Here is a lovely dish with ancient roots that brings with it all the flavour of traditional family dinners after a long day of work in the fields, where the country life forges the body and soul of men and women. We are in the Valtellina area of Lombardy in Italy, and the canton of Grisons: the homeland of pizzoccheri, and where since the Middle Ages buckwheat has been grown. And it is with this rustic and tasty grain that the pizzoccheri pasta is made, still revered today for its distinctive taste. A few potatoes, a little swiss chard and cheese and, with a few very simple ingredients, you have a dish that from originally being part of the common people’s cuisine became a dish of the nobility over the centuries, and is now a part of our home life too, especially during the cold evenings of winter.
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Prepare the dough for the pizzoccheri pasta, mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water. Knead well until you get a smooth, consistent ball. With a pasta maker, pull through as much dough as you need and roll it out on a clean, floured work surface. Cut the "tagliatelle" with a pastry cutter, trying to be as regular as possible. Boil a pot of water. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and the swiss chard into small pieces and boil them for a few minutes in salted water. Then add the pizzoccheri pasta to cook in the water along with the chard and potatoes. Melt the butter in a small pan with two cloves of garlic (which you will subsequently remove) to flavour. Grate the cheese and set aside. Once the pasta is cooked, drain everything and transfer to a baking dish, alternating layers of pizzoccheri with layers of cheese, until all the ingredients are used. Finally, add the melted butter and serve.