For us in Venetian Northern Italy, the word “blecs” speaks of buttery goodness, a warm belly and pasta served the moment it is taken from the pot. In other words, blecs is one of those heavenly, special, and comforting dishes that speaks of home to me. In America, the word “blech” (pronounced the same) is an onomatopoeic one of something quite different, so don’t turn away. In fact, it means a patch, as if you were to patch your jeans. The name comes from the color of the pasta and the triangular shape. Trust me, blecs are a delicious thing.

The pasta is prepared using buckwheat flour, not semolina. It is prepared on a wood board, no bowl needed. Eggs and buckwheat flour is all you need for the pasta. Once the pasta has rested, been rolled out and cut into the signature triangles they are ready for the pot, but you’d better have the sauce ready because the blecs don’t stay in your boiling salted water for more than an instant.

The sauce is simple, yet complex and possibly, even a little weird. Butter is slowly cooked till it separates, almost like making a ghee, which in dialect, we call “ont.” To that buttery goodness is added a bit of polenta, which makes the butter thickened and grainy. The taste is unlike anything else. Imagine browned butter and the sweetness of corn with a texture somewhere between both creamy and chewy. The blecs go for an instant into the pot of boiling water then just as quickly swirled into the butter sauce, piled onto the plate, and quickly topped with Montasio cheese.

Blecs require fast handling and ready ingredients as they absolutely must be eaten as soon as they are prepared. In Italy, the waiters are trained ready to grab the plate and rush it to the table before it cools, and I mean they seriously run. The customers expect the butter and cheese to still be bubbling when it gets to them, as that is when the blecs are at their optimum in taste. The best little restaurants and cooks know this and plan for it.

Eat fast. Don’t be afraid to gobble and if your pants split from eating too many, well, you can always patch them.

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