One of the giants of Italian contemporary cuisine teaches us some of his best-kept secrets about pasta  

csoriano
January 28, 2019

Today at Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión 2019, we welcomed Ricardo Camarini, a chef who combines knowledge and sensitivity in unusual ways. The chef from Lido 84 learnt his art alongside Gualtiero Marchesi and Alain Ducasse and today produces very delicate cuisine that we learnt about today in his interpretation of pasta.

Camanini gave a brilliant talk, in which the most common and best-known of the ingredients of Italian popular cuisine was taken back thousands of years, revealing how the separation took place the Italian and the Chinese versions of pasta. And how the Greeks and Etruscans learnt of it in Italy and, in the case of the latter, left their mark on it for the future: Macaria was the name given to pasta by the Etruscans, ending up as today’s macaroni.

Some other interesting data from his research. Until the Middle Ages there was no dry pasta. This only resulted from the need to take the product to Sicily at a time when travel was not so reliable. The solution was to dry the pasta. Previously it had only been consumed fresh and was baked, not boiled. Cooking it in water arose at about the same time.

From the strictly gastronomic point of view, his talk focused on three of the simplest ways of cooking pasta, although in his hands each of the dishes took on a new meaning. We were surprised by his pastine in brodo made from flavoured wáter, obtained from soaking chickpeas. This dish was followed by Spaghettini pomodoro, based on handmade tomato concentrate, multiplying the sensations promised by the dish. And, to end, the ultimate, White pasta, made with only oil and parmesan, but nothing is ever so simple, and simplicity involves a certain dose of complexity. Camanini cooks the pasta in a steam oven for several days to break down its molecular structures and make it much more digestible, while maintaining the al dente texture that is essential in Italian cuisine. A dish that stems from study and expresses the excellence of the chef.