Hand drawn rigatoni with cooked and raw scorpion fish in its ragout
by Alfonso Caputo
źIo difendo la pizza all'ananas╗
Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia
via privata Montecuccoli, 6
via privata Montecuccoli, 6
In Milan, if you say «I’m going to Aimo’s tonight » there can’t be any doubt that there’s a table awaiting you at the Luogo di Aimo e Nadia in via Montecuccoli, in the western, squared suburbs of the next Expo city. When in 1962 the Moroni’s arrived there for the first time, however, roads weren’t even tarred. They took over a bar that had Stella written on its sign, a quite prophetic star, with bowling grounds and the fresh memory of Cascina Arzaga, razed to the ground two years earlier to make space for what would then become the economic boom Milan.
When you talk about Aimo e Nadia, everybody, starting from the younger generations, should stand to attention. Originally from Tuscany - Aimo from Pescia, where he was born in January 1934 and e Nadia, born in 1940, from Chiesina Azzanese, both children of carabinieri - they learned the suffering of the war and then made the inevitable journey of hope towards the North when they were still kids. Aimo arrived in Milan by train on April 20th 1946 and started to work straight away, unofficially as he was only twelve years old. He sold roasted chestnuts during the winter and ice cream in summer. Nadia did the same in 1952, settling in the kitchen of an aunt. The first restaurant arrived in ’55, next to the Stazione Centrale, Nadia appeared the following year and never left.
Today their daughter Stefania is in first line while in the kitchen we find Fabio Pisani and Alessandro Negrini, fantastic interpreters of the Moroni philosophy while adding a new touch, Apulian mostly, as that’s where Fabio comes from. In a city that has seen many Tuscan trattorias flourish, long before the post-war years, the Luogo has never been considered a typical Tuscan place, where dishes are all the same, everywhere, every time, in endless menus.
Aimo’s first commandment: freshness of raw materials. Second commandment: their seasonality. Third: their being Italian. This man has an infinite knowledge of each ingredient, as long as it is part of Italy’s gastronomic history. There’s no limit to his philosophy and curiosity - and irony as well, as his staple dish, the Spaghetti with fresh spring onion and chilli, first version in 1965, was born to dignify pasta aglio, olio e peperoncino (with garlic, oil and chilli) in full swing at that time - all this as long as the Italian basics are not questioned. At Aimo’s you won’t find Mediterranean sushi or strawberry or coffee risotto. You go to Aimo’s to set your palate on the primordial tastes of a nation that has thousands to offer. Indeed, Aimo is history.
born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose. twitter @oloapmarchi