Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Blecs (also called biechi) is traditionally prepared in Friuli Venezia Giulia. This triangular-shaped pasta traditionally used to be made with a mixture of wheat cornmeal and buckwheat flour.
The dialect word blecs literally means ‘patch, piece of clothes for patching, odd cutting’. So they were probably a type of maltagliati of different sizes.
The proximity of Friuli to areas of Slavic language explains the terms, which derives from the Slovenian bleck ‘piece of cloth’.
Blecs pasta pairs nicely with various sauces and one of the most traditional serving suggestions is in a simple, yet rich sauce made with butter and Montasio cheese.
I am proposing here a lighter version with a gremolata made of hazelnuts, lemon, Parmigiano and parsley.
This shape of pasta is very rare and if you want to eat it you will have to go to Friuli Venezia Giulia. A few restaurant where you can try it are:
BLECS WITH BUTTER DRESSING AND HAZELNUT GREMOLATA: RECIPE
Makes 4 serves
150g 00 flour
50g fine yellow cornmeal flour
100g buckwheat flour
1 egg yolk
70g soft butter
Butter dressing and hazelnut gremolata
30 g hazelnuts
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Wooden board, pasta machine or rolling pin, fluted ravioli cutter.
Making the dough:
Mix the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs and butter. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid until the dough forms. Knead for about 10 minutes. Wrap it and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After the resting time roll out the dough not too thin, about 2 mm. Using a ravioli cutter cut the dough into 6 cm long strips. Cut the strips into triangles with the short side about 4 cm long. Lay each blec in a single layer on a baking tray lined with a tea towel. Repeat the process to shape the remaining dough. Cover with another tea towel and set aside until needed.
Making the gremolada:
In a non-stick frying pan, dry-fry the hazelnut over a medium heat. Once cool, rub them well in a tea towel to remove the skin. Set aside to cool, then finely chop. In a small bowl mix together the hazelnuts, parsley, lemon zest, Parmigiano. Season well with black pepper.
Boil pasta in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes. In the meantime melt the butter in a frying pan. When blecs are cooked mix them with the butter in the frying pan. Plate them and scatter the gremolata on top before serving.
For a GF version of belcs check this recipe
THE A-Z OF MAKING PASTA SHAPES
Follow along on Instagram @_pastajourney_ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pastajourney
Each week I will share how to make a particular pasta shape, starting with A for Agnolotti.
Want to find out more and the secret to a great Agnolotti del Plin?
You can find my recipe here.
Tune in to @_pastajourney_ social posts and stories to discover the best pasta recipes and how to perfect the shapes.
I'll also be sharing the interesting history of each pasta, the traditional ingredients and how to ensure that after they're cooked, your palette is dancing from a flavour burst, leaving you wanting more.
Each week you will learn:
How to pair pasta with the right sauce
How to shape and fold each type of pasta, and what flours to use
Where to purchase the right pasta making tools (hint: it's at Constante Imports in Preston, VIC)
The region of Italy each shape of pasta is from plus excellent restaurants recommendations from the area
Where to eat each pasta in Melbourne
The A-Z of Making Pasta Shapes series wants to celebrate all handmade pasta shapes according to the tradition, so if you want to know more about a pasta shape, just put the name in the comments.