Tag: Pepe

Franco Pepe opens in Sardinia: «Here’s how to recognize a good pizza – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Franco Pepe opens in Sardinia: «Here's how to recognize a good pizza»


Franco Pepe is not only the best pizza chef in the world (The Best Pizza Awards 2023) but he is also one of those masters of the white art who, when talking about the product, starts from afar, but only belongs to me. Franco Pepe creates pizzas capable of “giving emotions to the palate, through a before and after”, he explains. To succeed, Pepe started from his house in Caiazzo, in the Upper Caserta area, where – in just ten years or so – he revolutionized the entire area with his Pepe in Grani pizzeria. To then arrive – today – in Sardinia, where Spazio by Franco Pepe has just opened inside the 7Pines Resort in Baja Sardinia, the first Hyatt affiliate on the island (in the Destination by Hyatt branch there are only two addresses in Europe, here and in Ibiza).

The fundamentals of Franco Pepe’s pizza

«There is a before and after of the pizza, which starts from the customer’s arrival until he returns home, with a clear photograph not of the pizza but of the flavors, explains maestro Pepe. «The next thing is the nutritional contribution and the raw materials (two things that need to be told, otherwise they cannot be understood), then the chewiness of the dough, its meltability and, last but not least, the digestibility of the product, linked to all previous things.” All essential principles for the success of a great pizza. And the menu proposed by Spazio by Franco Pepe at the 7Pines Resort in Baja Sardinia proves it. Its signature pizza is unmissable, Margherita Sbagliatawith Bufala Campana DOP mozzarella, curly tomato puree, basil reduction, extra virgin olive oil. But it is with Shoe that the eyes fill with tears from the emotion, the same one that maestro Pepe spoke to us about. Here the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP always triumphs, but with a fondue of 12-month-old Grana Padano DOP, a raw tomato compote, freeze-dried basil pesto and flakes of 24-month Grana Padano DOP. A dialogue between sweet and savory, raw and cooked which clearly explains the work of maestro Pepe. «It is very important that the dough binds well with the ingredients and that these are added at the right time: if you choose foie gras it doesn’t mean that it is a great pizza in itself, but if you add it at the right time then it can become ” wow'”.

The collaboration with chef D’Ambrosio

The collaboration is also enriched by the relationship established with Pasquale D’AmbrosioExecutive Chef of the Capogiro restaurant of the 7Pines Resort in Baja Sardinia. The ingredients chosen for him are his Senti-Minds of Galluraa pizza with smoked Fior di latte, Sardinian spiny artichoke, red ox carpaccio, Scabecciu olives, sea fennel oil, DOP Sardinian pecorino cheese. «With chef D’Ambrosio we came up with many ideas, he already knew my work done in Caiazzo: I asked him to do it here too: Senti-Minds of Gallura it is the result of his creativity with my dough.” Today the world of pizza has changed, if previously greater importance was given to the more technical and scientific aspect of the dough to those who went “to the shop”, today instead there is something more, that is, a greater knowledge of the topping, of the material first, that you need to know how to transform and consciously put it back on the pizza. «Today on my pizza there is hot-cold, raw-cooked, because you have to hope if that ingredient can withstand 400°C or not, so that in addition to tasting good you can also eat healthy.

The perfect match

Open every day for dinner also to external guests, Spazio by Franco Pepe promises to become the destination of northern Sardinia, far from the chaos of the Costa Smeralda, in an informal and relaxed environment, in the typical style of 7Pines. For Spazio by Franco Pepe the ideal combination was thought of by Maison Ruinart, in particular with the Ruinart Rosé, the Maison’s greedy and bold Cuvée. «Intriguing, exotic, bold and unexpected: this is what characterizes the Ruinart Rosé Champagne designed in combination with gourmet pizza, explained Silvia Rossetto, Ruinart Senior Brand Manager. The gastronomic offer of 7Pines is completed by the Capogiro restaurant, a large window overlooking the sunset where you can enjoy elegant cuisine that enhances local raw materials, and the Cone Club, the pieds in the water and the resort’s beach club.



Recipe Cacio e pepe with sea urchins and turnip greens – Italian Cuisine

Recipe Cacio e pepe with sea urchins and turnip greens


  • 280 g tube type pasta
  • 100 g turnip greens
  • 80 g clean fresh sea urchins
  • 80 g grated pecorino
  • 2 peeled cloves of garlic
  • vegetable broth
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • black and white pepper

Clean sea ​​urchins and mix them with extra virgin olive oil. The turnip greens are blanched for 2 minutes in a little boiling salted water with a little oil and garlic and then drained on kitchen paper.
Prepare the broth (white onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and pepper) boil it for 2 hours and then filter it with the Chinese colander.
In a saucepan pour a thin layer of oil into the pan, add the garlic and when it is golden remove it. Add 3-4 ladles of broth and stir, then raise the heat and grind the pepper, just before boiling. When it boils, add half of the pecorino and mix with a whisk.
Dilute with 1 ladle of broth and stir until you get a smooth cream.
Cook the pasta for only 5 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and sauté it in a pan with the cream for 1 minute, then add a ladle of broth and finish cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Breading: how to make them perfect – Sale & Pepe – Italian Cuisine

Breading: how to make them perfect - Sale & Pepe


They wrap foods in one golden crust, which crunches under the teeth making every bite greedy. It's breading which also, or above all, have the function of protect food from high frying temperatures. Thus, you get a crunchy exterior that packs a soft heart. Based on bread, as the name suggests, they can be enriched with different ingredients and even made in a gluten-free version.

What to bread
The classic cutlet, as well as the simplest of breaded slices, are a simple and quick second course, which is the delight of young and old. Between the cuts of meat indicated, of course, is the veal cutlet, but also the rump (always veal or turkey), the chicken breast and the pork loin. Tasty cutlets are also obtained from rabbit fillets and by the scottadito of Lamb. If, on the other hand, you love the nuggets you can successfully bread morsels made from chest or thighs skinless chicken. THE fish the most pulpy and firm ones are suitable: hearts of Cod, fillets of hake, slices of salted cod, shellfish shelled like prawns and prawns. Also excellent anchovies And sardines whole or, better still, boned and open like a book. Between vegetables, superfine results are obtained with the eggplant and the celeriac, cut into fairly thick slices (about half a cm). Among the funniest preparations to bread and fry are the skewers: prepared with tiny morsels (arrosticini style) or with thin slices of meat, skewered in a zig zag pattern (see photo above). They are also breaded a whole series of croquettes: from simple potatoes or béchamel-based ones up to supplì Romans and the arancini (or arancine!) of Sicilian cuisine. And, of course, several types of meatballs, like the Milanese modeghili based on boiled meat.

The basis, not just of eggs
To make the breading cling to the chosen food, it must first be wrapped in a veil of beaten eggs or only egg white, suitable for more delicate fish products for which the yolk flavor may be too opaque. Wet ingredients like eggplant or fish can be done first flour: the thin layer will dry them, allowing the egg not to slip off. Specialties like arancini and arancine are wrapped in one batter rather liquid of water and flour, which makes the crust very crunchy.

Which breadcrumbs to use?
In many recipes it is simply said "breadcrumbs". But there are many versions, each with different results. Let's start with the simplest type, the one we can prepare at home by grating the stale bread: very crunchy and rightly coarse, it will be necessary pass it through a sieve because, if larger crumbs remain, they risk detaching and burning in the cooking fat. Practical is what you buy ready, from the baker or packed at the supermarket (also in the gluten free version): it has a fine and homogeneous grain but the defect of becoming “can”, or rather stale, quite quickly. The advice is to keep it in a tightly closed jar and don't forget it in the pantry for too long. Always a good choice is to use fresh crumb, also of bread, passed at the moment to the mixer: the crumbs, once fried, will be very light. If you love to browse in Asian product stores you must try the Japanese panko, which is a rather coarse flaked bread with a very crunchy effect. The only flaw: it takes a little effort to keep it attached to food. For this you can mix it with a small part of "local" breadcrumbs, finer. Milanese fashion, you can use crumbled breadsticks finely, but also cracker: pay attention only to the quantity of salt (some of the bread substitutes are very salty) and to the fact that, being already golden at the start, they darken faster than other compounds: cooking must therefore take place over a very moderate heat and be constantly monitored.

How to enrich breading
Bread mixes and other ingredients are a good choice for increasing taste and crunchiness. In the first case, just add a handful of herbs dried, or fresh and finely chopped: parsley, thyme, marjoram, oregano, perhaps together with a pinch of chilli, will immediately give a special touch to the most banal of scallops. A hold of turmeric you hate paprika it aromatizes and makes the crust super colored. The salt, which never spreads on the meat (on pain of condensation which would cause the coating to peel off), can be combined in very small doses with breadcrumbs or egg, although many prefer to salt the fried food just a moment before serving. For rich crusts, you can add 20 percent of corn flour, grain or thin lamellae of dried fruit, such as almonds or hazelnuts, or seeds lowercase (poppy, sesame). Also indicated i cereal flakes: if corn flakes seem a bit of a gamble, due to the overly distinctive taste, try the corn flakesoats, with a more neutral flavor.

The right moves
Finally, let's review the steps for perfect results. It is essential that the pieces are all of the same size. In particular, it thickness it must be uniform otherwise the cooking will not be and we will have slices or morsels all with the same degree of external browning, but some raw inside, or all cooked inside, but some burnt outside. The passage in the egg, or in the flour and water batter, it can be extended to about ten minutes, during which the wrapping will adhere better to the food, slightly impregnating it. Before getting to the breadcrumbs, the food must be well drained from excess. The next one step in breadcrumbs it must only be done just before frying, otherwise the external mixture becomes moist and does not fry. Press gently with your hands to to join the breading. The cooking fat (peanut oil or clarified butter) must not be too hot but around 140 °, to allow a complete cooking without darkening the crust too much. As soon as it is ready, the breaded fried food is transferred to a special paper and gently dabbed to dry it even on the surface. It's time to serve it: still hot, super golden, practically irresistible!

January 2022

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