Great names at Identità di Pasta, edition number 9

Alleno, Bottura, Cracco... The speakers and a preview of the event dedicated to durum wheat and creativity

Left to right, Yannick Alleno, Massimo Bottura,

Left to right, Yannick AllenoMassimo BotturaRomain Meder and Alain Ducasse in a selfie taken a few weeks ago. The former two will speak at the 9th edition of Identità di Pasta, on Sunday 4th March, in Sala Blu 1, from 10.45 am to 5.30 pm

Sunday 4th March, Sala Blu 1, from 10.45 am to 5.30 pm. These are the details of the 9th edition in a row of Identità di Pasta, one of the pillar-events within Identità Milano. It started in 2010 thanks to an intuition of pasta producer Riccardo Felicetti from Predazzo (Trento) and Paolo Marchi, founder of the congress.

So much creative work has been done with durum wheat. These ideas have changed the direction for pasta, in terms of use and consumption, and not just in Italy. This is shown by the presence of two important foreign speakers in this year’s programme.

French Yannick Alléno (lesson at 3pm) – a total of 6 Michelin stars in two French restaurants, Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris and 1947 in Courchevel – will debut on the stage in Milan with a mantra: «We make a large use of pasta because it gives a sense of pleasure and warmth, just like a rich cake», he anticipated a few months ago. He will be echoed by American Sarah Grueneberg, from the other side of the ocean. She’s so in love with the Italian dish par excellence that it’s the foundations of her “ristorante & pastificio” Monteverde in Chicago. The restaurant is a tribute to durum wheat and fresh egg pasta: from Pasta tipica (Sardinian gnocchetti, pumpkin tortelloni, spaghetti alla chitarra) to Pasta atipica (Arrabbiata with prawns, or Cacio Whey Pepe). 

Carlo Cracco and Luca Sacchi, ready to open Cracco in Galleria

Carlo Cracco and Luca Sacchi, ready to open Cracco in Galleria

Cristoforo Trapani e Salvatore Bianco, chefs from Naples

Cristoforo Trapani e Salvatore Bianco, chefs from Naples

Two great interpreters of Italian creativity, in Italy and around the world, will also get on stage before them. The day will begin with Carlo Cracco (at 10.45), who has built a large part of his reputation based on his first courses. And he will continue to nourish his reputation in his new, very ambitious restaurant in the Galleria in Milan, which is scheduled to open on the 21st February. At 3.50 pm it will be the turn of Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, who was charmed on the way to pasta, not just the fresh and filled kind.

These are only some of the speakers scheduled that day. When speaking of durum wheat and bronze-cutters of course Campania, the cradle of dry pasta, comes to mind. So there will be Neapolitan Cristoforo Trapani, chef at restaurant Magnolia inside hotel Byron in Forte dei Marmi (at 11.30). «I’ll try to show that pasta can also work as a dessert», he anticipates, «but not a puffed dessert. This is why I’ll serve Tagliatella with tomato and mozzarella, but in a sweet version. He’s inspired by crepe suzette, with yellow and red cherry tomatoes, mozzarella water and San Marzano tomato jam. All this mixed with the juice of buffalo milk mozzarella».

With him, there will be Salvatore Bianco from Torre del Greco, also in Campania (2.10 pm), at the helm of Comandante inside Romeo hotel in Naples. The chef explored like few others the concept of pasta with tomato sauce in all its facets.

Identità di Pasta will also see the debut in Milan of Tuscan Cristiano Tomei from Imbuto in Lucca (1 pm), who intends to express an idiosyncrasy: «Pasta is pasta. It’s not rice. This is why I explain I never cook it as risotto, in the pan, the way it is often prepared. I’ll explain this idea through three different dishes, cooked so that one can taste and not lessen the flavour of pasta».

American chef Sarah Grueneberg

American chef Sarah Grueneberg

Antonello Colonna, Cristiano Tomei and Alessandro Narducci

Antonello Colonna, Cristiano Tomei and Alessandro Narducci

Who knows what the other debutant thinks, that is to say Alessandro Narducci of Acquolina at the First hotel in Rome (4.40 pm). His Linguine, clams and parsley, charmed Paolo Marchi only recently, «thanks to the fact the pasta is cooked in the cooking water of the clams, with ginger and just a hint of cocoa butter to thicken».

Last but not least, and always from Rome, we can’t wait to listen to the final lecture, given by Antonello Colonna (at 5.30 pm), at the helm of Open Colonna in the capital, and of the resort in Labico in the Roman countryside. The big chef was charmed by Riccardo Felicetti only a couple of years ago. «We had a chat and that’s when I thought I had to start experimenting, and win my reluctance against what I believed was mostly a trend». The outcomes, on Sunday 4th March at the event moderated, as usual, by journalist Eleonora Cozzella.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

Monograno Felicetti


Identità Golose

This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad