Pasta with... Sicilian concentrate

Antonio Colombo and his recipe for Identità Expo: sea urchins, tenerumi, ricotta, candied lemon

29-08-2015
Ogni riccio un capriccio, the dish presented at IdentitĂ  di Pasta by Antonio Colombo

Ogni riccio un capriccio, the dish presented at Identità di Pasta by Antonio Colombo

Yesterday’s protagonist at Identità di Pasta, the Friday event at Identità Expo in collaboration with Pastificio Felicetti, was a young Sicilian chef who immediately declared his preferences: «I love pasta, I eat it every day, I can’t live without it» said Antonio Colombo, pastry chef at Locanda Gulfi in Chiaramonte Gulfi (Rg).

Colombo has the soul of a pastry chef but he’s a complete chef who comes from a family of butchers (and pastry chef uncles) and wants to be a full chef dedicated to the sweet and savoury. His place is however in pastry making yet with this motto: "There’s no sweet without a pinch of salt".

Antonio Colombo with Eleonora Cozzella

Antonio Colombo with Eleonora Cozzella

This guy has his mind clear, in other words, and decided the road to take when he was very young, «my mother says I was born with a chef’s hat» he sniggers. After middle school, he started his journey at catering school in Modica. When he was only 18 (he was born in 1990) the first acknowledgements arrived already.

Peppe Barone of restaurant Fattoria delle Torri in Modica was his master; then Filippo La Mantia and Giorgio Locatelli in London. His homeland, however, was calling him back too strong to ignore so he returned to Sicily, at Locanda del Colonnello together with Accursio Craparo, before landing at Locanda Gulfi.

At Identità Expo S.Pellegrino he took off the pastry chef uniform and presented a simple, tasty and easy to replicate at home recipe which is however full of taste.

Riccardo Felicetti takes a picture of Colombo during the cooking demo

Riccardo Felicetti takes a picture of Colombo during the cooking demo

Spaghetti with durum wheat were born in Sicily so the chef matched the rustic flavour of Monograno Felicetti kamut with the marine taste of sea urchins presented in two textures and at two temperatures: hot, browned with a brunoise of violina pumpkin, with garlic and parsley, to mix with the sauce; and raw, added at the end.

Drops of regal oil, coming from the Iblei mountains, surround the spaghetti, gracefully placed on a cream of tenerumi and covered with a soft mousse of buffalo milk mozzarella (the original recipe requires ricotta). The sweet soul of the chef peeps out with the candied lemon with butter mixed at the end. Slices of yellow and red date tomatoes complete the chromatic range.

The taste is as soft as a pillow yet intense; the sweetness of the mozzarella is perfectly matched by the minerality of the sea urchins and the citrus notes of the lemon. You can find the aroma of Sicily and of the sea in a mouthful.