Vittoria Ferragamo's fresh tomato spaghetti, Nicola Farinetti's Russian salad and Marquis Frescobaldi's Schiacciata: three home recipes, handed down for generations, told by three excellent guests, exclusively for you
What do the cookbooks of Italian families conceal? The basics, certainly of our cuisine. Secrets kept from generation to generation, from mother to daughter – or, more and more often to son – who tell us about happy moments. Of conviviality and special moments. They are handed down through newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, often orally, through repeated gestures. We talked about it with three special interlocutors who opened exclusively for us the album of flavors. Between special tables, gatherings and memorable tastings.
An entrepreneur and mother, Vittoria is the daughter of Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of the fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo. In 2012 he founded the Orto del Borro, a project that sees the cultivation and sale, in Tuscany, of fruit and vegetables obtained with the biodynamic method.
"The tomato sauce reminds me of my grandmother Wanda Ferragamo and the family lunches at Borro, with the huge vegetable garden wanted for the family by my father Ferruccio, and today it has become a small business. At the grandmother's house we ate splendid spaghetti with this sauce prepared by Mrs. Lina, the Neapolitan cook who worked for her and who was later taught by my mother. Some of my sweetest memories are also related to Mrs. Beatrice, my housekeeper grandmother, in Fiesole, an extraordinary woman who helped me to raise my son Pietro, in the early years of his life. As a child, I went to her in the afternoon. He taught me how to make homemade pasta. I remember working on a huge wooden cutting board, full of flour. We were together, we chatted. At Easter a basket full of good things came down from the window of his house: it was a real joy. I also have a weakness for risotto prepared with rice that my aunt grows in Lomellina, in the Lombard countryside. My favorites? With pears and pecorino or with fresh zucchini and courgette flowers. I love vegetables: it's a passion that I took from my father. We had a vegetable garden for the family which then expanded to friends and is now a small business. I try to convey this love of genuineness to my children too, together with respect for the land .
Spaghetti with grandmother Wanda's tomato
500 gr durum wheat spaghetti, 400 g of peeled tomatoes (San Marzano), 2 cloves of garlic, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, 1 white onion, 3 whole chillies, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper
Sauté the garlic, onion, carrots and celery stalks over a low heat until it withers. At this point add the peeled tomatoes and after a few minutes simply mash them with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Tie the peppers with kitchen string to the handle of the pan so that they are immersed in the sauce for cooking. Cook over low heat for 1 hour with the lid raised only by a wooden spoon.
In the last 20 minutes, add a large handful of fresh basil, roughly tearing the leaves with your hands. At the end of cooking, mix everything in a vegetable sieve and add the spaghetti al dente to the sauce. Mix and serve hot.
Nicola Farinetti: Russian salad and homesickness
CEO of Eataly, the international market of Italian excellence, founded by his father Oscar, tells the recipe that brings him back immediately with the mind and heart, at home. "When we meet in the family, the dish that never fails on the table is the Russian salad of my mother Graziella. The recipe was taught to her by her sister, Aunt Anna, who in turn had had time to learn it from grandmother Corinna, before he was missing, unfortunately young. Today I eat it only at home, in some honesty Tavern di Langa or Eataly Lingotto, the first one opened by our family. It is the dish that I missed most in the years spent in the United States, the one I always looked for when I returned to Italy. The house tradition provides for boiling the ingredients separately in water and vinegar: carrots, potatoes, peas or green beans,
depending on the season, which must remain a little crunchy. Mayonnaise should be made with fresh eggs. The cutting of vegetables, then, is not a secondary step: it takes a sense of size and color … It is served in a large white dish: it is the official way to a toast marked by a good Barolo .
Russian salad of mother Graziella
Ingredients for 4 people:
250 g of fresh peas, 250 g of peeled potatoes, 250 g carrots, 250 g fresh green beans, 4 fresh eggs, 250 g of seed oil, 1 lemon, White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salt.
Cook two of the eggs until they are firm, cut them into small pieces and set aside. Cut the vegetables into cubes of equal size (about 5 mm). Cook them separately in salted and slightly acidulated water with 10 g of apple cider vinegar for 5-6 minutes after boiling for peas, carrots and green beans, so that they remain crispy, 9-10 minutes for potatoes. Keep aside and let it cool.
Prepare a mayonnaise with 2 yolks at room temperature to which you have added half of the oil and a few drops of lemon, whipping at the same time with a whisk until the mayonnaise is firm. Then add a pinch of fine salt, the remaining oil and lemon juice. Complete with a spoonful of white wine or mustard vinegar. Season with salt and add the mayonnaise and the chopped eggs to the mayonnaise. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least two hours.
Lamberto Frescobaldi "roast and crushed pork loin with black grapes, a symbol of origins"
Descendant of one of the oldest Florentine families – more than a thousand years of history – he is an administrator
of Frescobaldi Wines, 1,400 hectares of vineyards in Italy. The family recipe? My father-in-law who cooks extraordinarily well as a hobby certainly prepares it: it is the pork loin baked on the bone, typical of Florentine cuisine. It's a Sunday dish to be shared with family, friends, relatives. It cooks for two hours, it takes patience but it does is worth. A lady who worked with us for years in Nipozzano also prepared it. The trick is to cook it for the last half hour in the pan adding the potatoes: fantastic! Another recipe for family gatherings is the crushed grape, a sweet of ancient tradition Tuscan that we prepare with black grapes, rustic and delicious ".
Ingredients for 8-10 people:
1 kg of black grapes, 250 g of flour, 100 g of sugar, 6 g of fresh brewer's yeast, extra virgin olive oil
Mix the flour in a bowl with a teaspoon of oil and 25 g of sugar.
Divide the dough in two and roll out two discs of dough about 25 cm in diameter. Wash and shell the grapes, then distribute a layer on the bottom of a pan (diameter 35 cm). cover with a disk of pasta and sprinkle with half of the remaining sugar. Cover with the remaining berries and the second disk of pasta. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it rest for an hour before serving.
The other stories, in the special dedicated to family recipes, in the June 2020 issue of La Cucina Italiana