For our first newsletter dedicated to pasta in 2019, we asked 10 journalists, as well as Riccardo Felicetti, what was the best dry pasta dish they have eaten recently - that is to say last year - and we asked the respective authors to give us the recipe. Plenty of mouth-watering memories. Enjoy.

Paolo Marchi


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Monograno Felicetti 

Newsletter 72 del 26 january 2019

Dear {{NOME}},

For our first newsletter dedicated to pasta in 2019, we asked 10 journalists, as well as Riccardo Felicetti, what was the best dry pasta dish they have eaten recently - that is to say last year - and we asked the respective authors to give us the recipe. Plenty of mouth-watering memories. Enjoy.

Paolo Marchi


Bolasco: hurray for Roscioli and Stefano’s Gricia


Marco BolascoGiunti editore, chose Gricia di Stefano from Nabil Hadj Hassen, cook at Roscioli, in Rome. "It’s the comfort food par excellence", he says, "a perfect dish in terms of raw materials and cooking: gricia is always on the edge of the perfect balance, and Nabil makes no mistakes. An unappreciated Roman dish which in this case gives a nice example of seeming technical simplicity. Finally, it’s di Stefano, because it was beloved by Stefano Bonilli, who passed away five years ago, this year, and is impossible to forget".

La Gricia di Stefano*
Nabil Hadj HassenRoscioli, Rome

Recipe for 4 people

320 g mezze maniche
280 g guanciale bacon with its fat 
250 g pecorino romano
50 g parmigiano vacche rosse 24 mesi
180 ml natural mineral water
30 g freshly ground black pepper 
cooking salt 

After removing the pepper on the outside with a knife, as well as the rind and the fat that is not as white as milk, cut the guanciale in 1-cm thick slices and then in 1 cm dices. Put the dices in a pan and brown them properly. Without turning the guanciale, let the fat melt and let one side toast nicely until it becomes golden. Now turn it with a ladle and cook it in its fat for at least 20 minutes. Grate the two types of cheese with a classic cheese grater, then mix. In a large bowl, pour the two cheeses and add the warm water. Mix with a hand blender, so as to obtain a homogenous, silky and rather firm cream.

While the mezze maniche are cooking in salted water, pour a generous spoon of cheese per person in a small pan (adding no water or oil). As soon as the pasta is al dente, toss it directly into the pan with lots of cooking water. Add a tablespoon of toasted guanciale per person, a tablespoon of fat and two handfuls of grated cheese for 4 people and emulsify continuing to cook it in the pan for a few minutes. Put the pan on the heat and mix again until the cream of cheese, pepper, cooking water, guanciale and gluten from the pasta are sticky. Serve in a bowl adding a tablespoon of sauce and sprinkle some cheese and pepper on top. 

* recipe taken from "Roscioli. Il pane, la cucina e Roma" by Elisia Menduni
(photo Maurizio Camagna)

Cannarella: Tokuyoshi’s nippo-tajarin


“The act of defining something is always like trapping it, limiting its potential”, says Giorgia Cannarella of Munchies, “which is particularly fitting in the case of Yoji Tokuyoshi’s cuisine: the meeting of his Japanese origins and over 20 years spent in Italy has unexpected and unpredictable results. Take the tagliolini, cooked with philological rigour, to which the seaweed butter adds an acid thrill and a velvety, almost sensual greasiness. They grate the katsuobushi at the table, with slow and silent movements in the spirit of Japanese rituals. The flakes move while the fork dives into the nest of tagliolini. Your dish of pasta is alive”.

Tajarin and katsuobushi 
by Yoji Tokuyoshi, restaurant Tokuyoshi, Milan

Recipe for 4 people

for the pasta 
350 g re-milled semolina 
150 g pasta d’oro flour
25 egg yolks
for the sauce 
200 g mountain butter 
5 g kombu seaweed
4 sage leaves 
10 g Parmigiano
1 bergamot

Mix the two types of flour and knead them with the egg yolks until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 40 minutes. Now roll out the pasta with a pasta machine so as to obtain layers of pasta that are some 40 cm long and 1.5 mm thick. Cut the tajarin by hand following the classic recipe, or, if you prefer them to be more homogeneous, use the pasta cutter in the pasta machine. Create some nests with around 100 g of pasta and leave them to dry a little. While the pasta rests, bring the water to the boil and prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, melt the butter until it starts to “foam”, add the kombu seaweed and the sage. Add the unsalted cooking water from the pasta before the butter starts to darken. Cook the pasta in not too salty water, for around 30 seconds, and then toss it into the sauce and cook for a minute. Mix with the Parmigiano and, if necessary, add a drop of water so the sauce is creamy. Serve as a nest, with lots of sauce, aromatise with some fresh bergamot zest and finish with the katsuobushi.

Cozzella: Spaghetti in bianco con carne from Tomei


"Pasta is becoming more and more interesting", Eleonora Cozzella of Repubblica says, "For a few years now – and we dare to think Identità di Pasta has favoured this change – chefs have been working with dry pasta with the desire of exploring new horizons. So they’re no longer happy with serving good, in fact delicious food, but they want to enhance its history, not just the culinary one, and its potential in terms of flavours".

"In 2018 I was particularly impressed by what Cristiano Tomei is doingat Imbuto in Lucca. In particular, his Spaghetti in bianco con carne. Which I’d even call Pasta alla pasta. That is to say the total enhancement of durum wheat. The spaghetti are shiny, it’s as if they were mixed with butter or oil, but in fact no vegetal or animal fat was used to season them. It’s the starch from the pasta, which is cooked and 'tirata' in a broth of pasta, made by overcooking other pasta".

"The chef from Viareggio uses pasta left over from different boxes, puts it in a pot with ice and then brings it to the boil and cooks this left-over pasta at length. The result is a concentrate of semolina. Tomei got the idea while he was draining pasta: the water you discard has the aroma of wheat, which is often lost at the end. But in the case of these spaghetti Monograno it returns generously (adding meatballs as a hint to ragù). It’s like breathing the scents of a granary".

Spaghetti in bianco con carne
from Cristiano TomeiL'Imbuto, Lucca
Recipe for 4 people

320 g spaghetti
Onions, carrots, celery
1 garlic clove (better if aglione)
1 drop of rosemary extract 
50 g minced beef 
50 g lard from the pig’s back 
salt and pepper 

Make a “pasta broth” with the pieces of pasta (the ‘broken’ pasta you find at the bottom of the box), the onion peel, carrots, garlic, celery leaves. Cover in ice and turn on the heat. Turn off the heat when the broth is very thick and tastes of durum wheat. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water and make some raw meatballs with minced beef and lard from the pig’s back. Drain the pasta and toss it in the broth, to which you have previously added a little rosemary extract. Drain, dish out and place the raw meatballs on top.

Felicetti: the thrill of Gualtiero’s salad


"I was struck", says Riccardo Felicetti of Pastificio Felicetti in Predazzo (Trento), "by The Great Italian, the film on Marchesi. It tells the story of his famous Insalata di spaghetti al caviale ed erba cipollina. At a time when pasta producers were trying to surprise in terms of size and texture, Gualtiero chose a small size and a soft texture. A feature that perfectly matched the cold temperature and the seasoning. I found this dish represented what he told me only a few months earlier. I was deeply touched".

Insalata di spaghetti al caviale ed erba cipollina
by Gualtiero Marchesi

Recipe for 4 people
Cook 320 grams of spaghetti in salted boiling water; drain and cool under running water. Season with oil, salt and pepper and add a few drops of lemon. Place the spaghetti on the plate. Cover with chives and place a tablespoon of caviar and a touch of chopped shallot in the middle of the spaghetti nest.

Grignaffini: Baldessari’s linguine


"Baldessari’s linguine are like pasta multiplied by pasta", Andrea Grignafini, of Guide dell'Espresso and Spirito di Vino says,"it’s like pasta to the power of pasta, through a miso made with pasta which thus turns into a starchy note that becomes a primary flavour. It is immediately starchy, voluptuous and satisfying; then arrive the marine and citrusy notes that quickly slip into the mouth, just like the linguine. It’s like a third half in just one long and progressive, multifaceted corpus. Pasta as a means and a scope."

Linguine with pasta miso, burnt seaweed and kaffir lime
by Giuliano BaldessariAqua Crua, Barbarano Vicentino (Vicenza)

500 g dried pearled barley 
500 g durum wheat dry pasta 
00 flour
140 g cooking salt

For the pasta miso 
Soak the barley in water for 10 hours at 3°C. Drain it and steam it in the oven for 90 minutes, mixing it every ten minutes. Once cooked, leave it to cool to 30°C. Meanwhile, toast the flour in the pan, and bring this to 30°C also.

Once you reach the temperature, mix the steamed barley, the toasted flour and the koji. Roll out the mixture on baking tins and leave to rest at 26-30°C for around 36 hours. Cook the pasta in slightly salted water for 5 minutes and then mince it. Bring to 30°C and mix it with the mix of barley and flour. If necessary, add a little cooking water from the pasta, until it becomes a damp mixture that can be kneaded.

In a steel bowl, alternate a layer of this mixture with some cooking salt, finishing with the latter. Cover with another steel bowl and put a weight on top, so as to remove any air. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest at 18°C for at least 90 days. After 90 days, check if the fermentation took place successfully and then blend with a Bimby processor, making a cream.

Dishing out
Cook the linguine al dente and toss them in a pan with the miso, a little vegetable broth and a drop of oil. Season to taste. Dish out, aromatise with seaweed coffee (dried, toasted and milled sea lettuce) and finish with a leaf of kaffir lime cut very thin.

Iaccarino: Mammoliti's Karma


"Michelangelo Mammoliti has a gift only great chefs have: his dishes are memorable", says Luca Iaccarino, contributor at Repubblica, "even his dry pasta. How about spaghetti BBQ? Taste them once and you won’t forget them. On my last visit, in June, I tasted Karma, spaghetti cooked in an extract of roasted peppers with anchoyade sauce.Lovely. This is fine dining that is not afraid of giving you pleasure. Quite the contrary. I almost did a When Harry Met Sally scene, with those at the next table telling the waiter “We’ll take what he had".

Spaghetti cooked in an extract of roasted peppers, garum and anchoyade

from Michelangelo MammolitiLa Madernassa, Guarene (Cuneo) 

For the basil oil 
50 g blanched basil
105 g seed oil 
105 g di extra virgin olive oil 

Blanch the basil in water with 20% salt. Cool in water and ice. Squeeze the basil and remove any water left. Put into a thermomix and blend for 15 minutes at the highest speed. Leave to cool in a bain-Marie with water and ice. Put in a pipette.

1 l microfiltered water
300 g peppers from Carmagnola

Roast the peppers at 240°C for 15 minutes, and leave them to cool in a container with a lid to preserve the cooking liquid. When the peppers are cold, close them in a vacuum pack. Cook for 2 hours in a steam oven at 90°C. Set aside for 30 minutes before straining. Strain the liquid with kitchen paper. Put aside in the fridge.

for the syphoned Anchoyade 
100 g anchovies
100 g extra virgin olive oil
100 g seed oil
1 garlic clove 
30 g taggiasche olives
200 g cold water
2 g agar agar

Put the anchovies in the Robocup with the garlic clove, add the two types of oil and create a stable emulsion gradually adding the water. Add the taggiasche olives. Finish adding the cold anchoyade, the agar, and put inside a pot. Let it thicken, then place in a syphon with 2 charges of N2o. Keep in a bain-Marie at 58°C.

for the garum
1 kg heads of anchovies 
500 g salt

Put the anchovy heads inside a jug and cover in salt. Leave to marinate for 6 months at 6°C. After 6 months of fermentation, strain with kitchen paper and keep in the fridge.

Making the dish 
Cook the spaghetti for 4 minutes in salted water, drain and finish cooking in the extract for two more minutes. Mix with basil oil, lemon zest, and garum. Dish out and finish with the anchoyade, some drops of garum, the powdered burnt peppers and a brunoise of Moroccan style lemons.

Ryan King: the revolution of Mark Ladner


Whole Grain Rigatoni with Nonna's meat ragu”, is the dish that Ryan King of Fine Dining Lovers chose. “This is an eight-dollar pasta dish that tastes like Italy and is served at Pasta Flyer in New York. It's all part of chef Mark Ladner's attempt to bring high quality pasta and sauces to the masses with a unique system that takes seconds to cook and serve.” 

“It's al-dente pasta with that perfect bite and a deep ragu that really does have thosemuch-loved notes of Nonna. Mark Ladner is trying to change the pasta game and that should be welcomed.” 

Marchi: Di Pasquale and spaghetti with beetroot


"Beetroot is a pervasive ingredient in today’s cuisine", points out Paolo Marchi, creator and founder at Identità Golose, "In the case of Enzo Di Pasquale, instead, beetroot plays an intelligent role with spaghetti because it is balanced by the sweetness of the coconut and the bitterness of the curry. A truly great first course"

Spaghetti with beetroot, curry sauce and coconut 
from Enzo Di PasqualeBistrot 900, Giulianova (Teramo)

Recipe for 4 people

160 g bronze-cut Spaghetti 
2 kg fresh beetroots 
500 ml thick vegetable broth 
1 l coconut milk
2 tablespoons madras curry
2 tablespoons red curry

Reduce the vegetable broth with the coconut milk and simmer. Once the texture is that of a sauce, add the curry. Meanwhile, clean the vegetables, dice them and extract their juice; place them in a baking tin and cook for a few minutes. Cook the pasta in lots of boiling water for 5 minutes, then finish cooking it in the beetroot juice and mix with a drop of extra virgin olive oil aromatised with lemon zest. Finish in front of the guests with two tablespoons of the curry and coconut sauce.

Passera: Valentinetti’s double sardines


"I really enjoyed Spaghetto Felicetti, sarde e sarde, limone from Andrea Valentinetti, a young cook working at restaurant Radici in Padua", says Carlo Passera, editor in chief at"The fish is both marinated and served as a cream – hence they say “sarde and sarde” - then there’s breadcrumbs, toasted in garlic and candied lemon. A nice balance of flavours. A tasty and yet delicate dish."

Spaghetto Felicetti, sarde e sarde, limone
from Andrea Valentinetti Andrea RossettiRadici, Padua

Recipe for 4 people

240 g spaghetti Felicetti
4 marinated sardines
candied lemon 
1:1 sugar syrup
1 onion
2 shallot
2 bay leaves 
Sarawak pepper 
1 rosemary sprig 
250 g sardines preserved in oil 
toasted breadcrumbs aromatised with sour herbs and lemon zest 
100 g cream of sardines 
50 g butter

Clean the sardines, leave them to marinate in lemon juice for 10 minutes, then rinse them under running water and keep them in a solution of salt and sugar for 20 more minutes. Remove the solution and set aside. Take the untreated lemons and only use the zest, cut into strips, and make a 1:1 syrup. Blanch the zest three times in water, then put it into the syrup and cook them for around 45 minutes until they are translucid. Take the sardines preserved in oil, fry the shallot, onion, bay leaves, rosemary, Sarawak pepper, add the sardines and some white wine, and cook for some 20 minutes, then blend so as to make a cream. Cook the spaghetti for around 12 minutes, then mix them in a bowl with the cream of sardines, and the butter. Serve on a plate, place the candied lemon in the middle, then some aromatised breadcrumbs and finally add the marinated sardine.

Vecchia: the magic of Fais’s Spagheggio


"What charmed me immediately of Spagheggio at this new and intriguing restaurant in Cagliari", says Niccolò Vecchia from the editorial team of Identità Golose, "were two characteristics: the roundness, creaminess, thanks to the great use of mantecatura, and the delicate and embracing aroma of bottarga, which matches the delicate spiciness of the paprika. Both are prepared in the kitchen at Josto, where bottarga – the chef is originally from the region of Cabras, where bottarga is a tradition – is a very serious matter".

from Pierluigi FaisJosto, Cagliari

Recipe for 4 people

320 g spaghetti
1 whole bottarga (possibly from Cabras and well matured) 

for the cream of bottarga
50 g bottarga (even small egg sacks will do)
40 g extra virgin olive oil (if you prefer, you can make an infusion with garlic)
30 g slightly salted water 

for the pepper extract 
30 g yellow peppers

for the paprika
140 g pulp of red peppers 
50 g cherry tomatoes
10 g chilli pepper 

for the paprika
Dry the red pepper, the tomato and chilli pepper at 60°C until they have released all the humidity, then powder them with a processor.

for the pepper extract 
Extract the juice from the yellow pepper and set aside 

for the cream of bottarga
Cut the 50 g of bottarga in small pieces, add 40 g of extra virgin olive oil and 50 of water and mix until the mixture is uniform. Cook 320 grams of artisanal spaghetti in lots of salted water, toss it in the pan when al dente and mix away from the heat with the cream of bottarga and a drop of olive oil. After serving it in a bowl, grate some bottarga on top, pour the extract of yellow pepper and finish with some powdered paprika. Serve lukewarm.

Zanatta: mezze maniche über alles


“I choose Mezze maniche al pomodoro d’agosto from Cesare Battisti”, says Gabriele Zanatta of Identità Golose, «because it follows a rule that should apply to every typical Italian dish: it’s made with ingredients that are no less than excellent. In this case, the high point is the sauce made with tomatoes picked in August, when their flavours reach their peak, and immediately cooked so as to preserve their flavours. There are more sources of pleasure: to eat the mezze maniche you must use a spoon, just like a child. And then enjoy scooping any sauce left with some bread».

Mezze maniche al pomodoro d’agosto
from Cesare BattistiRatanà, Milan

Recipe for 4 people

320 g mezze maniche
1 l Tomato purée 
2 white onions
2 bunches of basil 
1 sprig of sage 
1 sprig of rosemary 
1 sprig of thyme
1 garlic clove
60 g butter
300 ml extra virgin olive oil 
cooking salt

Slice and sauté the onions in a little olive oil for some 15 minutes in a casserole tin. Pour the tomato purée in the casserole, add salt and cook on a low heat for 1 hour. Meanwhile, take the remaining extra virgin olive oil, put it in a saucepan with garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme, bring to 50°C and leave in infusion until the tomato sauce is cooked.

Once the sauce is ready, take a vegetable mill, place the large leaves of basil inside (use the small ones to garnish the dish), pour the sauce and process it. Filter the oil aromatised with herbs and add it to the sauce. Set aside. Bring to the boil enough water to cook the pasta, add salt, and pour in the mezze maniche. When half cooked, toss the pasta in the tomato sauce, so they continue to cook. If necessary, add some of the pasta cooking water and, when ready, mix with butter. Serve spreading all the pasta and the sauce evenly on the plate, and add some small basil leaves.