Altin Prenga was born in Fishtë, a small village in Lezhë county, Albania. He worked in several restaurants in Trentino, Lombardy and Piedmont and after 11 years abroad he returned to his country, where together with his brother Anton, they transformed the family home in Fishtë into the agritourism Mrizi i Zanave, “At the Shadow of the Fairies”.
Together they created a farm based on short supply chains, with a focus on the naturalness of the product and respect for seasonality and traditions, with an added innovation in the processing of raw materials.
Since 2015, Altin and Anton Prenga are among the first initiators of the Albanian Slow Food network and among the chefs part of the Slow Food Cook’s Alliance.
One of the main challenges that Altin and Anton pursue is to reconstruct a local history linked to the land, also thanks to the resilience of older farmers, who have preserved traditions. Together with the cooks of the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance, they are recovering a local culture and identity linked to food that was in danger of disappearing, and they are trying to hold together this tradition with the right innovation that allows them to improve the quality of their products and the quality of life of those who produce them.
Thanks to the project Promoting the consumption of organic, traditional, and GI food products of Albania financed by FAO and implemented by VIS Albania, it has been possible to publish the book “The Ark of taste in Albania”, on which the whole network, the UniSg and Slow Food HQ took part. In this framework, Altin and Anton had the idea of organizing a master class, where Granny Vida, in typical Zadrima traditional dress, explains how to cook a traditional laknur with beans. The chosen ingredients are typical from the area, authentic and from local producers. There’s the milk cream, the corn flour and the Kallmet beans.
In the past it was considered a poor recipe, while now is among our most served dishes at Mrizi I Zanave.
INGREDIENTS (6-8- persone)
250 grams flour for the sheets (type 0 or 1, better if stone-ground)
100 grams flour for the covering
250 ml water
100 ml oil
200 ml “maze” fermented milk cream
200 grams of beans
1- Select the beans: The Kallmet beans are the best beans for this type of pie, the “laknur” with beans. Another type of bean, called “the Blind bean”, was used to make this recipe. It had the same colour, but was slightly smaller. Still, the Kallmet beans are very good and make the “laknur” very tasty.
2- Grind the wheat.
3- Collect the milk cream.
4- Sift the flour.
5- Prepare the dough for the laknur.
6- Roll out the dough in sheets: While kneading the dough, it is important to prepare very thin sheets and then to bake them.
7- Bake the sheets in “saç”.
8- Boil the beans.
9- Simmer garlic and red pepper in olive oil.
10- Separate the beans from the broth.
11- Grease the baking pan with butter.
12- Put a layer of baked sheets in the baking pan.
13- Add a layer of beans.
14- Add a sheet soaked in the bean broth.
15- Add another layer of beans.
16- In the end, put the milk cream on top.
17- Bake the laknur.
18- Enjoy your meal!