The world cooking competition (Ika Culinary Olympics) continues until February 19

Second Olympic Victory of the Italian National Chefs!

Like the last year in Luxembourg, this morning, in Stuttgart, the team of the Nic (National Italian Chefs) won the Gold Medal in the hot cooking competition at the IKA Culinary Olympics 2020.

Esultanza NIC

In the photo above the exultation of the Italian national chefs for the gold medal won in 2019

The world cooking competition (Ika CulinaryOlympics 2020) is a challenge between teams of chefs from all over the world that ended today on February 19th.

The competition includes Chef’sTable, Restaurant of Nations and all categories of culinary arts. “In the competition – the General Manager of the National Gaetano Ragunì had commented at the start for Stuttgart – we will find 56 nations all very fierce”.

But Nic turned out to be even fiercer than the others and brings home the Stuttgart Gold 2020. Italy wins, definitely, the Olympic Gold in the team hot cooking competition.

Nic Italia

La squadra della Nic vincitrice dell’Oro (credit Simone Food)

The Italian Team in Stuttgart

  • Chef Gaetano Ragunì (General Manager of the National Team)
  • Chef Gianluca Tomasi (Team Manager)
  • Chef Pierluca Ardito (Team Chef)
  • Chef Luca Borelli
  • Chef Giuseppe De Rosa
  • Chef Marco Tomasi
  • Chef Francesco Cinquepalmi
  • Chef Keoma Franceschi
  • Chef Fabio Mancuso
  • Pastry Chef Antonio Dell’Oro
  • Chef Giuseppe Marvulli
  • Chef Pietro Pupillo




The “Olive Sanuki Wagyu” seems to be the rarest steak in the world.

Certified by the Japanese government, it’s a beef bred solely in the Kagawa’s Prefecture, coastal region of the inland sea of Seto.

Why “olive beef”? Because of the special diet of the cattles, fed just with squeezed olives.

The prices for the Olive Sanuki Wagyu start around (just buy from the shop) 80 US $ by 14 OZ (400 grams) of A3 Olive Wagyu Rib Cap Strips to 350 US $ by 14 OZ (400 grams) of A5 Olive Wagyu Filet Mignon.


Look at how it is cooked.


Italian Cuisine

In a survey conducted among 24 countries and a sample of 25,000 people, Italian cuisine was declared as the best one in the world. People around the world eat pizza and pasta.

99% of the Italians voted in favor of their own ethnic kitchen, while 94% of Spanish respondents agreed with them. On the other hand, The Chinese seem to be not very convinced by the taste of pizza, as only one out of two voted for it.

In fact, research finds that the Japanese are the toughest critics in every nation’s food. 23 of the 34 cuisines were rated with a percentage less than 50%. On average, only 39% of Japanese people who had tried a particular foreign cuisine said they liked it.

In the top 10 positions of the research are the Spanish, American, Mexican, Indian and Turkish cuisine. The eleventh place took the national food of Korea, followed by the greek one, above the vietnamese.

The following diagram shows which countries (horizontal line) voted which national cuisine (vertical column).


Italian Cuisine



Municipality of Amatrice




The ‘Amatriciana sauce is a typical product of the gastronomic tradition of Amatrice, to be able to boast of the Communal Denomination (De.Co.), it must be obtained, in the ‘white’ or ‘red’ versions, in compliance with the conditions and the requirements established by these production regulations.

The product born from an elementary pastoral preparation that has its roots in the social and economic history of the Amatrician side of the Mount of Laga, from which the preparation originates.

In particular, the use of aged guanciale (*) and pecorino cheese transposes the relationship with an extensive livestock farming in the Amatriciana sauce which has characterized the relationship of man with a difficult territory for centuries: in the past local shepherds, in the period of transhumance, who forcing them away from home for a period of 4-5 months, they brought with them, for their sustenance, some products of easy and prolonged preservability such as, precisely, the guanciale, pecorino, and flour.

The original recipe is white, tomato-free, also called ‘Gricia’, and dates back to the period in which the city of Amatrice was in the territory of ancient Abruzzo.

The ‘Salsa all ‘amatriciana”‘ is linked to the history of Abruzzo until the date of 1927, the year in which with the creation of the Province of Rieti new boundaries between Lazio and Abruzzo were established.

This can be found in the text of the author Anna Gosetti della Salda, in her classic ‘Italian regional recipes’ (1967), the result of rigorous field research and the reconstruction of the geographical paths of the dishes. Gosetti also writes, in the notes, that the one she collected ‘on the spot’ is the true recipe of amatriciana as it was prepared for Amatrice at the end of the 1950s.

The introduction in the tomato recipe occurred at the end of the eighteenth century when the Neapolitans, among the first in Europe, recognized the great organoleptic qualities of the tomato, and so also the Amatricians, whose territory fell in the Kingdom of Naples, had the opportunity to appreciate it and, with happy intuition, they added it to the ingredients of the original recipe.

Some erroneously attribute the Amatriciana to the Roman cuisine, having lost the historical memory of the fact that it was instead the shepherds, who with the seasonal movements of the transhumance towards the Roman countryside, made known this recipe in the city of the Popes.

The ‘Salsa all’amatriciana’ is included in the list of Traditional Agri-Foodstuffs of the Lazio Region (GU n. 141 of 20/06/2014).

Only some ingredients of this gastronomic product can also come from areas other than the municipal area.


The production area of the Amatriciana Sauce, coincides with the territory of the Municipality of Amatrice.

The ‘Salsa all’amatriciana’ is:
– ‘’white’, in the tomato-free version, also called ‘Gricia’;
– ‘red’, in the version with tomato.

Amatriciana sauce, in the ‘white’ (also called ‘’Gricia’) or ‘red’ version, can be used for immediate consumption or packaged in sterile containers to be subjected to heat treatment, in order to sterilize the finished product.



  1. Ingredients

The ingredients, referring to the preparation 500 gr. of pasta, are:

  • 125 gr. of ‘Guanciale Amatriciano DE.CO.’
  • A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil;
  • a dash of dry white wine;
  • pepper as needed
  1. Method

  • Browning lightly in extra virgin olive oil the ‘Guanciale Amatriciano’ De.Co., in a strictly iron pan,  well neat from the skin and cut into long strips.
  • Add the white wine and black pepper as needed, and cook over low heat for a few minutes until the pork cheek is lightly browned, being very careful not to brown too much, a fundamental rule for the success of the recipe.

Recommended pairings:

Combine the sauce with a spaghetti of excellent quality, cooked al dente in plenty of salted water and add abundant ‘Pecorino di Amatrice’ De.Co., and ground black pepper as needed.


  1. Ingredients

The ingredients, referring to the preparation 500 gr. of pasta, are:

  • 125 gr. of ‘Guanciale Amatriciano DE.CO.’
  • A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil;
  • a dash of dry white wine;
  • 6 or 7 San Marzano tomatoes or 400 grams of quality peeled tomatoes;
  • a piece of fresh or dried chilli (if necessary);
  • Salt and Pepper as needed
  1. Method

  • Browning in a frying pan with extra virgin olive oil in a strictly iron pan, the ‘Guanciale Amatriciano’ De.Co., well netted by rind and cut into long strips.
  • Add the white wine and black pepper q.b., and possibly the chili pepper, and cook over low heat for a few minutes until the pork cheek is lightly browned, being very careful not to brown too much, a fundamental rule for the success of the recipe.
  • Remove the strips of pork cheek from the pan, drain well and keep aside, preferably warm, to avoid the risk of them becoming too dry and salty.
  • Add the tomatoes cut into fillets and remove the seeds, having previously blanched them or use 400 grams of quality peeled tomatoes.
  • Salt, stir and cook over high heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chili, and add the strips of cheek previously set aside to the sauce, stirring the sauce again.

Recommended pairings:

Combine the sauce with a spaghetti of excellent quality, cooked al dente in plenty of salted water and add abundant ‘Pecorino di Amatrice’ De.Co., and ground black pepper as needed.




It’s a deed I’ve always done naturally, but I never thought about what was behind it…

The original post was written by professor and writer Enrico Galiano:


I worked as a waiter for eleven years. Among the many things I’ve learned there is this, that the world is divided into two categories: those who pass the dish to the waiter, and those who don’t do.

Those who pass you the plate, are the ones who see you, they realize that you are there and busting your ass, so when they are finished and you show yourself in front of them to take away the dirty dish, they lift it, they hand it to you , so that you do not have to lean over each time, with the risk of perhaps dropping a cutlery from the dishes you already have in your hand. Usually they also say “thank you”, even if they were actually doing you a favor.
The impulse every now and then, I remember, was to hug them.
A deed of nothing costs no effort.
But a deed that says it all.
I have always loved those who pass you the plate, because they are almost always very humble people, they recognize your dignity, they don’t treat the waiter like a servant: they know how much is lucky in the fact that they are sitting there eating and you are there standing up to busting the ass out.

All this to say that in my life I happened to find myself at the table with many people: writers, politicians, sometimes even TV personalities, and most of them, however powerful and important, maybe even funny sometimes, they were people who didn’t pass the plate to the waiter.
Some, indeed, often treated him very badly.

And yesterday, yet, I got the lunch with Clara Sànchez.
I don’t know if you know her, but she’s a writer who sells millions of copies all over the world.
She is someone that has some reason to feel arrived.
To feel important.
Here, all this to say that Clara Sanchez passes the plate to the waiter.

It’s not that you are arrived when you have oceanic crowds cheering you or pharaonic bank accounts.
You arrived when wherever you arrived, you’re still one who passes the plate to the waiter.









Libro de arte coquinaria

Libro de arte coquinaria Maestro Martino

What distinguishes a Chef from a charlatan?
Knowledge of the ingredients, intuition, humility, ability, willpower, courage to experiment.
Luck has little to do with, a donkey can pretend to be a horse… but sooner or later he is braying!

Starting from the publication of the “Libro de arte coquinaria” of the Italian Chef and gastronomist Maestro Martino, who lived between the XIV and the XV century and considered the most important European Chef of the XV century, a cornerstone of Italian gastronomic literature that testified the passage from the medieval to the renaissance cuisine to get to the last Chefs on the web and television, it is interesting to see how much in over six centuries has changed, even if not always the change is synonymous of improvement.

I greedily browse books and web pages published by Italian Chefs (with some foreigner) looking for some, it is appropriate to say, “delicious morsels”, the perfect delicacy, point the focus on particular indiscreet, some yielding to the vanity anyway revealers of the human, anthropological characteristics of the cooks.
To worthily celebrate my compulsive hunger for knowledge, it is necessary, first of all, to leave out nothing of the browsed pages, because the “gold nugget” could hide, for example, between the folds of a carbonara or in the corners of a meticulous report about cooking of a risotto.

And then it turns out that, for example, al dente pasta, the workhorse of Italian cuisine, explained precisely by Maestro Martino in his “Libro de arte coquinaria” had very long cooking times.
But going to more recent times it turns out that in 1844 the pasta was cooked an hour, dropped to 45 minutes (The learned Chef of 1871), 15-20 minutes suggested (The real Genoese cuisine of the late nineteenth century and the military Chef of the 1932), again one hour (How can I eat well? 1913), 45 minutes (The healthy kitchen 1846), although there are some voices outside the chorus like that of the Neapolitan Chef Ippolito Cavalcanti who advised in 1837 to drain pasta when it “showed still a certain tenacity“: with the passing of time, this gastronomic revolution has also contaminated northern of Italy, despite having established itself as a general rule only after World War II.
The homologation of pasta cooking needed tests, time and tastings, one the goldl nugget was provided by Chef Elio Sironi who a couple of years ago discovered and sold pasta with “indirect cooking“, ie cook in boiling water for two minutes and fire off the remaining time so as not to disperse the starch in the water and enhance its flavor.
The phenomena that take place during the cooking of the pasta are three: the diffusion of water inside the pasta which is at any temperature; gelatinization of starch above 60 degrees; the denaturation of gluten between 70 and 80 degrees.

The essay of Benjamin Thompson on 1799

The essay of Benjamin Thompson on 1799

Following this rule (recycled by Benjamin Thompson who on 1799 wrote an essay on thermodynamics applied to cooking food), any temperature above 80 degrees is a useless waste of energy but its assertion that the water turned off enhances the flavor of the pasta is groundless.

Among the folds of an interview with two Michelin Stars Chef Gianfranco Vissani, we discover a self proclaimed lover of traditional cuisine that does not boggle to point the finger at colleagues who accuse of having turned the kitchen upside down, with modern cooking forms that he says “are the greatest disgust in the world and kill flavors and consistency, everything tastes like boiled “.
Vissani talks about the vituperated vacuum cooking at a low temperature, I honestly do not share his opinion while I admit that it does not work on everything and the results can be different by the beginners expectations.
And continuing asserts that “many cooks are not even able to cook the pasta, use tap water and the chlorine affects breaking the spaghetti because the chlorine does not evaporate, indeed, when boiling it concentrates, a good restaurant should know it “.
And more” I saw famous chefs in television programs salted the meat before cooking it, another told that the salt evaporates: it is the water that evaporates, its a disaster!
But also Chef Vissani does not come out well: the verbal confrontations with the gastronomist Luigi Veronelli who accuses him of using soy oil instead of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying, are well known, but the golden nugget of the traditionalist Chef resides in this transposition (should be better call it destruction) of bucatini alla Amatriciana composed by mixing the sauce and putting it on the bottom of a cup, adding a bucatini mousse on top and finally the sponge cake soaked with “Strega” cordial.
It was a recipe so successful that on the web it is impossible to find any image… thankfully!

In this mine we can find also the amatriciana with the garlic of the Chef Cracco that has triggered many reactions, the most significant of which was the invitation of the Chef from the typical cuisine school of Amatrice to try the original recipe.
But the echo had not yet been turned off than during the Mastechef contest, the USA Chef Joe Bastianich suggested a competitor to use the onion in the preparation of gricia, the ancestor of Amatriciana.

Bill pizza Cracco

Bill pizza Cracco

Pizza Cracco

Pizza Cracco

Well, he’s American, will think the readers, and instead to give a strong hand we find the Italian Michelin Star Chef Cracco: pure delirium.
But Chef Cracco offers us another of his pearls on a silver plate when at the beginning of the year in his new restaurant in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan he proposes his pizza.
Not even to say (just watch the photo) to understand what is the wasps’ nest that has raised between pizza’s purists and non.
There is no scandal or worse outrage because it costs too much, everyone spends his money as he wants, but let me say it is ugly, it looks like a burned Apulian frisella, and there are several versions of pizza… that do not include the crap of Cracco that would do better continue to make the judge at Masterchef.


Starter Milena Galbanelli

Starter Milena Galbanelli

Few months ago it was the time of Milena Gabanelli, a well-known and well-loved Italian investigative journalist who, at dinner to Marconi in the Michelin-star restaurant of Aurora and Massimo Mazzucchelli to Sasso Marconi (near Bologna), took a photo of her starter and published it on social media, commenting on it, a very common practice: “NOTHING HEAVY This is an appetizer I do not know what I ate because I could not taste it (cod was written there) But these chefs …?! Milena Gabanelli “.
Her very critical caption and the fact that the restaurant it is a Michelin Star, triggered immediately the controversy.
It is also true that it was not an appetizer but an “amuse bouche”, but it is still a miserable course for which a restaurant should be ashamed.



The six Chefs Moretti beer advisors

The six Chefs Moretti beer advisors

Chefs Antonino Cannavacciuolo, Davide del Duca, Christian Milone, Davide Oldani, Claudio Sadler and Viviana Varese lent themselves to advertising a beer allowing it to put on their label a caricature instead of the legendary “Baffo“.
It turns out that all six Chefs of the labels, apparently have a close link with this brand of beer: Del Duca and Milone won the Birra Moretti Grand Cru Prize (respectively in 2014 and 2012), the competition promoted by Birra Moretti in collaboration with Identità Golose (The International Chef Congress), which tests the originality, skills and imagination of the best young Italian talents under 35 inviting them to challenge each other proposing dishes in which beer is used in combination and as an ingredient, Cannavacciuolo, Oldani, Sadler and Varese, instead, four stars of the Italian culinary firmament, have been part of the jury of the Prize and have been called to decree the most virtuous among the emerging Chefs.



Joe Bastianich mcdonalds advisor

Joe Bastianich mcdonalds advisor

That what reported is a striking case of conflict of interest is undoubted, the fact remains that the next time the Chefs will go to advertise McDonald’s?
I‘m sorry, I forgot, Chef Joe Bastianich advertise McDonald’s, Chef Cracco, instead, advertise the San Carlo’s chips, Chef Bruno Barbieri advertise the industrial chicken Amadori brand and I could go on, this is a real mine, more than golden nuggets gives us some ideas for reflection about the opportunity to go and sit at their tables.





Today we are invaded by chefs that if you go to dinner in their restaurants, they are not there because they are always on TV.
Who fuck is cooking then?
Obviously, their brigade, authentic hidden protagonists, who in addition to having much of the merit in achieving the coveted Michelin star by the restaurant (and, of course, by the Chef), are often also paid a little.
So, the question arises spontaneously… but these mega star Chef, will they be able to cook?
Or is it all a cackle, maybe seasoned with crystals of lamb meteorite in liquid and gaseous nitrogen crust with ionized particles to the lobster of Garda Lake?
A bruschetta, thank you… better if it’s good!
I love cuisine.
I love haute cuisine.
I love certain personages, who managed to make what was once a simple and noble work, an art form.
However, in my opinion, the true phenomena of modern cuisine are those who, in addition to having the right honors, always profess humility.
Because, being a cook or a Chef, it’s hard work.
And if you do it with humility, respect and passion for quality, it is even more so.
And the true aces, after appearing on TV or in a magazine, go back to the kitchen to cook, to discover, to experiment and invent a new dish, with the sole purpose of surprising their customers.
Fortunately they are not all affected by “phenomenalism”, and I love these Chefs, even cooks.
So, less Chefs and more cooks.
We need it!
And to the phenomena Chefs I ask “do you make me a spaghetto garlic oil and pepper?”
Let’s see if it is good, at least at the height of your stars.
Now I close, because talking about phenomena in the kitchen, start to spinning my balls… sorry, start to dynamize my balls.
Because dynamizing means spinning
(Crozza docet).



Ripe olives

Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Benefit


Whizz up the tastiest salad dressings, add a finishing flourish to soups or use as a dip for a bruschetta.

Made from the very first pressing of olives, extra virgin is the most flavoursome as it’s not been diluted and has had minimal processing.

In a similar way to wine, olive oil has a complex variety of flavours to look out for, expect a balance of fruit, spice and pepper; however, unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age, so use liberally and look for a dark glass container to store in as light can rapidly diminish the oil quality.

Extra virgin olive oil has a low burn point which if reached can break down the nutritional benefits and produce harmful chemicals but used correctly has featuring heavily in the healthy Mediterranean diet.


Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Scientific studies indicate that olive oil, among all the oils, is the healthiest one.

Unlike other products for seasoning, extra virgin olive oil is the only one obtained solely through a mechanical extraction process such as centrifugation or dripping or squeezing in order to obtain a real fruit juice.

According to the European rules, is considered extra virgin oil when cold pressed mechanically and have some peculiar characteristics.
Through the “panel test”, an organoleptic analysis also regulated by strict European standards, is evaluated the taste, color, smell and appearance of the oil.

In the extra virgin olive oil the beneficial components for health are the polyphenols, responsible for the characteristic taste of the oil: the more there are and the more it is spicy and fruity.
Polyphenols are a family of strongly revalued chemical compounds because:

  • antioxidants, therefore they act as inhibitors of the “free radicals” of the organism able to activate tumor forms and other diseases;
  • reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) circulating in the blood, which thus remains smoother and with less risk of heart attack.

Among other things, with their antioxidant action, they lengthen the life of the oil, whose alteration is mainly due to the action of oxygen.
The other beneficial components of the extra virgin olive oil are unsaturated fatty acids, in particular oleic acid, which is monounsaturated, present for about 75% and can be defined as the “guardian” of the arteries as it binds to cholesterol in the blood dragging it away.
Given that its acidic composition is similar to mother’s milk, extra virgin olive oil is recommended as an aid for the weaning of children; it is also useful to take it in old age because it help the assimilation of calcium and its mineralization, helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP

Riviera Ligure DOP

As for wines, even among the various extra virgin olive oils there are those PDOs recognized by the European Community as high quality oils.
Oil producers who come from a PDOs production area must scrupulously respect the production regulations, their olive groves must be registered in the olive-oil-producers register and must also submit the production report to the Chamber of Commerce, providing the guarantee that the entire spinneret of production (processing, storage and bottling) takes place in a certain designation of origin.
The quality of extra virgin olive oil depends on the cultivation of the olives, the agronomic technique, the environment, the harvesting period, the processing technology and the conservation of the oil.



What does extra virgin mean?
he “virgin” attribute for the oil indicates that the extraction process is carried out exclusively with physical and mechanical methods, without the use of solvents that characterize, for example, the extraction of many seed oils and without mixing with oils of other nature.
The olive oil is extra-virgin when, in addition to being mechanically extracted, it has an acidity lower than 0.8% (the good quality oils have a much lower acidity).
Up to 2% acidity, the oil is considered “virgin”, over the oil can only be traded after its refining in which it is deacidified with chemical processes and sold as “refined olive oil”.
Olive oil without specific attributes, is instead a mixture of refined oils and virgin oil in an indeterminate percentage with a total acidity of less than 1.5%.

Cilento DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cilento DOP

Buying guide
Extra virgin olive oil is not a product for which to save on; many of the oils sold in large-scale distribution are made up of mixtures of oils and have prices that are slightly higher than the cost of the bottle and the cap which, by themselves, make us realize that the quality of the product is poor.
Recognizing a good extra virgin olive oil from the perfume and taste may require a minimum of training, but the low cost of the oil can be a first exclusion criterion.
Find your oil with experience using these suggestions.

Firstly, in an extra virgin olive, is the smell of the olives to be able to say that it is “fruity” oil, an oil, i.e., in which the scent of the fruit (olives) is perceived in a well-defined way.
The oil must be free from defects in the production chain such as rancid, mold, sludge, etc.

The color of an extra virgin olive oil can vary from yellow to green, with infinte shades in between.
Contrary to what many believe, a greener oil is not necessarily better or more genuine because its coloring is given by the degree of ripeness of the olives at the time of harvest and their variety; a greener oil has a greater presence of chlorophyll, usually due to less mature olives, more yellow has instead the prevalence of carotenes, if the color tends to orange-reddish, it is likely that the oil is oxidized.
Whatever the color, the extra virgin olive oil must have one: if the oil appears colorless or transparent, it is better to desist from the purchase.

hy does the new oil pinch and is bitter?
Those who are not experts in freshly pressed olive oil tend to exchange the pinching and bitterness of the new oil as defects. In reality it is not at all like this, they are invaluable characteristics that help us to distinguish a good extra virgin olive oil from one of dubious quality.
The acidity of extra virgin olive oil can not be perceived through taste; in its chemical composition there are no perceptible acids, not even salts or sugars.
Bitter and spicy are both dependent on the type of olive that will be used, the type of processing and the degree of ripeness.
An extra virgin olive oil that does not pinch has probably lost these substances, proving more vulnerable to oxidation and aging, as well as less healthy for our body.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Val di Mazara DOP

Val di Mazara DOP

Purchase period:
he ideal season for buying the extra virgin olive oil is autumn, since it is at this time of year that olives are harvested and cold pressed, without any thermal alteration or chemistry: only this procedure, in fact, allows to obtain the term Extravergine to the olive oil, characterized by precise organoleptic qualities.

Extra virgin olive oil must be kept in dark bottles to protect it from light; like all fats, extra virgin olive oil must be protected from oxidation and contact with polluting substances as well as odors as it absorbs them easily, a feature that makes it perfect for the production of perfumes, essences, balsams and aromatized oils.
The ideal storage temperature of the oil is 15 ° C (the cold does not alter the structure of the oil and does not affect its preservability): if you do not have a dry and well-ventilated cellar, look for the coolest (and darkest) point of the house.
Experts reccomend to consume the oil in the same production year, because the antioxidant content that preserves it from rancidation fades over time, but remains edible up to 20 months from the squeezing: it can therefore be said that the content of natural antioxidants of an extra virgin olive oil together with the way in which it is conserved, defines its duration.

Cost of extra virgin olive oil:
How many olives do you need to make a liter of oil? The olive oil yield is a fairly variable parameter: different varieties of olives give different yields but in principle to make a liter of oil it takes about 6-7 kilos of olives.
The cost of a single liter of extra virgin olive oil is estimated according to its type and type of processing, the costs of cultivation of the olive grove (plowing, pruning, harvesting), milling and packaging costs (labeling, cans, bottles packaging), advertising and transport as well as olive yield depending on the vintage and the variety.
The cost in Italy for 2018 is estimated between 5 to 10 euros per liter, with higher peaks due to particular oil excellences.



Spaghetti di Gragnano alla carbonara

Spaghetti di Gragnano alla carbonara served at Aromi Diversi

How many carbonara recipes exist?
For the for the orthodoxes of the carbonara, there is only the one made made with crispy guanciale(*), whisked eggs yolk and pecorino romano cheese, the others, if exist, are not true carbonara but something else; but going back in time, we realize that this delicious dish of Italian cuisine, has a recent history, and in about seventy years of life has undergone transformations lasting even long periods where the orthodoxes of the carbonara of those times, recognized it as the original single discarding all the others.

One of the latest transformations dates back to some years ago with the advent of the low temperature cooking technique (Sous Vide) that promises to obtain a perfect consistency of the eggs without adding cream or other ingredients: actually I get the same consistency even with the classic method but so is it.

In the specialized pages of blogs and social media, the controversy surrounding the carbonara regarding the ingredients and its preparation are the subject of clashes between the insiders, each one with its own pecorino cheese or guanciale, each one convinced that the creaminess of his is better than that of another, the common denominator is the good quality of the pastas.

But what triggers the insiders is the “Carbonaragate“, the scandal originated by the video of the French version of Carbonara who sparked outrage from Italian foodies who made the following request: “Let Italians cook pasta, please!”
The french crap carbonara, indeed, using boiled bacon, crème fraîche and a raw egg, leaves the internet appalled.
Not even the time to turn off the echo of the comments, a new video it appears, if is possible, even worse than the previous.

The carbonara, as I think we understand, is a very loved and debated dish of the traditional italian cuisine, upset the recipe is like equalize “pate de porc” to the “foie gras” or use pork in the  “beef Wellington”: you can’t compare apples to oranges!


On the origin of carbonara there are, at least, three hypothesis.

The first assigns the paternity to Renato Gualandi who would create it at the end of the second world war.

According by the second, the dish would be an invention of the “Carbonari” (not the Risorgimental rebels so called), those who made charcoal, a long job during which they fed with easy-to-find ingredients mixed with macaroni.

The third and last origin would be Neapolitan, hypothesis put forward by an Italian-American journalist as bizarre as arrogant, who credits his thesis uphold that similar ingredients appear in various recipes of that region: with all respect for Naples and its wonderful cuisine, I think that such a thesis has no foundation because many other Italian regions have the same ingredients in their recipes and it is not clear why the Neapolitan.

Which of the three hypotheses is the right one, probably will never know, however one thing is certain: the carbonara is perfectly suited to the Roman cuisine that was, and still is, made with flavors and rustic ingredients such as guanciale and pecorino.


I then gathered over the 10 carbonara’s recipes, starting with the first of Chef Renato Gualandi until today, it will be interesting to see how a dish could have had so many transformations.

Lyophilized eggs

Lyophilized eggs

1944, September 22: the first carbonara – Chef Renato Gualandi
The first homologated carbonara is that of Renato Gualandi who coocked the dish in Riccione (Italy) during the meeting between the English VIII Army and the American V. He seasoned the pasta with mixed bacon, cream of milk, cheese and egg-yolk powder and ground pepper that the Americans had in large quantities and served this pasta for dinner to the generals and the officers, a successful choice.

1952: Pasta Carbonara -y Patricia Bronté
he coock the first carbonara appears to Chicago: tagliolini, eggs, lettuce and parmigiano.

1954: Spaghetti alla carbonara – “Italian cuisine”, III, 8 (August 1954)
he first Italian recipe. In this version it was made from eggs, bacon,  gruyere cheese, garlic and pepper.

1954: Spaghetti alla carbonara – “Harper’s Bazaar”
n unorthodox American carbonara with butter, clams, yolks of eggs, Parmesan cheese and pepper.

1955: Macaroni alla carbonara – Felix Dessì, La signora in the kitchen
his time the pasta should be seasoned with eggs, Parmesan or pecorino cheese and pepper.

1960: Spaghetti alla carbonara – Luigi Carnacina, La grande cucina
great Chef inaugurates the guanciale and cream season and the other ingredients are butter, whole eggs,  grated Parmesan cheese and pepper.

1986: Bucatini alla carbonara – Matilde Laurenti, The true Roman cuisine
he carbonara orthodoxy makes its way into a recipe book dedicated to Roman specialties. The ingredients are bucatini, bacon or guanciale, eggs,  grated Parmesan and Pecorino cheese,  onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and pepper.

1989: Spaghetti alla carbonara – Gualtiero Marchesi, Italian regional cuisine
ngredients: guanciale, cream, egg yolks, grated pecorino cheese, butter, salt and pepper.

Spaghetti alla carbonatriciana- Luca Cesari

Spaghetti alla carbonatriciana

2017: Carbonara cooked at low temperature
Ingredients: spaghetti Cavalieri or big spaghetti Rummo,  as many whole eggs as many egg yolks, guanciale, grated pecorino romano cheese, little salt and aboundant pepper. The sauce obtained with the eggs, the egg yolk and pecorino cheese is cooked in Sous Vide.

Spaghetti alla carbomatriciana – Luca Cesari
The two recipes symbol of the Roman tradition gathered in a single dish that looks to the future.
Ingredients: spaghetti Cavalieri or big spaghetti Rummo, as many whole eggs as many egg yolks, guanciale, grated pecorino romano cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, little salt and aboundant pepper.



Appetite comes with eating, and after the first list of 10 carbonaras I have looked for what other changes have been made.
Carbonara: the author variants

Carbonara di pesce
urora Mazzucchelli  prepared her dish using scallops and mullets. No eggs, replaced by an emulsion of scallops corals.

Carbonara di montagna
he South Tyrolean chef Norbert Niederkofler use only local products such as spelled pasta, lard, speck powder and mountain grazing cheese.

Risotto alla carbonara
hristian and Manuel Costardi seasoned their risotto with beaten egg yolk, crispy bacon, pecorino cream and a sprinkling of pepper.

Carbonara ice cream
side De Cesare transformed into ice cream eggs and cheese with spaghetti of courgettes, crispy bacon and black truffle.

Fagottelli(**) alla  Carbonara
einz Beck the dressing stuffed the fagottelli while the sauce is based on veal and zucchini.

Negativo di carbonara
ntonello Colonna: also in this case it is the pasta to be filled with carbonara and then seasoned in the crème fraîche.

Pizza carbonara
tefano Callegari merge the classic pizza base and the traditional carbonara seasoning.

Black is black Chef Davide Scabin

Black is black Chef Davide Scabin

Black is black
avide Scabin spaghetti with cuttlefish ink cooked in a vacuum, caviar and cream of eggs whipped with guanciale fat and cheese.

Sommario di carbonara
iccardo Di Giacinto who enclose all the elements (eggs, cheese, guanciale) within an egg shell.

Carbonara veg
imone Salvini presents his carbonara prepared with wholemeal spaghetti, tofu and almond milk: in 3 ingredients we summarize the philosophy in the kitchen of Simone Salvini (sic!).

Carbonara di mare
auro Uliassi season his dish with a cream composed by mantis shrimps eggs, gray mullet eggs and sea urchins. The guanciale is replaced by cod tripe.

Carbonara a freddo
aolo Parisi features fresh eggs tagliolini, a mix of Parmesan and pecorino cheese, eggs, marjoram, lemon and squeezed garlic.

Healthy carbonara
he japanese Chef Kotaro Noda promises to cook a carbonara lighter than a salad thanks to the particular glaze of the bacon in the oven to prevent it from reaching the smoke point.

Uovo 65
oy Caceres serves it as an appetizer and not as a first dish completely deform in the concept of a typical dish, it is an egg cooked at 65 ° C topped with a mousse of pecorino cheese and parmesan.
The pasta? Puffed rigatoni and crispy bacon.

Carbonara sbagliata
erran Adrià proposes taglierini topped with Parmesan cheese, smoked bacon, egg, plus a “reinforcement” of agar-agar powder, butter, cream, truffle oil and, in the creative version, even peas.


Carbonara: the home variants

Tuna carbonara
omposed of eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, tuna and parsley as well as oil, salt and pepper.

Carbonara with mushrooms and bacon
Composed of porcini mushrooms, diced bacon, Parmesan cheese, parsley, eggs and garlic as well as oil, salt and pepper.

Carbonara with aubergines
Composed of aubergines, Parmesan cheese, capers and eggs as well as oil, salt and pepper.

Carbonara with peppers
Composed of tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers and eggs as well as oil, salt and pepper.

Vegetarian zucchini carbonara
Composed of eggs, pecorino cheese and zucchini as well as oil, salt and pepper.


The Italian patriotism, already sarcastically described by Winston Churchill who claimed that “the Italians lose the football matches as if they were wars and lose the wars as if they were football matches”, could be further enriched with the rewriting of article 1 of the Constitution as follows: “Italy is a democratic republic founded on Carbonara, sovereignty appertain to the egg yolk, which is whisked according to pecorino and limits of the guanciale”.

Carbonara: the crap variants

Carbonara americana italian style
Frozen bacon (so that it is easier then cut it into cubes) fried, whole eggs, butter, garlic, cream, peas and Parmesan cheese: next ingredients? Beetroot, broccoli or cucumber?

Carbonara Sarcozy
The French Chef who calved a similar abortion have perfumed it with “eau de tristesse”.
He seasoned farfalle (***) (cooked in water and oil, to prevent sticking and obtaining a slimy product to which no sauce can stick) with boiled bacon and shallot, crème fraîche, parsley, as well as salt and pepper. Once placed up the pasta, a raw egg is added to it center (hopefully fresh and without salmonellosis problems).

Baked carbonara with asparagus
Created from an overseas disturbed mind, the dish composed by lardon, cheese, eggs, asparagus and cream, has nothing in common with the traditional recipe that does not include oven or asparagus.


Colombian Carbonara
Proposed by a terrifying restaurant in Bogota, it is made up of chunks of chicken and an unspecified vegetables. The “Italian food” hashtag would be enough provocation to declare war on the South American country.

Carbonara and cutlet
I wonder why we did not take us to accompany the pasta to a chicken schnitzel with fries. Composed with cheese, potato, chilli sauce, milk and… a touch of class: the raw sliced tomato.

Carbonara broccoli and chicken
A Chinese who prepares a carbonara in New York? Probably the google translation service did not work right because he has prepared the criminal dish with toasted chicken and broccoli. The only acceptable ingredient is the linguini.

Carbonara soup

Carbonara soup

Carbonara soup
There is no limit to the worst, this Chilean version of carbonara is the proof. Impossible understand how this obscenity was composed, if this mess contains pasta or something else, just a dish filled with an orange-yellow broth that seems to contain potatoes with a pile of minced vegetable that could be parsley.

Carbonara with hazelnuts
Directly from the capital of the Czech Republic, here is another unprecedented crap composed by roasted cauliflower and hazelnuts. Are we sure it’s not the squirrels’ food? Will they bark the nuts before putting them in the plate?

American carbonara
Have you finished the pancetta (not even to talk about guanciale) and all the shops are closed? Or are you lazy to go out shopping? Does not matter, open the fridge, get hotdogs, eggs and cream, the first cheese you find and the pasta is ready… to be thrown into the trash basket.

Carbonara for disturbed minds
Wholemeal pasta, tuna, yogurt, mushrooms, onion, minced turkey, eggs and pepper: whoever has made this list of ingredients has no idea what it is a carbonara. But the sublime art of the author of this crap is espressed with the fried egg on top of the pasta: put on the top of the steamed rice is Thai cuisine, but on the carbonara is an absolutely no-sense.

Carbonara with precooked rice noodles
Asia also affects carbonara even though, with this recipe, it is even closer to the original one than most of  others. As a premise, the author uses precooked noodles, rolled bacon thinly cut into strips and fried, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and pepper. I put it in the worst variants even if it does not deserve so much severity of judgment, but I continue to prefer good quality pastas cooked at the moment and you?

Avocado Carbonara
Lemon juice, eggs yolk, avocado, cream, salt and pepper: why not find a name for this recipe by this unknown author, this new Chef in search of an author? Carbonara is carbonara, if there is the avocado would be called avogadonara.

Spiralized Sweet Potato Carbonara noodles
Eggs, parmesan cheese, pepper and few table spoon of coocking water season the noodles (obtained from the carving of sweet potatoes) boiled in hot water around 3 minutes and drained. Into this mess is added mushrooms, spinach and bacon sautéed in a pan with garlic and olive oil. I am speachless (and is better)!

Carbonara with whole fish

Carbonara with whole fish

Carbonara with whole fish
Finally an unpublished ingredient: salmon. Broccoli and steamed salmon for an inedible crap. Please avoid to call it carbonara, no even a dog can eat.

Smoked salmon carbonara
Whole eggs, cream, smoked salmon, onion, shallot, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, pepper and olive oil. Please stop with Master Chef programs, wake up, just a question to the author of this crap: how many ingredients does original carbonara require?

Cheese cream carbonara
Milk, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, peas, fried bacon and cream cheese to season this new entry carbonara pasta. The purpose of this lethal recipe has double effects: destroy the reputation of carbonara and enrich the drugs corporations, I just watched the video and my cholesterol rised.

Carbonara in the microwave
Crippled spaghetti and diced bacon get killed by microwave in a little water, drained and seasoned with lyophilized chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, cream and pepper. Why so much cruelty?

Spaghetti carbonara mega hiper sztoss – Krzysztof Szufla
From Poland with fury, tomatoes, cubes of baked pork , sauted mushrooms, a lot of frozen paprika, mix of frozen spices and herbs. The composition of the dish is even more bizarre, if possible, of the ingredients and is made by leaning on lettuce leaves a first layer of boiled tagliatelle, seasoning it with the mixture of the above ingredients, adding thick slices of Camamberg Cheese (I know, even the French Chefs are thinking to invade Poland), a not specified grated cheese; a second layer of tagliatelle that goes seasoned with the rest of the ingredients on the list and… ketchup spread on the top. Would be better for everyone if Krzysztof Szufla cooking his zurek, barszcz bialy, bigos etc, hoping he cooks those better than carbonara.

Vegan carbonara
Soy souce, maple syrup, apple cyder vinegar, olive oil, liquid smoke, mushrooms, garlic, soaked cashews, soy milk, nutritional yeast, silken tofu and peas. Flying over the complex and absurd preparation, the incredible list of ingredients used for compose a dish (that originally needs just three basic ingredients), no one in this receipe recall the carbonara, give a different name no?

Carbonara with ice cream
This is at the top of the crap recipes: fried bacon, egg and cream seasoned pasta above which is added a scoop of ice cream. Well, with this flagship, the mad cook have scraped the bottom of the barrel.




Fagottelli Heinz Beck


Farfalle pasta


(*) Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek

(**) Fagottelli is a kind of stuffed pasta

(***) Farfalle is a kind of pasta that takes its name from the butterfly that the particular shape recalls



Gragnano's Pastas

Gragnano’s Pastas

In recent years, a growing number of Hollywood stars have approached Italian cuisine, entering in a prestigious way on the world of restaurants.

Sting: winemaker and Italian cuisine lover

Sting: winemaker and Italian cuisine lover

The list includes top names such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sting, Lady Gaga, Robert De Niro, Danny De Vito, Sylvester Stallone, Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and others that would be too long to list: other than and exotic food, ethnic restaurants or fast food, Hollywood, at least in the kitchen, rewards the Made in Italy.

But if in Italy cuisine is so important, the undisputed queen on the table of every Italian, the first dish par excellence and cult approvated unanimously by kids and adults, is without a doubt the pasta that, in all its countless formats and condiments , has for the Caesar’s descendants an incomparable appeal than any other dish.

The Italians are known as “mangia spaghetti” and, in fact, pasta is one of the most widespread Italian gastronomic symbols in the world and the fresh one is the flagship of numerous national dishes.

The many sizes and innumerable stuffings give life to a multitude of different pastas spread in each region.
Tagliatelle, tonnarelli, cavatelli, lasagne, orecchiette, paccheri, fusilli, gnocchi, cannelloni etc but also stuffed pasta such as ravioli, culurgiones, agnolotti, tortellini, cappellacci etc.



The common denominator in all types of fresh or dried pasta is given by the wide spectrum of flours that can be used for the doughs, ranging from soft wheat flour (from which milling is obtained integral flour, flour type 2, 1, 0 and 00 – usually used for home-made pasta -) to the flour of durum wheat from which milling are obtained whole wheat flour, semolina flour and semolina flour remilled) passing from the chestnut flour, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, burnt wheat, etc, while the variables are water or eggs as well as dyes such as spinach, cuttlefish ink, tomato paste, carrot concentrate, etc.

The stuffings, instead, are related to the territory and seasonality, but can also be the result of imagination or personal taste.

Pasta is not just a dish for gourmets or to eat for goodies (of course that helps), but if consumed within certain quantities and with the right seasonings, becomes an absolutely balanced and complete dish, a healthy feeding included in the Mediterranean diet.

The success of a good pasta is not simple, has some unmissable passages, skipping one makes the difference between a quality pasta and a crap.
The good pasta must be rigidly composed by a wheat of excellent quality, in defect, even the best pasta maker, has no hope of a positive results.
That said, the the task of pasta maker is creating the dough, giving it the appropriate shapes and sizes and properly dried it.
Do all above seems easy, but for those who propose themselves in the pasta’s market with excellences products, it is extremely complicate.

Bronze estruders

Bronze estruders

Take for example Gragnano, the place par excellence of dry pasta obtained EXCLUSIVELY with bronze extruder.
To achieve those results is necessary to know perfectly the products, use, I repeat,  bronze extruders, that are the only ones able to guarantee the porosity of the extruded pastas that become perfect, once cooked, to collect the seasoning sauces, but it is also (and especially) in the duration of the drying times and the controlled temperature values ​​that the goodness of the pastas is decided: by varying them, the obtain products are completely different for consistency, flavor and the ability to keep the texture in cooking.
Slow drying at a moderate temperature enhances the goodness of the product to the detriment of the ability to keep the texture in cooking which, instead, is obtained by fast drying at high temperatures.
Most of the crap pastas are “cooked” twice: the first time from 90 to 115 ° C in the pasta factory during the drying phase and then around 100 ° C in the pot at home.
Incredibly, the drying temperature is greater than that of the cooking water.
The drying systems called HTSt (High Temperature-Short Time, VHTs (Very High Temperature-Short Time), or even AT and AAT (with or without steam injection), allow to reach very high temperatures, thus reducing the processing time thus saving noticeably on costs, but in the other way it changes nutritional value and arouses some perplexities among nutritionists.

What is the difference between bronze and teflon estruders?
The drawing process is the same, however the quality and the goodness of the product derive from the choice of the material.
The bronze estruders exert a traction on the mixture that produces on the surface micro lesions which, as a result of the drying process, give the pasta that typical rough and porous character, while the teflon estruders , common used for the fast production of cheap pastas, makes the surface of the dough smooth with the consequence that the condiments are not retained as the dough is “slippery”.

This explains the difference between two kind of pasta: those of Gragnano are a bit more expensive not because of the brand but for the highest quality of traceable products in the doughs, the use of bronze extruders and a meticulous care in the phase of drying; the cheaper pastas, probably well presented and sold at popular prices, are composed with untraceable products, processing and drying in the fastest and most profitable way for the producer.

Cheaper or expensive? This is a personal decision, I prefeir to eat pasta one time per week… but a highest quality pastas.

Cooking pasta

This is thChef time who must know both the product purchased from pasta makers and its origin.
In Naples (but almost everywhere in the world except for some countries allergic to good cuisine 🙂 ) it is used to cook the pasta in boiling salted water, in the proportion of 1/10(100 g of pasta 1 litre of water).
To understand if pasta is “al dente” there is a universal method: drain, for example, one macaron, open it with a fork and, if in the section there is a very thin white line, is cooked “al dente”; of course, following the personal taste, can be decided a shorter cooking, but if pasta is cooked more long the recommended time, can not talk about pasta al dente and in Naples it would directly thrown into the garbage bin.

Thickened pasta

Thickened pasta

Seasoned or creamed

If we were to season the “Mandilli de saea” (translated means silk handkerchiefs), sheets of lasagna seasoned with Genoa pesto sauce should be seasoned away from the fire, it is unthinkable to cook parmesan and pecorino cheeses (contained in the pesto) to avoid an indigestible sauce.
But if we want to season the same pasta with a meat sauce? I would say that it is advisable creaming it. During cooking, the pasta yields its starch, seasoning it in a pan with the sauce allows the pasta to yield part of its starch which being a natural thickener, goes to make the sauce more dense which, added to a little cooking water makes it creamy and goes perfectly seasoning all the pasta. Obviously the pasta must be drained 3-4 minutes before that one indicated in the package since the creamy will start in the pan where the pasta, with little cooking water (just the one necessary to not stick to the bottom) will its starch, after which it will be added to the selected sauce to arrive at the end of creamy when it is still al dente and not over.

What kind of pasta?

For the Neapolitans, great pasta masters and more, connections like “candele spezzate” (translated means broken candles) and Genoese sauce (its the famous ragu of Naples), are absolute and indissoluble, but I think about the choice, unlike other factors come into play, first of all is the taste for one format instead of another: for example, I do not like the pasta called butterflies (its shape is similar to the famous lepidopter), a very popular format in a lot of other italian restaurants.
I like all the kinds of pasta, first of all the one coming from the pasta factories of Gragnano, for which I have an indescribable passion, but not even the butterflies of Gragnano could change my mind.

La scarpetta

La scarpetta

La scarpetta

Along with the pasta is accompanied by “la scarpetta“, a typically Italian gesture with which the goodness of a course is honored by collecting liquids from the dishes with a nugget of bread.
Loved by many and detested by the maniacs of the “Galateo” (etiquette) that absolutely does not prohibit it, but relegates it only to informal occasions “and using the fork, “la scarpetta” has now clearly regained dignity, so feel free to try it: you will like it and no one will be amazed.

What do we mean with “la scarpetta“? Translated mean “the tiny shoe”, but the etymology of the term is still uncertain.

Obviously speaking only about pasta is reductive, moreover we will talk about it in the next articles

Enjoy your meal


“If it is true, as Alexander Dumas (father) says, that the English live only by roast beef and pudding; the Dutch by baked meat, potatoes and cheese; the German by sauer-kraut and smoked lardon; the Spanish by chickpeas, chocolate and rancid lardon; the Italians by macaroni, there will be no wonder if I return often and gladly by them, also because I have always liked them; indeed i was very close to gain the title of Mangia maccheroni.”
(Pellegrino Artusi)