An Italian Theory+Gnambox

An Italian Theory + Gnam Box
An exclusive project on the occasion of Taste 8
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Sensory Interview by A. Enriquez
Stefano Paleari e Riccardo Casiraghi
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Asparagus risotto
Recipes from the Food Diary
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An Italian Theory + Gnam Box

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The Italian Theory by Alessandro Enriquez arrives in Florence during the fair dedicated to food Made ​​in Italy together with a creative excellence in the world of food blogging, Gnam Box.
Alessandro will traces the profiles of Stefano Paleari and Riccardo Casiraghi through an exclusive interview, a sensory format that reveals the two young creatives and their relationship with the flavors, colors, aromas and memories.
An Italian Theory and Gnam Box will be present during the event of Taste and prepare for us some surprises. Follow them on our and Gnam Box website and during the presentation of the book "An Italian 10x10 Theory" in the prestigious setting of the Florentine concept store "Luisaviaroma", Saturday, March 9 at 18:00.  

Sensory Interview by A. Enriquez

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We use colors to communicate and express ourselves. Which are your colors?
STEFANO: My colors vary often and I like to think that I am not someone who has a “favorite color”. At the moment, definitely pastel colors.
RICCARDO: Green, sky blue and grey!

Each of us has a connection to certain foods, even on just an emotional level. Which foods are closest to your heart?
STEFANO: I feel very close to foods that immediately remind me of the flavors of the warmer months… tomatoes, basil, eggplants and peppers.
RICCARDO: Spices, dried grapes and herbs.

What kind of fragrance does your life have? Which colors are impressed on your olfactory memory?

STEFANO: I like to think that my life smells of basil or rosemary, of sun-ripened vegetables. I love the perfume of ripe tomato, it immediately makes you feel good! The colors are definitely green and red.
RICCARDO: The fragrances of uncontaminated nature, aromatic plants, the Mediterranean scrub, earth and pepper.
The greens of aromatic herbs, and the colors of ripe fruit.

Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Which of these elements do you prefer? And which of these do you link to the theme of travel and, in particular, a destination?

STEFANO: Without doubt Fire, which moves fast. I link the element of Earth with travel, a wild, bucolic journey.
RICCARDO: Air and earth.
Air as the symbol of fast movement, as a conductor, as lightness and curiosity. Earth as experience, the destination.

Mother’s special dish, grandmother’s recipe. Which foods from your past do you remember with nostalgia?
STEFANO: My grandmother’s recipe: pasta with fresh tomato and basil. That recipe immediately takes me back to when I was small and spent long days with my grandmother. All I wanted to eat was “pasta al pomodoro” and maintained that nobody else could make it like her.
RICCARDO: My mother’s lasagna, her special dish, which we used to prepare on the eve of a holiday. I remember seeing the dough being rolled out on a table covered with a tablecloth that had red and orange flowers, I remember stealing some of the “ragu” meat sauce from the saucepan and the béchamel sauce as well. Which, in the end, was never enough..

Which flavors do you associate with your work?
STEFANO: A spicy taste that leaves a very precise, good taste in your mouth and remains impressed in your memory.
RICCARDO: Any flavors that create a contrast and bravely experiment with new mixtures.

Busiati with pesto spiced with caramelized tomatoes

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Ingredients for two servings

- 160 gr Busiati pasta
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 100 gr almonds
- pecorino cheese
- nutmeg
- thyme
- cinnamon
- brown sugar
- salt
- black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil

Wash the cherry tomatoes, dry and cut them in half. Arrange the tomatoes on a tray covered with greaseproof paper with the cut side upwards and two cloves of crushed, unpeeled garlic.


Add the salt and thyme and cover the tomatoes with the brown sugar. Sprinkle the tray with extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven for 45 minutes at 200 degrees.


Once the tomatoes have caramelized, remove the garlic and use the tomatoes for the pesto. Place the tomatoes in the food blender and add a dusting of pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a handful of almonds. Add olive oil. Blend finely.


In the meantime, cook the Busiati pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water.Add the pesto to the pasta and serve with a mixture of roughly chopped pecorino, almonds and garlic.

Asparagus risotto

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Ingredients for two servings

- 160 g rice Carnaroli Acquerello
- 10 asparagus spears
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 glass white wine
- Parmigiano cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt
- pepper


Wash the asparagus thoroughly to remove any soil.
Cook in boiling salted water in an asparagus pan or standing up in a normal pan, with the tips out of the water as these must only be steamed to retain their crunch.
Once cooked, drain the asparagus, keeping their cooking water to use as stock once tasted for salt.


Cut off the bottom, harder part of the asparagus and put it back to boil in the stock, keep the tips whole and cut the rest of the stems into slices.
Sauté the rice with a drizzle of oil, just enough to coat it without any excess in the pan.
Add half a glass of dry white wine and evaporate.
Gradually add the stock to the rice and cook, stirring from time to time.
Meanwhile, blitz the sliced asparagus stalks with a little stock to give a creamy consistency.


When the rice is almost ready, add the cream and finish cooking.
Take off the heat and beat the risotto with the juice of half a lemon and two handfuls of grated Parmigiano cheese.
Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and serve on a plate with the asparagus tips. Sprinkle with pepper, if liked.

Italian crostata with ricotta, hazelnuts and dark chocolate

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for the pastry

- 500 g cake flour Molino Gatti
- 150 g unrefined cane sugar
- 150 g butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 pinches of salt
- a little milk (two dessertspoons)

for the filling

- 400 g fresh ricotta
- 150 g Piedmont hazelnuts PGI Azienda Agricola Papa dei Boschi
- 150 g dark chocolate

Make the pastry by kneading all the ingredients together.
Put to rest in the fridge for about thirty minutes. Meanwhile, blitz the hazelnuts and chocolate until finely chopped. Add the hazelnuts and chocolate to the ricotta and stir well to give a creamy mixture.


Roll out 2/3 of the pastry quite thinly, measuring a circle about 2 or 3 centimetres wider than the cake tin. Butter the tin, including the sides and dust with sugar, shaking to remove any excess. Place the circle of pastry into the tin, drawing up the edges slightly to form the sides. 


Pour the ricotta cream onto the pastry and level. Roll out the remaining pastry quite thinly, cut out a circle the same size as the tin and then use to cover the filling. Press with your fingers to seal the edges and make a few cuts in the top with a knife. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 40-45 minutes. Cool and serve with icing sugar and crushed hazelnuts.