Official Tourist Information Site of the Piacenza local editorial office

I PISSAREI E FASO (bread gnocchi with sausage and beans) DE.CO.

Municipal denomination De.Co

Pissarei e faso”, a poor dish par excellence, is a typical from Piacenza.

Its origin is uncertain, but very old: it seems to date back to the Middle Ages, when pilgrims, who traveled along the Via Francigena to go to Rome, found in the inns and convents of our territory a bean soup, made of dumplings of bread and flour in a sauce of beans, lard and pork rinds, perhaps waste from the cuisine of the rich. At that time the beans used were not the borlotti ones, arrived in Europe only after the discovery of America, but the so called “fagioli dell’occhio”(black eyed beans), the only ones known at that time.

In the course of time the recipe underwent some variations, in particular “cacio piacentino”(cheese) was added to the other ingredients.

About “pissarei e faso” is undoubtedly curious the anecdote told by Anna Gosetti in “le ricette regionali italiane” (Italian regional recipes). The author reports that once, when the future daughter-in-law was introduced to the family, the mother-in-law would check the right thumb of the girl to make sure there were calluses, unequivocal signs of her ability to cook “pissarei”.

In June 2010 the “Pissarei” was recognized as Denominazione Comunale d’Origine of Piacenza (Communal Denomination of Origin); the recipe that was deposited is by Carmen Artocchini.




  • fresh or dried borlotto bean (not canned)1 tablespoon of traditional
  • tomato sauce/concentrate
  • slopes’ of lard
  • from 300 to 500 gr. of breadcrumbs of common homemade type (not industrial)
  • 200 to 350 gr. of flour

It is allowed

  • the use of milk in the dough in place of, or in part with, water
    small variations in the ratio of flour to bread

It is forbidden:

  • the use of bacon or any other kind of salami; it is allowed the use of pork rind in small pieces (not in the soffritto)

Work the flour together with the water and the breadcrumbs (previously softened in boiling water or milk) until a soft and elastic dough is obtained: from this dough detach some pieces to be thinned with the palm of the hand until they get the shape of “bisciette” (small snakes) of 1 cm thickness. From these long and thin cylinders detach some pieces that, slightly crushed with the right thumb, will get the hollow shape of the “gnocchetti”. Now let the pissarei rest and prepare the seasoning.

Previously, soak and boil three or four hundred grams of borlotti beans and cook them for three quarters of an hour in unsalted water seasoned with a tablespoon of oil and a slice of fresh onion.
Fry the butter, oil, chopped onion and parsley (if desired, a clove of garlic) in a pan and pound the lard (or a whole piece to be removed at the end of cooking). Add beans and let them season on low heat after sprinkling with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce / tomato concentrate diluted, if necessary, with warm water and continue cooking over very low heat. When the sauce is ready, cook the pissarei in abundant boiling salted water.
When, after a few minutes, they come to the surface, drain them with a skimmer and pour them together with the sauce and beans into a bowl; mix with a few handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese and serve with the addition of freshly chopped parsley.

further information

Piazza Cavalli, 7 - Piacenza