When ravioli and tagliatelle are pizza (and marry with Champagne) – Italian Cuisine


At the pizzeria La Piedigrotta Varese the master pizza chef Antonello Cioffi presents his very original creations, to be enjoyed in combination with the bubbles of the Maison Krug

Between twenty-two Krug Ambassade Italians – the selection of prestigious Italian restaurants chosen as spokespersons for the famous Maison di Champagne – there is also one pizzeria. Strange? Absolutely no. A little because the combination of pizza and bubbles has now been widely cleared through customs, with the queen of the Italian table who over the last few years has often been able to reinvent herself in a gourmet key, going well beyond the traditional combinations with beer or Coca-Cola. And partly because the pizzeria in question is actually La Piedigrotta of Varese, guided by an absolute master of creativity in the kitchen – and in the oven – how Antonello Cioffi.

When the bubbles meet the pizza

At the table there is nothing more fascinating than a successful encounter between a popular tradition and a product usually considered luxury. You can guess it by tasting the increasingly popular ones gourmet truffle pizzasof course, but it is perfectly understood even when one finds the courage to break the patterns of custom and uncork a good bottle of sparkling wine to accompany one's own Margherita. Or a Quattro Formaggi, or a Capricciosa if you prefer. As well as Tania Mauri and Luciana Squadrilli explain in their book "Pizza and bubbles", made in collaboration with Alfonso Isinelli, ordering a Champagne in a pizzeria can be absolutely right. But above all very, very funny. "The bubbles help to degrease the palate, and therefore they are potentially ideal even with the dear old pizza", emphasizes Tania Mauri. "Whether it's a Prosecco, a Lambrusco or a Classic Method, the important thing is not to have prejudices. A Champagne, for example, is sublime with a red pizza with anchovies .

La Piedigrotta, the thousand faces of pizza

Then it happens that the pizza temporarily undresses the clothes of popular food and wears those of a muse, a luscious source of inspiration. Behind the canvas, in this case, we find an artist of the caliber of Antonello Cioffi, patron of the pizzeria La Piedigrotta in Varese. From his love for farina & co, but also from his effervescent creative madness and from the meticulous attention to leavening, proposals such as the broken pizzas, with a glass of stracciatella di Andria separately; but also the puttanesca pizza tagliatelle, where the traditional pasta is replaced by strips of dough; or even the Mantuan pizza raviolo (obviously stuffed with pumpkin and macaroons), the pizza cornice hot dog, the fake egg to bull's eye with trartuelle lamellas and a mushroom-like pizza always, with a tasteful cover Negroni. A real amusement park made menu, which is associated with a rich wine list with over 20 sparkling wine proposals. Including, of course, the bottles of the Maison Krug. "I like to consider pizza as an all-round dish, sometimes even as an ingredient, without limiting its possible variations," he says. "This is why the combination with a unique Champagne like Krug can really be perfect".

A toast with Krug Vintage 2006

Thus the proposals of Antonello Cioffi become a wonderful opportunity to enter the lively world of Champagne. And in that of the Maison Krug, in particular, which in view of the holidays proposes his Krug 2006. A Classic Method composed of 45% of Pinot Noir, 35% of Chardonnay and the remaining 20% ​​of Meuniers, the son of a particularly warm vintage, but with a slightly capricious climate as the harvest approaches: the result , after 12 years of rest in the cellars of the Maison, it is a generous Champagne, with an intense golden color, with aromas of yellow fruit, toasted almonds, hazelnuts, maple syrup, meringue and mandarin liqueur. On the palate, on the other hand, it is generous and pleasantly fresh, with notes of nougat and a finish of pink grapefruit peel. A prestigious product, particularly recommended for a truly special dinner. Like the whole-pizza one by La Piedigrotta, for example.

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