Tag: abruzzese

Sarah Cicolini: an Abruzzese in Rome – Italian Cuisine

Sarah Cicolini: an Abruzzese in Rome

Rome, San Giovanni: the culinary tradition of Abruzzo mixes with that of the capital in the Santo Palato restaurant by Sarah Cicolini

Who would have thought? There priestess of the fifth quarter in the San Giovanni neighborhood in Rome has long been a vegetarian. But yet, Sarah Cicolini, 30 years old, Abruzzese toaster of Guardiagrele, a town rich in history on the slopes of Majella, a mother from D'Annunzio, has meat in her DNA. Perhaps because it has grown in the countryside, with rhythms marked by archaic rituals and rituals such as the art of killing pigs (the thought goes to Ermanno Olmi's film, The hoof tree, winner of a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival), an area where it is natural to see hams, salami, lonze hanging in the shops. Today, gastronomic souvenirs of tourists who choose "La Guardia" (this is how the inhabitants call their country) as a destination for starry food. And not only.

«My roots have profoundly marked the passion for food: I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents, waking up to the song of the rooster, immersed in the scents of cypresses, lindens, peach trees in bloom. Breakfast was obligatorily based on homemade donuts and beaten eggs, but we also ate a lot of seasonal vegetables, seasoned with our leccino oil ", says Sarah who, having moved to Rome to study medicine, threw down her coat after four years white for wearing the senàl ’, the chef's apron. First experiences behind the counters of various places in the capital, then the lucky landing in the kitchen of Roy Caceres (Michelin star of the restaurant Metamorfosi, in Parioli) where he learned the job of brigade and met his current sous chef, Mattia Bazzurri, from Rome and a great leavening expert.

With Mattia and a handful of awake boys, Sarah Cicolini carries on Holy Palate (piazza Tarquinia 4 / a, tel. 06 77207354), an adventure that began in 2017, and was immediately reviewed in the "New York Times" which wove the praises of its Roman-style tripe.
«My dishes start from the search for an ethical consumption of meat. I think it is wrong to eat only the noble cuts. With the help of my trusted supplier, Roberto Liberati (also from Abruzzo, ed), I choose and work the forequarters that represent the beating heart of Roman cuisine, "says the chef, sitting at a table in this colorful trattoria at the avant-garde reminiscent of the Futurist movement on the one hand and the rebirth of Rome in the second post-war period on the other.
"The future? It is in working the whole beasts "", she says with conviction. Remembering, not without tenderness, the recipe of grandma Maria that is most important to her: omelette with chicken giblets. A «scarlet frittata, as you define it. «First I start to stew the heart and the gizzards with water, wine and oil, which we call gricil ', then I add the liver, one egg per person, salt, pepper and fresh parsley . To the delight of a clientele composed of Romans mostly young people and tourists.

As a good "Abruzzese de Roma", Sarah Cicolini could not forget porchetta, a specialty that unites the two regions. With some substantial differences: "That of Lazio must be cut thin and consumed cold. And it is flavored with wild fennel. In Abruzzo we serve it hot, accompanied with deadly potatoes: cut into large segments, with the peel, cooked in the oven with garlic and rosemary .

Having just returned from a work tour that stopped off in the US and Australia, she recounts the recipes with which her overseas diners delighted. «For the four-handed dinner with Bobby Flay during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami I prepared the vaccinara-style meatballs, the carbonara stuffed with liquid filling and the porchetta with potatoes. In Sidney, hosted by Marta Osteria, I focused on carbonara (with the dips of Pasta Mancini, ed), tripe and husband in my own way: a tribute to Rome, made with white flour, burnt wheat flour, vanilla and stuffed green pepper with yellow cream and cream .

At Carnival … the abruzzese cicerchiata – Italian Cuisine

The chef Rosanna Di Michele with her cicerchiata.

A Carnival cake of the Abruzzo tradition. Easy to do even at home. Here is the recipe of chef Rosanna Di Michele

Just looking at it puts joy. It will be for the decorations of the multicolored chocolate tails that look like confetti. But the cicerchiata, Carnival cake par excellence of the Abruzzo region, is a joy also for the palate.

The chef Rosanna Di Michele

The name derives from the cicerchie, legumes that have their origins in the Middle Ages and recall in the form the fried dough cubes of which the cicerchiata is made. The main ingredient is honey, according to the chef Rosanna Di Michele, Vastese with the suitcase always ready for the States where for some years promotes the typical recipes of his land. "It is a particularly common sweet in the province of Chieti, in the area of ​​Sangro-Aventino that produces and exports honey of the highest quality (famous that of Tornareccio, natural, untreated and rich in vitamins and enzymes ndr)", explains Rosanna, contagious smile which has won many celebrities including Valeria Golino and Pino Daniele during her show cooking in the Big Apple.
«I remember that when I was a little girl, I would make the cicerchiata with my mother an exciting game: cut the dough and shape the balls that had to be all the same, says the chef who prepared this recipe for the Italian Carnival celebrations in New York last year. "It must be underlined that, at first sight, the cicerchiata looks very similar to the Neapolitan struffoli. But it's not like that: the struffoli are bigger and eaten at Christmas and not at Carnevale, "concludes Rosanna, who is currently working on the launch of an Italian restaurant in Harlem, 23 Winehouse.

The chef Rosanna Di Michele with her cicerchiata.
The chef Rosanna Di Michele with her cicerchiata.

Here, then, his family recipe of the cicerchiata

Cicerchiata ingredients (for 6 people)

500 g of flour, 5 eggs, 7 tablespoons of sugar, 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 450 g of honey, tails of colored chocolate and flakes of almonds to decorate, extra virgin olive oil for frying.


Place the flour on a work surface and pour the eggs, sugar (5 tablespoons) and extra virgin olive oil. Start working the dough until it becomes homogeneous. Leave to rest for 30 minutes and then form the thin pastry strings about 1 cm from which to make the cubes. Bring the extra-virgin olive oil to temperature, fry the diced dough, drain and place on the absorbent paper. Take a large pot, pour the sugar (2 tablespoons) and honey. When the mixture becomes fluid, toss the diced and almond flakes and, using a wooden spoon, make small piles of pasta (the hands must be wet) on a flat surface and choose the shape you like best (single-portion or donut ). Finally decorate the cicerchiata with colorful sprinkles.

Text Antonia Matarrese

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