Dig into some Italian dishes, and soak in the cuisine that thrives on fresh ingredients and simplicity.
The tenets of Italian cooking are deeply rooted in tradition. Although every region has some minor local variations, largely, there are a few staple ingredients that are found in every Italian home. Many parts of Italy have sea coasts, so seafood is a much more an important part of Italian cooking traditions than most people realise with the use of sardines, sea bass and squid in recipes.
Freshness is imperative to Italian cuisine and Italians prefer to cook only with fresh ingredients. We emphasise on using quality ingredients over cooking techniques.
The traditional ingredients that one would find in any Italian’s pantry are basil, tomato, Grana Padano cheese, extra virgin olive oil and any pasta.
We believe in only eating fresh homemade pasta. While in recent times, a lot of people will use the pasta machines, I have grown up on my mother’s pasta made with nothing but a rolling pin and pasta dough. Whether using a machine or a rolling pin, making pasta at home for consumption is a must in Italy. We do not believe in store-bought pasta.
My culinary philosophy is to keep the flavours simple, not overcrowd a dish with too many spices or ingredients. As Italians, we believe that quality of the ingredients lies the magnificence of the dish. The new menu at STAX features a lot of items that you would find at a local restaurant in Italy.
Italian cuisine does not use too many spices; we rely heavily on fresh herbs to add flavour to a dish.
Family plays a central role in Italian traditions, and a large family meal is customary in Italian households. The meals are relaxed affairs with several courses. The goal of the meal isn’t just to eat, but it’s time for the family members to converse and enjoy each other’s company and may take hours.
Italians are complete bread lovers, it is a staple all over the country and will always find its place on the table at any meal period.
Italian cuisine is based on peasant traditions and thus relies on inexpensive, locally available foods to a great extent. That is why some of the most popular dishes in Italian cuisine are made with simple ingredients but pack a lot of flavours. For instance, the Minestrone Soup is a thick Italian soup made with whichever vegetables are in season. Also, theAntipasti Misto is a platter of cold cuts, cheese and bread that is meant to be shared by the entire family.
Daniele is the Chef de Cuisine at Forni, Park Hyatt Hyderabad and is hosting a new menu at STAX, Hyatt Regency Mumbai, till June 11, along with the sous-chef Rajiv Das.
Grilled lamb chop with oven roasted potato wedges and red wine jus
Red Wine Sauce:
Spaghetti with bisque, prawns, chilli and cherry tomato
For the bisque:
FOR the SPAGHETTI:
Pumpkin and amaretti ravioli, sage butter and parmesan
for the ravioli dough:
For Pumpkin Stuffing:
For the Ravioli:
For Sage Butter Sauce: