3 tbsp coconut oil / 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste / 1 green chili / 350 g red split lentils / 1 and a half tsp ground turmeric / 1 head of cauliflower, florets only / 1 tsp garam masala / 2 tsp mustard seeds / 2 tsp cumin seeds / salt / 120 g cashew nuts / handful of cherry tomatoes / 200 g baby spinach / lemon juice
Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan, stir in the garlic-ginger paste and the green chili finely chopped. Cook for 1 minute then tip in the lentils and ground turmeric. Stir everything and cover with water (5 cm over the surface). Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. While the dal is simmering, heat the oven at 220 C. Cut the cauliflower into smallish florets. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large bowl, stir in the garam masala, mustard seeds and cumin seeds with some salt. Drop the cauliflower and toss so that each floret gets coated in spices. Tip the cauliflower onto a large baking tray and roast in the oven. After 15 minutes, tip the cashews into the baking tray and return to the oven for 10 minutes to toast them. When the dal is cooked, stir in the cherry tomatoes and spinach, when the spinach is wilted, squeeze the lemon juice and season with salt. Spoon the dal into bowls and top with the spice cauliflower and cashew nuts.
1/2 butternut squash / olive oil / dried chili flakes / salt and pepper / 1 onion / butter / 1 garlic clove / 180g arborio rice / glass of white wine / 800 mL vegetable stock / 30 g hard cheese / handful of sage leaves / 2 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts / lemon
Preheat the oven at 220 C. Put the diced butternut squash on a baking tray and mix with the olive oil, chili flakes and slat and pepper. Spread the squash and roast for 35 minutes. While it roasts, chop the onion and let it fry in a pan with butter, add the garlic clove and cook for few minutes. Then add the rice and let it brown. Simmer with white wine, when the wine has bubbled away, you the vegetable stock and simmer the risotto. Once the risotto is ready, scrape the butternut squash in the pan along with the grated cheese. Stir and turn the heat to low. Melt a spoonful of butter in another pan, chuck in the sage leaves and hazelnuts and cook for a minute, then squeeze in the lemon juice. Spoon the risotto in a plate, top with the crispy sage leaves and hazelnuts, and drizzle over the butter.
1 chicken breast / 1 onion / 3-4 spring onions / lime zest / 1 celery / 1 carrot / fresh ginger / red pepper / ground cinnamon / 250 g of noodles / fresh mint / salt and pepper
Boil the chicken with the onion in salted water for an hour. Once the broth is ready, remove the chicken and onion. Add to the boiling broth the sliced spring onions (saving the green edge) and the grated lime zest. Dice the celery and carrot and add to the soup; add the grated fresh ginger, the red pepper and the powdered cinnamon. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Add the sliced boiled chicken breast and the noodles. Once the noodles are ready turn the heat off, the veggies need to stay crunchy. Serve the soup with the minced green top of the spring onions, fresh mint and pepper on top.
500g rice / 1 pumpkin / 150 g gorgonzola cheese / 1 onion / half glass of white wine / vegetable broth / milk / 100 g parmesan cheese / extravirgin olive oil / salt and pepper
Empty the pumpkin and dice it. In a pan brown the dice onion with some oil, add the pumpkin and let them cook. Add the rice, let it toes, simmer with white wine, let it evaporate and season with salt; cover in broth. When halfway cooked, smash with a fork some of the pumpkin cubes inside the pan. Continue cooking with broth. When ready, turn the heat off, add the milk, the gorgonzola cheese and parmesan. Stir and serve.
450 g Arborio rice / 200 g frozen mushrooms / 120 g blueberries / 50 g grated parmesan / 10 g dry mushrooms / 1 shallot / white wine / butter / vegetable broth / extravirgin olive oil / salt
Leave the dry mushrooms in a bowl with some water. Mince the shallot and brown it in a pan with a drop of oil and some butter. Wring the mushrooms, dice them and add them in the pan. Straight afterward add the frozen mushrooms. Cook for some minutes so that they lose the water, then add the rice, season with salt and let it toast. Simmer with white wine and cook the risotto while slowly adding the vegetable broth. In another pan cook the blueberries for some minutes with some butter and salt. Just before the risotto is ready, add the blueberries. Take the pan off the heat and add the parmesan and butter, slowly mixing it.
300 g canned borlotti beans / water / hot pepper / rosemary / broth / short pasta / extravirgin olive oil
With a fork, squash the beans with oil, leaving some of them whole; add 3 glasses of water, the pepper and rosemary. Mix everything and cook over low heat. Once it starts boiling add the broth and season with salt. Let the pasta cook 10 minutes in the pan, adding water if needed.
500 mg salmon / 100 mL fresh cream / 5 potatoes / 3 carrots / 1 onion / 2 bay leaves / dill / bread / fish broth / salt
Dice the potatoes and cut the carrots in slices, put them in a pot and cover with water. Add the sliced onion, the fish broth, salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil. After 10 minutes add the diced salmon and let it cook for 15 minutes since it starts boiling.Add the cream and let it simmer for a minute, then complete with the dill. Serve with bread.
200 g bread / 150 mL milk / 100 g speck / 2 eggs / 40 g flour / 1 onion / grated parmesan cheese / parsley / chives / nutmeg / broth / extravirgin olive oil / butter / salt and pepper
Let the bread soak in the milk, add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything with your hands thus forming a paste and let it rest. In the meantime blend the speck and the onion in the blender, brown them in a pot with butter and oil, and add them to the knodels paste. Mix everything, add parsley, flour and nutmeg. Form the knodels (make them like meatballs), coat them with flour, then cook them in broth for 15 minutes. Serve with parmesan and chopped chives.
Dice the onions and fry them in oil and pepper in a pan. Add the diced carrots and the potato, peeled and sliced. Cover with water, add the broth and season with salt. Grate in the soup the fresh ginger and lime zest, add the lime juice and cook till the veggies are tender. Once ready add the coconut water and blend.
400g clams / 2 cloves of garlic / half a glass of white wine / 500g of tomatoes / 2 slices of rustic bread / pepper / basil / extravirgin olive oil / salt
Cook in a pan the clams over high heat with oil and one garlic, sautée with white wine, cover with a lid and let the clams open. Clean them of their shell. Dump the tomatoes in a pot filled with boiling salted water, let them cook for one minute, drain them and peel them. In another pan cook the peeled and diced tomatoes with the other garlic. After some minutes, when the tomatoes start to come undone, add the crumbs of the bread slices and some to the clams’ water, salt and some pepper. Let it cook over medium heat, stirring continuously so that the bread melts and a dense soup comes out. Add the clams and complete with basil.
Chef Picchio was born in the 20th century and will die in the 21st century. As an Italian, his life was defined by food. At the age of 3 months it's reported that he used to chew on lemons and suck the juice. As soon as he started teething, his favorite food was aged parmesan cheese. When he was 5 he developed an hatred for mushrooms, and it accompanies him still (notice the absence of mushrooms-based recipes). His grandma taught him to do tomato sauce the proper way at 8. At 9 she tried to teach him how to correctly close hand-made tortellini, and after hitting him with a wooden spoon every time he failed, he closed his first umbilical-shaped tortellino at 17. In the meantime he also developed a mislike for wooden spoons. He survived his University years on frosted meals, but every time he had friends/girls for dinner he gave his best with delicious and mouth-watering dishes (he lost his modesty at 12). As soon as he moved to the States, everyone started asking him to cook risotto, and he is still not sure why. He is renowned for not caring at all about the freshness of the ingredients or the purity of the recipe: cooking is just about relaxing and smiling with friends. Nowadays he lives and cooks in Cleveland, Ohio.