17 Dec The Venus Coffer
Weekend Special: December 18-20, 2015
InspirationGiampaolo Sassi has ties back to the noble Atti family of Bologna, who, among their many exploits, helped enlighten the Bolognese populace on how to transform local ingredients into prandial delicacies. His grandfather worked for them at the end of the nineteenth century.
At one point, Nonno, dexterous soul that he was, purloined a cookbook from the Attis (120 Years of Family Recipes) to share with his own family. (Little did Nonno know that the impact of his gastronomic revelations would redound for nearly a century, to his grandson, proprietor of the best Bolognese restaurant in Chicago today.)
So this weekend Chef Luisa Silvia will be offering her rendition of a recipe from said book (known as Manicotto Garisenda prior to World War II and then Lo scrigno di Venere when it became popularized by the famous Bolognese chef Luciano Draghetti thereafter) as both a love letter to her husband and a comment on how the history of Italy is written in recipes.
Lo scrigno di Venere begins with a pouch of yellow pasta. The culinary “coffer” is endowed with such edible treasures as veal-tenderloin tortellini (homemade), prosciutto, and Parmigiano. It’s cooked in a golden hen stock, strained, and tossed with a Mornay, prosciutto, porcini, hardboiled quail eggs, black truffles. Then enriched in the oven and finally sprinkled with truffles.