This is a little project i started during the weeks of shutdown/ #stayathome caused by the Corona Virus.
As it is still unclear if and when i can go back to my beloved Italy i have to compensate that by improving my cooking skills on my favourite italian dishes so i can enjoy them at home.
Fortunately some friends of mine, who are also talented chefs, offered me their help and provide some recipes for me.
I will gladly share those with you on our new Supersonic website and will continue updating it.
Have fun while cooking those dishes by yourself, you can even listen to some of your favourite Supersonic mixes while you´re in the kitchen.
Panza / Supersonic
P.S. extra special thanks to Mr. Mark for those nice graphics!
Emanuele Plati born in Rome in 1986
Started work in the kitchen in 2003 as dishwasher, then in 2004 and 2005 he worked with his mentor chef Luca Doria where he made his first steps in front of the fire. From 2006 until 2009 he worked in Rome, where he did learn the basic rules of pastry, pasta fresca, meat specialities and fresh seafood during summer season.
In 2010 he started to travel around the world to follow the scents of kitchens and the sound of Dancehall. Berlin,Florence,Rio de Janeiro, New York until his return to Calabria where he works and creates in a chef’s association called “anywaychef”
Every summer season you can find him preparing fresh seafood and playing Reggae and Danchall music on the beach with his sound Catanzion, that also promotes the famous „Dutty Summer” events.
Born in 1988 in Catanzaro he started cooking for himself since he was a child, and continued like that until he did his first step into a professional kitchen in 2009. After that in 2011 Mario graduated as professional chef of Italian cuisine at “ALMA”, the most important cooking school in Italy, lead by Gualtiero Marchesi, close to Parma.
In 2012 he did move around Italy and started to work hard in some Michelin starred restaurants for several years. Right now he moved back to Bologna (that he feel is the greediest Italian city for anybody who loves food) and works as chef in a Grand Hotel Restaurant.
But all the time he never stopped to push Reggae and Dancehall music with his crew “Ematoras Family – The sound of Reggaemilia” and thanks to that he had the chance to meet people from all over the world who became friends in the end.
So if this “challenge” is possible it’s just thanks to the music that we play , that made me, Manu and Panza become friends and that we will be back at in full effect after this hard time.
Buon Appetito everybody!
Ale is probably the person which is most responsible for my addiction to the city of Roma.
In the early 2000s he did often book Supersonic for shows with his sound Love Massive. We had legendary dances together, especially at the famous Intifada Club.
And over the years he and his wife Laura became very close friends and are one of the reasons for me to visit the city on a regular base. Even though i have my list of restaurants i need to check each time, there has to be at least one dinner at their place with home cooked dishes and the best Mozzarella di Bufala from the Frutteria around the corner.
Welcome Ale to #cookathome, i’m looking forward to your recipes!
This is a very emotional dish for me as it resembles my love for Roma in a culinary way. No trip to Roma is possible without trying at least 1 or 2 different Cacio E Pepe.
While the ingredients are super simple, it is very easy to spoil it and have just a cheesy, greasy pasta as result.
There are a few places that i can recommend for this one, but my personal favourite so far is the one at Flavio al Velavevodotto. It is an excellent place to eat also for many other dishes, like Carciofo Giudia.And it is a very interesting location as it is build right beside the Monte Testaccio, which consists of broken amphores that are more than 1000 years old.
If i remember correctly Ale took this recipe from a Youtube turtorial by one of the chefs at Flavio.I tried to cook it many times at home before, but i only get decent results since i follow his instructions.
As with most simple dishes the main part is to get the best ingredients.And you only need 3 for this recipe:
– Pasta (while the most common pasta for this one is Tonarelli, i comply with Ale’s preference of Mezzi Rigatoni, especially the ones by Rummo)
– Pecorino Romano (nowadays it should be not too hard to find it in well sorted markets)
– Black Pepper (my personal favourite is Periyar Pepper, but of course it also works with any other good black pepper)
For the cacio i take a large bowl where i put the ground Pecorino Romano and a generous amount of ground pepper. I slowly stir in small amounts of water with a spoon, just enough to get the mixture wet but still solid. As a guideline i use the rule to have 1 eggsize portion for around 100g of pasta.
In the meantime cook the Rigatoni al dente. Once they are finished put them in the bowl and start stir. The temperatur of the still hot pasta will help to get a nice creamy texture. It might take a few times to find out your preferred amount of Cacio and also pepper. I personally like to use alot of pepper, which creates a nice tickling taste together with the very salty Pecorino.
And as with the Carbonara, you should plan an extra round of jogging for the next day 🙂
This time we go to the northern part of Italy to check for the original Pesto Genovese. Mario will give some informations about the origins of his recipe, but i can tell already that this is miles away from what most people, including me especially at younger age, have in mind when they talk about Pesto. It is not that cheap cream from the supermarket that you blob on your overcooked spaghetti as a student.
The term Pesto comes from the italian word „pestare“, which means mashing / grinding.
So in order to prepare it properly i bought a massive granite mortar & pestle, which has a 20cm inner diameter and weighs more than my cats together. And that investment was worth every penny.
It might be not easy to find the Pecorino Sardo, but as with the Ricotta Salata for the Pasta Alla Norma, it´s worth to walk the extra mile to get it.
Pesto Jahknowese by Mario
Before i start with the recipe, an introduction is more than needed to clear something about the “original press” Pesto Genovese. Whenever you go to the supermarket and decide to buy pesto, be sure that it has “Pesto Genovese” stated on the label. If you want the real deal, do not buy the “pesto alla genovese” or other pesto named differently from “Pesto Genovese”, a name protected by the D.O.P. to preserve it’s origin.
For the original recipe you need 7 ingredients:
• Genovese Basil (this Is a typical DOP basil that grows up in Liguria and is picked when the plant is still small, with tender leaves that obviously are rich in taste)
• E.V. Olive Oil, best if it is from Liguria or at least a gentle one.
• Parmigiano Reggiano (or a good Grana Padano should be ok too)
• Sheep milk Pecorino cheese “Fiore Sardo” (a typical cheese from Sardinia that is widely used in Liguria as many other Sardinian products, because until the start of the XXth century there was a big naval commerce between Sardinia and Liguria so you can find many similar products and recipes in the two regions)
• Pine Nuts. (traditionally in the inner regions of Liguria the pesto is also made with peeled nuts, but that’s a variation to the classic one, nuts are more typical for the “agliata sauce” that’s like a pesto made with garlic and nuts.
• Garlic. (Many people dont use garlic in the pesto for the smell, but traditionally Genovese Pesto is a seasonal recipe made from spring until the beginning of the summer, so along with the young basil, which has the best taste around that time, you will also get the best freshly picked garlic cloves that have a fresh taste and dont smell that strong.
First of all, for the real pesto genovese you will need a mortar but just because we are in 2020, there is this Corona Virus problem outside and it’s better to stay home you can also use a blender (is the same if u use the immersion one or the classic one, just follow the instructions and your pesto will sort out in a shiny green color) Before to start be sure to have an ice cube into the freezer because the blender will warm up while mixing and you will need to keep the pesto cold, and toast your pine nuts so you will have them cold when u need them)
• Basil (genovese one is hard to find so just try to avoid the bigger leaves and to use just leaves and not the sprigs) 100 gr
• Evo olive oil 150 cl
• Pecorino Fiore Sardo 50 gr
• Parmigiano Reggiano 140 gr
• Garlic 2 or 3 peeled cloves (be sure to cut in half the clove and to keep away the heart of the garlic)
• Pine nuts 30/40 gr
• Sea salt put just a pinch in the start and then you taste and fix while blending
• some potatoes
• some green beans, cut in half
Process with mixer
First step is to prepare a fatty base to put the basil into, without letting it oxidate and turn black.
So put all the ingredients (beside the basil) into the blender and mix until it gets creamy and oily. Put that mix into the fridge for about 1 hour and let it cool down (if you can, put also the blender cup into the fridge, maybe you will not need the ice cube then)
In the meantime wash your basil, pick all the leaves and dry them as the best you can, without pressing them too much and losing the essential oil.
Take the cold mixture from the fridge and add basil, 1/4 by a time, and mix at the highest speed for few seconds. If the blender is not strong enough it will get warm so you need to add that ice cube to cool down the mix. In the end taste it and if needed, add some salt, give it another fast turn in the blender and its done.
Process with mortar & pestle
First step is to put the mortar in the deep freezer about 1 hour before you start „pestling“. Once it is cold enough start to roast the pine nuts and prepare the basil, as above. Then add the ingredients step by step to the mortar, mash and grind them until they get the desired texture. Best way is to add a bit of every ingredient at a time and then step by step add more. That way its easier to balance the taste.
At this point you should be ready to bring pot of water to boil.Then add your favorite shape of pasta, some 1,5 cm diced potatoes and some half cutted green beans, when pasta is ready also the other ingredients should be ready, so you can drain your pasta and into a cold bowl you can season it with your own sauce. (I love to put few drops of lemon juice at the very end before to serve)
This pesto is a basic sauce that you can use in a million different ways, like seasoning a vegetables sauté, a soup or a cereal salad. Or you can use it to fill some fresh egg pasta, or put some on the top of a risotto, use it for a layer of a baked lasagna, for example as pesto béchamel and ricotta.
Pesto & Mozzarella in Carrozza with rapid-fire gazpacho.
Take a mozzarella and cut it in slices (the industrial one will be ok for this because it’s just a yummy snack to do at home). Put it on a plate and dry a bit by pressing the slices with absorbing paper.
Then put a pan with some frying oil on the fire. (you do not need to deep fry you just need around a cm of oil in the pan)
Take two slices of bread, best if they are from the day before, cut off the crust and put some pesto on it. Then add the mozzarella and close the two slices to do a sandwich and press it as much as you can. Put one egg and a little bit of milk into a bowl, mix it add a pinch of salt. Soak your sandwich in this mix for a minute each side and then fry it in the pre heated pan until it is brown on each side.
Then dry it on absorbing paper, cut in sticks and serve as garniture for a fast gazpacho.
The Gazpacho is made of some cherry tomatoes, the juice of half lemon, a little piece of celery, cucumber and red onion, a couple of the bigger basil leaves left from the pesto and some spicy Calabrian red pepper. All mixed in the blender at the highest speed for about two minutes (add some evo olive oil and some salt just at the very end or the mix will lose the red color of tomatoes)
The eggplant (in Italian Melanzane) is one of my favourite plants to eat (nothing comes close to tomatoes though).
Yet i always have difficulties to prepare it properly by myself at home. To get a little overview of the variety this vegetable has to offer, Mario and me decided to go for a Melanzane 3 The Hard Way.
You dont have to cook those recipes all at once, but if you do, you will have a nice starter, primo and secondo.
Every time i go to Roma i have at least to try to go to the Osteria Rouge in San Lorenzo. This place holds so much memories of evenings with family and friends, it is much more to me than just a place to eat.
Beside the regular dishes there is one antipasti that can never be left out when i place my order at Rouge. The Melanzane Agrodolce to me is their trademark dish, i tried to do it by myself numerous times, but always failed to get a proper result.
Recipe by Mario
Sicilian style sweet & sour Eggplants
3 small eggplants, around 500/600 gr (for this recipe it’s better to avoid the purple and round ones, go for the classic and try to choose some small ones)
100 gr. white flour
40 cl. white wine vinegar
60 cl. apple vinegar
50 cl water
60 gr. brown sugar
2 leaves of lauriel
some black pepper grains
a few leaves of basil, mint and parsley
1 clove of garlic
fresh red pepper
raisins (did you know that the most famous and expensive ones comes form new zealand?)
peanut oil, just enough to deep fry the eggplants (peanut oil is the best because it has the highest burning point)
Put your raisins in some water for about 1 hr, then rinse and dry on some absorbing paper.
Toast your pine nuts in a pan (never use pine nuts without toasting them before or they will lose a lot of flavour and dont toast them too long)
Put the two vinegars, water, sugar, laurel, cloves and pepper all together into a small pot and cook it until it is reduced to 1/3 of the quantity. Then filter it and let it cool down, this one will be the sweet and sour syrup for the eggplants seasoning.
Cut the eggplants in 2 cm dices and put them into the flour, take off the excess flour with a sieve and then fry them in a pot with enough peanut oil to cover the eggplants (oil must be around 180°C). Do not fry all the eggplants together, do it little by little to avoid the oil sponge effect. If you fry too much eggplants at once the temperature will go down fast and they will not deep fry as fast as they should. (This is a rule to follow whatever you are frying). When the eggplants are coloured enough take them out and put them on some absorbing paper.
Once the syrup is at room temperature, put your fried eggplants into a bowl, add some salt, some red pepper, the chopped fresh herbs , pine nuts, raisins and some sliced garlic and turn gently (if possible with a wooden or silicone spoon). Then put the syrup over the eggplants and let rest for at least 2 or 3 hours before eating them.
Depending by your taste you can use some more vinegar or less sugar, depending on your prefered sweetness or the acidity of the syrup.
This syrup is the same as used for “Caponata” or pepperoni in agrodolce.
Me and my friends, who were lucky enough to get a portion it, were really satisfied by the result. I think next time i will use a bit less sugar, but maybe it was more sweet as i did reduce the syrup to 1/5 or less from its original volume, and not 1/3 as Mario suggested.
Also i was surprised how little smelly the frying process was, i guess that was a nice side effect of using peanut oil instead of any other cheaper oil.
While i cant wait to be at Rouge again, this recipe is a nice solution to beat time until it will be possible.
When i’m in Sicily i always have to check for the best Pasta Alla Norma (similar to my Cacio Pepe researches when i´m in Rome).
This dish is so full of flavour, the mix of fried eggplants, tomato sauce and the unique taste of Ricotta Salata, fingerlicking good!
It might not be easy to find the Ricotta Salata in your regular supermarket, but its definetely worth to walk an extra mile for this.
Recipe by Mario
This one is an easy recipe, so the most important thing to get a perfect result is to get the best ingredients!
400 gr of pasta (this recipe is very versatile, and even if the original recipe is with spaghetti, the one I prefer is Mezze Maniche Rigate)
500 gr peeled San Marzano tomatoes (or 1 kg of fresh ones, if you find them ripe enough with full flavour)
2 garlic cloves
3 medium size eggplants (this time the most common one which is round and violet)
Basil (about 10/12 leaves at least)
some EVO olive oil for the tomato sauce
peanut oil, just enough for frying the eggplants (always follow the rule “little by little” when you fry eggplants to avoid the sponge effect)
First step is to prepare a good tomato sauce in a classic southern Italian style, so put your pot on the stove with some evo oil and the garlic, let it get warm, add the tomatoes and cook with half of your basil, a couple pinches of salt and an half teaspoon of sugar.
Let your tomatoes cook for about 40 minutes at least. And if needed add a half glass of water, then let the sauce cool down before you mix it with the blender. Otherwise your sauce will lose much of the red color and the tomatoes will turn orange (it will taste good sameway, but also your eyes want their share).
While your sauce is cooling down like Gregory you can cut your eggplants in 2 cm dices, put them into a colander with some salt. Let the eggplants lose some of the bitterness contained in their water. After about 30 minutes you can rinse the eggplants and follow to dry them as best as you can. Then deep-fry them in a hot peanut oil pot around 180°C until they are brown, dry them on some absorbing paper. (If you are asking why to use salt this time, it’s because you will not have a sweet and sour syrup for seasoning the eggplants, so you will need to balance the flavours during the process. Same process is needed when preparing Parmigiana for example)
At this point your sauce should be cold enough so you can take out the garlic cloves and mix it with your blender.
When your sauce is smooth put it on the stove again, if needed add another half glass of water and let the sauce cook for 20/30 minutes again, taste and check if you need an extra pinch of salt.
While your sauce is bubbling again you can boil the water to cook the pasta.
Once the water is boiling put some salt in the water and add your pasta.
A couple of minutes before that your pasta is ready put some salt on your eggplants and then put 3/4 of the fried eggplants and the remaining cutted basil leaves in your sauce. At this point do another final salt check.
Drain your pasta and mix it with your sauce. If you like it you can add also some fresh red pepper, it’s not very traditional but it’s always on the family tables in South Italy.
Now all you have to do is to put the Pasta Alla Norma on a plate, add the remaining fried eggplants on top and cover the dish with a generous amount of ricotta salata.
A dish that i used to eat quite often until i did stop eating meat about 15 years ago. But even then i never cooked it by myself. Lets see how Manu and Mario will guide me through my first own vegetarian Carbonara.
Recipe for 4 people
Spaghettone 400 g
Eggs 4 n
Artichokes 4 n
Pecorino cheese 70 g
Parmigiano cheese 40 g
Black pepper qb
Pink pepper qb
Fresh Mint qb
Olive oil qb
Garlic 1 n
Bring water boil in a big pot.
While it starts to boil peel off the outer layers of the artichoke’s stem and cut the inner part in little square pieces.
Put those pieces (with a sieve or similar) in the hot water for about 20 seconds and then quickly move them in another pot/cup with water and ice cubes.
Cut off the prickly outer leaves of the artichokes and extract the heart, cut it in thin julienne and fry them in plenty of oil until they get crunchy, 3 minutes more or less.
In the same water where you did cook the stems before you can cook the Spaghettone for 6 minutes.
At the same time cook the stems with garlic and oil in another pot, take off the garlic when it becomes blonde.
Add those stem pieces to the other pot and cook them together with the pasta for 5 minutes or until the pasta is “al dente”)
In the meantime mix the eggs with the grated pecorino, parmigiano and pepper (black and pink)
Take the pot off the fire,drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Start to mix in the eggs, stir everything with low fire. Be careful that the eggs with pasta do not go above 65 degree so it stays creamy doesnt stock.
When it has the desired texture put it on a plate and finalize with the crunchy artichokes on the top and add some mint leaves.
I did start with Manu’s recipe as it took overnight to prepare the carrots used for Mario’s recipe.
During the cooking process i quickly realised how much of an amateur i am in the kitchen and i immediately got even more respect for people like Manu and Mario working in the kitchen preparing hundreds of meals everyday.
Those 20 minutes of cooking the dish felt like playing a round in a soundclash to me. Within a limited time frame i had to juggle with at least 3 components and make sure all of them are doing fine.
The result was pretty good still, but i would need a 2nd try someday. The 2 mistakes i made was 1. to fry the carciofo julienne a bit to long so they were on the edge of getting burned and 2. i did underestimate the reaction of the egg/cheese mix to high temperatures, so the sauce was not as creamy as it should be.
But otherwise i really enjoyed that meal, the cooked carciofo stems had a nice texture and to add mint did really round up the dish.
Well done, Manu!
I can’t call this recipe just “Vegetarian Carbonara” because there is no carbonara without the right kind of pecorino cheese and most important, the right “guanciale”, that comes from Lazio and Abruzzo regions in Italy, thanks to the perfect balance of spices, herbs and knowloedge of the local producers. If you are not vegetarian and you need some hint for a good guanciale I think that Manu should have the right links after he lived so long in Rome and is a “Carbonara Maestro” (He is famous in our city for the Tuna Carbonara).
For my recipe I decided to stay close to the traditional way of prep for the pasta and for the sauce but with some professional tips to get a good result, also at the first attempt.
What to replace guanciale? Well, I go for carrots that I marinate in salt and sugar and some spices, then I put them in olive oil and roast them like bacon to replace guanciale. I like carrots because they are really meaty after being marinated. They get this texture, this sweet and salty taste mixed with the herbs and spices ,that smoky taste that can seem like crunchy and fatty guanciale.
-For the fake guanciale:
1 large carrot
100 gr of brown sugar
120 gr of smoked salt (with the regular one you will lose some of the meaty taste given by the smoked one)
2 pieces of garlic (cutted in thin slices)
Some fresh herbs: thyme, majorane, rosemary, lauriel
Some spices: 3 or 4 grains of juniper, a tablespoon of black pepper a pinch of cayenne pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (just enough to cover the finished carrots)
Wash and peel your carrot and cut it in your favorite shape. I like it diced around 0,5 cm. Try to avoid the heart of the carrots because it’s harder to marinate, you can eat it raw while you prepare all your stuff.
Then mix in a blender sugar, salt spices and herbs (it’s way better if you roast your spices before to do this step to get the maximum flavour from them).
Put half of your mix into a box put the carrots and the garlic and cover with the other part of the mix. Leave it like that about 1 or 2 hours (it depends from the freshness of the carrots)
After that time take off the carrots from the marinate, rinse and dry them, then put into the extra virgin olive oil (better if a strong one from southern Italy)
Leave your carrots in olive oil for a night (they can stay in olive oil for a long time if well preserved into the fridge) and then when you want to use them take some and roast them in a hot pan with theirs own olive oil as you would do for guanciale or pancetta.
-for the eggs and cheese sauce
Usually I go for one medium egg yolk each 50 grams of pasta, you can use a bit more if you use pasta like rigatoni or paccheri or similar shapes.
So let’s prepare sauce for 100 gr of Spaghetti (do not use industrial pasta, when pasta is too smooth that’s not a good one)
100 gr Spaghetti
2 egg yolks. (About 50 grams)
30 grams of “Pecorino Romano” sheep milk cheese (not too fresh or it will melt like mozzarella)
30 grams of “Parmigiano Reggiano” at least aged 18 months (parmesan is not parmigiano…)
A lot of black pepper (better if in grain and then toasted and chopped when you need it)
10 grams of good butter (if you take off meat you will need some fat to get a greasy dish of carrotsbonara)
Put a pot of water to boil, meanwhile you mix in a bowl egg yolks with pecorino, parmigiano, a pinch of salt and black pepper and start to whip just enough to obtain a hard creamy mix. Start to warm this mix on the boiling water whipping it constantly to avoid the overcooking of egg yolk (over 82°C it will start to overcook), let’s keep around 50°C, so when you will put the hot pasta there will not be a thermal shock, that would fastly cook the yolks.
When water is boiling put some salt in it and put your spaghetti to cook for about one minute less than the recommended time written on the packaging.
While pasta is cooking take a about an half cup of cooking water (the foamy one on the top is the best because is rich of starch that will tie the sauce) and put that in the yolks and cheese blend to keep it warm and to let it become smoothie and fluid.
When pasta is ready drain it (but remember to keep another half cup of cooking water in case you will need to put some in the pasta when seasoning) and wait few seconds before to put in the sauce, then take a cold pan put your pasta, the butter and start seasoning, after that put the eggs sauce inside and continue to move it constantly, put the pan on the fire for few seconds and then take it off and repeat the for a couple of times to keep it warm but not enough to overcook the yolks. In less then one minute your pasta is ready to be putted into a dish and topped with your roasted meaty carrots.
Then add some more black pepper on top and eat it warm.
I have to admit that when i read Mario’s recipe i was a bit nervous about getting everything right, especially the sauce.
I never did marinade anything before in my life and getting all the ingredients, especially in these restricted Corona shutdown times was a small challenge by itself. Or would you know where you can get smoked salt within walking distance from your home?
In the end i have to say it was pretty easy to prepare and the instructions for the sauce look more complicated than they are in reality.
Thanks to my learning experience from the day before i was super cautious with the temperatures this time and was rewarded with a nice creamy sauce.
The fake carrot guanciale was amazing, taste and texture were really meaty, well as much as i remember that from my past.
I’m really happy i had the idea with this challenge and Mario and Manu take their time to contribute.
Only problem is that i feel like i did gain about 5kg since yesterday 😉
Thank you, Mario!