Alberti’s coloured pens

Lisa Casali presents a recipe created by the chef for The CooKing Show

by Lisa Casali
On many occasions chef and pastry chef Franco Alib

On many occasions chef and pastry chef Franco Aliberti was invited by Lisa in the daily show she runs live from Expo Milano 2015, broadcasted on RAI3 until 5th September from Monday till Friday at 12.30 pm (Credits: The CooKing Show, photos by Abraham Caprani)

Here’s another dish, among those tasted at The CooKing Show which stole my heart. This is also the last week of daily broadcast on RAI3 as on 5th September the new weekly edition of the show will begin: every Saturday from 6 to 7 pm with 6 chefs, my new anti-waste column and super guests.

Franco Aliberti, chef and patron, together with Andrea Muccioli, of ÈVVIVA, dolci e cucina a scarto zero is one of the most beloved chefs by our audience and has long stood out, first as the brilliant pastry-chef in Bottura’s team, than as chef at Vite, and before at Marchesino, Alajmo, Ducasse.

Despite this super cv he’s a simple, frank and direct guy who loves to have fun and charm, playing for instance on fairy tales and cartoons because children are not the only ones who like to play. But there’s more than play in his work, this is just one of the layers in his dishes in which a strong attention is always payed to health and environmental sustainability too.

Franco Aliberti

Franco Aliberti

Thanks to his talent and attention to these themes, he’s one of the chefs I hold dearest, an obvious affinity with a chef who decided to focus not just on good food but also on giving value to the less-noble parts of ingredients. Among the dishes he presented at The CooKing show (you can see them again at this link), this is one of my favourites, because it combines play, health, no waste and another theme I hold very dear: where have legumes gone in Italian fine dining?!

Here’s the L’orto che non c’è [The vegetable garden that disappeared] by Franco Aliberti: 3 “pens” in 3 different colours/vegetables of which 100% of the ingredient is used.


For the green mixture
100 g spinach cream (blanch the stalks, leave them to cool and blend them)
250 g re-milled semolina
2 g salt
100 g cannellini bean cream (cooked in water with herbs and then blended)
20 g spinach
grated lemon
grated cheese

For the red mixture
100 g pepper cream (bake the whole peppers in the oven at 190°C, leave them to cool, peel them, remove the seeds and blend them)
250 g re-milled semolina
2 g salt
100 g cannellini bean cream (cooked in water with herbs and then blended)
20 g beetroot juice
pepper and fresh basil

For the brown mixture
100 g aubergine cream (dice them removing the peel and cook them with garlic, thyme, oil and salt in the oven at 185°C. Leave them to cool, eliminate the herbs and blend adding a little water)
250 g re-milled semolina
2 g salt
100 g cannellini bean cream (cooked in water with herbs and then blended)
2 g powdered licorice
pepper and marjoram

L'orto che non c'è

L'orto che non c'è


Prepare the 3 mixtures with the semolina, salt and the three creams made with spinach, peppers and aubergines so as to obtain three doughs in different colours. Leave them to rest for around ten minutes then roll them out creating a thin rectangle of around 10x6cm. Cook them in salted boiling water, leave them to cool and then prepare the coloured pens. Cook the cannellini beans, mash them and divide them into the tree containers. Season with aromatic herbs, one with chopped spinach, the second with beetroot juice and the third with powdered licorice. Put a stripe of this mixture on the edge of the pastry and roll it once to close it in a pen, then cut. Press on the side edges so as to close the pens. Bake the pens in the oven at 180°C for 7 minutes. Fry some spinach leaves, the peel of the pepper and the aubergines for garnishing. Draw three stripes with the 3 coloured creams on the plate as if they were drawn with the coloured pens, place the pens on the edge of each stripe and complete with the fried peel and a light milk reduction.



Tecniche, ingredienti e iniziative della ristorazione attenta all'ambiente e agli ideali di Expo 2015, viste da Lisa Casali


Earth Day 2016