For us organisers, Identità Golose is the Congress with a capital C. First edition in January 2005, 15th, last month. In between, it has grown immensely, so much so that the global programme includes other stories, other paths. The same applies to pasta, a theme we’ve featured for the past 10 years. So, basically, the Congress is a container of joy and intelligence which we renew and which renews itself at the end of every winter. Enjoy this issue, where we celebrate what happened on March 24th.

Paolo Marchi
Content from Giorgia Cannarella (GC) and Mariella Caruso (MC), photo Brambilla/Serrani. Translated by Slawka G. Scarso

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Monograno Felicetti 
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Newsletter 74 del 17 april 2019

Dear {{NOME}},

For us organisers, Identità Golose is the Congress with a capital C. First edition in January 2005, 15th, last month. In between, it has grown immensely, so much so that the global programme includes other stories, other paths. The same applies to pasta, a theme we’ve featured for the past 10 years. So, basically, the Congress is a container of joy and intelligence which we renew and which renews itself at the end of every winter. Enjoy this issue, where we celebrate what happened on March 24th.

Paolo Marchi
Content from Giorgia Cannarella (GC) and Mariella Caruso (MC), photo Brambilla/Serrani. Translated by Slawka G. Scarso

Riccardo Felicetti: hurray for the 10th edition

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What a satisfaction the 10th edition of Identità di Pasta was. From the first to the last speaker, everyone gave their contribution to this important spin-off of Identità Milano. They’ve shown that pasta needs Identità di Pasta. They’ve restated that this food is kept alive not just by the aura of adoration given by tradition. It’s a food that invites to go into depth, to develop deeper and less orthodox attitudes and competences. I’d also like to thank Carlo CraccoNorbert Niederkofler and Paolo Griffa, three cooks who have cooked at our pop-up restaurant, each one without disavowing their homeland and cuisine.

Riccardo Felicetti
(In the photo, with Niederkofler and his brigade and Cracco’s brigade)

Negrini and Pisani’s Pummarola delle Alpi

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The first chefs of the day – which as usual, for 10 editions now, was hosted by the extraordinary Eleonora Cozzella – were Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani. Who can speak of “Building new memories” better than them, who had a total of 52 years of age when they took the helm of the kitchen at Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, the Italian iconic restaurant that under their guide has continued to have two Michelin stars shining above it? On the stage, the duo prepared two dishes of pasta inspired by their respective origins. Apulian Pisani made gnocchi with taralli (warmed up with water, then fried and baked) served with a ragù made with lamb from Gargano and a cream of milk and vinegar.

Negrini, from Valtellina, instead, tried a heretic recipe: Pummarola delle Alpi with butter, onion, tomato purée and Grana. Like the one his mother used to make for him – and still represents the idea of “Italian sauce” in most of the world. He chose Spaghetti Felicetti, 100% Monograno Senatore Cappelli with a particularly large diameter that requires 14 minutes to cook: «We’re proud to use dry pasta on this occasion, as chefs have often neglected it,» says Riccardo Felicetti.
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Ezra Kedem, orecchiette from Israel

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Now to Israel with the second speaker of the day, Ezra Kedem, founder at restaurant Arcadia, from 1995 to 2014 in Jerusalem, and now on the hills of Ein Kerem and transformed into a kitchen lab with vegetable garden. It may seem bizarre to have an Israeli chef teaching how to make pasta. But not if you consider the personal story of Kedem, who has always been passionate about Italy and a close friend of chefs like Massimo Riccioli and Pietro Zito, and most of all if you consider the history of Mediterranean cuisine, made of constant exchanges and culinary crossings and blends.

Just think of the first dish he made, orecchiette: the emblem of Apulia surely has a connection, he says, with Haman’s ears, which are biscuits prepared for the Jewish holiday of Purim. He seasons the pasta with a sweet and sour combination typical of Middle Eastern cuisine: raisins, onion, mullet and pine nuts, the latter being an emblem of Jerusalem and a must in his recipes, «together with raisins. My first job, as a kid, was selling pine nuts in the streets, inside plastic bottles. My first restaurant.» The second dish is instead pasta and beans “Jerusalem style”, a recipe of which Kedem is keen to point out its ancient history. After all, they’ve called him “the father of Israeli cuisine”, the chef who before others, and with more strength than anyone else, has claimed the existence of a real Israeli cuisine – and of its connection with Mediterranean cuisine even before its link to the Middle eastern one.
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Cristian Torsiello’s Cilento Tonic

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The last chef of the morning at Identità di Pasta was Cristian Torsiello of Osteria Arbustico, who moved from Varva to Paestum last year. His cuisine depicts a territory that hasn’t yet fully expressed itself, rich in products with a strong identity, for which he uses a contemporary language. «To create new memories, you need to go inside people’s houses» Torsiello says. And he goes there with recipes like Cilento Tonic: kamut chiocciole pasta, half cooked in a broth of juniper (to recall a gin tonic) and then served with squilla mantis and smoked provola.

A concentrate of the flavours of Cilento though it flows, it’s light, and leaves a clean palate. The second recipe prepared for Identità di Pasta was small tagliatelle cooked in the cooking water of octopus and seasoned with tomato purée and a cream of miso and white beans from Controne.
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Paccheri in musk from Danilo Ciavattini

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Danilo Ciavattini comes from Viterbo, where after returning home from his experience abroad and in Rome, he gave his name to his very special restaurant which immediately received a Michelin star. Ciavattini’s cuisine is 80% local, «a return to the past after going much ahead». A proof of this is given by dishes like Patata interrata orPomodoro dolce, «recreated the way they look», or dessert Terra spaccata «with liquorice, cocoa, caramel ice cream which creates the idea of what is happening to the earth because of pesticides». Avantgarde dishes like Paccheri in musk presented during his lesson at Identità di pasta, however, feature a strong connection with traditional flavours: of cacio e pepe which he uses to season the Felicetti mezzi paccheri, of crema di scafata, an ancient soup made with artichoke, broad beans and a touch garlic, «which is basically the sprout that is cut so that the head can grow». The paccheri are dished out with musk, and then a dash of chlorophyll of herbs with an extract of truffle.

There’s little of the countryside in the octopus, with which Ciavattini builds his Spaghetti octopus water and black truffle. «We decided to enhance the second part of the flavour of the octopus, its dark part, closer to the flavours of the earth», Ciavattini explains. He cooks the octopus only with a drop of oil in a pan covered in film, and then uses the water, to which he adds oil, pepper and thyme, to season the pasta, mixing it with parmigiano. Of course, he doesn’t throw away the octopus but serves it crunchy, with a soup of centrifuged hanging tomatoes. 
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Cracco and Sacchi’s scopeton

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Carlo Cracco did it again. Perhaps he owes his popularity to television, thanks to which the audience filled the room at Identità di Pasta: but then he’s the one to entertain the audience, with a mix of caustic humour and surprising pragmatism. And indeed the first course he prepared at the congress didn’t draw from the sparkling splendour of Cracco In Galleria, but from his childhood in Vicenza. «I’ll never forget herrings, which we call scopeton. We’d put them on the embers, and then hanged them on a thread in the middle of the table, and you would rub the polenta on them. The herrings from my childhood memories are strong, almost repulsive, so much so I didn’t use them for years.» At the congress, instead, he used them to make an oil – he cooked it confit, at 70°C – which he uses to finish the cooking of the pasta in the pan. A pinch of powdered green tea. Final touch, straight from his childhood memories: fried and blended polenta.

Luca Sacchi was also on the stage. Cracco was always inviting him to speak, to take his part of the spotlight, literally. And Sacchi did so when explaining the second dish, a tribute to Milan which has welcomed and loved both. A pasta that makes the concept of cassoeula – hence with cabbage and pork – more noble. The Felicetti mezzi paccheri are served with a centrifuge juice of cabbage, a ragù made with pork ribs and pork snout. «The nicest thing about pasta is that you’re forced to follow its shape. There’s a main element, a shape, from which you must start, and then you can do whatever you want.» Which is what he’s always done, and continues to do. Luckily.
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Gaspari builds a Nest in the wood

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He’s worked as a carpenter, in a barn, milking cows, and raising pigs. In a previous life, Riccardo Gaspari was a ski champion too. Today, he’s simply, so to speak, Ludovica’s husband. She’s «his root», thanks to which he decided to settle, becoming a happy father and cook. «The secret of my dishes is that before them, there’s the ingredients. Without them, my dishes would not exist»: this is his simple explanation. The ingredients, «which we have not invented, but started using once again», include mountain pine, lovage water and larch lichen. The first became the emblem of one of his signature dishes: spaghetti with mountain pine. Spaghetti seasoned with oil aromatised with sprouts of mountain pine and juniper which macerate at 40°C with vine seed oil.

The pasta cooked in a very rich hen stock, is mixed with this oil that has the aroma of the woods, and finished with a pinch of salt and juniper, and a spray, also of mountain pine, which brings you back in time, thanks to the aroma of the woods. Before the spaghetti he serves a syrup of larch lichen. «It would be nice if this dish would become a classic, and my daughters could one day tell its story», he reveals without hiding his sorrow for the too traditional choices made by his Italian clients, in his restaurants El Brite de Larieto and San Brite Agricucina.
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Adriano Baldassarre: always tomatoes

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As for Adriano Baldassarre, he has two pillars: pasta, on which the Roman chef has been working since 2004, and tablecloths on the table. Be it at Tordomatto, whose menu is «a declaration of love for Rome, with every dish telling the story of a neighbourhood, starting from Panisperna, choux pastry with prosciutto, figs and foie gras served at the beginning of the menu», or L'Avvolgibile, the trattoria where you can have good food for little money.

«A myth we should debunk is that everything must be reduced to a tasting. One could also dine out and just have a dish», the chef warns. «I’ve been working on pasta sauces since 2004 and on a system of cooking pasta risotto-style with hot or cold infusions made from vegetables and fruits through a patented method». Baldassarre explains that in his pasta dishes the pasta is «rehydrated so it’s not stressed». Hence he uses liquid ingredients instead of solid ones. There’s no seasoning (except for Puttanesca) that Baldassare prepares for his pasta in which there’s not tomato water «which concentrates the flavours». «Actually – Baldassarre says at the end, without being presumptuous – I invented nothing. Everyone knows that for a good risotto you need a great broth, and we needed a great cooking liquid that would rehydrate the pasta». 
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Isabella Potì, a spectacular timbale

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By her looks, so minute, so delicate, it’s hard to imagine her holding a knife, if only to separate the breast of a duck. Or having to do with the blood of a pig. And yet there she is, Isabella Potì perfectly at ease both when she’s wearing a glamourous dress, and when she’s plucking a duck or serving Sanguinaccio Royal, one of her iconic dishes at Bros' in Lecce. This young woman born in 1995 has never lacked in determination. And since January, Floriano Pellegrino gave her the reins of the kitchen at Bros. And this is not only out of the affection (though strong, given they’re soon to get married) he feels for her, but because Isabella knows what she’s doing.

Even when, instead of speaking off the cuff, she rolls out a piece of paper with the introduction to her lesson, at the end of the Identità di pasta marathon. «I’ll read this text I wrote to try and explain in the best way what we do at Bros', our concept, and our new project, and to be sure I won’t forget something relevant», she points out. There’s lots going on at Bros,as one can get a hint of from the Timbale of pasta, duck, truffle and red fruits she presented, a preview of the new spring menu presented on April 4th.
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