Recipes from great chefs. 3 dishes by Simone Cipriani

23 Feb 2018, 11:00 | a cura di Gambero Rosso

Simple, creative, practical, contemporary: a view of Simone Cipriani's modern cuisine through 3 of his tastiest recipes.

Identikit of the chef

First name: Simone

Last name: Cipriani

Place and date of birth: Livorno 24 Febbraio 1985

Age: 32

Residence: Florence

Name of restaurant: Essenziale

Restaurants before this one: Arnolfo a Colle Val d’Elsa, Santo Graal a Firenze

Last music album downloaded: “La Terza Guerra Mondiale” by The Zen Circus

Last book read: “Steve Jobs, iLeadership for a New Generation” by Jay Elliot and Simon L. William

Favorite ingredient: Chicken liver

Most-hated ingredient: Nothing in particular

The dish of a lifetime: Bread, tomato and Pata Negra

Most venerated maestro: Davide Scabin

Most respected same-age colleague: I belong to a wonderful generation of cooks. It’s almost impossible to respect only one in particular

My ideas about cucina in 10 words: Simple, creative, tasty, practical, contemporary

Best-loved restaurant abroad: Relae in Copenhagen

The wine above all others: Burgundy

If not a chef, I would have done: Any other work in which I could have expressed myself creatively

Recipes: Egg, artichoke and caviar, Ravioli, sausage and stracchino cheese, Pigeon crostino

Egg, artichoke and caviar

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 eggs

2 artichokes

80 g herring caviar

250 g heavy cream

1 fillet smoked herring

6 mushrooms

500 ml reduced chicken broth

40 g Normandy butter

2 round squid ink bread rolls

100 ml Agresto *

Cook the eggs at 63°C for 1 hour. Cool in water and ice.

Clean the artichokes, cut in half, vacuum pack with 50 ml of chicken broth. Cook 90 minutes at 80°C, then cool with water and ice. Heat cream with herring to 80°C. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Add cleaned mushrooms and reduce cream to half. Bring 100 ml of chicken broth to the boil. Remove from heat, then add butter and two tablespoons of cream-herring infusion, to obtain a dense cream.

Place the halved artichokes on a hot grill, then finish cooking them in a pan, coating them with chicken broth mixture.

Assembling the dish: heat the egg in a steam oven at 60°C (or in temperature controlled warm water). Dig out half of the squid ink bread roll and heat on grill. Open the egg inside the roll. Place a half artichoke on the egg with a tablespoon of chicken broth cream. Sprinkle a teaspoon of agresto on top. Finish with the herring caviar, a grinding of pepper and two beet sprouts.

*Agresto is an ancient condiment. It makes use of grapes that don’t ripen. Leave to dry for 3 weeks, then press. Boil the grape must until it is a dense syrup, then season with estragon, cinnamon, onion, garlic and honey. Boil for 15 minutes more, then add vinegar. Some wineries are beginning to produce agresto again.


Ravioli, sausage and stracchino cheese

Ingredients for 4 servings

For the fresh pasta

500 g of 00 flour

5 eggs

3 g salt

For the filling

500 g sausage

250 g stracchino cheese

For the broth

1 kilo pork belly

3 l water

6 garlic cloves

1 red onion

1 spring onion

1 stalk lemongrass

40 g ginger

50 ml soy sauce

50 ml Mirin

5 g salt

For the stracchino cream

500 ml heavy cream

250 g stracchino cheese

50 g Parmigiano Reggiano


black pepper

For the bread wafer

175 g day-old bread

175 g 00 flour

100 ml chicken broth

extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare the fresh stuffed pasta: blend all the ingredients together and leave to rest for at least 12 hours. Roll the pasta out to 1 mm, working it with flour. Make the filling: combine sausage with stracchino and place in a pastry bag. Stuff the ravioli: roll out the pasta, squeeze the filling out on the pasta in separate little mounds. Cover with another layer of pasta brushed with egg yolk. With the help of a pasta cutter, cut out ravioli first with the smooth edge and then with the cutting edge so as to obtain button shapes.

Make the broth: cut the pork belly into cubes and place in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, remove the meat and change the water, repeating 3 times. The third time, add garlic, onion, lemongrass and ginger to the water. Leave to simmer for 12 hours. Strain and reduce the broth by half. Add mirin and soy sauce.

For the stracchino cream: heat the heavy cream to 82°, add the stracchino and the Parmigiano. Emulsify with an immersion blender.

For the bread wafers: work all ingredients together to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Using a pasta machine, roll out to 2mm. Place the strips on baking pan and brush with oil. Bake in a 160°C oven for 10 minutes and then at 140°C for 5 minutes.

Assembling the dish: cook the ravioli in boiling water for 2 minutes. Heat the stracchino cream without reaching a boil. Drain the ravioli, place on cream, and serve with the bread wafers, broken into pieces, on top. Serve the hot broth separately.


Pigeon crostino

Ingredients for 4 servings

3 domestic pigeons

1 garlic

100 g butter

2 onions

0.25 ml soy sauce

50 g lard

1 garlic clove

1 sprig rosemary

4 slices Tuscan bread

For the pigeons: clean and debone 2 pigeons. Vacuum pack and stabilize at 53° C for 30 minutes in temperature-controlled water. For the pigeon sauce: cut the remaining pigeon into pieces and brown in a pan, adding butter to obtain an even golden color. Drain off fat and place pigeon pieces in a pot. Cover with water and ice and simmer for 2 hours. Remove from heat and chill enough to remove fat that collects on top. Reduce the remaining broth by half. For the onion: peel the red onion, cut in half and grill on one side. Vacuum pack with the soy sauce and cook in water for 40 minutes at 80°C. Blend the lard with garlic and chopped rosemary.

Assembling the dish: remove the pigeons from the vacuum bag, divide in half, separate legs and breasts to brown in a pan on both sides. Heat the reduced pigeon sauce, remove from heat and whisk with a tablespoon of butter. Toast the bread and spread with lard. Arrange onion on bread, then the pigeon on the onion. Garnish with fresh aromatic herbs. Bring the pigeon sauce to the table and pour over pigeon.

For the apple terrine

10 green apples

300 g butter, melted

100 g sugar

100 g brown sugar

1 lemon

For the salted caramel

100 g water

300 g heavy cream

50 g sugar

8 g salt

Vanilla ice cream

For the apple terrine: cut the apples into thin slices and dip into water and lemon juice. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread out the apple slices layered with melted butter and sugar. Cover with parchment paper and a pan holding a weight that presses it down on the apples. Bake for 160°C for 20 minutes. Cool the apple terrine and pour off any excess water. Cut the terrine in strips, roll each with transparent plastic wrap and freeze. Cut the terrine into 4cm high disks.

For the salted caramel: prepare an ordinary caramel. Heat the heavy cream in another pan. Add the hot cream to the caramel, then add salt.

Assembling the dish: heat the apple disks in a 160°C oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, dust the top of the terrine with brown sugar and caramelize with a kitchen blowtorch. Spoon a tablespoon of salted caramel on the plate, place the caramelized apple terrine on top and serve with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.

Essenziale - piazza di Cestello, 3R – Florence - 0552476956 – 3337491973 –

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