On wine + food pairing at Il Santo Bevitore: “People who don’t drink have a right to enjoy themselves just as much as someone who does. We have tons of wines, and there’s always at least one that can be paired with each of our dishes, but we have a dedicated sommelier, so she takes care of that. I’ve always been someone who goes to a restaurant to eat. I know about wine, I love wine, but it’s another world. You come to a restaurant to eat well; if you happen to find a bottle of good wine, so much the better. For me, the food is the most important thing.”
On the current menu: At the moment we’ve got ribollita on the menu and an onion soup: two essential comfort foods. We’ve got semolina gnocchi, something you don’t often find in restaurants, with rabbit loin, candied celery, and cocoa nibs. Though I’m from the Veneto, our menu is always weighted towards Tuscany, so we’ve got wild boar ravioli, which are served with parmesan foam and a smoked broth seasoned with onions, speck, marrow and leeks. There are a few northern influences in that: in Cortina, I would smoke food with hay, and it’s stayed with me. Then we’ve got the main courses: rosticciana pork ribs marinated in lemongrass, ginger, garlic and lemon rind, and cooked at low temperature for three and a half hours. You finish them in the oven and give them a bit of caramelization, then serve with new potatoes and rhubarb, which I’m fond of. We have duck breast with nuts, served with spring onions and roasted cauliflower. As for fish, we’re doing a prawn tartare with avocado ice cream, crispy bacon and ginger. That’s a nice fresh, youthful dish. There’s also amberjack with celeriac, bok choy and green pepper sauce.
On desserts: “I used to work with pâtisserie in a hotel in Venice under Chef Graziano Prest and I also did a year at Perbellini in Verona. So I like doing desserts. We’re always varying them, alternating the classics with new ideas, but the one constant is crème brulée. We’ll have four or five desserts on the menu, and crème brulée is always one of them. At the moment, it’s a classic one, with lemon, served with a more unusual ice cream with black sesame seed paste. It’s from Japan, this ice cream: it’s bizarre, but really good. I’m forever looking for ingredients that are a bit different, a little bit out of the local comfort zone.”
Wild boar ravioli with Parmesan cream and smoked broth
by Luca Marin
For the Wild boar stew:
1kg of wild boar shoulder flesh
1 red onion
2 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves
100g of tomato paste
½ bottle of Chianti
Rosemary, thyme and sage to taste
6 juniper berries
Parmesan and ricotta for the pasta filling
For the Fresh pasta:
500g of flour
3 eggs + 5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Water as required
For the Parmesan cream:
500 ml fresh cream
150g grated Parmesan
Sage to taste
For the Smoked broth:
100g of speck
2 white onions
100g bone marrow
2 garlic cloves
Thyme to taste
100g beef cooking juices
2 tablespoons of smoked black tea
To make the wild boar stew: marinate all ingredients required for the wild boar stew overnight at least and then drain the remaining liquid. Boil until the blood has congealed and then filter. In a large saucepan, cook the meat with the rest of the ingredients, add the filtered liquid and leave it to be absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the broth until the meat has softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Finely chop the wild boar and season with salt and pepper; add a sprinkling of parmesan and ricotta, and the pasta filling is ready.
Make fresh pasta sheets and fill with the wild boar stew mixture.
For the Parmesan cream: Boil the cream with sage until the volume is reduced by about a quarter. Filter and add the parmesan to the cream using a handheld blender. Season with salt and sieve.
For the smoked broth: Cut the onion in half and fry in a pan without oil. In a saucepan, sauté the speck, marrow and garlic before adding the thyme, beef juices and onion. Boil for 10 minutes. Pour in double the water compared with the mixture and add the smoked tea. Boil for 3 minutes, then leave to cool down. Filter and season with salt.
Serve by placing the Parmesan cream in a deep dish. Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water and arrange on top of the Parmesan cream. Slowly pour over the broth.
Il Santo Bevitore
Via Santo Spirito 64-66, Florence
IG: @ ilsantobevitorefi