Cognà (or cugnà, grape sauce)

January 25, 2011

This grape sauce, naturally cold, accompanies bollito, polenta, a nice cheese board full of cheeses or can be spread on a slice of bread for an energetic snack. At the farmhouse, a little must is drawn off during the crushing process and the cognà is prepared.

Some people, before introducing the fruit and other ingredients, take a bottle of cooked must: this “cooked wine,” mixed with water, will be a refreshing summer drink.


Dolcetto grapes
5 kg
Martin Sec or Madernassa pears
2 kg
Renette apples
half kg
Cotogne apples
half kg
fresh figs
half kg
roasted and broken hazelnuts
400 gr
shelled and broken walnuts
100 gr
dried, untreated orange peels
1 handful
untreated lemon peel
1 handful
internal melon rinds
1 handful
crumbled cinnamon


Tread the grapes and sieve it: the must has to be clear. Put it in a big pot and let it boil; let it boil on a slow fire until it becomes half as much as the beginning. Clean it from time to time from the froth.

Now add the fruits, all chopped into pieces (all the different pears and apples, and the figs) and all the peels. Let all cook for at least two hours, then add the hazelnuts, the nuts, cloves and cinnamon.

Put the cognà in well-closed leakproof glass jars and put them away.

This grape sauce is eaten cold with boiled meat, polenta, cheeses, or simply on a slice of bread as a snack. Some people, before adding the fruits and all the rest, take a little must away: this “cooked wine”, after having added a little water, can be an excellent refreshing drink in the summer.