Riccardo Camanini’s spaghettino unto in rosso (and other delicacies)

The chef from Lido 84 draws upon the culinary memories of Italians… And yesterday spoke of pasta at Madrid Fusión

29-01-2019
Spaghettino unto in rosso by Riccardo Camanini.

Spaghettino unto in rosso by Riccardo Camanini. "Pasta: avantgarde and sensitivity" was the theme of his lesson at Madrid Fusión, on Monday

After some works to renovate and improve the kitchen, on February 14th Riccardo Camanini’s Lido 84 will open again after the vacations, as sparkling as ever. In the meantime, the chef was the protagonist, a few days ago, of a thrilling four-handed dinner with Gaggan Anand, number one in the 50Best Asia, in Bangkok, and yesterday he was on the stage of Madrid Fusión, the Spanish fine dining congress where he spoke in the main auditorium - after giants like Ferran AdriàRicard Camarena and the trio from Disfrutar - of Pastasciutta: vanguardia y sensibilidad, that is to say Pasta, avantgarde and sensitivity.

Gaggan Anand with Andrea Capasso and Gilles Fornoni, two pillars in the brigade of Camanini, in a picture taken during the recent four-handed dinner with the chef from Lido 84 and his Indian colleague in Bangkok

Gaggan Anand with Andrea Capasso and Gilles Fornoni, two pillars in the brigade of Camanini, in a picture taken during the recent four-handed dinner with the chef from Lido 84 and his Indian colleague in Bangkok

This is the best possible roaring start to a year that is expected to be full of satisfaction for the great Rick.

Indeed, he was thinking about pasta a few days ago, shortly before the post-Christmas holidays, when he presented the dish in the opening photo. «The idea behind this recipe is to recover some concepts and products from the past, which I hold very dear».

Riccardo Camanini at Identità Milano 2018

Riccardo Camanini at Identità Milano 2018

Firstly, tomato paste, «today it’s almost banned from the kitchen, as it’s mostly associated with tube paste...». Camanini adds: «I’m happy I’ve found a craftsman in Sicily who makes it like in the old days. Today everyone uses large steel tanks, they extract 22-25% of the water from the tomatoes for the concentrato, and 25-30% for the doppio concentrato». This Sicilian man instead, follows the traditional method: he makes the purée, puts it in terracotta jars under the July sun, leaves it like that for 4-5 days so that a natural concentration takes place, adding a little salt and mixing every two hours or so.

The second element is soffritto, sautéed vegetables, «speaking of which is almost like blasphemy these days». And again, Camanini recalled «all the oil in which tomato sauce was swimming, in the pot and in the pan, as a child. When you ate pasta, your lips would turn red». Pasta was then mostly overcooked, and in a way he replicates the texture, «but I use spaghettini, not spaghetti».

Another photo of Spaghettino unto in rosso

Another photo of Spaghettino unto in rosso

Spaghettino unto in rosso recalls «something that is preserved in the culinary memory of Italians. These days, if you serve spaghetti with tomato sauce, clients have a precise idea in mind: fresh tomato. But flavour has a sociological root: thirty years ago, we were used to a different flavour: concentrated tomato, oil and sautéed vegetables. But then we put it aside. I’m giving it a second chance», drawing it from oblivion.

The chef explains: «I make this pasta during the cold months, so as to prevent any criticism; had I presented it in the summer, people would have wondered why I wasn’t using fresh tomato». The process to make Spaghettino unto in rosso is in fact very complex. This is how he sums it up: «We sauté the vegetables, then we strain them, make the concentrated tomato in a steel tin, cover it in oil and put it in the oven at 80°C for 24 hours. Then we process it in the Pacojet, freeze it overnight, blend it until it becomes a sort of mayonnaise we leave for hours to drain, so as to separate the water from the oil and the tomato extract. We then take the latter and, after another day, we boil it with the same quantity of water, so as to separate the water from the extract. We use the former to cook the spaghettini which are finally seasoned with the oil aromatised with tomato».

Spaghettino unto in rosso was one of the dishes we tasted during our latest visit to Lido 84. Below is the complete dinner, with pictures from Tanio Liotta. Before that, however, there’s another event that will feature the chef that’s worth mentioning: on the 9th of February a show titled Cookbook '19 is opening at MoCo, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montpellier, in France (open until May 12th). There will be 20 artists and 25 chefs from all around the world, who were asked to explore the relationship between art and cooking. Many of 25 chefs will also speak in the coming edition of Identità Milano, on March 23rd-25th (on top of Camanini, Italians Niko Romito and Antonia Klugmann, then Jeremy Chan and Virgilio Martinez) and some old acquaintances of ours, like Mauro ColagrecoRodolfo Guzman, René Redzepi, Iñaki Aizpitarte, Maksut Askar, Ana Roš are also involved.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso 

Baked seed wafer, marinated beetroot 

Baked seed wafer, marinated beetroot 

Cream of Delica pumpkin, essential oil of orange. Extraordinary finesse. «To make a litre of essential oil – they explain – you need 10 kg of oranges»

Cream of Delica pumpkin, essential oil of orange. Extraordinary finesse. «To make a litre of essential oil – they explain – you need 10 kg of oranges»

Broth of snail, «a tribute to Jean Anthelme​ Brillat-Savarin», points out Camanini

Broth of snail, «a tribute to Jean Anthelme​ Brillat-Savarin», points out Camanini

Bread of potatoes with mother yeast 

Bread of potatoes with mother yeast 

The Tartare of marinated squid with eel butter, cream of Jerusalem artichokeis absolutely marvellous. Perfect flavour, masterful texture, ideal temperature. It has the mellowness of hazelnut butter. The eel is roasted, «it recalls the taste of the traditional birds on the skewers typical of Brescia»

The Tartare of marinated squid with eel butter, cream of Jerusalem artichokeis absolutely marvellous. Perfect flavour, masterful texture, ideal temperature. It has the mellowness of hazelnut butter. The eel is roasted, «it recalls the taste of the traditional birds on the skewers typical of Brescia»

Cod tripe, both braised and as a tempura, with bergamot honey and fresh bergamot 

Cod tripe, both braised and as a tempura, with bergamot honey and fresh bergamot 

Agnolotti with braised oxtail, mostarda of white watermelon, extract of bitter herbs (yellow mustard, watercress, red mustard, green mustard, senape frastagliata, black kale...). Another spectacular dish, «I make the juice with a GreenStar for each service: it makes very little juice, but the herbs are so rich of flavours that it’s spectacularly concentrated»

Agnolotti with braised oxtail, mostarda of white watermelon, extract of bitter herbs (yellow mustard, watercress, red mustard, green mustard, senape frastagliata, black kale...). Another spectacular dish, «I make the juice with a GreenStar for each service: it makes very little juice, but the herbs are so rich of flavours that it’s spectacularly concentrated»

Peking style veal tongue, peperone crusco, candied lemon zest, marjoram leaves. The tongue is in salmì, then grilled and finally presented in the Peking style, as if it were duck 

Peking style veal tongue, peperone crusco, candied lemon zest, marjoram leaves. The tongue is in salmì, then grilled and finally presented in the Peking style, as if it were duck 

A masterpiece: Chargrilled broccoli with duck fat, jam of toasted and caramelised figs, ancient mustard and cloves. The broccoli come from Ortobio in Polpenazze, which supplies Camanini with many vegetables; the feeling, on the palate, is that of chewing a steak, yet a vegetable one. Meaty, with crispy leaves. This was the chef’s

A masterpiece: Chargrilled broccoli with duck fat, jam of toasted and caramelised figs, ancient mustard and cloves. The broccoli come from Ortobio in Polpenazze, which supplies Camanini with many vegetables; the feeling, on the palate, is that of chewing a steak, yet a vegetable one. Meaty, with crispy leaves. This was the chef’s "autumn recipe" for Identità Golose (read here), «but I made a variation: instead of the black mulberries, I used a jam of caramelised figs, which I find more suitable for the winter». The chef adds: at least 85-90% of our vegetables are organic. Their flavour is incredible.»

Smoked and fried lake sardine, rosemary, citrus fruits. Camanini’s tribute to his region with a product, the agone fish from Lake Garda, and a typical technique, the skewer from Brescia 

Smoked and fried lake sardine, rosemary, citrus fruitsCamanini’s tribute to his region with a product, the agone fish from Lake Garda, and a typical technique, the skewer from Brescia 

Rognone alla pressa, APICIUS. We wrote about it here (in Italian)

Rognone alla pressa, APICIUS. We wrote about it here (in Italian)

The iconic rose cake from Camanini. Paired with zabaglione and Vov and zest of Garda lemons 

The iconic rose cake from Camanini. Paired with zabaglione and Vov and zest of Garda lemons 

A great dessert: Pan bagnato, purée of blackberries, Gran Cru Bora Bora vanilla gelato. The stale bread is soaked in water and sugar overnight 

A great dessert: Pan bagnato, purée of blackberries, Gran Cru Bora Bora vanilla gelato. The stale bread is soaked in water and sugar overnight 

Gelato without egg-yolk

Gelato without egg-yolk

Tart of stone-milled polenta bergamasca, orange

Tart of stone-milled polenta bergamasca, orange

Final desserts: torrone, honey, chocolate, nuts and candied fruit...

Final desserts: torrone, honey, chocolate, nuts and candied fruit...

Toffee prepared on the spot 

Toffee prepared on the spot 

85% chocolate Tartufone 

85% chocolate Tartufone 

Loquat and coffee 

Loquat and coffee 


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