Danilo Cortellini

Garganelli With Squid And Saffron

Originally from Abruzzo, a small region of Italy that is rich in culinary tradition, Danilo Cortellini’s destiny to become a chef was already decided. Inspired by the landscapes and memories of his hometown; a place that stood next to the highest mountain in central Italy, Gran Sasso, the Adriatic coastline, and thriving farm industry, the ingredients of Danilo’s first experiences in the kitchen were always fresh, abundant and seasonal. 

Before arriving in London in 2010, Danilo travelled throughout Italy gaining experience with industry icons such as Giovanni Rana and at two Michelin-starred restaurants San Domenico in Imola and Perbellini in Isola Rizza. While in London, Danilo jumped straight into challenging roles at three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Knightsbridge’s Zafferano before being offered the position of Head Chef at the Italian Embassy in London allowing Danilo to get back to his roots where food was about trying to recreate a sense of comfort and home: the very essence of what had sculpted his early aspirations.  In 2015 Danilo entered MasterChef: The Professionals fighting his way to the top and ranking as one of the finalists.

 

RECIPE

Serves 4

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Chef tip: It is ok to buy frozen squid but avoid to buy the ones already cleaned. Go for a small to medium size “dirty”, yes is a hassle to clean them but they will be much more tender and tasty.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g of squid

  • 200ml of fish stock

  • 50ml of dry white wine

  • 1 anchovy

  • 1 tsp. of capers

  • 1 small bunch of parsley

  • ½ red chilly

  • 0.4 gr of Saffron (pistils of powder)

  •  1 garlic clove

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

FOR THE GARGANELLI

2 eggs

150g of durum flour

50g of 00 flour

 

FOR THE BLACK GARGANELLI

2 eggs

150g of durum flour

60g of 00 flour

1 tsp of black squid ink

 

Start by making both kinds of pasta. Knead all the ingredients well until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.

With a pasta machine roll out thin sheets (about 1mm) of pasta and cut them into little squares of 5 cm each side. Wrap the squares around the wooden cylinder and press by rolling them onto the little chopping board to seal them. With a few attempts, you will be fine, you must trust your pasta making skills.

Proceed with the black pasta as well and be careful not to leave the pasta sheets to long on the table as once they dry out you will no longer be able to “close” them.

 

Dust the Garganelli with durum flour and aside in the fridge while preparing the sauce.

Clean the squids. Remove the internal guts and outer skins and rinse well. Get rid as well of the beak placed in the middle of the tentacles.

 

Cut the squids into smaller pieces and roast them in a non-stick pan on high heat with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a touch of salt and pepper for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove from the pan and use the same pan to make the sauce.

Stir fry the garlic and chilli with olive oil, add the chopped anchovies and capers, pour in the wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Now pour in the fish stock, add the saffron and let it simmer until reduced by two thirds.

Cook the Garganelli in salted boiling water for just 2 minutes and drain al dente. Drop them into the sauce and put back in the roasted squid. Stir and toss on high heat adding a nice tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil and a ladle of cooking water if the sauce thickens too much.  This process should give a nice creaminess to the Garganelli. 

 

Season to taste and plate straight away in large pasta bowls and sprinkle over chopped fresh parsley and chillies.

 

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