frogs. They fill them with kneading of salami, cheese crumbs, pepper and eggs.


Now we explain some typical recipes. At first we cook:


Serves 4 people:
400 gr. rice
100 gr. cream
200 gr. gorgonzola
1 lit. meat stock
1 chopped small onion
50 gr. butter
1\2 glass white wine

Melt the butter; add the onion and brown. Add the rice; pour in the white wine. Add the broth to about twice the volume of the rice and cook for 15 minutes.

On one side melt the “gorgonzola” and cream.

When the risotto is cooked, add the “gorgonzola” cream and the finely chopped basil. Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve on hot plates.


Ingredients for 4 people:
4 fillets about 100 gr.each
1 shallot
200 gr. “gorgonzola”
4 slices of toasted bread
salt and pepper,
1 clove of garlic

Fry the chopped shallot with the garlic. Brown the fillets.

Cover the toast with “gorgonzola” and melt. Put the fillets on the “gorgonzola” covered toast. Serve with potatoes and garnish.


The origin of Biscotti di Novara (Novara biscuits) dates back to a far past and many different legends tell how a nun chanced to create the recipe. What we know for sure is that the result was an exceptionally light and digestible biscuit, soft and friable. The golden colour is an invitation to taste it and once you try it you will certainly be unable to do without.