Legendary Dishes | Frico con Patate e Cipolla (fried cheese with potatoes and onions)


Cheese originated in the Carnic Alps with the Benedictine monks, specifically in Moggio Udinese on the northern slope of the Jof di Montasio peak around 1200. Production techniques spread through the valleys of Carnia down to the Friuli-Veneto plain.

Cheese with pork fat is among the oldest of the traditional recipes of this region with numerous variations.

  • 300 g Montasio stagionato cheese, grated
  • 300 g waxy potatoes, boiled, peeled, thickly sliced and cubed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 120 g pancetta / bacon, cubed
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch
  • Water

In a saucepan sauté the onion and bacon until browned. Add potatoes, a pinch of salt, a good amount of pepper and two tablespoons water. Cover.

Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent potatoes sticking to the pan. Remove from heat when all the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in grated cheese.

Brown the frico evenly on both sides. Serve hot.

This version is from Alessandro Molinari Pradelli’s Cooking of Friuli-Venzia Giula, published by Newton Compton of Rome.

  • 175 g Malga cheese, mature
  • 175 g Montasio cheese, young
  • 50 g pork belly, cubed

In a very hot pan taken off the direct heat, fry the pork cubes, moving them around. When they turn brown, add the grated cheese, pressing it into the pork pieces with a spatula. Return to heat, set very low, stir several times. Cook until the frico is golden and crisp, brittle to the touch. Serve with polenta.

Indigenous Ingredients

Malga Cheese
Montasio Cheese