This is val Genova and the mountains behind they are those to reach for gathering the radicchio dell’orso, ( red chicory of the bear)
Already from my first job in Trentino, I have been stricken from the imposing as well as sinuous form of the famous Dolomites, almost looking drwan by a child having a good time messing up with the brush on cloth…. <<…and I have often looked there, hoping to be able to visit the Valley and climb the mountains close-up>>
To tell his experience this time is a dear friend Francesco Antoniello.
Young Italian chef, arrived few days ago here in London and with which we have spent gladly some time, helping to move him the first footsteps in the city,
things like… research of a job, finding an accommodation etc… all is seemed easy, in a few days!! Francesco has told me his history about his last work experience in his country before moving here in UK, something funny but interesting and creative as we like.
Seen by others as the chef “arrived from the south of Italy” and among important restaurants of the Trentino region – he has given some “precious suggestions” to the local cooks! as soon as he has discovered the history, the taste and the tradition that it conceals him behind the “radicchio dell’orso” (chicory of the bear).
Finally the day very attended arrived! I worked in a “agriturismo bio” literally traslate : organic and sustainable. Where local owner and producers do and prepare things produced and harvested, worked and manufactured, without any use of artificial substances.
In the little town of “Giustino”, not very distant from the more famous skiing place, Madonna of Campiglio. <<The owner of the restaurant where I was employed , invited me to go with him hunting the “chicory of the bear” of which had not ever heard spoken of, and he told me that we had to bring us in quota 2.300 meters,>> crossing the val Genova direction “Ghiacciaio della Lobbia” where, also Pope Giovanni Paolo 2nd has spent few days in his last years of life, in honor to the fallen ones of the Great War. The Val Genoa is territorially spread among 7 Communes of the val Rendena, of which the commune of Strembo is surely the one holding the greatest territory.
After having walked for 2 hours meeting little rivers and canals and monuments in honor of the fallen, we finally reached the hatchery (secret) of the chicory of the bear, that I didn’t see because it was found under the plates of snow that it thawed, this coolness you bud they feed him some just loose snow.
The harvest for personal use cannot overcome the 3 kg to family, and exclusively destined rigorously to the residents.
The buds had to be cleaned, burnt and then preserved in the traditional pots with oil for an idea of service as appetizer.
Here Francesco tells his experience to the stoves, to my judgment, exceptional expression of creativeness and taking of initiative, dowry that every cook must have! <<Daring more and founding myself on an inspiration that I had, I wanted to add to the traditions trentine my touch… here that of hidden have begun to use this rare I bud in the salads! then a more preparation similar to the contours, that we serve down to the south. Why didn’t it also stuff a tortello? It came well indeed out, with a stuffing of pumpkin.>>
for the ravioli Pasta (dough):
250g bran de Cecco
200g white 00
250g egg yolk
for the Stuffing of ravioli
200 gs of sieved ricotta and worked with nuisance and a yolk of egg 100 grams crumbs of cotechino (home) 150 gs of leaves of chicory of the bear to speak to warm oil, and then you mince.
To amalgamate well all the ingredients getting a soft and savory stuffing.
To manufacture tortello closing giving him/it a form to like.
sauce for the radicchio dell’orso.
To prepare a fondue of cheese fontal (typical cheese of the val Rendena)
To cut to half the hearts of radicchietti to braise them for a couple of minutes to remove from them to add the fondue in the frying pan to jump the tortellis to systematize them in the dish and to garnish with halves chicory previously put aside.