Mamma mia, that’s delicious! Italian style in fashion and food

Tortellini (or Umbrian cappelletti) in capon broth, one of the most beloved Christmas recipes

Brunello Cucinelli, the king of cashmere, creates chic pieces that reflect a sophisticated Italian taste. His collections are studied down to the last detail yet maintain a casual allure and are incredibly soft.

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Mamma mia, that’s delicious! Italian style in fashion and food

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  • Brunello Cucinelli is very fond of his traditions and the area where his marvelous products are crafted. In Solomeo, the fourteenth-century village which is home to the firm's headquarters, cashmere is not the only speciality. The town is in fact renowned for its healthy, high standard of living.

  • Food is cooked by the town's women, in the firm's 'Ristorantino', and is considered a very important matter. Since he was a young boy, Brunello has loved a special dish his mother used to make: tortellini in capon broth, also known as Umbrian cappelletti. These are very similar to the ones used in the traditional recipe from Modena.

  • His mamma was from a family of farmers in Castel Rigone, outside Perugia, in Umbria. For Christmas she always made tortellini in capon broth, probably the most quintessential holiday dish in Italy, at one time made only at home for special festivities. The pasta’s origins are Emilian but tortellini are now found throughout Italy, all year long, commercially produced most of the time.

  • True tortellini obsessives like Brunello and me should head for one of the following restaurants for the world’s greatest tortellini. Pasta is kneaded by hand, rolled out on a board with a long wooden pin (instead of cranked out of a machine between metal rollers), folded around a mixed meat and cheese filling; the smallest are finished on the tip of the little finger and called “punta del mignolo”. Osteria Francescana, in Modena, is justly considered one of Italy’s greatest restaurants.

  • The cuisine is innovative, new-wave, but based on the ingredients and flavors of the area. Tiny handmade tortellini in perfectly clear broth are always on the menu during cool weather months. Don’t miss the Five Ages of Parmigiano, homage to a world-class cheese. Hosteria Giusti, also in Modena, is an old fashioned gourmet store stocked floor to ceiling with finest quality products, especially cheese, salumi (cured meats) and wine, and sells the same spectacular tortellini that are served in the tiny, 4 table restaurant behind the shop, open for lunch only. The menu is hyper-regional and always begins with superior salumi paired with gnocco fritto, featherweight pillows of fried dough.

  • Trattoria da Amerigo, in Savigno, outside Bologna is a delightfully time-warp-y trattoria. Tortellini are served in broth or sauced, everything is local, mushrooms and truffles are featured in season. It’s mostly open for dinner, lunch on Sunday and holidays and has a delightful, quirky inn close to the restaurant.

Mamma Mia, that’s delicious!
Italy’s top designers remember their mothers’ signature dishes. A gastronomic journey through the country’s most tasteful traditions

It’s no secret that Italian mammas are the best cooks in the world. Faith Willinger, chef, author, and food journalist, speaks to Italian designers about their mothers and the age-old family recipes passed from generation to generation that evoke warm feelings of holidays at home and tell The New Yooxer readers where to find them. Through a series of whimsical features, Willinger speaks to the many traditions of Italy’s different regions, marrying two of the country’s most time-honored traditions—fashion and food.

22 November 2013
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