04/25/2016

Marubini, so good that they’ll save you. Legend has it that….

The typical filled pasta of Cremona is a delicacy. We’ll tell you the history behind this dish and how to prepare it.

Marubini is a typical stuffed pasta form Cremona and its province:  they are served during the Christmas holidays or large banquets.  They are compact, roundish, but can also be square or with a half-moon shape.  They are cooked in broth made with three different types of meat:  beef, pork and hen.  

Recognized and certified as traditional food products (PAT) (Pat) by the Lombardy Region, they are also included in the special list drawn up by the Ministry of Farming, Food and Forestry Policies with the collaboration of the Regions, with all the other niche products “that have maintained a processing, preservation and seasoning method consolidated in time, uniform in all interested territories according to traditional rules, for a period of not less than twenty-five years”.  

Legend has it that in 1414 Cabrino Fondulo, from Cremona, invited the Pope and Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg to his city, with the intent to kill them by throwing them down from the Torrazzo, the second tallest historical bell tower in Italy, a symbol of this Lombardy city.  During the banquet, he had the two guests served the dish in the typical broth of the city; but the two men were so amazed by the dish that they thanked Cabrino so much that he, in all his goodness (along with the goodness of the marubini), decided not to continue with this homicidal intention.

Cabrino Fondulo, from Cremona, wanted to kill the Pope and Emperor.  The two were saved after having praised the delicious taste of the marubini in broth that had been served to them as what was supposed to be their last meal.  

In order to make this dish, you have to start by preparing the meat for the filling:  the beef must be marinated with the vegetables for a dozen of hours and then boiled.  The pork must be cooked in white wine, cooled and then ground.  The fresh pasta is made with durum wheat and common wheat, eggs and extravirgin olive oil.  The thin layer of pasta is then cut up into little squares or circles about the size of a chestnut and filled with the ground meat.  The broth must then be prepared with the three types of meat listed above, cooked separately, and only when they are completely cooked can they be mixed together. 

The people from Cremona like this dish so much that they have invested a saying about it: “En piàt de marubéen el fa resusitàa àan i mòort”, meaning "a dish of marubini can bring the dead back to life”.   Or prevent a homicide, which is even better.

Chiara Nicolini

East Lombardy is the European region
of gastronomy 2017

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