Skip to Content

5 sought-after recipes from this season of ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’

By Janelle Davis and Foren Clark, CNN

It’s hard to get enough of delicious Italian dishes.

Season two of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” has viewers salivating once again over food crafted by chefs across the country. Some home cooks have even tried to replicate those dishes at home.

Just in case your attempts haven’t quite measured up, CNN has gathered recipes from the chefs behind some of the most mouthwatering dishes from season two.

Here are five of the recipes many viewers may be eager to re-create at home.

The recipes are listed in US and metric measurements and have been adapted for home use by the restaurant or chef.

A pitch-black Venetian classic

Black Ink Risotto With Cuttlefish

(Risotto al Nero di Seppia)

Recipe courtesy of Giovanni “Gianni” Scappin

Venice is a magical, mysterious, romantic place — but let’s address the elephant in the room: It has a reputation for bad food.

Chef Giovanni “Gianni” Scappin, who was born and raised in the city, was excited to prove that stereotype wrong. To showcase the best of the City of Canals and its surrounding lagoon, he made the Venetian classic Black Ink Risotto With Cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish (seppia in Italian) is the cousin of the squid and the octopus. And the cuttlefish’s ink is a key ingredient.

“The precious ink is used to stain the risotto black, making the dish as theatrical as Venice itself,” Tucci explained.

This risotto dish is so great that some neighboring countries claim it as their invention. It’s impossible to know for sure who created the dish, but in the Venetian cookbook, the ink has been dry for a very long time.

RECIPE: Black Ink Risotto With Cuttlefish

The risotto Tucci called ‘a revelation’

Risotto With Grana Padano Cream, Beer Reduction and Coffee

(Risotto con Crema di Grana Padano, Riduzione di Birra e Caffè)

Recipe courtesy of Christian and Manuel Costardi

Piedmont, a region in northwest Italy, is all about risotto. And the beating heart of this food tradition is the city of Vercelli, where risottorie, restaurants specializing in risotto, are everywhere. One of the best places to try it in Italy’s rice capital, Christian & Manuel Ristorante, is tucked at the back of a 1960s tourist hotel called Hotel Cinzia.

The restaurant is run by two brothers who give this dish a modern twist. Christian and Manuel Costardi’s signature version is a risotto with Grana Padano cream, beer reduction and coffee. It’s supposed to taste like cappuccino or tiramisu, but risotto — all in one dish.

Inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” the Costardi brothers playfully serve their specialty in individual metal cans.

The chef-owners’ unique risotto earned them a Michelin star.

“This is completely changing everything I thought about risotto,” Tucci said. “That’s a revelation. That’s a thousand things in one can. Wow!”

RECIPE: Risotto With Grana Padano Cream, Beer Reduction and Coffee

This fondue is so luscious, it requires a spoon

Fonduta Valdostana

(Valle d’Aosta Fondue)

Recipe courtesy of Lorella Tamone of Alpage Restaurant

The Swiss are famous for fondue, but their neighbors in Italy have their own take on this delectable, melted cheese dish. It’s called fonduta.

Instead of Emmentaler and Gruyère, the Italians in the region of Valle d’Aosta use just one cheese: fontina.

Fontina is a creamy semihard cheese with a mild, nutty flavor.

“Italian fontina cheese from cows fed on sweet grass, high on these mountains, makes the fondue so luscious that it doesn’t need the white wine they add in France or Switzerland,” Tucci said.

“Oh, my God, that is so good,” Tucci said while enjoying fonduta at Alpage Restaurant at the foot of the Matterhorn. “So delicious!”

RECIPE: Fonduta Valdostana

Showcasing the famous black truffle

Assoluto di Bosco

(Essence of the Woods Pasta With Porcini and Truffle)

Recipe courtesy of Alice Caporicci of La Cucina

The Umbria region of central Italy is one of Italy’s main producers of highly sought-after black truffles, the earthy, aromatic fungi famous around the world. The traditional method of truffle hunting with dogs and lots of digging in mountainous terrain can be difficult to maintain.

Carlo Caporicci was able to take truffle hunting and turn it into truffle farming at his family estate, San Pietro a Pettine. Using a method that takes more than five years to complete, Caporicci can produce black truffles that he said are identical to their counterparts in the wild. His daughter, Alice Caporicci, incorporates her family’s produce into dishes at the estate’s restaurant, La Cucina.

The Essence of the Woods Pasta, also known as Assoluto di Bosco, combines the delicious flavors of beetroot, porcini mushrooms and black garlic to create a mouthwatering pasta sauce that complements but doesn’t upstage the star of the show — a whole lot of truffle.

“A fitting finale,” Tucci concluded as he enjoyed the dish, “in celebration of Carlo, Alice, the future of the truffle and possibly the future of Umbrian cuisine.”

RECIPE: Assoluto di Bosco

Pan pizza from an Italian family-run pizzeria

Pizza al Padellino
(Cast-Iron Pan Pizza)

Recipe courtesy of Adriano and Alfredo Lazzeri of Il Cavaliere Restaurant

Most people think pan pizza and they think of mega American pizza chains, but one family-run Italian pizzeria has been baking this classic for more than 60 years.

When Adriano Lazzeri’s father opened up Il Cavaliere Restaurant in 1958, Pizza al Padellino (meaning “pizza in a little pan”) was a brand-new concept. The restaurant in Turin, Italy, catered to factory workers, who went wild for it.

The base is a traditional Tuscan crust, inspired by the region where Lazzeri’s father grew up.

“The pan pizza has a very long leavening, in fact the dough is prepared already in the morning, it is spread in the pan and with the tomato sauce, it is left to levitate for many hours. This is how, once cooked in the old wood-burning oven, a crunchy, digestible and very tasty pizza remains,” the restaurant’s website explains.

Each pan pizza is a small personal pizza. Each customer gets to load it with their own customized toppings. When Tucci visited the restaurant while filming season two of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” he picked sausage as his topping. He also added anchovies, following Chef Lazzeri’s recommendation.

“Usually, I like very thin pizza, but this is delicious, very creamy,” Tucci said after trying the dish.

RECIPE: Pizza al Padellino

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

For more recipes, travel tips and insight on Italian culture, sign up for CNN’s Unlocking Italy newsletter. This eight-part guide will have you packing your bags in no time.

CNN

Skip to content