This post is also available in: Italian

“Mens sana in corpore sano” is a Latin saying that in this period is of a disarming relevance: the mind is healthy if the body is healthy.

The viral health hazard risks depressing us. I fight it with positivity and I want even more to cook something profoundly Italian. In the periods of heeling from viruses,, returning to our roots is reassuring, as Italians we have seen so many over the centuries that instead of each taking away from us, they have led us to be the most beautiful country in the world.

So, even in this time of crisis, I continue my life as usual and I dedicate myself to discovering seasonal flavours. The local Triofale market, where I always go, is swollen with delicious local products, I leave the supermarkets to the crazy people.

The vegetables are amazing, the first Roman artichokes are here from the fields near the sea between Maccacrese and Ladispoli are very fresh. The artichokes can be recognized by the leaves and the still white cut from the fields.

At the fish counter I see a nice roar of the Adriatic, the idea starts!

Paccheri pasta with turbot and artichoke sauce a dish that embraces the two seas, a culinary Tyrrhenian-Adriatic“.

Two coasts swollen with history: Ladispoli whose origins are Etruscan was like Anzio the tourist destination of ancient Rome. The black volcanic sand of its beaches and countryside is swollen with iron and favours the quality of the artichokes that have become DOP.

Pescara, which takes its name from the river whose sources are a natural oasis that is worth visiting, hardly needs any introduction. Its sea with the sandy bottom is generous and the turbot is one of the most valuable species.

Besides, sometimes I feel like the D’Annunzio of the kitchen.

Recipe of paccheri pasta with turbot and artichoke sauce

First fillet the fish making 4 fillets and remove the skin. I will use the larger two for a second dish in the oven, the smaller ones cut them into cubes and put everything else aside.

I clean the artichokes and prepare them by cutting the stems into slightly thick rings and the flowers in thin wedges.

Part of the segments I fry and I will use them for garnishing, the rest, blanch them in water with a few slices of lemon in order to prevent oxidation.

A few minutes of boiling, then I remove the lemons and blend the artichoke segments with the blender. Then I put everything in a pan with oil and garlic and cook over very low heat. Only at the end of cooking do I add the turbot cubes because it is a delicate fish and cooks in an instant.

I prepare the pot for the pasta and after cooking the paccheri ‘al dente’, I drain them, pour them into the pan and keep them.

For garnish, but also for crunchiness, on the plate I add the fried artichoke wedges.

A dish that embraces the two seas, a Tyrrhenian-Adriatic culinary dish without racing bicycles, a hymn to spring. And I accompany everything with a Chardonnay from Friuli, to continue the ideal embrace to Italy and because it is perfect with artichokes that are always difficult to combine.

Dario Magno

ITA Semplice spadellatore casalingo, fin da bambino sono stato affascinato dall’odore dei banchi del mercato al mattino presto: sono fonte di ispirazione. Il piatto che porto a tavola la domenica è frutto di un immersione nei colori e negli odori di quella magica ‘scatola’ del mercato rionale. L’occhio e la gola vanno quasi esclusivamente sui prodotti locali che miscelo quasi di getto, non progetto nulla. Odio chi dice io l’avrei fatto così: fallo e non rompere! Ci sono pizzicaroli (romanesco) che sono più bravi di psicoterapeuta, li amo. In ogni posto che vado porto a casa qualcosa un formaggio, un salume e un vino. Vino, croce della mia passione. Non toglietemi i vermentini liguri! Una scuola professionale alle spalle in viticultura mai sfruttata che però forse un segno me lo ha lasciato.