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Sunday 25th October: Identità di Pasta celebrates the World Pasta Day

For the first time, the 11th edition of the well-established format within the Congress, happens on the World Pasta Day. Here's the programme with all its protagonists

All the protagonists of the 11th edition of Ident

All the protagonists of the 11th edition of Identità di Pasta, an important segment of the Congress in Milan. From the top left corner, clockwise: Matias PerdomoMartina CarusoDavide GuidaraCarlo CraccoCristiano TomeiAndrea BertonValeria Piccini and Gianfranco Pascucci. Save the date for Sunday 25th October, Sala Blu 1, from 11 am to 5.50 pm. Register here

The double postponement of the congress created a happy consequence: the 11th edition of Identità di Pasta this year happens on Sunday 25th of October, exactly on the World Pasta DayRiccardo Felicetti, supporter since the start of both events, reminds us of this.

«We're very happy of this coincidence», the CEO of the homonymous pasta factory in the province of Trento explains, «while in Milan with Identità di Pasta we will write an important chapter, this year the Ipo,  International Pasta Organization, chose to have a delocalised edition: the event will take place all around the world and the heart of the day will be Al Dente. Institutions, stakeholders, chefs, restaurants and pasta lovers are invited to describe through a dish their passion for pasta and for Mediterranean living. Chefs and restaurants from all over the world are invited to present a recipe inspired by the new Mediterranean Diet, which this year celebrates the 10th anniversary since it was nominated a ‘Unesco Immaterial World Heritage’».

«Italians have restarted from the ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, they have trained at home, organised social meals to feel closer. This resulted in the #VivoMediterraneo movement: a collection of principles and daily actions that unites food, exercise, conviviality and sustainability. Values made current in an evolving environment».

Let's see all the protagonists of this year's lessons in Milan.

11 am
Matias Perdomo (Contraste, Milan)
The opening of the 11th edition of Identità di pasta will be handed to the chef of Contraste in Milan. When thinking of the match made by the Uruguayan chef and dry pasta, his lesson at Gastronomika in San Sebastian from October 2014 comes to mind: Matias turned out to be the best speaker of the night. He ended the lesson by explaining: «Cooking must be based on tradition, looking at the future while living the present». The same motto has characterised all his signature dishes over these years, from Raviolo col tuco to Pasta, beans and foie gras. Dishes that result from travels, or from happy oppositions, noble and poor.

Pasta, beans and foie gras from Matias Perdomo (photo

Pasta, beans and foie gras from Matias Perdomo (photo

Pacòte Monograno Felicetti with flying squid, #tumapersa and crispy chards from Martina Caruso

Pacòte Monograno Felicetti with flying squid, #tumapersa and crispy chards from Martina Caruso

11.50 am
Martina Caruso (Signum, Salina – Messina)
The young Aeolian cook will debut on this stage (though not at the congress as she has already been a speaker on other past occasions). It's a right she has deserved in the field, most recently at Identità Golose Milano. How could we forget the Pacòte Monograno Felicetti, flying squid, crispy chards and Tuma Persa that she presented during a lesson in via Romagnosi? «A declaration of love for pasta», Marialuisa Iannuzzi later wrote, «a dish which, through its humble ingredients, evokes old flavours, the wildness of the island, a sip of silky sea thanks to the Tuma Persa, the material contact between earth and roots».

12.40 pm
Davide Guidara (Sum, Catania)
Another debut (this one is absolute) and another Sicilian at work with durum wheat pasta. That this young man has talent is confirmed by his Fusilli, donkey and goat's cheese, «an idea of pasta that is not (just) a full dish, but bites you can enjoy because of their essential and neat character», Carlo Passera wrote a while ago. «The Sicilian terroir. He wants you to fully understand every local ingredient», this is the overall concept. Which will return in Sala Blu 1.

Rigatone with mastic resin, Carlo Cracco

Rigatone with mastic resinCarlo Cracco

Sea of Plastic, Gianfranco Pascucci

Sea of PlasticGianfranco Pascucci

1.30 pm
Carlo Cracco (Cracco, Milan)
The last lesson before the lunch break will be handed to a veteran of "Identità di Pasta", who, if I'm not mistaken, has held as many as 9 lessons out of 10 editions. His tenth speech will continue a thread from the past, described by a memorable series of first courses: Rigatone with mastic resin and raw porciniFusillotto with smoked butterHomage to Gualtiero Marchesi 2018Spaghettone Il Valentino with red cabbage, cocoa grues and salmon roeSpaghettino provola, lemon and capers … We could go on and on.

3.20 pm
Gianfranco Pascucci (Pascucci al Porticciolo, Fiumicino – Rome)
The first lesson of the afternoon will feature the author of one of the noblest sea cuisines in Italy, continued for three generations now among the dunes of Fiumicino. Please note we used the word "sea", and not "fish/seafood" cuisine because as he explained a while ago in Via Romagnosi, «the sea has many meanings, and it is most of all a place that embraces the earth and influences the very diverse surrounding territories». His recent fusillone Mare di plastica is one of the most intense dishes of 2019. Let's see what he will present now.

4.10 pm
Valeria Piccini (Da Caino, Montemerano – Grosseto)
It may sound strange but there's a debut at “Identità di Pasta” even for her, an iconic representative of the culinary scene of Maremma, 2 Michelin stars for over 20 years. "At home or in my restaurant, pasta is always present", she often confesses. That she has a talent for pasta is proven by the appearances with which she has turned Via Romagnosi upside down over this year. Among the most recent happy examples: Fusilli al ferretto, lamb ragù in bianco, apples and coffee, a delicious Tuscan-Apulian experiment. 

Pasta seashells with fish soup, Andrea Berton

Pasta seashells with fish soupAndrea Berton

Spaghetti with meat sauce in bianco, Cristiano Tomei

Spaghetti with meat sauce in biancoCristiano Tomei

Andrea Berton (Berton, Milano)
Pasta and leeks (presented during a lesson at Identità Golose 2015). Kamut spaghetti with wild herbs and sea snails. Last but not least, Spaghettino Monograno Felicetti, hazelnuts and Grana Padano which charmed the audience of Identità Golose Milano, «a dish that makes waiting for the winter more pleasant, and blends technique, softness and aromas», Marialuisa Iannuzzi wrote. Should we add more on the instinct of the chef from Friuli for dry pasta? A permanent mark in his habits which his maestro Gualtiero Marchesi first left in him many years ago.

5.50 PM
Cristiano Tomei (L’Imbuto, Lucca)

By popular demand, after two editions, Cristiano Tomei returns in Sala Blu 1.  In March 2018 he debuted with determination: «You should never cook pasta risotto-style! We must give it back its dignity, and return to drain it and then season it quickly in the pan. If we're no longer capable of doing so, it means there's something wrong». A return to the origins that resulted in the magnificent Rigatoni, squid, lemon zest and aromatic herbs and a provocation, Spaghetti with bread, butter and jamMore recently, he surprised us with Spaghetti in bianco with meat sauce, a sort of Pasta with pasta. That is to say the utmost enhancement of durum wheat.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

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Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes. 
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