[PDF | 71,23 Mb] Beef! Germany – November/Dezember 2018 – Download Magazine

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    Northeast Italy

    Hot broth-based soups, warming polenta and risotti reign supreme in Italy’s northeast. Add some of the country’s most sculptural vegetables and you have a menu that’s both earthy and elegant.

    Northwest Italy

    The forests here offer rich pickings, from black and white truffles to hazelnuts harvested for cakes. On the coast you’ll find recipes focused around salted anchovies, tuna and preserved cod.

    Central Italy

    From fresh pastas fragrant with porcini mushrooms, to dark gamey stews, the central regions showcase some of Italy’s finest produce.

    South Italy

    Mediterranean cooking at its most iconic, with fresh fish grills, citrus scents and herby salads dressed with little more than a green drizzle of local olive oil.

    Basic recipes

    Recipe sources



    Italian food: much loved, much appropriated. There are more international interpretations of pizza, pane and pasta pomodoro than there are Italians living in Italy, and while this speaks volumes about the worldwide appeal of this deceptively simple cuisine, it rarely says much about authenticity.

    Forget Jamie’s Italian – we’ve gathered 60 recipes from Italy’s top to toe, coast to coast: 60 dishes harvested from the very places in which they originated. Nigella might do a polished pollo arrosto and the River Café an iconic zuppa alle vongole but as one of our featured chefs from Genoa says: unlike French cuisine, Italian food came not from a tradition of great chefs but from mothers and grandmothers. And to cook food just like mama used to make it, you have to go to the source, to the very families who originated iconic dishes, or who inherited them and keep them alive. These are the people whose stories we tell, through their recipes, their restaurants and their great love of the fertile terrain that surrounds them.

    Unfussy and family-focused, Italian food is nothing if not a celebration of simple ingredients – a perfect margarita pizza, spaghetti aglio e olio, a caprese salad dressed with nought but locally grown and pressed extra virgin olive oil. And more often than not, less is more. A handful of modest ingredients can add up to a thing of great beauty, and great provenance, too. Italy’s produce, from its grains to its grapes, its olives to its truffles, form culinary maps of the country. The home of Slow Food, Italy’s is the ultimate locavore culture whose seasonal, regional cuisine is focused on recipes that are deeply rooted in the earth and sea from which they’re derived.

    So don’t expect to find chapters in this book dedicated to ‘antipasti’, ‘primi’ or ‘secondi’ but rather to regions, each with their own home-grown ingredients that are conjured into simple-genius dishes. From a spaghetti al ragù in Bologna, to a classic pizza portofoglio in Naples, a hand rolled orecchiette in Puglia to a Piemontese vitello tonnato, we bring you the recipes that define a region, a city, a medieval commune or hilltop village; recipes that have often been handed down for generations and, thanks to Italy’s wealth of DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and IGP (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) produce, can only have come from the very spot from which we harvested them.

    Like any great trip through Italy, this book should see you revisit some old haunts and still, we hope, learn something new but also, we’re sure, uncover some great new food terrain. And there is food for everyone, from simple antipasti, such as bagna caoda and stuffed zucchini flowers that take 15 minutes to whip up but are the making of any party table, to technical challenges from such greats as Massimo Bottura and Norbert Niederkofler, plus a fair few ‘nona’ bakes too. Buon appetito!


    Hot broth-based soups, creamy warming polenta and risotti reign supreme in Italy’s northeast. Add to this some of the country’s most sculptural vegetables – curlicue stems of pretty purple radicchio, globes of artichokes fit for a flower arrangement and ancient roots from Alpine slopes – and you have a menu that’s both earthy and elegant.


    Parmesan bread balls in chicken broth with garden vegetables



    Dumplings with Graukäse


    Creamed cod cicchetti


    Tortellini in broth



    Tagliolini with Venetian artichokes & scampi


    Pumpkin tortelli


    Slow cooked suckling pig shank with cumin canederlo dumplings and cabbage salad


    Tagliatelle with ragu


    Risotto with Treviso radicchio & Prosecco



    Parmesan bread balls in chicken broth with garden vegetables

    These soffici are of a feather lightness that’s far from their rather stodgy English translation – bread balls – and are nothing like oft’ heavy gnocchi or polpette di pane. The signature soffici of chef Massimo Spigaroli of Antica Corte Pallavicina are rich with three types of DOP Parmesan from Emilia- Romagna, served in a delicate chicken broth.

    Chef //

    Massimo Spigaroli

    Location //

    Antica Corte Pallavicini, Polesine Parmense

    Soffici means ‘fluffy’ in Italian, and these easy-to-make bread balls are just that: fluffy-light, despite the richness of the Parmesan within. This recipe calls for three types of Emilia-Romagna’s DOP cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano di Pianura (from the flatlands), Parmigiano Reggiano di Colline (from the hills) and Parmigiano Reggiano di Montagna (from the mountains). More than just a change of name, these three cheeses have tastes that correspond to the altitude at which their respective cows are grazed, the flavour and fat content of the milk changing with the different grasses and herbs the cows eat. But if you can’t get these subtly different Parmesans, one well-matured variety will do.

    Set in the Emilia-Romagna heartland of Polesine Parmense with views of the River Po, the Antica Corte Pallavicina estate comprises a farm where the pigs for their famed Culatello di Zibello, are raised. This slow-cured boneless ham, a musky-sweet cut taken from the muscle of pig’s rump, makes prosciutto seem workaday. The estate produces just a few thousand of these cellar-cured hams a year, most of which are sold into Italy’s top kitchens. As such, Spigaroli has become something of an international ambassador for Italian cuisine but, born right in Polesine Parmense, he remains very much a local boy, with most of the ingredients for Pallavicina’s restaurant drawn from the immediate countryside.

    The Fidentina chicken for this dish (a breed from the Emilia-Romagna town of Fidenza) has been raised on the estate, the vegetables grown in Pallavicina’s orto (kitchen garden), and the cheese, of course, is DOP Parmesan, house-aged in the vast cellars of the 14th century farmhouse. But if you can’t make it out to this rural retreat to sample the soffici, head to Emilia Romagna’s gastronomic hub city of Parma, where the Pallavicina’s produce is sold at the Saturday morning farmers market on Via Imbriani.


    Parmesan bread balls in chicken broth with garden vegetables

    Serves 6

    Preparation time and cooking time 1hr 30min

    For the soffici

    300g (10½oz) ricotta cheese

    50g (2oz) Parmigiano Reggiano di pianura (flatlands)

    50g (2oz) Parmigiano Reggiano di collina (hills)

    50g (2oz) Parmigiano Reggiano di montagna (mountains) OR in place of three Parmigianos above simply use 150g (5½oz) of well-matured Parmigiano Reggiano

    50g (2oz) dried breadcrumbs

    1 egg

    pinch of salt and grated nutmeg, to taste

    For the broth

    2L (4pt) chicken broth

    200g (7oz) of seasonal vegetable leaves: kale, cabbage, spinach, sprouts etc, panfried in a little extra virgin olive oil

    1 Combine all the ingredients for the soffici, including the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and leave in the fridge for an hour.

    2 Take a small piece of dough and roll into little balls with a diameter of around 1½ cm (½in).

    3 Bring the broth to the boil, checking the taste and seasoning, add the soffici and leave to cook for five minutes.

    4 Just before serving, add the vegetables as a garnish.


    National treasure, international celebrity chef and, above all, champion of Emilia-Romagna cuisine, Massimo Bottura explains why his signature ‘Five Ages of Parmesan’ is not just a recipe but a poem to the culinary traditions of his region… and why (or at least how) you should attempt this at home.

    Chef //

    Massimo Bottura

    Location //

    Osteria Francescana, Modena

    ‘This dish has a long story. It was originally developed as Three Textures and Temperatures of Parmigiano Reggiano. Some years later, a gentleman farmer called Umberto Panini requested the dish and I made him not three but four textures and temperatures, adding a chilled foam, a quenelle of demi-soufflé, a sauce and a cracker, thus also creating an abstract shape. After the meal, Umberto invited us to Hombre, his dairy farm near Modena. “I’d like to show you what stagionatura (maturing/seasoning) means to a wheel of cheese,” he said. “It might help your recipe.”

    It did. The subtle changes between a 24- and 50-month aged cheese altered the recipe radically. The characteristics of each wheel vary according to the ageing, the landscape, the breed of cow and their diet: mixed grains, free-range grass or both. We began stashing away wheels of Parmigiano all over the region with hand-written labels: Osteria Francescana – do not open until … As our wheels matured, the recipe evolved accordingly. Some of them are still sitting there.

    Then we took our chances with a 50-month cheese. We boiled the dark crusts, added the grated cheese and left the broth to marinate for two days. Once strained, it became the purest Parmigiano water imaginable. With the whirl of a hand-held blender, the liquid rose into the air and stayed there. From a dense, aged cheese we had created something ethereal, almost invisible. The white-on-white monochrome, a sculpture bathed in fog, silence and stagionatura: a portrait of the Emilian countryside. And it only took twenty years to make.

    Parmigiano Reggiano is not just any old cheese; it’s the epitome of Emilia and the cornerstone of the Italian kitchen. Created by Benedictine monks in the 12th century, it takes roughly 500L of milk to make one 40kg wheel. The coagulated curds are stirred in copper vats and heated to 55°C where they form a mass, which is shaped and placed in a mould. The wheels float in salt water for 30 days, then are laid out on long wooden shelves where they age. The most important part of any of these recipes is Parmigiano-Reggiano; not Grana Padana or other substitutes. You can identify real Parmesan by the crust. If there is the brand Parmigiano-Reggiano burned into it, it’s the real thing. If you can’t get all five maturities don’t worry. It’s even more reason to come and visit us in Italy.’



    ‘If you take on each of the individual elements of this recipe separately it isn’t that difficult. Here are two of the parts. The demi-soufflé is delicious for any occasion and can be served with the Parmesan sauce on the side. The crunchy cracker can be made ahead of time and served with the demi-soufflé, as a crumble in a salad or to top a plate of pasta. The more intense and old the cheese, the more intense the flavour.’ Massimo Bottura

    Serves 4

    Cooking time 1hr


    200g (7oz) organic ricotta

    60g (2oz) egg white

    100g (3½oz) of 24-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

    40g (1½oz) double (heavy) cream

    pinch of sea salt

    pinch of white pepper

    1 For the demi-soufflé, grease 8 x 4cm (3½ x 1½in) aluminium timbales (cooking moulds).

    2 Smoke the ricotta lightly over cherry wood chips in a sealed oven for 3 minutes.

    3 Whisk the egg to stiff peaks. Whip the ricotta. Mix the Parmigiano with the cream, combine with the ricotta and season with salt and pepper.

    4 Fold in the whisked egg white and steam in the timbales for 45 minutes.

    5 Remove from timbales and shape the soufflé into quenelles to serve.


    Serves 4

    Cooking time 3hr, not including overnight resting of cheese

    Parmigiano wafer

    100g (3½oz) of 40-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

    100g (3½oz) mineral water

    1 Put the Parmigiano and water in a pan and slowly bring to the boil until the cheese becomes stringy.

    2 Remove from the heat and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Drain off the liquid and put the cheese in the fridge overnight.

    3 Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F). Roll out the cold cheese dough to a thickness of 1mm and lay it out flat on a silicone mat.

    4 Bake for 12 minutes until it is a thin wafer. Let it cool at room temperature, then crack it into 4 parts. Break it into an imperfect triangle shape, about 5cm (2in).


    Dumplings with Graukäse

    ‘Cook the mountain’ is the philosophy behind the food conjured up by Norbert Niederkofler, chef at Rosa Alpina, a smart, Alpine-style lodge in San Cassiano, high up in the Alta Badia region of the Italian Tyrol. This chef-cum-food scientist is bringing about a renaissance of ancient produce with dishes that aim to breathe vibrant new life to age-old recipes.

    Chef //

    Norbert Niederkofler

    Location //

    St Hubertus, Alta Badia

    ‘Each February I order some 450 vegetables. That’s everything we need for the whole year,’ explains Norbert Niederkofler. ‘Our suppliers then plant and grow them as the months go on, and we work only with what they have. This year, thanks to the rains, there were no tomatoes until mid-August. But this was always the reality of the mountains: very local; very seasonal.’

    Many of the vegetables Niederkofler uses at St Hubertus, Rosa Alpina’s two-Michelin-star restaurant, have no English name. Before Norbert decided to champion them, they were largely dying out, unseen in restaurants. His mission to work with old varieties of vegetables along with traditional cheeses and game brings together a network of communities: farmers, chefs, naturalists, conservationists and small businesses.

    An international name Niederkofler may be, but he is a local boy, born in nearby Valle Aurina where he leant to cook at home. This dish is one he adapted from his mother, focusing on traditional pressknodel dumplings made from Graukäse ‘grey cheese’, an endangered Slow Food Presidium cheese, ripened on the mountainside where it produces a grey bloom. ‘This is a hard “poor man’s” cheese,’ says Niederkofler. ‘You’ll find the same preparation applied to yak’s milk in the plateaus of Tibet. Mountains are the same the world over: you work and harvest in summer to store and survive the winter.’

    A lighter interpretation of this traditional soup, which would have been at the centre of the Tyrolean table for centuries, aims to give a pure, simplified taste of the mountains. ‘I like clean, tough, strong tastes. Just like a child does. Everyone thinks a child’s palate favours the sweet; it doesn’t. It likes bitter, salty, acid things. As a child, if you grow up exposed to real flavours, you always come back to these.’

    Niederkofler’s other favourite Alta Badia-inspired dishes include his ‘Sweet and sour ancient vegetables’ and ‘Beetroot gnocchi’. ‘The chef is not the most important part of a recipe, it’s the ingredients,’ he says. ‘And we must ask: how does nature present these ingredients to us?’ These dishes aim to answer just that question, the gnocchi laid out on the plate like a painter might represent a garden, with bright purple beet-shaped gnocchi, green leaves and ‘beer soil’ made from charcoal and dehydrated bread. Fanciful, fantastical but, at their heart, traditionally Tyrolean.


    Dumplings with Graukäse

    Serves 4

    Cooking time 1hr 30min

    For the pressknodel

    1 onion, finely chopped.

    150g (5½oz) white bread, cubed

    70g (2½oz) Graukäse ‘grey cheese’, diced

    2 eggs

    30ml (1fl oz) milk

    salt and pepper to taste

    2L (4pt) vegetable broth

    50g (2oz) butter

    For the cabbage salad

    200g (7oz) head of cabbage, thinly sliced

    1 tsp cumin seeds

    40g (1½oz) shallots, chopped

    4 tbsp red wine vinegar

    100ml (3½fl oz) vegetable broth

    1 bay leaf

    extra virgin olive oil

    salt and pepper to taste

    1 For the pressknodel, sauté the finely chopped onion in a pat of butter. Add the other ingredients (set aside a tbsp of cheese) and mix well. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.

    2 Form flattened patties for the dumplings and brown on both sides in the remaining butter.

    3 Boil the patties in the broth, enriched with the tbsp of cheese, for 7 to 8 minutes.

    4 For the cabbage salad, place the finely sliced cabbage in a bowl and season with salt and cumin.

    5 Brown the shallots in a small amount of oil. Add the vinegar and broth, reduce the sauce, which will be used as dressing for the cabbage.

    6 Serve some of the dumplings in the broth, and some removed from the broth, placed on top of the cabbage salad.


    Creamed cod cicchetti

    Perhaps no other food embodies Italy’s early maritime history quite like baccalà. Eaten by both sailors and rich merchants, this dried cod staple of the north landed on the Venice docks in the 1400s, centuries before Marco Polo set sail for the East. Chef Jacopo Capponi serves this storied fish as gourmet finger-food on the Grand Canal, at restaurant Bancogiro.

    Chef //

    Jacopo Capponi

    Location //

    Osteria Bancogiro

    We can thank bad weather for introducing baccalà to Italian cuisine. The storms that forced shipwrecked Venetian traders to the shores of Norway’s Lofoten Islands in the 15th century may have claimed lives and sent men drifting for weeks in lifeboats on the Gulf Stream towards the Arctic, but they were also responsible for starting up a rich trade that still exists today: stockfish or baccalà.

    Stockfish has long been harvested from the Barents Sea, a literal stock in trade since Viking times and fish bound for Italy is graded with particular accuracy, the best of the catch stamped with the letter R. This superior quality baccalà differs from the salted variety found in recipes across the Mediterranean, as it’s dried entirely naturally in the wind and sun. Venetian dishes favour this unsalted staple and Baccalà Mantecato is one of the best-loved preparations, served by Bancogiro’s chef Jacopo Capponi as a rich, bite-sized hit of creamy fish on crispy crostini.

    One of the many buzzing cicchetterie (tapas) restaurants and bars currently lining the canals around Venice’s Rialto market, Bancogiro is set in an old vegetable warehouse, within dashing distance from the fish market. It serves up some distinctively gourmet finger-food, set daily on the bar to tempt customers in for an aperitivo, in view of the Grand Canal. The cream of the display, Baccalà Mantecato, may be gone in a bite or two, but it takes time and a certain amount of expertise to make; this traditional recipe calls for a tricky mix of oil and water rather than milk to produce the mousse-like creamed fish.




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