Tag: soul

Food of the soul, between rice and works of art – Italian Cuisine

Food of the soul, between rice and works of art

Bread or rice? What is the food that represents Nutrition par excellence? For Bottura it is bread, for Carlo Benvenuto, artist, it is rice. Here is the recipe he gave us

In the July issue we talked to Carlo Benvenuto of his Metaphysical Bread, the work he created in 2015 for the Ambrosian refectory. With that image, the artist wanted to express a very universal idea, for a work that was to adorn the wall of a refectory, with all the references – sacred and profane – that the operation contained.

During the processing of the July issue, just on the occasion of the story you find on p. 90, Massimo Bottura asked Benvenuto what was his recipe for "universal nourishment": We wanted to combine the image of his work of art with the recipe for his favorite bread. Welcome, though, he replied with a rice in Cagnone a little revisited. "Of course, I recognize that bread is a more shared symbol, but faced with such a question, I wanted to be faithful to my family history," explained the artist. "For us, bread has always been a service food, while rice is what most brings me back to the values ​​of sharing and nourishment".

Here she is recipe he sent us, in which "the simplicity of English rice is made unique and special by butter which is flavored with sage for one part and the other is left raw as in the risotto creaming, complete the Parmesan and a base of roasted chicken which restores the richness and flavor in concentration, which in traditional risotto is given by the broth ".

Our advice? Prepare the roast chicken second, so you will have a whole menu, to be completed with a salad and a dessert (you can find it on our issue on newsstands). And you can prepare the bottom to flavor the rice.

Double butter rice from Lake Maggiore

Ingredients for 4 people

320 g of risotto rice
80 g of butter
6-8 sage leaves
abundant grated Parmesan
salt – bottom of the roast chicken


Boil the rice in abundant salted water. In a saucepan, melt half the butter by browning the sage. Once browned, turn off the heat. Set aside a couple of ladles of rice cooking water, add some to the butter and mix. Reserve the sage leaves. When the rice is cooked but still very al dente, pour it into the saucepan, where there is the butter with the sage, under which you will have rekindled the fire. Stir and add the cooking water until cooking is complete. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining cold butter and Parmesan.

For the chicken bottom

Take the pan where you prepared the roast chicken, deglaze it on the flame with a little boiling water, pour the sauce into a sauce boat filtering it with a chinoise or cone strainer.

To serve

Reheat the dishes (pass them under boiling water, then dry them). Place the rice on the plates and add the sage leaves. Sprinkle with the chicken sauce or serve the sauce separately.

Carlo Benvenuto on display at Mart

Anyone wishing to find out more about Carlo Benvenuto can do so by visiting the exhibition “Carlo Benvenuto. The original", Which inaugurated the reopening of the Mart after the lockdown. A restart that exposes around 60 works by the artist, created from the nineties to today, put in dialogue with three masterpieces by De Chirico, Morandi and Guttuso, from the Mart collections. In the exhibited works one finds the metaphysics of everyday life that also characterizes the metaphysical Bread of the Refectory Ambrosiano: in them, objects of everyday life are portrayed with great fidelity but, surprisingly, they are almost abstract, universal.

From June 26 to October 18 2020
info and presales: info@mart.trento.it, www.mart.trento.it

Recipe from the cookbook: Food for Soul / Pollock – Italian Cuisine

Food cannot be wasted and must be shared with those who need it: this is the thought of the Food for Soul association and its Refectors, a project that has been expanding since 2015.

Dishes created by the group of chefs of Massimo Bottura to show that food is a very powerful tool to give substance to social change, starting from the awareness that the necessary premise is to know and appreciate its value, and learn to preserve it.

Read also


A preview for you of the Pollock recipe by chef Karime Lopez, Gucci Osteria by Massimo Bottura


100 g chard
100 g yellow datterini tomatoes
100 g – 1 layer of red pepper without seeds 50 g ricotta
extra virgin olive oil
garlic – bay leaf – basil – salt


250 g milk
25g corn starch 25g butter
2g mace (alternatively, nutmeg) – salt


90 g cooked potato puree 10 g cooked rice puree
1 whole egg


Fry 5 g of very small diced garlic and 2 basil leaves in 2 tablespoons of oil, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Finally blend, sift and salt a little.

Bake the pepper in the oven at 180 ° C for 40 minutes, then peel it and season it quickly in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, 5 g of garlic and 1 bay leaf. Remove the bay leaf and whisk until a homogeneous sauce, then salt lightly.

Blanch the chard for 2 minutes in salted water and then cool it in water and ice. Blend half of it with the cooking water, until it becomes a homogeneous sauce.


Beat the remaining chard with a knife, then mix it with the ricotta, 1 tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt.


Season the milk with the mace and heat it until it simmers; separately mix the cornstarch with the butter. Pour the milk, continuing to stir with a whisk until the sauce is homogeneous, then salt it slightly.


Mix the ingredients and let the mixture rest in the cling film for 30 minutes. Then spread it to about 1 mm thick; cut it, with a ring of the desired size, into 8 discs and cook them one at a time in salted water for 2 minutes.


Spread 1 teaspoon of béchamel on the bottom of 4 soup plates to keep the pasta from sticking. Place 1 disk in each plate, add the filling and cover with another disk. Cover the potato disks with the warm sauces, letting them fall randomly, in the manner of Jackson Pollock.

Soul Food: poor cuisine born from the African-American community – Italian Cuisine

Soul Food is the cuisine of the African-American community born in the south of the United States, characterized by poor and genuine ingredients and closely linked to the history of their culture and their emancipation

For Soul Food, or "soul food" means the Traditional cuisine from the African community in the southern United States. Although the term was coined in the sixties, a period in which the first cookbooks also saw the light, Soul Food has its roots in the period of slavery and in the following 100 years. The African-American community, in fact, accustomed since the past to using economic and local ingredients, has carried on this culinary tradition, giving life to a poor and simple cuisine, but rich in flavor. The food of the soul, over time, ended up influencing the cuisine of the whole country and spreading to the rest of the world, where it is now highly appreciated and rediscovered.

History and evolution of African-American "soul" cuisine

The history of soul cooking has gone hand in hand with that of the emancipation of this community and represents an important component of this culture. Its characteristic flavors, long preparations and many of the recipes conceived and handed down for generations, became famous in the sixties, thanks to the rise of black nationalist movements. In particular the term Soul Food was coined in 1962 by Amiri Baraka, activist, poet and leading figure in the fight to claim the rights of black American citizens. Responding to the widespread prejudice that his community "did not have a language or a characteristic cuisine", he collected in an essay the best of African-American cuisine, specifying that it was precisely a "popular cuisine of the soul" that came directly by migrants from the south and that was for them reason for pride. THE first soul cookery books began to appear in progressive book stores in the 60's then spread in the 70s, while the first restaurant was opened in Harlem in 1962 by Sylvia Woods, known as the "queen of Soul Food".
The restaurants of the soul then began to make their appearance in the large metropolises of the country, with an increasingly diverse clientele, and this cuisine was soon recognized and loved nationally.

Popular ingredients, characteristics and recipes

Soul cooking is pretty spicy, rich in aromas and seasonings, and contemplates the use of offal and "waste" parts of the pig as well as poor, accessible, substantial and versatile ingredients such as corn flour.
But let's see specifically which are the most used ingredients. The king of the meats is precisely the pig, of which every part is used, including the fat for frying or the lard used for many sweet and savory recipes. There corn flour it is used in many ways and many preparations, including corn bread, a sort of fried pancake called johnnycake and round pancakes called hush puppies. On the legumes and vegetables front, Soul Food is characterized by awide variety of beans and peas, while vegetables are divided between those of African origin, such as okra and sweet potatoes, or American ones, such as cabbage and turnips. Between most famous soul recipes the chicken, smoked pork belly, catfish main courses, beef ribs, Hoppin 'John (a soup made with bacon and black-eyed beans) and potato salad stand out. Dishes are often seasoned with a spicy vinegar and chilli sauce, with a spicy blend of spices called Cajun or with mayonnaise.

THE contemporary cooks who try their hand at cooking Soul Food, often make it more "healthy", limiting or avoiding the use of animal fats such as lard, replacing rapeseed oil with other vegetable oils and inserting leaner cuts of meat.

Photo: corn pancakes hush puppies_soul food_Flickr Christine Wisnieski.jpg
Photo: soul food soup hoppin 'john_Flickr Jeffreyw.jpg
Photo: fried chicken soul food_Flickr stu_spivack.jpg

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