Piglet Head Soup, Cotechino Sausage-stuffed Morels, and Gnocco Ingrassato Dumplings

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2011
Yield: 6 Servings


Piglet Head Soup
1 Mora Romagnola pig’s head, well shaved
4 Mora Romagnola pig’s feet
1 Mora Romagnola rump
10 liters cold water
500 grams dried morels
50 grams cilantro
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, chopped
black pepper
2 fresh chilies
1 clove garlic
1 slice pancetta
Juice of 2 lemons
15 grams potato starch, dissolved in cold water
Cotechino Sausage-stuffed Morels
1 artisanal Cotechino sausage, diced
Lambrusco wine
Gnocco Ingrassato Dumplings
100 grams grated Parmigiano di Collina cheese, aged 30 months
110 grams dried and grated gnocco ingrassato *
10 grams Jerusalem artichoke powder
10 grams powdered celery
10 grams dehydrated white truffle, shaved
1 egg
To Assemble and Serve
extra virgin olive oil
Chopped cilantro


For the Piglet Head Soup:
Blanch the pig’s head, feet, and rump in boiling water. Transfer them to a pot with the cold water and allow them to simmer very slowly for 6 hours. Strain the liquid, reserving the meat, skin, and cartilage for later use, and return the liquid to the heat to reduce by half. Break up the surface, skim the fat, and remove all solids. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the dried morels. Turn off the heat. Let the morels infuse in the broth for 2 to 3 hours. Strain the mixture, reserving the morels for later use. Add the cilantro, bay leaves, celery, carrot, onion, fennel, pepper, chilies, garlic, pancetta, lemon juice, and potato starch mixture. Bring to a boil, cook until the vegetables are tender, and strain once more.

For the Cotechino Sausage-stuffed Morels:
Steam the sausage in the Lambrusco wine to add a distinctive perfumed aroma, as well as a nice acidity to the meat. Dice the sausage. Stuff the reserved morels, now well hydrated, with the sausage cubes.

For the Gnocco Ingrassato Dumplings:
Knead together Parmesan cheese, grated gnocco ingrassato, Jerusalem artichoke powder, powdered celery, truffle shavings, and the egg until they form a smooth and compact dough. Shape into small pieces into a form similar to a strawberry (typical Sardinian style) and cook them in boiling water for 10 seconds.

To Assemble and Serve:
Collect all the meat, skin, and cartilage from the pig’s head and cut them into small pieces. Roast the meat, skin, and cartilage, along with the Cotechino Sausage-stuffed Morels, in a pan with a small amount of olive oil to heat through and brown. Drain and dry well. Put the roasted meat, stuffed morels, Gnocco Ingrassato Dumplings, and chopped cilantro into a bowl and cover with hot Piglet Head Soup.

*Gnocco ingrassato, or “fattened dumpling,” is made of leftover of ham and bacon that’s been incorporated into lightly sweetened yeast dough, shaped into a loaf, and baked.