All the culinary masterpieces featured at Striscia la Notizia

With Casunziei from SanBrite, broadcasted this week as a tribute to the World Ski Championships in Cortina, the section dedicated to Italian fine food reaches 50 episodes

Casunziei with butter and poppy seeds, the signatu

Casunziei with butter and poppy seeds, the signature dish of Cortina d'Ampezzo in the delicious interpretation of Riccardo Gaspari, chef and patron at SanBrite with his wife Ludovica Rubbini

On Tuesday 9th of February, Capolavori italiani in cucina stopped in Cortina d'Ampezzo, which since last Sunday is hosting, for two weeks, the World Ski Championships. The choice of date was not a coincidence. This way Riccardo Gaspari presented at Striscia la Notizia  the emblem dish of an Alpine town that hosted the Olympics already in 1956 and will do so again in 2026. Thanks to the chef from SanBrite many viewers discovered casunziei whose name recalls casoncelli, the typical pasta of Bergamo and Brescia, though the comparison ends there. While the pasta from Lombardy is filled with meat, the one from Cortina is vegetarian.

To be precise, in Val Pusteria, and all-around Tyrol, the pasta is called Schlutzkrapfen and it's filled with ricotta and spinach, while in the Ladine area it's called casunziei and is red, because of the beetroots mashed with the potatoes. 

Ernesto Iaccarino, featured in the first episode of Capolavori italiani in cucina, on the 3rd December 2019 within Striscia la Notizia

Ernesto Iaccarino, featured in the first episode of Capolavori italiani in cucina, on the 3rd December 2019 within Striscia la Notizia

In general, the series has now reached its 50th episode, after the debut on the 3rd of December when nobody would have foreseen what was going to happen between Wuhan in China and the whole planet. Of one thing I'm truly proud: we never skipped an episode for the satirical news programme created and curated by Antonio Ricci, not even when the lockdown forbade me to leave home. All this thanks to director Massimo Tomagnini and the audio recordings via Skype.

The episodes gradually covered the delicacies of thirteen regions, with Lombardy featured in as many as 19 episodes even though in some cases I wondered if it was right to place into a specific area someone originally from one place and now working in another. This was for instance the case of Viviana Varese

Viviana Varese's take on Fried pizza 

Viviana Varese's take on Fried pizza 

Originally from Salerno, now based in Milan, she made fried pizza. But there's also the case of someone who, after opening the first restaurant in one town, then replicated the format multiple times elsewhere. Like with brothers Matteo and Salvatore Aloe. From Calabria, they graduated from university in Bologna and that's where they launched Berberè now serving the same pizzas in 12 different restaurants. So where should we place Pizza Viola, purple because of the beetroots? In the end, I placed it in Emilia.

Pizza viola from the Aloe brothers at Berberè

Pizza viola from the Aloe brothers at Berberè

With Gaspari and his casunziei it will be a debut for Veneto. It's surprising, since it's on the border with Lombardy, but what with the pandemic and the bans, this was the first opportunity. And we still need to cover Friuli, Romagna, Umbria, Molise, Basilicata, Sardinia and Calabria. I hope time will be on our side.

As for the dishes, the abundance of pasta comes as no surprise: nineteen dishes. In Italy we love carbohydrates, we can't do without. If we add risotto, five recipes, half of the episodes feature a first course. 

A nice screenshot from the episode of Striscia that featured Carlo Cracco and Alain Ducasse

A nice screenshot from the episode of Striscia that featured Carlo Cracco and Alain Ducasse

And then there are three pizzas, an ice cream, a salad, the one deserving to be framed, from Enrico Crippa at Piazza Duomo in Alba, only three fish recipes and three starters, Insalata russa caramellata from Carlo Cracco and torta pasqualina from Marco Visciola at Eataly Genova. Meat was featured eight times, and so was with cakes.

Finally, two chefs appeared twice: the Cerea brothers, Chicco and Bobo, first charmed with their Double cutlet, then finished the 2019/20 season at the end of June with their cannoncini which they brought to the hosts of the TV programme, Michele Hunziker and Gerry Scotti

Cesare Battisti instead, in mid-February, revealed every step of Saffron risotto with bone marrow, and then early in May he launched a not very mouth-watering alarm  on the crisis that has hit restaurants, which have fallen at the end of a precipice and were left there by Conte's government.

One thing is certain: there are so many masterpieces in Italian cuisine, without even considering the most creative recipes, that I will never overcome my embarrassment for not knowing which one to pick next. For anyone that is recorded, there are ten that I'm forced to ignore. 

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso 

Capolavori Italiani in cucina


Paolo Marchi

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.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
instagram instagram.com/oloapmarchi

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