Identità New York, edition number 10, was many things, one better than the other, what with lessons, the dine around event, tastings and dinners here and there across Manhattan. And there was also time to take a real break and dine at the home of a wine importer who, since he was not at home, lent his apartment to the Cotarella sisters, Dominga and Marta.

Not a studio or a one bedroom flat who knows where, which would already be something, but basically an attic on the 24th floor with an unbelievable view over Central Park from its short side, on 59th Street. There’s Central Park in front of you and you’re immediately speechless until you realise that places like this do really exist.

And this is the first part, because in the group of Italian guests Riccardo Felicetti stood out, with some of his pasta, and a surprising Stefano Caffarri whom I knew as a good photographer and journalist, not as a cook.

I don’t belong to that large group of Italians who, as soon as they set foot on foreign ground, they look for an Italian restaurant because they already miss pasta. In fact, I try to understand the best the people hosting me have to offer. That night, however, there were all the premises to have a good time and never an invitation had been so welcome.

Caffarri first cooked some exemplary Spaghetti al pomodoro, then he focused on a Cacio e pepe prepared in a low and large pan, with the maccheroni basically cooked as risotto, gradually adding some water and then later, if I got it right, adding the cheese and then the pepper, mixing constantly.

The result was excellent. Indeed, I recall a unique night. My thanks go to those who made it possible and filled it with excellent, tasty friendly emotions. Thank you.

Paolo Marchi

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Monograno Felicetti 
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Newsletter 77 del 16 october 2019

Dear {{NOME}},

Identità New York, edition number 10, was many things, one better than the other, what with lessons, the dine around event, tastings and dinners here and there across Manhattan. And there was also time to take a real break and dine at the home of a wine importer who, since he was not at home, lent his apartment to the Cotarella sisters, Dominga and Marta.

Not a studio or a one bedroom flat who knows where, which would already be something, but basically an attic on the 24th floor with an unbelievable view over Central Park from its short side, on 59th Street. There’s Central Park in front of you and you’re immediately speechless until you realise that places like this do really exist.

And this is the first part, because in the group of Italian guests Riccardo Felicetti stood out, with some of his pasta, and a surprising Stefano Caffarri whom I knew as a good photographer and journalist, not as a cook.

I don’t belong to that large group of Italians who, as soon as they set foot on foreign ground, they look for an Italian restaurant because they already miss pasta. In fact, I try to understand the best the people hosting me have to offer. That night, however, there were all the premises to have a good time and never an invitation had been so welcome.

Caffarri first cooked some exemplary Spaghetti al pomodoro, then he focused on a Cacio e pepe prepared in a low and large pan, with the maccheroni basically cooked as risotto, gradually adding some water and then later, if I got it right, adding the cheese and then the pepper, mixing constantly.

The result was excellent. Indeed, I recall a unique night. My thanks go to those who made it possible and filled it with excellent, tasty friendly emotions. Thank you.

Paolo Marchi

Ten years of Monograno Felicetti in New York

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Ten years of New York, ten years of Monograno in New York. Arriving in the Big Apple with Identità Golose was an important step for us towards the creation of a project of growth in the United States. The Scuola atEataly Flatiron, the location of the chef’s lesson, is now home. During this decade, it allowed us to get many chefs involved, both American, Italian and for many other countries.

Protagonists and important moments, who helped us make our emotions for pasta travel far, a starting point towards greater and greater goals. A word that in its five letters has all the meanings we hold dear: p stands for peoplefor airfor stories, t for territoryandfor acqua, that is to say water. Each letter encloses a world, our world in Predazzo. And it was thanks to Identità that we could express this once again in New York. So thank you, Paolo.
Riccardo Felicetti

Pasta e fagioli from Cracco, with bone marrow

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Pasta e fagioli with bone marrow. This is the dish that Carlo Cracco presented at Eataly Flatiron, during his tenth lesson out of 10 at Identità New York. «Tonight I’m not going to cook here but I’ll tell you about a special recipe», the chef from Vicenza, now settled at the Galleria in Milan begins, «When I was child, I was interested in recipes, flavours. When I started to work in the kitchen, I tried to add new ideas, unusual touches, a different something to famous recipes». As in this case, with Pasta e fagioli, [Pasta and beans] «a recipe which we had already discussed with my mentor Gualtiero Marchesi. But it was a version that people did not understand at the time, perhaps because it was too innovative».

In this case, this is part of a wider research: «Often, at the restaurant in the Galleria, at the end of the meal and before coffee, there’s someone who asks us for a brilliant ending. In these years we’ve tried to meet their needs by interpreting some great Italian classics, especially pasta: amatriciana, carbonara, cacio e pepe… We always try to make something different from the classic features of these recipes, in terms of flavours and cooking».

«I thought of Pasta e fagioli because it’s a very popular recipes, of Venetian origins. In the winter we serve it boiling hot; in the summer, lukewarm. It’s often so thick that if you dip the spoon, it will stand». Details follow: «We only use borlotti beans and we don’t use pork – in the old days, you’d put all sorts of parts in the recipe, bones, rind, perhaps with cheese and lots of different vegetables…». The coup de theatre here is different: «We add raw bone marrow – one of my most representative ingredients for the past 25 years – cooking it with the heat of the cream of borlotti. I use it to give a fat component instead of the butter, more natural».

For the pasta, he chose spelt ditalini from Monograno Felicetti, a very appreciated format, which discretely swims in a cream of borlotti. «We finish with a drop of extra virgin olive oil and some dehydrated rosemary». It makes people moan with pleasure at the end of the meal: «At first they are surprised. Then they taste it and appreciate it. So much that we’ve extended the experiment to many other recipes». You only need to be patient and wait for just before the coffee.

Melissa Rodriguez’s Crown of pasta

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In the lesson at Identità New York, Melissa Rodriguez, executive chef at restaurant Del Posto, showed an example of fresh pasta, with a Crown filled with tomato and Grana Padano

To make the fresh pasta she first turns on the kneading machine: “00” flour, egg, salt, and oil. Then she adds some boiled milk to the dough, she whisks it to soften it, and then she rolls it like a rezdora, offering advice on process and humidity. She then cuts out the rectangles, adds the cream filling of Grana Padano, closes the pastry in half, then rolls the stripe so as to form a Crown, the format of pasta used in this dish.

Second step, the sauce: stir fried garlic, plus basil and tomato sauce. The crown of pasta is cooked in boiling water, then she finishes the cooking in the pan with the sauce. One is enough to create a satisfying and succulent tasting.

Missy Robbins’s fresh Occhi pasta

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"We came at the Dine Around dinner only to taste Missy Robbins’s Occhi. Finding a table at Lilia is almost impossible", guests were explaining during the itinerating dinner which, following the recent tradition, closed the latest edition of Identità New York. The famous occhi are super-tasty: filled with sheep’s milk ricotta, garnished with bottarga and lemon zest. The fat, the savoury, the sourness, the dairy. A sound balance.

Rodriguez and the encore of Linguine with clams

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There were two pasta dishes served at the Dine Around dinner, signed, on this occasion, by two female chefs (read here): the fresh pasta from Robbins (see above) and the dry pasta from Melissa Rodriguez. Her Linguine Felicetti were seasoned in the most classic way, with garlic, oil, chilli pepper and clams. Huge clams, geoduck, caught from the basin of the most northern part of the East Coast. 

Gianfranco Pascucci’s sea of plastic

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Among the dishes that impressed us the most during the dinners at Identità Golose Milano there’s surely Mare di plastica, literally “sea of plastic” from Gianfranco Pascucci (Pascucci al Porticciolo, Fiumicino, Rome). «It’s a very recent recipe, inspired by a photo taken by Lido Vannucchi. One day I took him to Coccia di Morto, a beach in Fiumicino that’s filled with plastic, in front of the airport. It’s a place where I often went as a kid. In the photo, there was black sand, rich in iron, and a grey piece of plastic on top. This resulted in Fusilloni with squid ink, flying squid, dune herbs and “plastic”, that is to say obulato. It’s not necessarily an exposé, because I don’t like rhetoric. It’s simply a dish inspired by a specific place».

Marialuisa Iannuzzi, the reporter who presented the lesson from Pascucci at "Identità di Pasta in Romagnosi" explained this dish in detail (article available in Italian).

Spaghetti with black tea from Philippe Leveillè

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With first courses, black is in fashion. This photo shows Spaghetti with smoked black tea, fermented garlic and fatulì  which Philippe Léveillé, chef at Miramonti l'Altro in Concesio (Brescia) cooked at Identità Golose Milano one month ago. "We got the inspiration in Hong Kong", the Breton chef told us, "using smoked black tea with spaghetti. Then over time the dish evolved, and then I forgot about it and almost removed it from all my menus. Some clients then asked it, and I thought of presenting it here in Milan». A masterful dish, with elegant and complex notes, rich in smokiness and umami.

Calamarata cooked in a mason jar from Mancino

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Calamarata di Gragnano with shellfish, calamari, crustaceans and asparagus. This is the complete name of a “historic” dish from Giuseppe Mancino, from Sarno, in Campania, since 2004 chef at restaurant Piccolo Principe, on the fifth floor of the Principe di Piemonte hotel in Viareggio (Lucca), two discrete Michelin stars that fell from the sky 5 years ago. It’s the most famous dish from this 38-year-old chef, in the menu from the first day of his experience in Versilia: "I wanted to present my homeland in an original way", he explains. He finishes cooking the pasta in a mason jar. Clients shake it at the table, eat and enjoy. These days (and until early in November, when Piccolo Principe will close until Easter) this is the top recipe in the menu celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment. 

Tortelli with piperna: magic at 142

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One of the most interesting new openings in Milan is 142 Restaurant in Corso Colombo 6, in Porta Genova. It’s the new restaurant of Sandra Ciciriello, previously at Alice, now caringly leading 3 young people in the kitchen, all very promising: 30-year-old chef Nello Barbieri from Ischia,Sardiniansous-chef Chiara Orrù, 26, and pastry-chef Alessandro Montanari, 28, from Terni. Open from breakfast till dinner, it has a playful atmosphere, in the style of Tickets in Barcelona. 

Among the playful tricks, there’s also the classic finishing of the dish at the table. These magnificent Tortelli are filled with rabbit and Grana Padano sauce. When serving them, the waiter sprinkles over a powder of dehydrated tomato and piperna, a very aromatic herb. You can find plenty of it in Ischia, where the chef was born.

World pasta day, 18th-25th October 2019

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«What will be pasta like, in 30 years’ time?». This is the interesting question that will be address on the next World Pasta Day, on the 25th of October, at the end of an important event that will summon, for the 21st time, key figures in the pasta industry: producers, journalists, chefs, sociologist and consumption experts.

«We’ve tried to get many people and professionals involved», Riccardo Felicetti, vice president at Unione Italiana Food and president of the pasta compartment of the union in which the ex Aidepi and Aiipamerged, explained, «The only thing we know for sure about the future is that pasta will continue to be a pillar in the global diet, in the next thousand years, just like it has been in the past millennium. But the variables at play are endless and it’s good to start to imagine possible scenarios with the help of pasta producers, sociologists, experts of consumption, sustainability and food».

An interesting element from which to start from: despite carbo-phobia, in the last decade the consumption of dry pasta has almost doubled, moving from around 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 of October 2019, in the menu of the restaurants participating in the "Al Dente" festival, we’ll have recipes inspired by the theme of this edition: #pasta2050. Click here to find out more about the World Pasta Day.