Thanks to the efficient work of Gabriele Zanatta, this issue of the newsletter dedicated to pasta has a special value. As usual, it includes excellent and original recipes. However, contrary to previous issues, the eight chefs chosen on this occasion are young, the future is yet to be written. This is why it’s good to give them visibility without waiting for guides or websites to award them. We believe in them and we hope not to see them take the wrong road, a risk for anyone who moves ahead.

Paolo Marchi
Recipes curated by Gabriele Zanatta, translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

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Monograno Felicetti 
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Newsletter 76 del 24 august 2019

Dear {{NOME}},

Thanks to the efficient work of Gabriele Zanatta, this issue of the newsletter dedicated to pasta has a special value. As usual, it includes excellent and original recipes. However, contrary to previous issues, the eight chefs chosen on this occasion are young, the future is yet to be written. This is why it’s good to give them visibility without waiting for guides or websites to award them. We believe in them and we hope not to see them take the wrong road, a risk for anyone who moves ahead.

Paolo Marchi
Recipes curated by Gabriele Zanatta, translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

What will pasta be like in 30 years’ time?

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«What will pasta be like, in 30 years’ time?». This is the interesting question to which we’ll try to give an answer on the next World Pasta Day, on October 25th, at the peak of an important event that will summon under the same roof, for the 21st time, key figures in the pasta industry, from producers to communicators, from chefs to sociologists and consumption experts.

As explained by Riccardo Felicetti, vice president of Unione Italiana Food and president of the corporation that is part of the union, two realities in which the ex Aidepi and Aiipa have ended, «We have tried to have a large number of people and professionals involved. Our only certainty about the future is that pasta, in the next millennium, will continue to be a pillar in the global diet, just like it was in the previous one. But there are infinite variables at play, and it’s a good idea to start imagining the possible scenarios with the help of pasta producers, sociologists, and experts on consumption, sustainability and food».

An interesting piece of data from which to start from: despite carbo-phobia, in the last decade the consumption of dry pasta has almost doubled, from 9 to around 15 million tons per year. Italy remains a point of reference in terms of volumes and culture. For 7 days, from the 18th to the 25th October 2019, the restaurants that will join the "Al Dente" festival will include in their menus recipes inspired by the theme of this edition: #pasta2050. Click here to find out more about the World Pasta Day.

Stefano Sforza: Spaghetti mint and eel

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«This dish», Stefano Sforza, at the helm of Opera Ingegno e creatività in Torino, points out, «is born from the idea of matching a fat fish like eel with a very aromatic herb like mint. There are only two ingredients, I worked by subtraction, so that the flavours would be concentrated, enhancing each other, with no overlapping. Cold spaghetti with hot eel is a provocation for the palate, and offer an unexpected flavour».

There’s also a nutritional reason behind the choice of the eel: «It has a high content of proteins. Indeed zinc has beneficial effects on mental health and the large content of vitamin B1 helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer. Moreover, it’s a decent source of omega 3 and of an amino acid, arginine, that inhibits the growth of tumours and strengthens the immune system».

Spaghetti mint and eel 

Recipe for 4 people 

Ingredients
300 g Spaghettoni Monograno Felicetti

for the mint pesto 
200 g bergamot mint
50 g cervina mint
50 g peppermint 
30 g toasted pine nuts 
70 g olive oil from Antica Azienda Agricola Sofrà

Toast the pine nuts and leave them to cool. Pick the mint leaves and put them in a mortar. Crush them while gradually adding the the oil and finally add the pine nuts. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

for the eel sauce
200 g green celery 
200 g carrots
200 g white onion 
1 kg freshwater eel 
1 litre white wine 
3 litres water 
Sage and rosemary 

Gut the eel and remove the head. Cut it into slices of a similar size. Aside, prepare a mirepoix and sauté the vegetables in a pan. Fry the eel and put it into a deep casserole tin, add the vegetables and cover with only half of the liquids. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 1 minute and 45 seconds at 220°C. Drain the liquid and put it aside. Add the remaining liquid to the baking tin and cook again for 1’45 at 220°C. Drain the liquids and then strain them with an etamine (a cotton cloth used to strain fonds). Reduce by 2/3 until you obtain a very think and strongly-flavoured sauce.

for the smoked eel 
1 kg freshwater eel 
250 g soy sauce 
125 g water
40 g yuzu
5 g mustard seeds 
5 g coriander seeds 

50 g honey
80 g cider vinegar 

Toast the coriander and mustard and add all the other ingredients. Gut the eel, remove the bones and cut it into 5-cm-filets and leave it to marinate overnight. The following day, remove the liquid and smoke the eel with the bbq. After at least 15 minutes, leave it to cool and put it into a vacuum pack with the oil and spices. Cook in the roner oven at 65°C for 35 minutes. Cool in water and ice.

Finishing
Cook the spaghetti in lots of salted water. Cut the eel in 1x1 cm cubes and delicately warm them up in the sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, put it into a bowl and season it with the mint pesto. Place it into a steel pastry cutter with a square piece of baking paper at the bottom and create a spiral with the spaghetti. Place them on the plate and cover with the eel sauce and with pieces of eel, some toasted pine nuts and some fresh mint leaves.

Matteo Monti: a meat-inspired pasta salad

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Matteo Monti from Edit in Torino goes straight to the point: «I got the idea of a pasta salad when tasting some chicken liver pâté that I had made. It was just too good. I had some vegetation water in the fridge from Petrilli’s tomato purée and I wanted to use it because I liked it a lot. So I thought of pasta. I wanted to make pasta cooked in water and then left to cool slowly in tomato water. As if it were a piece of meat, first browned and then left to rest before serving it. So that’s what I did».

«As for the pasta format, I chose spaghettoni Matt Felicetti: I love using these spaghetti. Their elasticity, after cooking, is hard to match by other spaghetti. I cooked the pasta 3 extra minutes, compared to what’s normally necessary, and then I left it to cool in the tomato water with basil and a pinch of salt. I rolled the pasta on the plate, added the chicken liver pâté and to add a lively, fresh and summery touch, I added raw clams which I had previously chilled». The result is an elegant, strong and good spaghetti dish.

Spaghettoni salad, with tomato, clams and chicken liver 

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients


240 g Spaghettone Matt Felicetti
500 g vegetation water from tomato purée (Petrilli)
200 g chicken livers
100 g chicken heart 
20 cl brandy
5 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
200 butter 80%
20 wild clams 

Method
for the pâté

Brown the liver and heart with 50 g of butter, the bay leaves and juniper berries. Add the Brandy and cook for a few minutes. Leave to cool a little, keeping a lid on and then, using a cutter, blend all the ingredients. Strain and whisk with the remaining butter. Leave to cool in the fridge.

for the clams
After cleaning them, put them in a vacuum pack and freeze them for 12 hours in the freezer or chill them to -20ºC. Slowly defrost the clams in the fridge, open them with a knife, keeping all the juices. Strain the liquid with etamine, add the clams and place in the fridge.

for the tomato vegetation water 

Strain the tomato purée with the etamine cloth. Once you have the water, season it with a pinch of salt and some fresh basil. Place in the fridge.

for the dish
Cook the Spaghettoni in lots of boiling water with 1% salt, and cook some extra 3 minutes. Drain and leave to cool in the tomato water, keeping everything in the fridge. Once cold, after some 5 minutes, drain and season with very little extra virgin olive oil. Place the cold spaghettoni on a plate, put the clams on top and add the pâté.

Distreat and the magic of Sardinian filindeu

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Federico Sordo and the guys from Distreat in Milan tell us the fascinating story of the Filindeu, that is to say the “fili di dio”, the threads of god. «It’s an ancestral preparation typical of a small area near Nuoro, in Sardinia. There are now very few women who make this dry pasta, rolling and bending the dough up to 8 times, making up to 256 threads. They then roll them on some discs, and leave them to dry, braiding them in a beautiful way. In some cases, the production can reach up to 1 kg per day».

«What struck us immediately in this pasta is the sense of deep respect for the patient and attention of those who make it. You could make many recipes, transforming, breaking, changing it, but we decided one that respected the nature of the pasta, leaving it in one piece because, when there’s so much beauty, it must be preserved».

Roasted filindeu cannelloni, pulled sheep’s meat, tomato, aubergine, lodigiano tipico and red onion 

Recipe for 4 people

for the cannelloni

4 pieces of filindeu 15x15 cm
500 g sheep’s meat, shoulder or leg 
1 carrot 
1 celery stalk 
1 white onion 
120 ml red wine 
oil
salt
pepper

Cut the meat in rough pieces, add salt and pepper and braise them on a high heat in the pan with a little oil. Clean and cut the vegetables, place them at the bottom of a casserole tin. Place the braised meat on the vegetables, and deglaze the pan with red wine, adding the resulting liquid to the casserole tin. Cover the meat with water. Cover with foil, and cook in the oven for 3.5 hours at 190°C. Drain the hot meat from the jus and pull it into small pieces with your hands. Blend the vegetables and the jus and reduce it on a small heat so as to make a sauce thick enough to veil the spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add to the pulled meat the same weight in terms of sauce. Soak in warm water the squares of filindeu pasta placed on a piece of cling film. Roll the softened filindeu with 60g of filling each, and press well using the cling film and a spatula so as to keep the cannellone tight. Blanch the cannellone in a pan with a little fat, first on the side where it closes, then on the others, pressing a little so as to give it a square shape.

for the tomatoes confit
16 cherry tomatoes 
1 garlic clove 
6 basil leaves 
oil
salt
pepper

Score the tomatoes and blanch them in boiling water. Cool them in water and ice and remove the peel. Place them on a non-stick baking tin, add oil, salt, pepper and the basil cut in a julienne and the garlic clove cut into thin slices. Cook the tomatoes at 100°C for two hours in a ventilated oven, keeping the valve open. Once ready, remove the garlic.

for the roasted aubergines
1 Neapolitan aubergine 
oil
salt
pepper

Using a toothpick, make holes in the aubergine and cook it in a steam oven at 100°C for 15 minutes. Once cooked and cooled, cut it into 2-cm dices and toss them in the pan with salt and pepper.

for the marinated onion 
1 red onion
white wine vinegar 
salt
water 

Clean the onion and cut it into 4 slices removing the peel. Put them into a container, cover with half water and half vinegar and a handful of salt. Leave aside for a few hours until the red onion has become bright red.

for the roasted tomato sauce 
500 g cherry tomatoes
10 g basil leaves 
extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
4 g vinegar
pepper

Bake the tomatoes with salt and oil and garlic at 190°C for some 20 minutes, until they become brown and the peel lifts. Blend them with basil, 25 g of oil, vinegar, 3 g of roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper 

Finishing
16 leaves of basil 
12 pieces of shaved lodigiano tipico

Warm up the cannellone in the oven, then place it on one side of the plate. On the other, with a sauce bottle, create 4 linear circles of tomato sauce and on this line place the aubergine, the tomatoes confit, the marinated onion and the shaved lodigiano. Garnish with 4 small basil leaves.

Altatto’s paccheri with tomato sauce, plus saffron

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«This dish was inspired by our family history and our origins», Giulia MareaSara NicolosiCinzia De Lauri and Caterina Perazzi, owners of vegetarian bistro Altatto in Milan, immediately point out. «It’s the traditional pasta with tomato sauce, a seemingly simple preparation which is in fact complex and rich in nuances. Every family has a different traditional version, always very different. When in Italy we think of pasta with tomato sauce, we all have a very different balance of taste in mind; acidity, sweetness, type of pasta, aromas, cooking times, types of tomato, they all change creating a million flavours and nuances. Some serve it finishing the cooking in the pan, others just add a ladle of sauce to the dry pasta, others season it in the serving dish».

«At Altatto we join many stories together. This is how this tomato sauce was born, with a Milanese touch, by adding saffron. The tomatoes, cooked at low temperature, are inspired by tomatoes left hanging to dry. The almonds add a crunchy and toasted touch, the fresh basil gives some rest to the palate from the sweetness of the tomato, adding a minty nuance, and the both aromatic and bitter saffron completes the balance, adding a precious touch».

Paccheri with tomato sauce, saffron and almonds

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients
for the pasta

200 g mezzi paccheri
100 g water 
1 sachet of saffron 

for the sauce
2 “ramati” tomatoes 
200 g tomatoes from Vesuvius 
1 lemon
oil to taste
salt to taste
sugar to taste
3 sprigs of thyme

garnishing
1 bunch of basil 
12 toasted almonds
4 sprigs of wild fennel with flowers 

Method
for the pasta

Prepare the saffron water for the finishing before the service, melting the saffron in lukewarm water. Boil the pasta and finish cooking it in the pan, mixing it with olive oil and saffron, creating an emulsion.

for the tomato sauce 
After scoring the peel, blanch the tomatoes in salted water for around 15 seconds, and cool them in salted water and ice. Carefully remove the peel from the tomatoes using a peeling knife, and remove the seeds, cutting them into 4 slices. Place the peeled tomatoes slices in a baking tin and season with lemon zest and some sprigs of thyme, oil, salt and sugar. Cook at 70°C for 7 hours, then blend and strain. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Finishing
Roll out the tomato sauce at room temperature on a plate warmed up to 80°C. Mix the pasta and place it on the plate adding the resulting emulsion. Cut the almonds into flakes and finish the dish adding the lightly toasted almonds, the basil leaves and the dried wild fennel flowers.

What a strange pasta with garlic, oil and chilli pepper from Zuterni

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«This recipe, says Luca Zuterni, a promise from La Pedrera in Soncino (Cremona), «was inspired by the idea of playing with one of the classics of Italian cuisine. We tried to make it more current and fun while preserving the character and the ingredients, with unexpected shapes, textures and nuances. On top of that, clients take an active role in the making of the dish through the use and dosing of the oil bar». In fact, it is a Cream of fermented garlic, pearls and air of caramelised Habanero, extra virgin olive oil bar.

What a strange pasta with garlic, oil and chilli pepper 

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients

280 g vermicelli from pasta producers Setaro Napoli
1 head of fermented black garlic 
300 ml broth of green celery 
salt
4 Habanero chilli peppers
80 g sugar
1 sprig of lemon thyme 
250 g extra virgin olive oil from Garda from Azienda Agricola Davide Amighetti
100 g cocoa butter 

Method 
for the cream of fermented black garlic 
Take the garlic, clean it and bring it to the boil in 200 ml of broth of green celery. Then blend adding 10 g of extra virgin olive oil and 10 g of salt until the cream is smooth and shiny.

for the pearls of habanero
Clean the Habanero and put it in a pan with 80 g of sugar, 200 ml of water and 1 sprig of lemon thyme until you make a light caramel. Blend and strain the mixture, then divided it in two (100 ml each). Pour 100 ml of habanero caramel in a container, add 1.5 g of calcium glucolactate and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Aside, create the mix of alginate and water (4 g of alginate x 1 litre of water), carefully blend and leave in the fridge for 12 hours. Put the caramel with the glucolactate in a syringe, drop the mixture in the alginate so as to create the pearls- strain and keep in a container with some fresh water.

for the air of Habanero
Add 4 g of albumin and 2 cl of vodka to 100 g of Habanero caramel and blend so as to add air until it’s stable.

for the oil bar 
Melt 100 g of cocoa butter on a small heat, remove from the stove, add 250 g of extra virgin olive oil, put into a mould and let it set. Grate with a cheese grater directly on the pasta.

Cooking the pasta
Cook for 5 minutes in lightly salted boiling water. Drain and cook for 4-6 minutes in a pan with the celery broth until the cooking is completed.

Cold Spaghettini between sea and lake: Andrea Leali

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«The basic idea», says Andrea Leali of Casa Leali, one-to-watch in Puegnago, on the Brescian bank of Lake Garda, «is to unite sea fish with freshwater fish through one sole and neutral element such as pasta. We use the marine liquid and protein-based component – sea water and fumet of sea fish – mixing it with the fat and lipidic component we get from the fat of the sardines and a totally protein-based part given by mixing the powdered dry lake sardines with the bottarga from Norwegian cod».

The recipe is based on an evolving research on fat: «Initially, we mixed the spaghetti with a classic mix of fat (oil, butter, and sour butter). Now there’s a second phase, as per other recipes at Casa Leali, and we extract the fat directly from ingredients that already contain them in nature: sausage, sardines, lard, mussels, meat, fish and so on».

In the specific case of sardines, once caught we use them very fresh, closing them in a baking tin with a lid, cooking them in the oven with lemons, bay leaves and lemon leaves. «We take the resulting liquid and separate it, keeping only the fat; we use this fat, which we whisk when cold, together with some more lemon and herbs, to finish the spaghetti». A dish rich in flavours, aromatic and persistent.

Cold Spaghettini with freshwater sardines, bottarga and lemon 

Ingredients
140 g spaghettini fini
280 g seafood fumet 
120 g fat from freshwater sardines 
10 g dry powdered freshwater sardines 
10 g dry powdered cod bottarga 
10 g extra virgin olive oil from the Garda leccino cultivar
1 Madernina lemon

Method
Cook the spaghettini for 1 minute in water and then pour them in the fish fumet. Finish cooking the spaghetti until the bubbles of starch start to thicken. Now add the fat and powders to the pan, mix until you obtain a cream and grate the first quarter of lemon zest. Place on the plate and finish adding the powdered sardines/bottarga.

Beyond Rigatoni with sausage

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«This dish», says Daniele Bendanti, chef at Oltre in Bologna, «was born from my childhood memories, when in the summer I’d visit my grandmother on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. She always kept some Tuscan sausage in the fridge and said that you could only find the tastier one, with more spices, in Tuscany (she was right). Yet, since she was from Emilia, she also liked making fresh-egg home-made pasta. It is thanks to her and her healthy habits that I was lucky enough to discover and experience these flavours since an early age. This recipe is very simple and homely. I tried to present it in my restaurant too, so as to continue the same emotions that my grandmother gave me for a long time».

Rigatoni with sausage 

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients

320 g rigatoni
200 g cinta senese sausage (we get it from Savigni’s)
1 gold onion 
50 g salted butter from Normandy

Method
Chop and sauté the onion with a drop of oil. Add the roughly crumbled sausage and brown it well. Add 5 cl of white wine and let it evaporate. Cook the rigatoni for 3 minutes in boiling and salted water, add the pasta to the pan with the meat sauce and finish cooking, mixing with butter so as to make a cream so the sauce and rigatoni are nicely thickened.

Thomas Moi: variations on puttanesca

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«This recipe», say Thomas Moi and Michela Ulpiani, at the helm of restaurant Moi in Rome, «is inspired by the famous Bucatini alla puttanesca made by Nadia, Michela’s aunt, a true Trasteverina. We replaced the bucatini with spelt linguine and added some tuna tartare. They’re the best you could have!».

Spelt linguine, tuna belly tartare with puttanesca sauce

Recipe for 2 people

Ingredients
1/4 finely chopped onion 
12 capers preserved in salt
8 Gaeta olives (deboned and cut into 4 slices)
4 anchovies preserved in oil 
1/2 garlic clove, chopped thinly, without its heart 
Oil, chilli pepper, salt, to taste 

1/3 glass of white wine 
300 g purée of date tomatoes 
200 g Felicetti spelt linguine 
100 g tuna belly
chopped parsley to taste 

Method
First sauté the onion, olives, anchovies, garlic and chilli pepper in a pan, with olive oil. Warm up the sauté until the anchovies start to melt. Now add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the tomato purée and cook it covering with a lid, over a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cook the linguine for 6 minutes in previously salted water. Drain the linguine and finish cooking them in the pan. Meanwhile, chop the tuna belly with a knife and season it with oil, salt and, if you have them, with 4 chopped fennel seeds (they will add a nice aroma). The pasta is ready, add salt if necessary, and the chopped parsley, and dish out. Garnish with some small basil leaves or some black grated bread.