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Mortadella Mousse

Mortadella Mousse

 It’s been made since ancient Roman times. The name mortadella is derived from mortariolum, which means mortar, the implement that was used to mince pork meat before electric grinders came along. The recipe that we know today as mortadella dates back to 1661, when one Cardinal Farnese published a public notice in Bologna codifying the making of this product for the first time. Down through the centuries, the mortadella from Bologna became famous and spread to many areas of what is now known as Northern and Central Italy. In 1998, it received the prestigious European recognition of the Protected Geographical Indication mark, (IGP) an acronym that guarantees a product originating from a region whose quality, recipe and characteristics can be traced back to its geographic origin.

Who knows what’s in the mortadella you buy at the big chain grocery stores? If you have an Italian deli near you, try searching out real mortadella from Italy. Its fragrance is nothing like what you’ll find at supermarkets.
There are several places in Rome that display huge mortadella — at least 12 inches in diameter and five feet long. This one’s at Panella.
If you have a hankering to make your own mortadella, take a look at this video. It doesn’t look complicated, but it does seem time-consuming. But the end results look better than anything I’ve ever bought.
The parmesan cheese in this mousse also adds to its appeal.
Moreover, it’s fast and easy to make and even people who claim not to like mortadella may become converts.
Mortadella Mousse
Mortadella Mousse
Time: 20 minutes
1/2 pound mortadella in one piece, rind removed
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce), more optional
Pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
Toast rounds for serving (or crackers)
Whole shelled, salted pistachios or capers for garnish.
1. Dice mortadella and place in a food processor; grind to a paste. Add the mascarpone, 1/3 cup grated cheese and the nutmeg. Process until blended. Spread on toast and top each with a pistachio or caper, or refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Alternatively, each canapé without the garnish can be dusted with about a half-teaspoon of grated cheese, arranged on a baking sheet and run under the broiler briefly, about a minute, to lightly brown the top.


This Post Has 11 Comments
  1. Wow, making your own mortadella at home would be quite the project!

    The mousse, on the other hand, sounds real quick and easy. And although I wonder if it's possible to improve on mortadella's already gorgeous taste, I'll definitely give it go! Love the idea of extra pistachios as a garnish…

  2. A variation of the recipe I generally use, actually I prefer your version. Love the pistachio garnish, great color and texture addition. Perfect for easy entertaining.

  3. My husband loves mortadella–I will make him watch the video, Linda, and perhaps he'll try making his own? It isn't that easy to find in Colorado. Ialso ] love the pistachio garnish–the best part of a good mortadella!

  4. orgoglio italiano da sempre la mortadella spero piaccia anche anche negli altri paesi ma è difficile trovarla !Deliziosa mousse da spalmare, si comincia e non si finisce più, troppo sfiziosa! buon we Linda

  5. I'm so glad that you posted this. I had it in a trattoria in Bologna and have been thinking about it ever since!

  6. I'm glad you reminded me how delicious this tasted! I posted a mortadella spread recipe about five years ago but the one I used came from Saveur magazine and was made with mayo instead of mascarpone. It was so delicious and I'm sure this recipe is equally tasty. The pistachios really make it special.

  7. I agree, Linda, there is nothing like Mortadella made in Italy! It will convert anyone when they taste the difference! I love the photo of the giant Mortadella! When I saw one in Rome, at first I thought that it wasn't real. Yet it was and we enjoyed several slices off of it. I can't get over this mousse recipe! This is going to be at my next get-togeter. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. I'm so excited about this post! My husband has been craving mortadella for weeks now but we never seem to remember when we're out… I think your posting it will be just enough to help me remeber the next time I'm out. Or, I could always try to make it for him! Great post! thank you!

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