Fabrizio Ferrari’s Couscous

Citron, kefir and umbrine for one of the recipes that will be part of the evening on Monday 15th

A dish both fresh and tasty: Couscous with citron

A dish both fresh and tasty: Couscous with citron albedo, toasted almonds and fried scallion with umbrine tuna in a salad made with baby spinach and seasoned with kefir and miso, by the young chef from Lecco Fabrizio Ferrari. It will be in the menu of Identità Cous Cous on Monday September 15th

Fabrizio Ferrari has been, since 2004, the chef at Porticciolo84, the family restaurant that thanks to him received a Michelin star in 2006. His couscous, awarded by the popular jury at the Cous Cous Fest in 2012, was created following a summer inspiration, as he explained in this post. Today, instead, he unveils the recipe for the Couscous with albedo di cedro, toasted almonds and fried scallion with tonno di ombrina in a salad made with baby spinach seasoned with kefir and miso.

Identità Cous Cous will take place on Monday September 15 from 8 pm at Alice, Viviana Varese and Sandra Ciciriello’s restaurant on the second floor of Eataly Smeraldo, in Piazza XXV Aprile in Milan. To participate in the event: call Identità’s toll free number 800.825144 or Alice Ristorante +39.02.49497340, alice@aliceristorante.it for info and reservations. Set menu, including drinks, 40 euros.

For 4 people


1 umbrine weighing around 1 kg
2 citrons
100 g unpeeled almonds
6 scallions
400 g fresh spinach
300 g couscous
50 g goat butter
50 g bean miso
500 ml fresh unpasteurised milk
kefir ferments
olive oil
extra virgin olive oil


Boil the milk for a few minutes so as to sterilize it, remove it from the stove and wait for its temperature to reach 42°C, then add the ferments and mix well.
Keep the milk in a thermos for 6 hours then pour it into a container and leave it at room temperature for a day.

Toast the almonds in the oven at 130°C for 15 minutes then chop them roughly.

Carefully remove a thin layer of zest from the citrons and put them into boiling water with sugar to taste and simmer. Meanwhile separate the albedo (the white spongy part) from the pulp, press the pulp and add its juice to the boiling syrup. Cut the albedo into small cubes. When the syrup has been reduced to a half, remove from the stove and leave to cool. Divide the albedo cubes into two vacuum packs, add a couple of ladles of syrup to each pack and put at maximum vacuum.

With a mandolin cutter, slice the scallions very thinly and fry them in oil at 170°C until they are an intense golden colour.

Fillet the umbrine, remove the skin and place the fillets on a thin bed made with a mix of half salt and half sugar, sprinkle the top part of the fillet with the same mix. After some 15 minutes, rinse the fillets under running water and drain them with kitchen paper. Cut the fillets to your liking, in small pieces.

Meanwhile prepare a deep baking tin and fill it with olive oil, put into the oven and bring the oil to 75°C. Remove the baking tin from the oil and put the pieces of umbrine inside (make sure they are completely immersed) and leave to cook slowly.

Clean the spinach carefully, cut into rough slices. In a large container, put the couscous and the water at room temperature and start working it with your hands, mixing again and again. Season with salt and pepper, adding water until you obtain the preferred grain dimension.

Add some extra virgin olive oil and mix again. Put the couscous into a special couscous pot, place it on a high pot with boiling water, seal the part where the pots touch with a roll made with flour and water, and leave to steam cook for around an hour. Pour the cooked couscous in the “incocciatura” container and add the goat butter, mixing energetically with a spatula until the butter has melted and the couscous is soft and well separated.

Now add the albedo, the scallion and the almonds, stir the ingredients so they are homogenously mixed with the couscous.

Put the kefir into a glass, add two tablespoons of miso, blend with a hand blender and keep to a side.

Season the spinach with some sumac, a little oil and a little salt, mix and place a four small handfuls in the centre of each serving dish.

Place the couscous all around the spinach, add the small pieces of umbrine where the couscous and the spinach touch and season, and season with half a ladle of kefir and miso, trying to soak all the elements of the dish as much as possible.


Signature Dishes