big chefs don't cry...
.. but, at the tender age of fourty**** they can still be moved by a simple dish of agnolotti del plin in brodo.
it all started with a trip to london for a meeting with a possible client, cannily set up by yours truly in a wonderful coffee shop just by Borough Market where - incidentally - they serve a cappuccino much better than any you can have in Italy..
what i didn't plan for though was the event of my train not being late.
that left 45 minutes to spend, me and my debit cards, wandering through the sights, flavours, smells and temptations of the market.
i could already figure my bank manager with its (they are not human, are they?) hand hovering on the red button..
i emerged relatively unscathed: no way i could let hand dived scallops or rare cheeses or hand made chocolates rest in my bag for hours but then i could not resist gastronomica's shop and stand. i bought enough lardo to clog my arteries with a thick layer of joy and the fantastically rare agnolotti del plin.
these are a kind of tiny ravioli, handmade in a very limited area of Piedmont. you can find some kind of recipe in a link above but don't bother with it: there is no point in trying and replicate a flavour deeply rooted in the specific ingredients of a small area of a different country.. not to mention the skill in pinching the little bu***ers close. agnolotti del plin have a mytical status and I have had them in the past only once, at a meal organized by Slow Food's founder Carlo Petrini (agnolotti and Slow Food come from the same part of the world..not a coincidence).
once home i prepared a vegetable stock (yes with marigold) then genius struck me as it often does.. :-) : i added a few slices of preserved black truffle. they weren't enough to give a truffle-y flavour to it but yet more than enough to lift its aroma to completely different -higher- ground.
and the combination with the agnolotti was absolutely magical. big chefs don't cry but that dish really moved me deeply. i slurped it to the last drop (see above) and zoe did it too. i have the proof:
Posted by carlo