Tag: Champagne

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.

Taormina meets champagne. It is an absolute pleasure – Italian Cuisine

During a dinner at the Otto Geleng restaurant in Taormina we met Alice Tétienne, Krug winemaker, to find out more about the champagne of the famous production company

Sicily has always been an island where the cultures Yes meet and yes crossing. It's a perfect place to hear stories we've never heard before. It may seem strange, but a Taormina we met Champagne, intended first as a region of France and then, of course, as a sparkling wine.

We met him toasting (over and over) with Alice Tétienne, Krug winemaker, original and always passionate about the Champagne-Ardenne region.

The historic champagne production company chose Sicily to tell its story, also through meetings with different gastronomic traditions. On the occasion of a dinner at the exclusive restaurant Otto Geleng of the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (only eight tables), we exchanged a few words with Alice, especially intrigued by the story that is hidden in Krug Grande Cuvée.
To make a bottle (every year a new edition) are needed 20 years: the latest edition, the 167, is an assembly of 191 wines from 13 different vintages, ranging from 1995 to the 2011.

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Alice Tétienne.

Krug is special: how would you tell even the less experienced of champagne?

«It is special because it is the dream of a man, of our founder, Joseph Krug (1800). For him, champagne was absolute pleasure and wanted to make sure that it was always available, regardless of the climate, which influences and varies the quality of vintage in vintage: for this it created the Gran Cuvée, an assembly of several vintages and reserve wines. We have one incredible diversity in our territory and this allows us to produce precisely the champagne we want, regardless of the weather conditions that change over time and in different villages. All this offers one richness of aromas difficult to achieve with wines of a single vintage .

What is your role in Krug?

«In total we are six people in the enology team and everyone has a specialty: mine is being responsible for relations with the vineyards. In Champagne the vineyards are owned by the winemakers and the maisons buy the grapes. The work is carried out like this: there is no recipe, we usually do five months of tasting, let's try so many assemblages, each year in a different way, to recreate the same emotion.

What do you like most about this job?

«I love mine territory and stay in the vineyards. I want my region to shine in time: to make it so, we must Respect the enviroment more and more, readjust vitivinicultural practices to face climate change and always make a quality product. This is why I am always in contact with the winemakers. There is confidence we all know each other in Champagne. "

Speaking of this, Alice refrains from stopping one more day among the beaches of Taormina, despite being her first time in Sicily. He must return to Champagne to meet the wine growers: there he created a collective, to help them obtain a new European certification that guarantees the unique quality of the grapes.

Champagne for the whole meal: how would you drink it?

"Champagne can match all dishes. In the Grande Cuvée, in particular, we can find a world of different emotions, which can be easily combined with all the kitchens. My favorite pairings were with the sushi and with the Thai cuisine.

We tried it in conjunction with the chef's gourmet menu Roberto Toro at the Otto Geleng restaurant.

As it happens, even the Grand Hotel Timeo, which houses the restaurant, was born after meetings details: named after the German painter Otto Geleng, who in 1863 had stayed with Don Francesco La Floresta in Taormina to devote himself to painting.
The spectacular landscapes immortalized in his watercolors caused a sensation in Berlin and Paris, since nobody believed that such beautiful places could exist for real. To show that it was not all his imagination, Geleng returned to Taormina with the skeptical artists who had criticized him. Soon, Floresta turned into an elegant luxury hotel and, during the Grand Tour, became a place of passage for the rich European nobility who came to Taormina to discover its culture.

In gallery below, some samples of our trip to Taormina.

Browse the gallery

Puff pastry with champagne and strawberries – Italian Cuisine

Puff pastry with champagne and strawberries

There puff pastry with champagne cream and strawberries is a tasty and summer cake, perfect for celebrating any special occasion. It is made by filling and overlapping the crunchy and crumbly layers of puff pastry that you can make or buy ready-made. There champagne cream is a soft and velvety chantilly cream, with a delicate and refined taste that is perfect for filling the millefeuille combined with strawberries, making this dessert extraordinarily unique and delicious: a real goodness for the palate! This Salt & Pepper recipe it is not difficult but it is not immediate! To achieve the perfect perfection puff pastry with champagne cream and strawberries you must have patience to let the cake rest in the fridge for at least an hour, in this way, at the bite the cream will not leak from the sides and you will be able to enjoy the friability of its individual layers, surprising your guests with the different textures that are revealed in the mouth with every taste

There a thousand leaves a timeless dessert, a traditional dessert of French origin, also known as Napoleon in the rest of Europe. You can stuff it in many different ways, personalizing it according to your tastes, the season and every occasion: thanks to its simplicity you can customize the millefeuille with creams of all kinds, with berries, strawberries or chocolate chips or you can decide to make the yarrow even lighter by forming layers with puff pastry wire paste instead of the traditional ones of bare pasta. If you want you can do it too salted puff pastry as an appetizer or to accompany an aperitif in a refined way

If you felt like it a thousand leaves try the puff pastry with champagne cream and salt & pepper strawberries: a dessert that has character and does not go unnoticed!

The preparation of the Millefoglie with champagne cream and strawberries

1) To start preparing the puff pastry with champagne cream and strawberries stretch out the puff pastry in 3 equal rectangles of 24x8cm, then brush them with a yolk diluted with a little water and cuocili in oven hot for 20 minutesi a 200th. Meanwhile soak the jelly in cold water, bring to the boil the milk flavored with the seeds of the vanilla bean, then strain it and let it cool.

2) Assemble the yolks left with it sugar and cornflour a little at a time. Add it Champagne (set aside 2 tablespoons in which to melt the well-squeezed gelatin) and the milk and do cook the cream by chanpagne on the fire low for 10 minutes until it thickens. Transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool

3) Now add the gelatine with the cold cream Champagne and the cream whipped with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Slice the strawberries and season them with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar.

4) At this point, dial the a thousand leaves: distribute half of the cream on a pastry and garnish with half the strawberries. Then repeat the operation forming another layer of pastry covered with cream and strawberries and close with the remaining puff pastry rectangle. Dust on the puff pastry with champagne cream and strawberries icing sugar and put in fridge for 60 minutes before serving.


1) The milfoil with champagne cream it is a fresto and delicious dessert that you can accompany with a glass of sweet sparkling wine like those of the Franciacorta house. Before serving the puff pastry with champagne cream and strawberries it must be left in the fridge to rest so that the cream does not fall from the sides.

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