IG2022: the future is now

29-04-2022

Riccardo Camanini at Identità Milano 2022: from platypus to the evolution of pasta

At the congress, the chef and patron from Lido 84 presented the result of his research on the most emblematic ingredient of Italian cuisine. With special cooking techniques and the goal of transforming it into an atypical side dish

Riccardo Camanini shows the audience at Identità

Riccardo Camanini shows the audience at Identità Milano 2022 one of the jars in which he gave a special treatment to pasta
(All photos from Brambilla/Serrani)

«Platypus». Riccardo Camanini surprises everyone by announcing the title of his talk from the stage of the Auditorium. «Platypus is a funny animal, they look part like ducks, part like beavers, part like fish». The chef and patron from Lido 84, a beautiful restaurant is Gardone Riviera, is not the kind of person who likes to shock, but his thoughts are always stimulating, so much so that these days Camanini is considered by many as one not-to-be-missed in Italy. «During the lockdown I often watched documentaries on platypuses, wondering if they were the result of an evolution or an involution».

Now we get to the real meaning: «It made me think of pasta. How can we make pasta evolve or decline?». The most popular Italian dish in the world, pasta is always boiled or cooked in the oven. «We don't know if this will be a positive or negative change, but we can try to give it a new flavour and place it in a different way in a recipe».

Paolo Marchi on the stage with Camanini

Paolo Marchi on the stage with Camanini

Camanini illustrates his work: «We went back to a project we started in 2018 called 84 hours of pasta and this resulted in a pasta with mostarda». Different formats of pasta were steamed cooked at 84°C for 12 hours gelatinising the starch; so that it would go back to al dente, we then retrograded it for 12 hours at 3°C. «This way the flavours were more concentrated because the starch was fixed on the pasta and not lost in the water». The method was repeated for seven days and then the pasta was cooked for a couple of minutes in salted water and immersed in jars with different types of mostarda for 84 hours.

«This resulted in an evolution. In some cases, the pasta acquired the texture of marron glacé, in others they remained al dente because inside the jars three types of sugars met, monosaccharide, disaccharide and polysaccharide».

From Riccardo Camanini four gourmet ideas in which pasta becomes a side dish, not the main character, but a supporting actor necessary for the plot. We start with Steamed Turbot paired with lumachine pasta, in contact for 84 hours with a liquid of pear and artichoke mostarda and filled with a pesto sauce of Bronte pistachios and sea tomatoes with a strong and crispy flavour. Second dish: Scallops from Chioggia, small and tasty, with strong notes of hazelnuts, served raw with a cream made with turmeric, and a side made with tridente, a type of triangular spaghetti particularly good and callous, roasted only on one side, and previously cooked for 84 hours with a mostarda of butternut squash.

Third recipe from the chef at number 15 in the World 50 Best are Veal nerves, first cooked in water then in chicken broth to give the classic flavour of boiled meat, and finally put in saor, a liquid preserve made with vinegar, white wine, oil, parsley, and vinegar of mountain pine. The nerves are served with fusilli with a mostarda of quince apples and ginger, sweetly sour and spicy.

Last dish, Breast of wild pigeon from the Apennines, pan fried, served with a sauce of guinea fowl liver, pomegranate, minty leaves of balsamita, a slightly sour leopoldo geranium, a dash of blueberry vinegar to add a sweet note, and finally its side: fusilloni with date and Lagavulin whisky mostarda, roasted, with an aroma of fruits and peat.

This is the evolution of Camanini, a new vision of pasta which moves from main character in Italian cuisine to a side dish full of personality, the result of a technical procedure and of an extraordinary process. Federico Fellini used to say this, and the dishes prepared by one of the best chefs in the world confirm this: life is a combination of pasta and magic. And many thanks to platypus.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


IG2022: the future is now

Davide Visiello

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Davide Visiello

Born in 1974 near Naples, now living further south, he’s a sommelier and coffee taster convinced that those born in Vico Equense like him have a gourmet imprinting by birth. He lives, writes and organises events in Palermo, but eats and drinks everywhere

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