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3 tips from Visentin to write … of taste! – Italian Cuisine


The interest in food, triggered in recent times, has given rise to a proliferation of food writers or simple food and wine enthusiasts who are challenged in the world of writing. But how do you become a good critic?

Eat to write, write to eat. Most coveted profession and undervalued that of the gastronomic editor.
Improvising is easy as well as minimizing the training necessary to get to this profession, because in fact, in Italy above all, we all eat, we all know how to eat and so … can we even write?
As a good Bouillabaisse, the famous sauce, becoming a food writer can take a very slow boil (almost literally) before arriving at the right cooking stage. And not always, taste satisfies palates.

We asked for some advice then Valerio M. Visentin, a well-known critic in the mask of Corriere della Sera, much feared by restaurateurs but loved by readers for his healthy, timely and honest criticism, which has taken care of the teaching proposal of the Writing di Gusto course, a multidisciplinary teaching path that teaches the art of writing but above all an ethical approach to criticism.

The 3 tips from Valerio Massimo Visentin + one

1) The perfect foodwriter must know thoroughly grammar and dictionary to communicate with timely language. And, possibly, of pleasant reading.

2) Must defend reputation and independence of judgment with courage and determination. They must be avoided like the bubonic plague, therefore, conflicts of interest, improper friendships, languid selfies with chefs and restaurateurs.

3) Must have respect is curiosity towards food and those who prepare it. Without fanatisms or uncontrolled passions.

3a) If the foodwriter is also a food critic, he must always act in disguise, gently rejecting invitations and gifts.

The course, organized by Sasso / Carta and DOOF and directed precisely by Valerio M. Visintin, is developed as a series of lectures in which theory and practice are integrated, in an engaging and stimulating environment: real editorial meetings in which students will be guided in the drafting of editorial plans, receive input from the editor-in-chief and acquire the method to write articles and reviews.

A real opportunity for lovers of gastronomy and for writers, professionals and non-professionals, to get involved in a place of permanent exercise, confrontation and interaction.

Lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola, for a winter taste – Italian Cuisine


They are a vegetarian version of the classic dish prepared with meat sauce and béchamel sauce. To try on these cold days

When it comes to lasagna you have to do it in a reverential tone, given what they represent for Italian cuisine. True comfort food, whose recipe is handed down from mother to daughter, are the dish par excellence that recalls the intimate and familiar atmosphere of home. There traditional version contemplates the use of meat sauce and béchamel sauce, but the variations can be even tastier, especially if based on vegetables and tasty cheeses, such as those radicchio and gorgonzola. Let's try to prepare them together.

lasagne-radicchio-and-gorgonzola
Lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola.

The home-made bechamel is better

Do not be overwhelmed by laziness, buying an industrial béchamel sauce. If you decide to get to work to prepare lasagna, that everything is but a simple and quick dish, do not spoil everything with a béchamel sauce in a tetra pack. Put in a saucepan 100 g of butter and immediately after 100 g of flour. Melt the butter, stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. Add nutmeg and flush, 1 l of milk. Keep stirring until you see milk thicken. Switch off, add a pinch of salt and let it cool. You have prepared a béchamel in 5 minutes which will make your lasagna even better.

Gorgonzola, perfect also for those who do not tolerate lactose

Did you know, you lactose intolerant that gorgonzola can eat it? This cheese, thanks to the triple fermentation which is subjected to the milk needed to make it (lactic, with the yeasts and finally with the molds), is completely lactose free and is therefore recommended to all those who, while intolerant to this sugar, do not want to give up eating a good cheese.

The recipe for lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola

Ingredients for 4 people: 500 g of lasagna dough, 500 g bechamel, 250 g sweet gorgonzola, 800 g red radicchio, 100 g shelled walnuts, grated parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, a knob of butter, salt and pepper.

Method: in a pan, brown the washed radicchio in a little oil and cut into strips. Add salt and keep aside. Grease a pan for lasagna and start to compose the recipe by placing a sheet of dough. Spread some radicchio leaves over it, the béchamel sauce ready and some pieces of gorgonzola. Add two tablespoons of coarsely chopped walnuts and then start over until you have finished all the ingredients. Finish with the béchamel sauce, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan and a few flakes of butter. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes and then enjoy this dish full of taste.

In the tutorial some more suggestions to prepare the lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola

How to taste extra virgin olive oil and why buy various types – Italian Cuisine


A mini guide to the tasting of extra virgin olive oil and how to enhance different types with recipes that will inspire you

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the treasures of our gastronomy that must never be lacking in the pantry. We use it for cook, season raw and complete all dishes that are looking for that extra something that makes them perfect. Like a drop of good and carefully selected oil.

And it is precisely here that the first doubts arise. Which oil should I buy? Did I choose a good product?
To understand it together, we let ourselves be guided by the experience of Olio Sagra, a product that has its roots in the authentic Lucca of 1959. Decades of work, research and consolidated traditions not to be missed. Just like that of taste the oil and try to understand it deeper.

The steps and the rules of the tasting

When: le best times to taste extra virgin olive oil, are those in the morning. You will then have to devote yourself to this operation away from meals and avoid from the day before taking alcohol to eat highly aromatized and spicy foods. Even the use of aftershave, perfumes and tobacco could compromise the result.

Such as: between a taster and the other, let pass a few minutes so that the sensations of the first taste do not condition the next. We recommend chewing a piece of apple or bread to help the mouth to find the right balance between a taste and the other.

The sight: now that we are ready, we proceed to the visual examination. Extra virgin olive oil will result clear if it has been filtered or if it has undergone a natural decantation process. Sara veiled if it is a new and unfiltered oil, while it will appear turbid if characterized by filamentous striations and impurities. In this case we find ourselves in front of an oil that has been badly preserved or produced with insufficient attention and cleaning.
As for the color, we will have to research all the shades that go from yellow to green, alarming us if our extra virgin olive oil is colorless. This is indeed an indication of poor quality or illicit manipulation. In the event that orange appears instead, it means that it is oxidized.

smell: now let's move on to the second phase by preparing our champion in a cup that we will cover with the hand and keep in contact with the palms, subjecting it to slight circular movements. When it is hot (the optimal temperature is 28 ° C) we proceed by inhaling deeply with both nostrils at least three times. In this phase we will look for the olfactory notes of reference and try to perceive the different fragrances and ripening of the olives.

On the palate: here we are at the most awaited phase of our sensory analysis. Pour the extra-virgin olive oil into a small glass (about 15 ml). Let's keep it to temperature of 28 ° C in order to better perceive all the organoleptic characteristics. Let's sniff it and try to steal pleasant and unpleasant olfactory sensations. Take oil now by sucking in air with a suction first slow and delicate, then more vigorous, in order to vaporize it in the oral cavity bringing it in direct contact with the taste buds. Now let's rest the mouth by slowly moving the tongue against the palate.
At this point we inhale again with the tongue against the palate and the semi-open lips. Now expel the oil.
Finally, let's focus on the aftertaste or the gustatory and olfactory sensation that remains after swallowing.

Which one to choose

After tasting the oil, you will have realized that you appreciate some qualities more than others and you have identified a specific type that meets your preferences. Choosing only one oil, however, could represent a limit in the consumption phase. Ideally, in fact, to fully appreciate the potential of a good extra virgin olive oil, we should put it to the test by providing the best conditions. This means that for example a delicate oil is not suitable for the preparation of dishes with an intense flavor, but it is perfect to give freshness to light and balanced dishes. In the same way, an intense oil could be too intrusive if served raw on a steamed fish fillet, while it could be perfect on more complex cooking or regional preparations. Let's see then below 5 types of different oils and to which preparations are combined to the best.

The oils and the recipes

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How to use an extra virgin oil with a vibrant but balanced taste?
Its ideal use is in light dishes that enhance its delicate flavor. The fish for example, it requires an oil that knows how to enhance its taste without covering it. Perfect even when cooked, it gives its best with a small addition to raw at the end of the preparation (just a teaspoon per serving).
The recipe chosen to enhance the extra virgin olive oil Sagra Bassa Acidità is the exotic fish soup.
The ingredients for 6 people: a
spoon extra virgin olive oil Low Acidity, 1kg of soup fish (preferably Cernia), peeled tomatoes, half a kg of cassava, 1 kg of potatoes, half a kg of pumpkin, half a kg of green bananas, an onion, 2 cloves garlic, bay leaves, sage, pepper, salt.
Method: Season fish with oil, garlic and bay leaf. Chop the onion, the remaining bay leaves, the sage and the garlic and brown them in oil with chilli and tomatoes. Add the potatoes, bananas, cassava and pumpkin cut into cubes and season. Add some water to cover the preparation. When the ingredients are about to finish cooking, add salt, add the fish and cook it. You can serve it accompanied by white rice or slices of toasted bread and seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Sagra Bassa Acidità.

What are the ideal preparations for a organic oil with a strong but balanced taste?
A prized oil such as the Organic extra virgin olive Sagra produced with olives from Organic Agriculture and exclusive Italian production, deserves to be enhanced with preparations that do not alter the taste. We will be able to appreciate it raw on vegetables, white meats and first courses of tomato, but also in fanciful recipes like the fish false based on tuna.
The ingredients for 6 people: a glass of extra virgin organic olive oil, 600 g of tuna, 500 g of potatoes, half a glass of mayonnaise, a jar of anchovies, a jar of capers, 200 g of butter.
Method: pprepare the mayonnaise, boil the potatoes, peel them, pass them through the vegetable mill and season them with the butter. In a bowl put the drained tuna with 5 washed anchovies and blend everything: it should not become a too homogeneous cream. Chop half of the capers with the crescent and add them to the mixture. Add the cream of tuna, anchovies and capers and 2/3 of mayonnaise to the potatoes. Mix gently and in a serving tray give the mixture the shape of a fish. Cover with the remaining mayonnaise and decorate with capers remaining whole or, as desired, with thin slices of radish that recall the scales. Serve cold with toasted bread croutons.

How to use an oil in the kitchen intense fruity?
The 100% Italian extra virgin Sagra is an oil in which you will find a round taste that reflects the characteristics of the typical Italian oil. Produced from olives from our territory, it is perfect to be used every day in the kitchen to enrich the simplest recipes or give an intense note to the traditional preparations like the polenta muffins.
Ingredients for 6 people: a glass of extra virgin olive oil 100% Italian Sagra, 500 g of yellow flour, 2 liters of water, 2 boxes of peeled tomatoes, 3 carrots, one onion, 2 bunches of basil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese q.b.
Method: prepair a pomarola with peeled tomatoes, finely chopped carrots, chopped onion, basil and a glass of oil. Bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes, adding salt, pepper and a little sugar. Turn off the heat. Once the sauce has cooled, pass it with the sauce and keep it aside. Put the water to boil with salt and oil. When it is boiling, pour the yellow flour into it and, after having melted it, cook for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, butter an oven dish or a baking dish and place small piles of warm polenta, helping with two tablespoons. Season the matuffi thus obtained with the pomarola sauce, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake in the oven at 250 ° C. Serve very hot.

In which recipes do you use an oil with a fragrant aroma of ripe olive?
Balanced, delicate, but at the same time complex. Sagra Classico extra virgin olive oil can be adapted to different preparations and is ideal for finishing raw dishes or preparing bases during cooking. It gives the best of itself in simple and Mediterranean dishes as the spelled with tomatoes, zucchini and ricotta.
Ingredients for 6 people: Extra Virgin Olive Oil "Il Classico" Sagra, 200g of pearl spelled, a spring onion, 150g of yellow and red tomatoes, 150g of chickpeas, 2 courgettes, 2 spoons of capers, 150g of ricotta, basil, salt and pepper
Preparation: ccook the spelled in abundant salted water. Meanwhile, cut the onion and fry in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Cut the courgettes into sticks and add them to the pan along with the halved cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper. Add also chickpeas, capers and spelled. Stir well, cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat. Serve with crumbled ricotta and basil and season with a little extra virgin olive oil.

What are the preparations suitable for a fragrant and tasty oil?
The golden yellow color with green reflections, the fragrant scent and the balanced taste of Sagra Grandulivo make it the perfect extra virgin for seasonings raw. It gives the best of itself on meat and fish, but it is also excellent on toasted bread that serves as an accompaniment to soups and grilled dishes. One of the perfect dishes to appreciate its qualities, is the veal with pizzaiola.
Ingredients for 6 people: 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil Sagra Grandulivo, 900 g of slices of veal, 1 kg of fresh ripe tomatoes, 2 fiordilatte mozzarella, a tube of tomato paste, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper and oregano
Method: Spread the slices on the cutting board and flatten them with a meat tenderizer. Cut the mozzarella into slices. In a pan heat the 6 tablespoons of oil, the clove of garlic and the peeled tomatoes cut into small pieces. Season with salt, pepper and a handful of oregano. Once the sauce begins to boil, throw the slices of meat and turn them occasionally to taste. Cook over a moderate heat until the tomato sauce is a bit 'restricted (about 20 minutes). Cover each slice with a slice of mozzarella, cover the pan, already off the stove and, as soon as the mozzarella has begun to melt, place the meat on the tray, covered with tomato sauce and serve immediately.