Scabin: pasta is ready for everyone

The lesson held by the Piedmontese chef with Nicotra is a tasty and unconventional take on this ingredient

03-10-2015

Fortunato Nicotra of Felidia and Davide Scabin of Combal.zero in Rivoli (Torino), the authors of a lesson focused on pasta: a soup with broken spaghetti for the Italian-American chef, two versions of precooked pasta (preserved in oil and in the pressure cooker) for the Piedmontese chef

«I want to show you how you can cook pasta at home with the smallest effort. It’s a precooked pasta, and if I make it means it’s good». Our readers will easily recognise the author of this presentation: Davide Scabin of Combal.zero in Rivoli, who has participated in 6 out of 6 editions of Identità New York, thanks to the sacrilegious approach he uses to demolish the most unquestionable certainties in the world of pasta.

The first of these two certainties is broken with Scuba Oil pasta, pasta preserved in oil. After the al dente cooking, the Spaghetti with squid ink are placed directly in a cylindrical jar with frozen oil: the low temperature doesn’t allow the pasta to incorporate the oil, no more humidity enters the pasta which remains al dente for 5 days. You can keep it at room temperature, in oil. You then regenerate it in a microwave oven for 50 seconds or in a pan.

Scabin serving Amatriciana right from the pressure cooker with Elisabetta Serraiotto of Grana Padano and Paolo Marchi of Identità Golose

Scabin serving Amatriciana right from the pressure cooker with Elisabetta Serraiotto of Grana Padano and Paolo Marchi of Identità Golose

The second chapter has been Scabin’s most talked about dish for the past 10 months: Amatriciana cooked in the pressure cooker. «When it’s time for the aperitif», Scabin summed up the procedure «you pour a little wine in the glass, and put the rigatoni with the classic sauce: tomato, pork cheek, white wine, pepper, chilli pepper, no onion, no garlic, no butter. You leave it in the pressure cooker for 12 minutes over a very high heat, be it flame or induction stove, and when you finish your aperitif it’s ready for you to eat».

After this “rough” treatment, the amatriciana will be creamy as the high temperature jellifies the starch. Some Grana Padano grated directly in the pot and it’s ready. «My mother must be protesting in her coffin as I make pasta in the pressure cooker», he confesses. Yet the result is so good that 20 minutes after the service, people are still clinging to their chairs and speaking about it. «To do this», the chef from Rivoli concluded, «you’re allowed to define yourself as a “scientific gourmet”: there’s no space for improvisation».

The lesson was opened by Fortunato Nicotra, chef and good luck charm at Lidia Bastianich’s Felidia: «Three stars after his arrival», said Vince Gerasole when presenting him, «the restaurant was promoted to 3 stars by the New York Times». He also cooked for Pope Benedict XVI: «It was a blessing, even though they were on a diet», the Italian-American chef recalls, «I’ll never forget that espresso we sipped together in the kitchen, upon Ratzinger’s request».

The dish he presented was Soup cooked with a lobster and prawn broth. The soup was made with Spaghettoni Kamut Monigrano Felicetti, which he broke before cooking, «You can also use some good short pasta, of course», Nicotra explains. The cooking is like with risotto, the same broth/pasta ratio as in risotto, with perhaps a little extra water because pasta usually absorbs a little more. The dish is completed with a king prawn with a crumble made with toasted bread and almonds adding crispiness to the dish.

Soup with Monograno Felicetti (broken) spaghetti cooked in a lobster and prawn broth by Fortunato Nicotra

Soup with Monograno Felicetti (broken) spaghetti cooked in a lobster and prawn broth by Fortunato Nicotra


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